by Stacy Sherman | Mar 25, 2023 | Personas & Journey Mapping, Podcast & CX
Are you struggling to attract and retain listeners or guests for your podcast? Despite your best efforts, does it seem like your show isn’t gaining the traction it deserves? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. One crucial aspect of podcasting often overlooked is customer experience (CX) which refers to people’s interactions and feelings with your brand. CX can make or break your podcast’s success.
In this article, I explain the meaning of CX, why it matters for podcast hosts, and eight improvement strategies, including persona development and journey mapping that can help you understand your audience and create experiences that resonate with them for better outcomes.
8 Ways to Improve Customer Experience for Your Podcast
- Know Your Audience: To create an exceptional customer experience, you must understand who your guests are. Who are your listeners? What are their pain points and desires? What motivates them to listen to your podcast? Understanding your audience is the first step toward creating a personalized experience.
- Develop Personas: Once you understand your audience, creating personas is next. A persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal guest or listener. It includes demographic information, such as age, gender, and location, as well as psychographic information, such as interests, values, and beliefs. Personas help you understand your customers’ preferences and behaviors and allow you to tailor your podcast content to meet their specific needs.
- Create a Customer Journey Map: A customer journey map represents the journey your guests and listeners go through when engaging with your podcast. It includes all the touchpoints and interactions. By mapping out your customer journey, you can identify issues and opportunities for improvement and create a seamless and enjoyable experience.
- Focus on Content Quality: Your podcast’s content is the heart of the customer experience. To keep your listeners engaged and satisfied, you must deliver high-quality information that meets their expectations. This means doing thorough research, inviting interesting guests, and providing valuable insights and advice. Remember that quality is subjective, so you must know their preferences and adjust your content accordingly.
- Engage with Your Customers: This is essential for building strong relationships and creating a loyal fan base. You can engage with your customers by responding to their comments and questions, featuring their feedback and stories on your podcast, and creating opportunities for them to interact with you and other listeners. Showing customers that you care about their opinions and experiences can be a huge podcast differentiator.
- Be Consistent: Consistency is key to building customer trust and credibility. This means delivering new episodes on a regular basis, maintaining a consistent format and style, and providing a reliable and predictable experience for your customers. Consistency also includes delivering on your promises and commitments.
- Continuously Improve: Customer experience is not a one-time effort; it’s an ongoing intentional process. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting customer feedback, analyzing your performance, and identifying new opportunities. Listening to your customers and being open to feedback allows you to adapt and improve your podcast to meet their changing needs and expectations. Read more about how Voice of Customer (VoC) is a game changer.
- Measure Your Performance: To improve your customer experience, you must analyze and track your progress. You can use metrics like downloads, listens, engagement rate, and customer feedback to measure your podcast’s success. By setting goals and monitoring performance, you can stay focused and motivated and ensure that you deliver the best possible customer experience.
Want to Take Your Podcast To The Next Level or Launch With Success?
Journey Mapping Techniques To Put Customers At The Center
Stacy Sherman + Kery Bodine (Author of “Outside-In”
Improving The Customer Journey With Employees As Heroes
Stacy Sherman + Ian Golding (Author of “Customer What”
by Stacy Sherman | Mar 4, 2023 | Company Culture & Employees, Personas & Journey Mapping
Are you looking to differentiate your business in a crowded market? Do you want to attract and retain customers in the right way? Then you need to intentionally create a purpose-driven company that matches what buyers care about as they vote with their wallets.
Leading with purpose is about committing to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) alongside business objectives. Examples include:
- Environmental: carbon emissions, water and energy usage, waste generation, pollution levels, climate change risk, and biodiversity impact.
- Social: employee health and safety, diversity and inclusion, labor practices, human rights, and community relations.
- Governance: board composition, executive compensation, ethics and compliance, risk management, and shareholder rights.
Too often, company leaders think they must choose between focusing on corporate responsibility versus financial performance. Yet, “both/and” mindset is achievable and essential for long-term success. (Check out Both/And thinking to solve the toughest problems at scale on DoingCXRight podcast ep. 49.)
by Stacy Sherman | Oct 14, 2022 | DoingCXRight® Podcast
Are you putting the customers at the center of your business? Would your clients say yes, if asked?
Kerry Bodine and Stacy Sherman dive into Kerry’s famous book “Outside In” (a must-read) and discuss practical ways to apply human-centered design and journey mapping the right way to gain customer loyalty, advocacy, and financial benefits.
You’ll get a lot of valuable and actionable tips from listening to this episode, whether you are brand new to journey mapping and the customer experience field or advanced in your practice and want to enhance your skills.
What you’ll learn from this episode of Doing CX Right with Stacy Sherman & Kerry Bodine:
- The meaning of “outside in” and why it matters for business success.
- What is journey mapping, and how it has evolved to put customers at the center of business.
- Reasons to care about doing journey mapping the right way and also human design.
- Best practices and actionable tips from Outside-In to improve customer experiences (CX).
- Impactful leadership advice given and received to help you lead with excellence.
- Life lessons and wisdom we’d tell younger 20-year-old selves. It’s not too late to apply.
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Press Play To WATCH Interview:
About Kerry Bodine ~Putting The Customer First Through “Outside-In” and Journey Mapping Techniques
Kerry Bodine believes that happy customers lead to happy shareholders.
