One of the best way to think about the customer experience is as a story, this is how your customers experiences it. The story starts with their first contact with your business, whether directly or indirectly. The plot thickens as they learn about your products or services and as they begin interacting with you.
The plot takes a major step forward when the customer decides to buy something from you, and the story continues as the customer’s relationship with your business moves forward to future purchases and interactions.
Why It’s Useful to Think of the Customer Experience as a Story
When we’re evaluating the efficiency of our methods, we tend to look at data. This data can come to us in the form of statistics like sales data or web analytics, or from customers themselves in the form of survey results. But this data can’t fully convey the customer experience as the customer experiences it.
This data isn’t useful because it doesn’t convey the totality of the customer experience, and that’s exactly what it is, a totality. Rather, this data gives you only the specific data it can, such as how much web traffic you’re getting or whether or not your customers think your response time is fast enough. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a few sentences of feedback, but even this isn’t enough.
The customer experiences their journey with your business as a story, like any good movie or novel, each scene plays a part in the overall story. In order to understand what’s working well or what’s going wrong with your customer experience, you need to know the entire story and how all of the small parts fit together.
Know Your Customer’s Story
The best way to learn your customer’s story with your business is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and write out this story. You do this through mapping the customer experience. A customer experience map starts with the first contact you have with your customer and works its way through all of the story’s “scenes,” which are the individual touch points you have with the customer.
A customer experience map is something like an infographic which shows the entire story. With this you can take in the big picture at a glance, but it also shows you all of the relationships between the different parts. You can more easily see where problems might occur and areas where you can make improvements in order to maximize the experience.
There are many different ways to approach mapping the customer experience, but it should always be in story form. You should understand your business’s customer experience through the customer’s eyes.