December 5, 2017

Experience Mapping: Your Key to Unlocking Customer Insights

Experience Mapping

At Clearhead, we’re dedicated to helping our clients create great experiences for their customers that also drive business impact. Yet, we have always come back to a fundamental question: how can you maximize returns, if you’re not prioritizing with the full picture in mind?

So, to better determine where your business can make the greatest impact, we designed a new process that builds an extra layer into our Problem Solution Mapping methodology—one that champions customer perspectives throughout the complete customer experience journey. The result is Experience Mapping: a comprehensive view of your business goals and initiatives, augmented with the voice of the customer.

We believe that customers offer insights that consideration of pure business metrics may not, and that it’s our responsibility to clients to champion both business and customer perspectives, ask the right questions and discover problems that might otherwise be overlooked. If you have more information, you can widen the aperture of the areas you can impact—it’s that simple.

How does Experience Mapping work?

Experience Mapping starts with a workshop with you, the stakeholder, much like our traditional PSM workshop. It begins with a discussion of your short and long term business goals, and the steps you are taking to meet them in the relevant channels. We then take that information and collate it with insights and feedback from your customers. Our goal is to discover how they are interacting with those channels, how your actions are affecting their experience and where and to what degree there is room for improvement.

Once we have looked at the journey through both the business lens and customer lens, we can effectively prioritize problem areas and develop solution hypotheses that directly address your biggest problems. No longer are you limited to what you think you know about your customer, or the purview of your team. Experience Mapping allows you to challenge the traditional structure of mapping your customer experience journey—broadening the scope of what a full experience entails for you, the business, and for your customer. This holistic experience begins the moment a customer first encounters your brand, continues past their first purchase and ideally ends with them as a dedicated customer.

Elements of an Experience Map

Experience Map Visual


Together, we define what success looks like for your business—and in what timeframe.


Stages serve to divide the total customer experience into unique and digestible segments, i.e., engaging a customer for the first time might be called the ‘Awareness’ stage and include every  method the business is actively using to reach potential customers.


Channels help you think about the specific touchpoints a customer or your business has throughout your experience. What tools, interfaces or lines of communication are you using to achieve your goals? How are your customers interacting with you or your product? These channels are an integral part of the journey to achieving your goals. Channels to consider might range from Google ads to customer support to email communication post-purchase and more.

Business Lens

Once we’ve identified goals and stages, it’s time to consider the state of the business at each stage in relation to the identified business goals. This perspective is the business lens where we review specific actions you’re taking, their impact and the objectives for every action or investment you’re making at each stage, i.e., “We spent $20 million on SEO ads last year, but really only see a flat conversion rate to purchase.”

Customer Lens

The customer lens is comprised of qualitative or quantitative data that tells the story of the highs and lows, the actions and the emotions your customers experience while interacting with your product throughout various stages and across channels. You might uncover this information by asking to watch them interact with the product digitally, or walk alongside them as they experience the store or call customer service. You can even map analytics data to help illustrate where customers are dropping off in the funnel, or where they are clicking and exploring most. The customer lens helps you see the bigger picture—to pinpoint where there is opportunity to optimize as a business and better serve your customers.


Problem identification is made more effective by insight in where customers are thriving and struggling, and where your business investments are succeeding or failing. We brainstorm together and cluster problems into the relevant stages in the Experience Map.


At this step in the process we work to leverage the learnings from previous stages to brainstorm solution hypotheses. Each solution hypothesis is recorded—with the ones we identify as most important in terms of potential impact featured on the Experience Map. Further work can be done to organize these highly impactful solution hypotheses by stage and channel.

Below is an example Experience Map for a luxury hotel brand.

Luxury Hotel Brand Example Experience Map
Click to view larger image.


Our Experience Mapping process provides a structured and detailed way to look at potential areas of impact for your business—the subsequent problems and solution hypotheses—in a new way and with new perspectives. Embrace a widened mindset, consider views other than those inside your business and target the most impactful problem areas by informing your efforts with the perspective of your customers.

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