Step 1 Finding the Pain Using ‘Experience Maps’

MAP your business, MAP your customer. The starting point of building Intelligent Customer Experiences is to enable the discovery of what causes your business and your customers the most pain in achieving goals set, to do this we need to create experience maps for both:

  1. An experience map for your employees (mostly customer facing or those involved in sale conversion)
  2. A customer experience map of relevant contact types (in particular those which play a role previous, during and post transaction)

These maps are created to identify the following

  • Actions taken from start to finish of each contact type in doing their jobs
  • The positive or negative rating of each action
  • High level steps defined by sensibly grouping actions
  • Summary statements of likes and dislikes against each high level step
  • The touch points the contact makes to complete each high level step

The purpose of your business employees experience maps is to identify the insight needed to make your business more effective.

The purpose of the customer contact experience maps is to identify the potential opportunities your business has to help your customers, through either resolving things which are difficult, painful, time consuming or enhancing actions which are enjoyable or rewarding. This is very much about the creation of emotional connections and meeting users emotional needs through digital platforms.

Ultimately these 2 pieces of research will be brought together to enable building of an Intelligent Customer Experience.

How to create Experience Maps

By far the best way is to interview customers, but before this can be done you need a clear view of each type of contact within your customers, the most obvious example is a Buyer, but typically they are quite far down the customer’s journey for any given project so ask yourself ‘what happens before the buyer?’ and ‘who does the specifying of what is being bought?’, sometimes known as ‘the specifiers’. Depending on your market or industry these will vary greatly but some examples are: design engineers, Machine designers, production managers, Strategy managers, Product Owners, Product Managers, etc. A useful list of job roles can be found here and provided below is a guide on role types to consider during this exercise.

Role Type Description Example Job Roles
Client This could be an internal or external customer, may have some influence on technology used or approach Customer
Specifier The person defining the design of the product or service, typically will detail what is required but not responsible for where it is purchased Design Engineer, Maintenance Engineer, Product owner, etc
Buyer/Purchaser The person responsible for acquiring the product or service defined by the specifier, typically cannot change what is bought but can decide where its purchased from Buyer, procurement, purchaser
Accountable This is typically a manager overseeing the project or product development are nt directly involved in the day to day but have influence on bigger picture decisions Manager, Director, Owner
Consulted This maybe a technical expert, client, or consultant, will offer advise on direction but not a decision maker Consultant, Architect, Technical Expert
Informed Removed from the direct day to day but need to be informed of progress, a good example would be marketing personnel who will ultimately need to launch the new product and hence need to understand progress Marketing, Sales

Once you have these contact type profiles defined, then look to find willing customers with each contact type represented to interview (offering some reward often helps willingness to support). If you can’t find willing partners then you can develop them from in house expertise however this is likely to be less effective.

A template to help create your own are provided on the resources page here. Within the template are step by step instructions to help complete this process.

Each element of both experience maps provides rich, identifiable information into 1.Your business and what insight you need to help make it more effective and 2.How your business can provide solutions to your end customers needs in order to gain the reciprocal insight needed.

Further details on customer experience maps and how to do them can be found in this great article from adaptivepath.

Highlighted in yellow are the areas of user pain the solution addressed, Read more in Step 2 – Pain-relief, to understand how to use this map to identify a solution.

Step two of building digital platforms for IntelligentCX is here

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