In today’s competitive market, customers have high expectations from the products and services they purchase. Customers aren't making judgements on a single encounter but rather assessing their experience across their entire customer journey. To retain their loyalty, businesses need to meet and exceed these expectations. And that's not just an issue for today. Future product development strategies must align with evolving customer needs and expectations to ensure an organization's success.

how can roadmapping enhance the customer experience (CX)?

Roadmapping is a strategic planning method used by businesses to visualize and communicate their future plans and goals. Developing product roadmaps typically involves multiple stakeholders each with their own priorities and needs. But there should be one shared focus, and that is on the needs of the customer. For a roadmap to lead to success, it should have the needs and goals of the customer at the very heart of it.

Roadmaps generally have a relatively short time frame and use agile methodology and there's a very good reason for that. Customers' needs can change quickly and organizations have to be ready to respond. As Ben Chestnut, Mailchimp CEO and Co-founder, explains, "If you’re not constantly listening and constantly ready for change, you’re going to miss the opportunity.”

why customer experience matters.

There's no doubt that the digital era reduces customer tolerance for a poor customer experience. It is easy for customers to switch service providers, while social media makes sharing reviews and feedback in the public arena easier than ever before. That presents a fantastic opportunity for brands who deliver outstanding customer experience. According to a survey by PWC, great experiences deliver a 16% price premium on products and services, plus increased loyalty. But on the flip side, brands with poor CX will lose out to those with a better reputation for meeting customer needs. In the same survey, 1 in 3 (32%) consumers said they would walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience. Businesses not only need to get it right, but get it right the first time.

the role of customer journey mapping.

So how do organizations begin to really understand the customer experience? Customer journey mapping is a great place to start. By understanding the entire customer journey, businesses can identify pain points, opportunities for improvement, and moments of delight. 

This holistic view allows companies to develop products and services  that continually improve the customer experience, creating a positive feedback loop.

One thing to note here, talking about ‘the customer’ is slightly misleading because  businesses can and often do, have multiple customer types, each with different needs. Creating customer personas, based on collecting and analyzing data on customer behavior, preferences, and demographics allows individual customer journeys to be created. These journeys can then be mapped across all touchpoints based on the goals that particular customer is trying to achieve.

While data can show what a user does, it's also important to consider how that user feels to fully understand the customer experience. That degree of empathy is essential for assessing whether the customer’s needs and expectations are being met at each touchpoint and stage of the journey, and how that relates to their end-to-end experience.

assessing the end-to-end experience.

The customer journey map enables a business to see the customer experience from the customer’s point of view. But the insights that generate can be further enriched by engaging in deeper research into the end-to-end experience.

The most successful way to do this is by taking a mixed methods approach using both quantitative and qualitative data drawn from:

  • data analysis
  • focus groups
  • stakeholder workshops

One of the great benefits of this approach is that it can give visibility to reveal both current and potential customer needs.

Many companies have a skills gap when it comes to generating quality research at this level. Working with an external provider can support organizations to conduct rigorous and methodical research to fully understand the customer experience and produce a winning customer experience strategy.

from customer experience strategy to CX roadmap.

Mapping the customer journey will generate a list of problems and opportunities that need to be addressed within a CX strategy.  

CX roadmapping starts with assessing and prioritizing the features or products, taking into account the level of effort involved and potential ROI, as well as how they relate to the overall business roadmap. 

While new features and products can be game-changer, it's really important that they are not considered in isolation but as part of the end-to-end customer experience, keeping CX as a driving force throughout product development and launch strategies.

Effective and thoughtful roadmapping can help organizations to craft the exceptional customer experiences that today's customer expects. The roadmap should be underpinned by a CX strategy, which in turn is based on a comprehensive understanding of the customer journey, its positives and pain points. It's only by following this process that organizations can get the full business advantage of designing a customer-centric service that truly spans every aspect of the end-to-end experience.

why choose randstad digital for your CX journey?

  • Our global talent pool is ready to assist you in elevating your customer experience, whether by building intuitive digital platforms, crafting immersive customer journeys or leveraging the right technologies for seamless interactions. Get in touch with us today, and let’s talk about turning your digital transformation goals into a customer-centered reality.