With expertise in human-centered design, journey mapping, marketing, and branding, she founded the customer experience consultancy Bodine & Co. in 2014. Her consultancy works with executives to co-create innovative products, services, and experiences that can define their company’s future. Her book, Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business, helps business leaders understand the financial benefits of great customer experiences — and how their organizations must change in order to deliver them.
Kerry spent seven years with the customer experience practice at Forrester Research. As vice president and principal analyst, she led Forrester’s research on customer experience design and innovation. She was also the creative force behind the customer experience ecosystem, a framework that helps companies diagnose and fix customer problems at their roots.
Kerry’s ideas, analysis, and opinions have appeared on sites like The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Forbes, USA Today, and Advertising Age. She is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences and private corporate events around the world.
Connect on LinkedIn + Website
About Stacy Sherman: Founder of Doing CX Right®
An award-winning certified marketing and customer experience (CX) corporate executive, speaker, author, and podcaster, known for DoingCXRight®. She created a Heart & Science™ framework that accelerates customer loyalty, referrals, and revenue, fueled by engaged employees and customer service representatives. Stacy’s been in the trenches improving experiences as a brand differentiator for 20+ years, working at companies of all sizes and industries, like Liveops, Schindler elevator, Verizon, Martha Steward Craft, AT&T++. Stacy is on a mission to help people DOING, not just TALKING about CX, so real human connections & happiness exist. Continue reading bio >here.
by Stacy Sherman | Aug 8, 2022 | Featured Blog, Personas & Journey Mapping
Customer satisfaction and NPS are useful measurements of business success, just as much as revenue and profitability. (And, now there’s NPS 3.0, as the creator Fred Reichert explains on my podcast). While there are many ways to gather customer insights, how does a company increase the chances that customers will rate their interactions highly and remain brand loyal? The answer is by creating customer experiences leveraging the power of journey mapping. If you are unfamiliar with this important CX practice, read my other article: WHAT Is A Journey Map and WHY Create One?
As a refresher, the purpose of creating a customer journey map is to help design better products and services and overall great experiences. It is a valuable method to identify problems and areas of success as customers become aware, learn, buy, get, use, etc. While Journey Maps typically look visually different from one organization to another, they consistently enable you to empathize with how customers feel when interacting with a brand.
CMS wire recently published an article by Jennifer Torres about strategic approaches to journey mapping. Below is a summary with contributors including CX expert Jeanne Bliss and me.
The original article can be found here.
What’s in your abandoned cart?
From a tube of mascara to a jade bracelet or water pump, retailers are paying the price for the items left behind. And the price tag? $260 billion in lost revenue over 10 years (in the US and EU) due to preventable cart abandonment, according to the Baymard Institute.
The Importance of Customer Journey Mapping
As CEO of MaxxoMedia, a boutique digital customer experience consultancy, Levy previously served as Vice President of Digital Experience at Comcast and recently debuted a newsletter focused on the digital customer experience.
“Journey mapping can help provide insights into every part of a customer’s experience,” said Levy, “and to evaluate why a particular part of the journey isn’t working, the investigation needs to go deeper into the micro-steps.” When it comes to abandoned carts, Levy explained, journey maps, combined with web and journey analytics tools, can expose friction and assist in optimization.
Data from the Baymard Institute revealed that, on average, nearly 70% of online carts are abandoned. And while some customers are just browsing, research revealed more than 40% of shoppers discard their cart for “fixable” reasons, like:
- Extra costs for shipping, tax, and other fees
- Security concerns about sharing credit card information
- A long or complicated check-out process
- Website errors
- Being required to create an account
Anytime you define new — or optimize existing — customer experiences, Levy says you should take the time to build a journey map. “A journey map is a tool that helps you understand the entire customer journey and identify areas for improvement.”
“This,” he continued, “becomes the blueprint for your experience and creates a common view and language for the business to identify opportunities and moments of friction. It’s a powerful way to define your strategy, align everyone around the same goals and create an actionable plan for improvement.”
6 Steps for Creating a Customer Journey Map
Levy’s strategy for journey map creation includes several steps.
1. Start With a General Map
One that accounts for the major journey moments or “moments of truth” (MOTs) — regardless of the type of customer. MOTs are the intersections where customers have an opportunity to evaluate their experiences and decide about their relationship with your brand.
2. Map Major Journey Moments
How does the customer learn about, then purchase, receive, activate/set up and enjoy the product or service?
3. Overlay Customer Expectations and Outcomes
Identify what the customer learns, does, and feels in each moment. For example, after making a purchase, they may feel excited about receiving an item in the mail or disappointed if there’s an issue with their order.
4. Create Sub-Journeys
Once you know what the major moments are, it’s time to break them down into smaller steps so that you can see how they work together as part of an overall experience. For example, after a purchase, send an email confirmation and direct the customer to download the app to get ready for activation.
5. Identify Channel-Specific Support Moments
Identify and overlay key moments by channel — web, app, social media, email, SMS, etc. For example, manage expectations about delivery by sending an SMS that links to a real-time tracking webpage.
6. Think About Personas
Personas are an overlay to the master journey map. Usually generated by the marketing department, personas paint a picture of audience segments through quantitative and qualitative research. