Decode the customer experience with a CX map

Ashley Sava

February 11, 2020

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Creating a customer experience (CX) map for your brand helps businesses zoom in on key insights that can focus and refine the customer experience. For those wanting solid business results, a CX map can be a valuable tool for identifying limitations, strengths and opportunities for real impact. 

So what is a CX map?

A CX map is comprised of all of the touchpoints a customer has or could have with an organization, as well as the interactions that occur at the touchpoints. CX maps analyze customer behavior and customer/brand interactions across all touchpoints and channels. The maps are typically prepared in a visual form and include items such as the sales, marketing and branding processes of a business. Think of the CX map as a tool that examines the complete picture of the customer experience with a brand.

Rather than a clear path from point A to point B, a CX map portrays the process that every type of customer goes through when interacting with a brand. In a very visual way, the map should organize every possible interaction a consumer could have with an organization throughout the buying journey. In a broader sense, the maps aim to show how the brand fits into a person’s life.

Goals of CX mapping

The purpose of CX mapping is to understand every way that a customer or prospect could potentially interact with your brand. More specifically, mapping helps organizations make informed decisions on initiatives designed to increase customer satisfaction, to foster stronger brand loyalty, to reveal quick ways to improve customer retention, to identify hidden areas for innovation and to uncover ways to reduce churn.

Have your organizations consider some of these questions:

  1. Is the prospect who’s landing on your site at the stage of educating themselves more on your niche before they decide whether making a purchase is even necessary, or are they already confident they need the product and are comparing your products and services to competitors?
  2. Is a current customer struggling with a product reaching out to various customer support channels for help, or are they getting the help they need in an effortless way? 
  3. Is there a pattern of greater brand loyalty when a prospect takes one specific path to purchase (such as researching on social media or conversing with sales representatives) vs. those who endure a different route?

CX mapping strives to address all of those questions.

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CX mapping benefits

  • Get personal: Gain a deeper understanding of your customers and how they interact with your brand.
  • Get on target: Roll out targeted initiatives that increase retention.
  • Enhance loyalty: The more you know what your customers and prospects are after, the more likely it is that you can keep them happy. The happier they are, the more likely it is they’ll tell their friends. 
  • Increase profits: Because isn’t this what it all comes down to? 
  • Increase customer retention: An experience map never ends at the buying cycle. It dives deep into the interactions that take place after the individual becomes a customer. Understanding this stage can uptick retention and sales by encouraging customers to become promoters.
  • Improve marketing: Figuring out how potential clients are hearing and interacting with your materials will help you fine-tune messaging. It can also prevent you from draining ad budget in fruitless areas. 
  • Upgrade sales training: Having clarity on which resources and sales content works best is a powerful tool in the hands of your sales team. 

Elements of a CX map

Different organizations have different touchpoints. Small companies might have a process that looks something like this: a prospect clicks on a Facebook ad, the ad leads them to a landing page and then they either become a customer of they don’t. Large businesses have complex funnels that are made up of inbound marketing (SEO, blogs, social media campaigns), outbound marketing (cold calls, emails), customers/referrals (upsells, word of mouth). 

A workable customer experience map documents all possible ways in which leads and customers come across your brand and materials.

Tools you need to create your CX map

Analytics (Google, speech analytics/enterprise listening platform, customer engagement analytics, social media analytics)

Previous communications (support interactions, targeted email campaigns)

Social media (comments, shares, brand mentions)

Outreach (testimonials, interviews, surveys)

Reviews (third party sites, social media, etc.)

Digital design tools (check out recommendations from our partner, Qualtrics.)

Happy mapping! If you’re hoping to better understand the customer experience, while generating insights that increase customer loyalty, you’re in luck. Tethr is ready to walk you through that journey.

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