According to Gartner, 82% of companies have generated a customer journey map but only 47% are using them successfully.
Statistics like this prove that customer experience (CX) is incredibly valuable for your business. Having a solid CX strategy saves time and money, makes life easier for sales reps and marketers, and provides customers with enduring value in the long term.
Therefore, one of the best things you can do for your business is to create a CX roadmap.
What is a CX Roadmap and Why Does It Matter?
A CX roadmap is a blueprint by which teams follow to know which measures to implement and at what time. This roadmap should be replicable, scalable and note short- and long-term goals.
Creating a CX roadmap is important for multiple reasons. First, it ensures customer service remains a guiding principle in your business strategy. Having a customer centric plan is a unifying approach that everyone in your company should take part in improving.
Second, a CX roadmap increases customer loyalty and satisfaction through added benefits. If customers feel like they’re being listened and catered to, they will almost always come back for more. In the following sections, you will see how these measures create satisfied customers.
Customer retention is one of the most important ways to grow your business as well as ensuring that your CX roadmap is working. After all, acquiring new customers costs five times more than retaining existing ones.
Steps of the Customer Experience Roadmap
To see how you should implement your CX roadmap, here is a detailed five-point plan for each stage of the roadmap’s realization.
1. Assess your current CX strategy and customers
The first step is to write notes using all available data on your current CX strategy.
Go through your site’s data, social media pages, and any other form of interaction between your customers and your company. Are they fully satisfied? What features are they missing? What improvement recommendations do they provide?
What you’re looking for are pain points. These are the existing problems your customers face in the general marketplace. They’re hiccups they encounter when looking for the best products and services. Which is exactly the reason why you need to know their pain points before planning anything else.
Basically, you must gain insight into how customers feel.
Only then can you know how your own company can ease problems while against various hurdles.
One important method you can employ is a customer survey or informal interview. It’s essential to hear, in their own words, what they find wrong and right.
Even consider conducting an in-person focus group to hear the natural responses of actual customers. This can be more helpful than a simple survey because you can get the full story of their journey.
Remember, the customer is the focus of a CX roadmap, so be sure you’re taking their concerns seriously into account and detail your own shortcomings in their words.
2. Map out your customer journey
Once you have all that information from step one, you’ll need to apply it onto the customer journey.
How did they discover your products and services? How did they interact with your company? Were they satisfied with their initial contact? What did they expect but didn’t receive? How smooth was their journey? Are they willing to stay loyal and recommend your company to others?
It’s important that you understand how customers interact with your company from beginning to end.
You will need to know the level at which point customers feel let down the most and know what customers expect but aren’t receiving. Whether or not physically mapped out, you should have a visual idea of where the pain points are.
At the end of this stage, you should know what will be essential to include in your CX roadmap according to your customer’s expectations and behaviors.
3. Create your CX roadmap goals and expectations
Now that you have a fundamental idea on how you can improve CX, you can get started on creating the roadmap.
First comes the CX vision, which is a declarative statement stating how your company will cater to its customers.
This statement will act as the guiding principle from prospect to sale, which should be simple enough to be replicable but also firm enough to last long term.
With that in mind, develop a list of goals and expectations based on the previously mapped journey according to customer feedback. Which goals are more important than others? Where can you devote resources with the best impact? What steps need to be taken before others can occur?
This is the editing, re-arranging, and copy-pasting stage.
There’s something important to keep in mind here: how will these changes delight customers?
Customer delight is the method of exceeding expectations. How can you create an experience that goes above and beyond what customers expect? Doing so has fruitful benefits in terms of loyalty and repeat business.
It isn’t as simple as fixing your customers’ pain points. You need to be creative enough to solve these overt problems while also expecting those that can arise in the future.
As you will see in step five, you can measure customer delight and satisfaction quantitatively, which aids your ability to fix the initial implementation problems.
Also, consider ways in which you can align your CX roadmap with a powerful automated sales funnel.
4. Implement your CX roadmap
Now is the time to engage customers.
You’ve done your homework and mapped out plans for success.
This step is where you put theory into practice and track the progress in real time. It’s where you give sales reps the best path to selling your products and services and exceeding customer expectations.
CX, like employee and product experience, fall under the organizing principle of experience management. This form of management follows the interactions your company has with others; whether they are employees or customers.
Experience management uses data to find out how best to improve experiences across the company. This allows both customers and employees to feel like they’re being listened and catered to, which improves the key measures of customer satisfaction.
But it also importantly satisfies your employees, who will then work harder for you in return. The benefits include talent retention, productivity, and improved bottom line.
When you implement a CX roadmap, automation techniques like customer relationship management (CRM) tools allow you to build stronger connections with your customers.
Aside from managing experiences, you may also need to adopt more physical changes, such as a website redesign or product changes.
These changes, while risky in the wrong circumstances, will be much easier if you’ve followed the first three steps. You can arm yourself with all available data, what your customers and employees want, and a guide in which to follow.
5. Measure your CX success and milestones
This step is all about trial and error.
You’ve implemented the CX roadmap and now it’s time to see the results.
Considering it’s crucial to their journey, customer feedback is the crucial measure by which you will adjust your strategy by. This can include a customer satisfaction score (CSAT) or net promoter score (NPS).
CSAT surveys are simple questions asked to customers about how satisfied they were with different aspects through your CX. Whether the scale of that measure is from 1 to 3 or 1-10, it’s the most straightforward way of getting a score on a particular part of the process.
The best time to send out CSATs are after important CX milestones, such as when a customer makes their first sale.
But the score isn’t perfect. While it’s simple and easy to use, geographical biases can skewer it and only reflect short time, or in-the-moment moods. Although measuring customer satisfaction is important, it doesn’t measure your bottom line.
The NPS is a slightly different survey because it measures a customer’s opinion about your company or brand rather than one small part of the CX.
This importantly tracks if your customers are loyal, and how likely they would be to recommend your products and services to others.
While the CSAT and NPS are good in their own ways, the NPS provides a fuller picture of customer satisfaction that will correlate closer with the bottom line.
To reiterate, there are five steps to creating and implementing your CX roadmap. First, take an accurate account of your existing CX strategy and the customers it caters to. Then map out your customer journey to see how those customers interact with your company.
With those in mind, you can now set your CX roadmap goals, what you expect to achieve through it. And now you’ll be able to implement your roadmap. But don’t forget the last step, which is to measure its success over time and adjust accordingly.