In response to these pressures, businesses across every industry are investing billions in efforts to attract and please customers. Creating truly satisfying customer experiences is the first and constant goal of digital transformation, and the experience map has emerged as an essential strategic tool that serves as catalyst to this goal. As a self-evident artifact that points to an actionable plan which spans all channels, the experience map is essential to remaining agile and responsive to customer needs.In Centric Digital's playbook, we follow a granular, iterative process to contextualize where companies are, in their current state, as a prelude to deep transformation. Customer experience, represented as the outermost layer of our nested analytical framework, is taken into the full range of interactions between a company and its customers. The customer's point of view is depicted and run through several narrative use cases, which are illustrated towards the purpose of building a strategy. Here's a look at why Centric Digital focuses on the experience map to crystallize the cloud of information that both comprises and obscures the overall customer experience.
It is a graphic model for presenting the multi-dimensional customer experience, with an abstracted process baked in that illustrates that model in action.
The finished map is a strategic tool, a rich visual artifact that captures and summarizes key aspects of the full cloud of possible consumer interactions. It chronicles the customer journey by running a persona through an abstracted story, providing specific insights along the way. The customer journey is put forth as an aggregated view of generic customer experiences, which represent people attempting to fill the need that brought them to the company and achieve a definite result.An experience map is printed out in a large format canvas – often in excess of four feet in width – and posted physically. This monumental presence is also given life online, and can be shared in every digital format through and beyond its completion.
The versioned collaboration that results in a complete experience map provides value through organizational knowledge. Cross-organizational collaboration gives a fuller portrait of customer behavior across all channels and touchpoints, which can then be synthesized into personas. These personas are given a story to grow empathy and understanding for the customer, and the ideas and experiences that can be extracted from that story build a sense of mission as an organization descends into the dense challenge of providing a rich customer experience.
The act of creating the customer experience map is itself a formative component of the digital transformation process. Advances in technology and changes in customer expectations emphasize the interconnectedness of channels and touchpoints that customers turn to in their cycle of need. Smart organizations have realized failure to address this interconnectedness is a major competitive risk, and are willing to break down their internal silos and request 360-degree participation within their organization to complete the satisfaction of customers’ goals. Towards this end, they undertake four steps in the creation of an experience map:
These steps above are guided by three primary reference points, which in turn generate their own questions. These primary reference points are:
Each industry encounters its own unique challenges in pursuit of their customers’ experience, but all industries seek actionable improvements. Before they can transform and improve things for their customers, companies have to clarify their current status quo.
A lack of attention to the key element of customer experience in any of these industries – or indeed in any other available, including B2B, utilities, transportation, government and more – are like a stuck anchor, dragging the organization back from competitive status.
Centric Digital's emphasis on its detailed, reproducible benchmarking process is focused on occupying a holistic view. Customer experience mapping contributes to this holistic view, because the customer journey progresses laterally through the entire landscape of function and role. Inhabiting the customer viewpoint prevents individual constituencies within an organization from seeing their functionality in an isolated context. The map, as a graphic medium, enables people to explore a complex detail-cloud while also maintaining an overall top-down view of the entire journey.
Each step of building the experience map is drawn from a page of Centric's playbook for digital transformation. The quantitative and qualitative scoring framework that underlies our benchmarking process dovetails with the experience mapping procedure, which reveals high and low points in the emotional journey that customers take when interacting with a company. These mileposts represent future gaps and opportunities that will drive strategy. The map also identifies the point in the customer journey that serves as its fulcrum: the moment or sequence of moments upon which winning or losing the transaction pivots. A set of digital initiatives target these moments in a precise manner, yielding maximal ROI and the most robust strategy for digital transformation.