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Article | Jake Hudson-Wood
A customer experience map is a total visualisation of the big picture, taking everything into account that can impact a customer’s experience.
Customer Journey Mapping is the visualisation of the process a customer goes through in order to get from the first stage of the buying cycle, all the way to post-purchase. The goal of the map is to determine all the potential pain points or issues that customer may be encountering. The outcome of this exercise is typically a linear diagram demonstrating the various stages a customer moves through, and the subsequent emotions they feel as they go through these stages of interaction with the company.
One key feature of a customer journey map is that it can show you the exact path a customer took to get to your product, including which messages they received that were useful, and on what channels, which can no doubt be used to inform future marketing decisions. Another benefit, if not the main benefit, of a customer journey map is that you end up with a complete breakdown of how customers move through the sales funnel for a particular product/service, providing a valuable insight into where inefficiencies lie within each stage of the buying cycle. This allows the company to make small changes and tweaks, based on real evidence, and maximise the efficiency of each of these stages that the customer travels through.
Customer journey mapping can be used anytime you want to put yourself in a customer’s shoes, whenever you want to know what they experience when interacting with your company or product. These are generally best used when you have a specific goal in mind, or a specific issue that you are aware of that needs to be solved. Journey maps are used when you want to zero in on a specific type of customer or persona and get a better understanding of one particular element of your business. Put simply, a customer journey map is best used if you know where you want to focus; you know where the problem lies, you just need to find out how to solve it.
In contrast to journey mapping, a customer experience map is best used if you don’t know exactly where the problem lies.
A Customer Experience Map is a holistic, all-encompassing visualisation of an experience, from beginning to end, that a customer will go through irrespective of a specific product/department. These maps are more concerned with human behaviour in general; discovering more about the thoughts and experiences of a customer at every stage in the buying cycle. This is a deeper analysis than just a journey map, it could include a journey map within it, but it also takes into account experiences a customer may have outside of the journey with one particular product.
In contrast to journey mapping, a customer experience map is best used if you don’t know exactly where the problem lies. You know something, somewhere is falling short, and by approaching the exercise in an honest and open-minded manner, you can hopefully nail down exactly where the customer pain points are, when before, you might not have known they existed at all. One key thing to be mindful of is that this is a customer experience map, meaning it’s got to be from their perspective, not yours or your business’s. One common pitfall to avoid is mapping out what you think the experience should be, when really, you want to map out what the experience actually is in the customer’s eyes, warts and all.
- How you can optimise touchpoints with your brand
- Pain points or moments of truth in interactions with customers
- Details of website journeys
- Potential eCRM strategies
- Long term digital roadmap development
- Insights when campaign planning
- Implementation of marketing automation
Always keep in mind that this is not the same as a simple journey map, there is not necessarily only one destination.