There are other stage frameworks available, for example, the traditional marketing “Consumer-decision making process” which has five steps: problem recognition, information search, alternatives evaluation, purchase decision and post-purchase evaluation.
At each stage, you may want to learn more about your customer by listing the following attributes in the grey section/column of the template above, and exploring each of them across all stages.
Customer actions – what is the customer doing at this stage
Touchpoints – what channels or touchpoints is the customer interacting with
Emotions – what feelings or emotions are they experiencing
Needs – what are the essentials they are looking for
Wants – what are they desiring
Pain points – what pains or frustrations are they experiencing
Similar to the Journey Map, the Experience Map goes through defined stages, but this time, we’re focused on how the customer interacts with multiple products, services and brands, and according to Jim Kalbach (a noted author, speaker and instructor in user experience design, information architecture and strategy) and his book “Mapping Experiences”, it allows brands to ask the questions: “how do we fit into the lives of individuals”.
The Experience Map therefore goes beyond a single product, service or brand interaction and provides a much more holistic view. Similar to a Journey Map, when planning for your Experience Map, the stages you identify will also very much depend on your customer’s broader life context.
In short, Journey Mapping focuses on a narrower scope compared to Experience Mapping. While Journey Mapping delves into enhancing the customer experience for a specific product, Experience Mapping encompasses the broader customer ecosystem focuses on uncovering opportunities for new and innovative solutions.
A quick note: while the terms "Journey Map" and "Experience Map" are often used interchangeably, they aren't the same. However, they can be combined into a comprehensive hybrid map by incorporating the functions of both.
Mapping session tips
Whether it’s an Empathy Map, Journey Map or Experience Map that you decide to adopt with your team, and regardless of the variations you are choosing to use, there are some critical guidelines to follow. Here are the top ones we’ve seen work well for enterprise brands that will help you and your team get the most out of the exercise and reap the ROI rewards too!
Don’t forget your Persona!
Try and do the mapping sessions in person, using equipment such as a whiteboard, post-it notes and even creative props!
Gather a cross-functional team, but keep it small so your sessions are focused and effective.
Get your hands on as many data points as possible to inform your mapping sessions.
Work with your customers for direct feedback and validation to minimise bias or assumptions from your team.
Be sure to agree on and capture the action points so that everyone knows what the next steps are after the mapping sessions and you’re maximising any potential ROI.
Think about using an experienced session facilitator to ensure your session or sessions run smoothly and don’t overrun. A facilitator can also make sure that you’re asking the right questions, staying focused and capturing any key follow-up steps.
Understanding your customer isn't a one-time task; it's an ongoing endeavour. It requires a perpetual commitment to learning and adapting. Beyond personas and the three maps mentioned earlier, a plethora of tools exist to keep your understanding of your customers up to date. These include various types of maps, research methods, and ongoing monitoring, analysis and review approaches.
Moreover, just like using an experienced session facilitator, a great way to get started with customer mapping is to leverage an external team of experts. This team can help you identify which map or maps to use in the first place, who to involve in your mapping sessions, and then facilitate and organise the sessions to make sure they happen!
If this sounds like an approach your brand needs, then get in touch with the Adrenalin team.
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