3 Strategic Tips on Customer Experience Mapping

Offering products of services alone isn’t enough these days, organisations must provide their customers with satisfactory experience. Competing on that dimension means orchestrating all the ‘clues’ that people pick up in the buying process" – LL Berry, MIT Sloan Management Review

Put Customer Experience at the Heart of Your Organisation

Putting the customer at the heart of your organisation does not happen overnight. More often than not, it needs a company-wide initiative that filters down from top management and into the various departments/individual processes of an organisation.

One of the most integral steps in executing this initiative throughout your organisation is gaining the insight and understanding you need to effectively map out your customer experience and define where customer interactions or "moments of truth" lie.

Auditing your customer experience from start to finish can be a great insight for your organisation as it can help identify where processes and interactions within your organisation need to be improved in order to deliver your service to not only meet your customers expectations but go beyond them to make your organisation stand out from the rest of the competition.


Detect Clues Left by Mapping your Customer Experience

Mapping your customer experience can highlight the areas where your organisation needs to improve

However, if your "moments of truth" are below expectations, there is a negative effect on your customers experience which inevitably leaves your customers feeling as though the service or product delivered was below par.

1. Tangibles

Tangible clues can be defined as "The functional product or service" delivered by your organisation to the customer or client.

For example, this could be a tangible product such as a telephone system and whether or not it was able to call and dial out effectively. On the other hand, if referring to a service, it could take the form of the content delivered in your educational programmes and whether or not it was delivered to the expected quality initially defined by your value proposition.

2. Intangibles

Intangible clues are a harder to define but can be categories into two distinct sub categories when referring to customer experience. They are:

  • Mechanics: These are emotional clues externalised and interpreted at moments of truth by inanimate objects from your organisation.
  • Humanics: These are moments of truth externalised by representatives of your organisation

For example, In a client meeting, do you serve coffee in a plastic machine cup or china cup and saucer?

To put these clues into a hierarchy, it is of course important to firstly deliver the functional benefit to your customers as this is the bear minimum an organisation can do when delivering its service or product to market.

Identifying the most effective means of optimising and leveraging your customer experience by marrying both the tangible and intangible clues left behind by your organisation can be the edge you need when closing deals in competitive market spaces.

It Doesn’t Happen Overnight

To become a customer centric organisation and optimising your customer experience to meet the needs of your customers is a continual process within an organisation and should resonate in your company culture.

So how does customer experience influence your organisations success?

We can't talk specifically about your organisation but our research for Citroìn indicated that the culture within Citroìn Car Dealerships could increase sales by increasing the level of investment in customer experience within aftermarket departments.

The result? By optimising the customer interaction, customers were more likely to recommend Citroìn to their friends and were overall very satisfied with the both the tangible and intangible clue left behind from the customer experience.

This level of insight did not only increase customer satisfaction scores but also increased sales opportunities from 15% to 40% where customers were satisfied.

The biggest reveal from the Citroìn case study is how important customer interactions are. We learnt that if a customer has a negative experience with a department of a company, they are unlikely to visit, buy from or work with other departments.

Once a customer is lost at this point, it is very difficult for organisations to re-engage and turn the customer around. A negative experience will influence customer opinion until you proactively engage with the customer via a service recovery strategy to bring the customer back on.

By leveraging the customer experience delivered by your organisation, your organisation can take steps in becoming a customer centric organisation and give you the insight that you need to keep your customer happier and for longer, thus increasing your sales pipeline and enhancing your bottom-line.

This post was originally published on CustomerServiceMeasurement.com, a customer insight company. Learn more about customer experience here.