How Does Mapping Customer Experience Helps Businesses Grow Sales?
Mapping customer experience is the process of understanding and visualising the journey a customer takes from initial contact with a brand or business, through to becoming a customer and beyond. It involves identifying all the touchpoints where a customer interacts with the brand, and analysing how they feel at each stage of the journey. Uncovering customer patterns and optimising them leads to sales growth.
The goal of mapping customer experience is to improve the overall experience for customers and identify areas where improvements can be made. Companies that put effort into mapping the customer experience are usually more successful in retaining customers and increasing customer satisfaction. In this article the Outsource Your Marketing team considers how to create a customer journey map and use it to create loyal customers and grow sales.
A Definition of Customer Experience
We all think we know what customer experience is, but mapping customer experience makes businesses think about it practically, rather than abstractly. Often abbreviated as CX, customer experience is the overall perception a customer has of your brand. These are formed as a result of their interactions throughout the customer journey. It covers every encounter, from the first interaction to the post-purchase support.
Why is Customer Experience Important?
Exceptional CX is no longer a ‘nice to have’; it’s essential for businesses that want to succeed. Online customers now have access to multiple options, and they are more likely to choose brands that recognise them, prioritise their needs and deliver a seamless experience. Positive CX not only develops customer loyalty but also leads to positive word-of-mouth marketing and increased customer retention.
The Role of Customer Journey Mapping
Most businesses carry their perception of their customers in their heads; the process of mapping customer experience turns that knowledge into a visual representation you can work with.
Customer journey mapping is a strategic process of visualising and understanding the entire customer experience from the customer’s perspective. It involves creating a detailed map that outlines each stage of the customer journey, highlighting encounters with your brand, emotions that drive different parts of the journey, and the pain points customers are looking for solution to.
4 Benefits of Customer Journey Mapping
Creating a customer journey map offers several benefits to businesses:
- Insights into Customer Behaviour: By understanding how customers interact with the brand at each stage, businesses can make informed decisions to enhance the overall experience.
- Identifying Opportunities for Improvement: Mapping customer experience helps identify areas that can be improved, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction.
- Aligning Marketing Strategies: Businesses can tailor marketing efforts to align with customer preferences and pain points, increasing the effectiveness of their campaigns.
- Enhancing Customer-Centric Approach: Mapping their journey puts the focus back on the customer, promoting a customer-centric culture.
4 Steps to Mapping Customer Experience
The customer journey process can’t happen all in one go; it requires a series of steps in preparation for a detailed understanding of your customers:
Step One. Identify Customer Personas/Segments
Before creating the map, businesses need to identify different customer personas. These personas represent different segments of the target audience, each with unique preferences and pain points. Your segmentation may look something like this:
- Demographics. Age, gender, occupation, income.
- Location. Geographical region, city, postcode.
- Behaviours. Purchase frequency, response to marketing campaigns
- Interests. Purchase history, web browsing history.
- Relationship. New customer, returning customer, inactive customer.
- Stage of the sales funnel. Awareness, consideration, decision, purchase.
Step Two. Gather Customer Feedback
Businesses often have a wealth of customer feedback available to them, that simply isn’t being factored into their marketing strategy. Feedback from customers is invaluable for creating an accurate journey map. Look out surveys, interviews, reviews, and social media interactions that can provide essential insights into customer experiences.
Step Three. Analyse Customer Touchpoints
Identifying all the various ways in which customers interact with the brand allows businesses to identify critical moments that significantly impact customer perceptions. Create an exhaustive list. This may include contact forms, voice messages, text messages, social media platforms, emails, photos, calls (mobile and online), in-person meetings in-store.
Step Four. Create Your Customer Journey Map
Once you’ve gathered all the information you need, and analysed the different kinds of customer experience the business needs to acknowledge, you’re ready to create a visual representation of the customer journey, including emotions and pain points at each stage. Take time over developing your map and it will be an invaluable document for defining a roadmap for improvement, and your marketing strategy.
How to Improve Customer Experience Using Mapping
What mapping customer experience should expose are the areas of contact that have been neglected to date and can be improved to enhance customers’ experience of your brand.
- Identifying Pain Points. The journey map highlights pain points and areas of friction in the customer experience. By addressing these pain points, businesses can improve customer satisfaction.
- Enhancing Customer Satisfaction. Using the insights gained from the journey map, businesses can implement changes that directly contribute to improved customer satisfaction.
- Increasing Customer Loyalty. Positive customer experiences foster loyalty and encourage customers to become brand advocates, leading to increased customer retention.
Mapping Customer Experience to Grow Sales
A customer journey map will allow businesses to refine their marketing strategy, based on the ways in which customers interact with them.
- Personalised Marketing Strategies. Customer experience mapping allows businesses to tailor marketing strategies to specific customer segments, increasing the chances of successful lead conversions.
- Building Customer Trust. Positive encounters and experiences build trust between the customer and the brand, leading to more confident purchase decisions and repeat sales.
- Upselling and Cross-selling Opportunities. Understanding the customer journey opens opportunities for upselling and cross-selling relevant products and services, increasing revenue per customer.
How Do You Measure the Impact of CX Mapping on Sales?
A business that commits time and resources to customer experience mapping needs to know that it is converting into new sales. There are a number of ways that the impact can be measured.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
In order to measure the impact of customer experience mapping on your business, you need to look at certain key performance indicators both before and after implementing the mapping process. KPIs you may want to consider include:
- Customer satisfaction scores.
- Customer retention rate.
- Customer acquisition cost.
- Customer lifetime value.
- Brand perception.
- Revenue growth.
This allows you to see if your actions in response to the CX mapping are having the desired impact on your business.
Analysing Data and Feedback
Customer experience mapping isn’t something you do just once, it’s an ongoing process. By regularly analysing customer feedback and data, and making adjustments to the customer journey map, businesses can identify trends at an early stage and make data-driven decisions for continuous improvement.
Challenges and Solutions in Mapping Customer Experience
- Privacy & Security. Throughout the mapping process, your data privacy and security policy need to be uppermost in the minds of everyone. Handling customer data requires utmost care and compliance to ensure customer trust.
- Get The Team On Board. Once you see the improvements that can be made, clear communication is required across the business to explain why they are being implemented. Best practice is to create a roadmap to follow, in consultation with affected departments.
- Mapping is a Continuous Process. The customer journey map is a representation of your business’ relationship with your customers. As such, it will grow, evolve, and increase in its sophistication. This means that updates to the map need to be included as a standing item on relevant agendas, to remind everyone of its importance.
Ready to Create Your Customer Journey Map?
Mapping customer experience is a powerful strategy that businesses can use to understand their customers better and drive sales growth. Embracing customer experience mapping as an integral part of your business strategy is the key to staying competitive in today’s dynamic market.
We hope that you feel confident to start work on your map as a result of reading this article. If, however, you would like more information, or you want the Outsource Your Marketing team to help with the process, we can certainly do that. Simply let us know what the aims are that you have associated with CX mapping, and we’ll talk to you about how we can help.