Monday, March 27, 2017

Ready to Revamp Your Customer Experience? Get Out the Map!

“Never judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes”. Remember that elementary school lesson? It’s a lesson that has grown with me and been molded to fit many different situations throughout my life – particularly in my professional career. Like, for example, customer experience.

Here at Lumavate, we’re a little obsessed with the customer experience. No, really. We love getting into the minds of our customers and, in some cases, quite literally walking a mile in their shoes. (Well, the walking a mile part is literal. Not quite the shoe trade-off part.) Just a few months ago, Aidan and Tim from our Customer Success team went out to our customer Wagner Equipment Company and walked their lot with them, helping them put smart labels on their machines and talking to their sales team to learn their process. Our Customer Success Manager Lauren joined Tim for a visit to GIE last October, where they helped our customer Hurricane Power in their booth, and saw firsthand Hurricane’s trade show process at their biggest show of the year.

So, yeah. We like to do a little walking with our customers. What better way to get to know your customer’s wants, needs, and pain points than to witness their journey firsthand? In order to provide an excellent customer experience, you need to know, and we mean really know, your customer’s journey with your product. One way to do that? Customer Journey Mapping.

What better way to get to know your customer’s wants, needs, and pain points than to witness their journey firsthand?

Why use Customer Journey Mapping?

The idea of Customer Journey Mapping is nothing new. The Harvard Business Review was writing about it nearly 7 years ago, and it’s still being talked about today. Odds are your company has a Customer Journey Map already in place, whether it’s formally drawn out or simply discussed among colleagues. The concept is incredibly simple: create a “map” of your customer’s journey with your product throughout its entire lifecycle. Your Customer Journey Map can be as detailed or as high level as you’d like. For a frame of reference, here’s one that Team Lumavate created:

Simple and to the point. All you need to create this is a good team and a few brainstorming discussions. It’s an at-a-glance way to highlight touch points in your customer’s journey with your product. Great! But what can you do with this customer journey map that will provide value to both you and your customers? Use it to identify your customer’s moment-specific needs.

By focusing in on your customer’s touch points with your product, you have the ability to focus in on their specific needs in each of those moments as well, making for precise, meaningful interactions with your brand. Instead of focusing your customer experience strategy on your customer’s needs as a whole, Customer Journey Mapping gives you the opportunity to easily and strategically adapt to your customer’s specific needs in each moment.

By focusing in on your customer’s touch points with your product, you have the ability to focus in on their specific needs in each of those moments as well, making for precise, meaningful interactions with your brand.

Customer Experience isn’t “One Size Fits All”

Think about this: when your customer was a prospect looking to buy your product, were they in need of the same information and materials as a customer who has owned your product for two years and is in need of routine maintenance? Odds are your marketing team has created very specific collateral for your sales process, and your support team provides their information and documentation separately. Both teams are creating content for the same customers, but for very different needs and moments in the customer journey.

This is where the customer experience can become fragmented. If you present all content pertaining to your product upfront, customers are guaranteed to be overwhelmed and go to third party sources (aka, Google) for information in smaller and more relevant doses.

With Customer Journey Mapping exercises, you can get ahead of the information overload and segment out content and information distribution based on the customer’s moment in the customer journey.

Where’s the ROI?

Not convinced taking time to focus on your customer journey will pay off? Last year’s Conversion Rate Optimization Report cited customer journey analysis as the most valuable conversion rate optimization method, and we think we know why.

In the world of consumer products, especially those with a technology element in play, customers are usually looking for one thing: relevant, timely information about their specific product–which is why we think the key to having an incredible customer experience is the organization of product-specific content and information. The more information you can keep in one, organized, accessible place, the better. Otherwise your customer will feel some content whiplash when they’re stuck thumbing through pamphlets, digging through the drawer for a manual they probably threw away, and navigating through pages and pages of irrelevant content on your website trying to find that one piece of information they need.

Here’s where you need a shift in perspective. Instead of thinking about how you as an *insert role title here* working for *insert company here* would solve this fragmented experience, think about how your customers feel in each moment. To borrow a term from the CX pros of the world, think of it as a shift to an “Outside-In Perspective”. In order to put yourself in your customer’s shoes, you need to think like your customer. Here are a few crucial questions to put you in that “Outside-In” Mindset:

  • What are 4-6 “moments” that encompass your customer’s touch points with your company during the lifecycle of your product?
  • Within each of those moments, what content and materials are you currently providing your customers with?
  • What else could your customer need in order to streamline their experience in this particular moment? (Here’s where you really need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes! Think about their needs, behaviors, etc.)
  • How can you provide materials and information to your customer in the least disruptive, most accessible way? (Do they turn to their mobile phone in times of informational need? Do they know how to navigate your website? Are the materials easily accessible?)

What information and content will they need in this specific moment of their customer journey? How can we best relay that information to them with the least friction or interruption to their busy schedules? If you can answer these questions for each moment of your customer journey, then you’ll be walking right alongside your customer in no time (and, might we add, seeing some pretty happy customers).

Ready to get started in walking alongside your customers? Why not create a free account today to see how Lumavate’s software can put all of your product-specific content in one easy-to-use mobile experience.