When you engage in disciplined planning and analysis, the result will be an improved customer experience. Placing a few first-rate customer service representatives at key customer touch points probably isn't enough by itself to make a long-term difference for your customers or your company. To craft a consistently outstanding customer experience, you need to strategically plan how the company will engage with customers across all points of customer contact. Every interaction or “golden moment” with customers contributes to the overall customer experience and leaves brand impressions.

It is imperative to understand how each of these touch points affects the customer's interactions with your organization. To achieve this depth of understanding, many companies use a customer experience map as a tool to determine what their customer experience looks like.

Unfolding the Map

Mapping the customer experience is a process that takes the customer's perspective and examines all actions a customer must take to accomplish his or her task or goal. Like a road map, the customer journey is charted to identify all areas of customer interaction with a company. In general, this process of creating a customer experience map has five main steps:

1. Map the current experience of your customers.

2. Understand the points of strength and weakness in the experience.

3. Craft the desired customer experience based on customer needs, preferences, and behaviors, as well as business ...

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