First, what is customer experience?
Customer experience is the sum of all the experiences a consumer has with a supplier of goods or services, over the duration of their relationship.
For customers, the experience doesn’t start and stop with transactions or touchpoints. The customer experience starts with a need — before they even interact with your company — and continues through every interaction until they stop being your customer.
With careful attention and through creating valuable and meaningful experiences, your customers will keep coming back over the long term.
Why does it matter?
A good customer experience is the secret to retaining customers that isn’t about your prices or products.
It’s how some companies inspire extreme loyalty in their customers. It’s why consumers will pay a premium for some products over others.
In the current business landscape of increasing competition and decreasing brand loyalty, customer experience is the key differentiator with the potential to impact your bottom line.
Good customer relationships:
Create long term value
Decrease customer churn
Improve customer lifetime value
Increase brand value
Enhance customer acquisition
Evaluate and strategize your experiences with a customer journey map
Most companies claim that they are delivering a superior experience. But how do you really know?
A customer journey map visualizes your overall customer experience. It can surface issues and opportunities by helping you understand your business from the customer’s perspective.A customer journey map typically includes:
- A timeline that shows how the customer experience unfolds over time — including the customer’s behaviours, needs, thoughts and feelings
- The touchpoints that make it happen — the people and things the customer encounters, both directly and indirectly
Phases of interaction — broad stretches of time that represent changes in the customer’s mindset as the relationship evolves
The most effective customer journey maps are backed by quantitative and qualitative data from within your organization.
Make improvements to the moments that matter
Customers’ unmet needs manifest themselves as negative attitudes. Customer journey mapping can shine a light on the moments that matter and help your organization go from being passive and reactive to proactive and helpful.
- Understand customers’ needs and drivers
- Diagnose relationships with customers
- Identify opportunities and requirements for innovation
- Design better experiences (and invest in the right things!)
- Plan and implement new experiences
The journey mapping process
1. Map. Chart your persona’s journey through a typical experience. Who and what do they meet along the way? What are they thinking and feeling?
2. Evaluate. Pick a focus. Where can you make the most impact on your bottom line? Is it fixing an issue or maximizing an opportunity?
3. Explore. Set the stage for innovation. What are customers’ needs and drivers? What are your capabilities?
4. Brainstorm. Gather all the relevant information together, then brainstorm. All ideas are good ideas at this stage.
5. Design. Bring your best ideas together and check them against your organization’s goals and values. Finally, create a solution proposal for re-designing the experience.
By the end of the customer journey mapping process, you’ll have an informed place to focus your experience innovation efforts — based on customer and business value — as well as a clear strategy to make it happen and metrics to measure the impact.
Now that you’re equipped to delight your customers and increase your profits, the sky’s the limit!
Wondering how to bring it all together within your organization?
Start with an expert-led customer journey workshop in our dedicated design thinking space.
Book a call to learn more or schedule a free tour of our space.