Think about your favorite brand. How do you interact with them? More importantly, how do they interact with you? Does the voice of their promotional email match the way a sales rep talks to you on the floor of their retail store? Whatever your answer is, this connection is intentional.
Every communication you have with a brand has most likely been mapped out between their communication, marketing and sales teams.
No matter the size of your brand, having a clear grasp of the customer journey is essential. There are many ways a company can do this, but one of the most helpful is to create a visual guide for your entire team to reference as a resource.
Cue experience mapping. An experience map visually depicts how a customer interacts with a product or service over time.
Not only does an experience map consider all the different paths a customer can take to reach a particular goal, but it also highlights their needs, their expectations, and their pain points.
With an experience map in place, your brand can create a consistent customer journey across all touchpoints– whether that’s in-person or online.
Before building an experience map for your brand, here are three important steps to consider to help you paint a more precise picture of the customer journey.
Review Customer Analytics
Understanding how customers interact with your brand and noting their pain points can help you recognize where you can make improvements. Let’s say, for instance, you build out your experience map and realize that several customers are complaining about slow load times on your checkout page.
The checkout page is a crucial touchpoint in the customer journey, but one where there is friction. Knowing this, you can take actionable steps to address the issue.
Without the experience map, you may not have been able to pinpoint how the issue was affecting the overall customer experience.
Your map should always be considered a work-in-progress. New pain points can arise, and your company must be tuned into the challenges customers face. Using data, analytics, and customer feedback to identify gaps in opportunities will help you continually streamline the overall journey.
Build Out Personas
Building out buyer personas is an important step in the experience mapping process. Personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer, equipped with specific demographic information that matches market research and real data based on your existing buyers.
Brands that spend the time creating buyer personas see significant benefits in their customer interactions. Many successful companies that exceed revenue and lead goals have claimed to have documented personas. They also make websites 2 to 5 times more effective and easier to operate by targeted users.
Experience mapping is most useful after you’ve already completed user interviews and consolidated that information into personas. Building out personas will help you understand your customers’ challenges and goals. Then, you can direct every aspect of your customer journey map towards them and build out a strategy that accounts for every touchpoint.
Collaborate with Teams
When you’re building out your experience map, it’s necessary to collaborate with all teams in your organization, as they all play a different role in the customer journey. From initial attraction to post-purchase support, an experience map can provide a shared knowledge around how the customer interacts at every stage.
The experience map will also help each team understand the full scope of the customer journey. For example, those in production might never see how the customer engages with a product or service post-purchase. But this is most likely where crucial information — both good and bad — is communicated. Having the experience map serve as a resource for everyone in the company can help each team make improvements within that ultimately translates to a more cohesive customer experience.
How Mapping Applies to Experiential Marketing
An experience map can easily be adapted for experiential campaigns. It’s important to make sure you are reaching your audience effectively across every touch-point within an experiential activation.
A blueprint will help you layout how to approach your audience in the pre-event stage, during the live experience, and after the event ends.
From the initial email letting people know about an experience, to the actions a customer takes on the day of your event, these touchpoints should all be considered beforehand to make the most of your interactions with them.
However you choose to build an experience map, it will surely help you create a better customer experience. Learn more about building a brand experience map for your next activation.