In today’s market, lasting engagement relies upon more than a collection of interactive moments, but rather, a digital experience that authentically speaks to the aspirations, needs, and pain-points of your customers.
More than ever, your customers – educated and empowered by choice – opt for products and services based on how their most recent experience with your brand or business resonated with them. Thus, sustained future engagement depends on successfully harnessing what you know about your customers to create a cohesive digital experience for them – across all platforms and devices.
To ensure the effectiveness of these experiences, and to help organizations navigate the inherent complexities of the omni-channel digital world, I have become an advocate of Experience Mapping, and the user research activities that support it.
Experience Mapping is a strategic process for capturing and presenting key insights into the complex customer interactions that occur across experiences with a particular product or service.
At the heart of the process lies the Experience Map, an archetypal customer journey model created from an aggregate of user research data. The goal is to provide a holistic view of the journey from the customers’ perspective, and ultimately identify where/when your offering intersects (or doesn’t) with that journey.
The activity of mapping is what builds knowledge and consensus across teams and stakeholders, and defines the framework to foster meaningful connections with your customers. The Experience Map is a living document that is revisited and updated throughout the life of the project (e.g. when new research comes to light, there is a project pivot, or technology requirements change).
- Identify and prioritize current goals, needs, and pain-points for each customer group.
- Discuss and understand your customers’ actions, thoughts & feelings at each journey stage.
- Shed light on the pains & gains in the customer's journey that may reveal new opportunities.
- Create a representation of your customer’s journey before, during and after their interaction with an existing (or in some cases hypothetical) experience.
The following example visualizations are based upon the data collected during an experience mapping activity with an actual client, and depict the current journeys of their core archetypes (highlighted below). The data has been sanitized to honor all associated NDAs for this client.