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Experience Map vs. User Journey Map

The buying process begins long before a customer enters your store. More and more retailers are aware of how many of their actions affect the shopping emotions and the mood in which a visitor leaves a store. In diagnosing the positive and negative elements of the sales process, it becomes helpful to build the so-called customer experience map. It is also vital to hire product designers who will take care of the stylistics of our map.

At each stage of the purchase path, the customer is accompanied by various experiences that affect his emotions, mood, and perception of the store or brand. By observing these experiences, the retailer can appropriately adapt its offer, interior design, or communication to the consumer’s needs.

To ensure a positive customer experience, it’s important to start by getting to know our customers: what they’re looking for, what catches their attention, where they’re most likely to be, what directions they’re moving in, and what types of activities they perform in specific areas.

Based on these insights, a so-called “experience map” is built, a diagram showing the various stages of a customer’s visit to a sales or service location. This tool allows you to find and diagnose the critical points of contact between the customer and the brand and the accompanying emotions.

Creating such a diagram also makes it possible to identify the most effective communication channels and those elements that still need to be improved.

The first step in designing a buyer experience map is to divide the buying process into different stages. Among them can be distinguished:

  • realization of the need to buy,
  • entering the store,
  • selecting a specific product,
  • finalization of the purchase,
  • after-sales activities.

In the next phase, the customer’s activity at each stage is determined: what he does, how he behaves, and what he thinks about. Each activity is assigned a positive or negative emotion that accompanies it, and then a “value” is assigned to each feeling (plus positive emotions, minus negative emotions; the stronger the emotion, the higher the value). All observations and observations are plotted on a special, elaborate axis

. When all the points are combined, a graph is formed, precisely our experience map. Graphic mapping of emotions allows us to clearly distinguish those areas of the purchasing process that most urgently need improvement.

The customer experience at each stage (Customer Experience Journey), managing their satisfaction, and measuring their expectations, needs and pains are among the most important elements of Customer Experience Management.

In turn, one of the more effective tools of this method is Customer Journey, or rather Customer Journey Map. 

What is the Customer Journey Map? It is primarily used to improve the number of sales.

This is why Customer Experience Management is now an activity:

  • strategic – determining competitiveness in the short and long term
  • improving competitiveness, profitability, profitability
  • increasing sales volume
  • increasing customer loyalty
  • improving reputation and image.

To say that Customer Journey Map (also in the variant Customer Journey b2b ) plays a strategic role for the organization is not an exaggeration.

Customers are accustomed to products far beyond their basic utility, services with added values, and services that consider their individual needs, provided at least or above market standards. 

In the era of digital products, the experience acquired in contact with companies (mainly through corporate websites, dedicated applications, and mobile applications) is becoming a key element that determines the nature and sustainability of customer relationships. 

Today, positive experiences (including those related to UX – User Experience) are one of the most important motivators of purchase.

At the same time, customers who have “acquired” negative experiences in their contact with the organization are much more determined to take advantage of competitive offers.

Even in a situation where it will be a less attractive price proposition. 

Customer Journey definition – what is it?

The widespread use of the tool Customer Journey (Customer Journey Map) is due to several issues.

It is a method:

  • relatively inexpensive
  • Relatively easy to do (although few organizations will know how to make a Customer Journey Map professionally)
  • quick
  • repetitive – possible to repeat in the future (comparisons of results)
  • conclusive – allows drawing conclusions of a practical nature
  • pragmatic – serves to optimize activities
  • diagnostic – allows identifying particular problems concerning processes, solutions, standards, tools, communication, deficits
  • Awareness-raising – allows you to understand the customer, look at the company, the offer, 

the purchasing process from his perspective, based on his values

processual – does not focus on selected elements, but on the whole process, the whole experience, so it offers a much deeper and broader perspective.

Speaking a bit more strictly, a Customer Journey Map (like Customer Experience) is a model, a diagram, and a graphical representation of a customer’s buying journey.

It records his contact with the company, brand, product, and service at Touchpoints.

In particular, by:

  • Marketers (who create strategies, and communications with their help)
  • UX/UI specialists (optimizing digital tools)
  • salespeople (diagnosing needs)
  • executives (planning long-term product strategies)
  • programmers (improving digital solutions with the help of modern technologies)
  • content writers (improving the communicativeness, comprehensibility, and persuasiveness of the linguistic layer of the offer)
  • account managers (better understanding of b2b, b2c customer needs)
  • customer service consultants (co-creating better service standards)

By familiarizing themselves with the Customer Journey Map and Customer Experience, each of these specialists will be able to better understand the customer and the changes and optimizations made based on it. 

The tools that support the creation of the Customer Journey Map are Consumer Insights and Persons.

Consumer Insights allows you to build an emotional connection with the customer through messages that tap into the strongest purchase motivators.

Persona, on the other hand, is used to get a deeper, better “feel” for the customer, understanding their needs, goals, capabilities, limitations, preferences, and expectations (Customer Experience). 

The experience map allows the salesperson to find his way through the maze of the buyer’s emotions – analyzing the customer’s experience is important not only at the purchase stage but also afterward. If the shopper feels comfortable in our store, has easy access to the product and information about it, the store space is well-marked, and the shopper does not encounter problems in finalizing the purchase, he or she will certainly recommend our establishment to friends. A good shopping experience makes the consumer become a brand ambassador and return to the brand in the future.

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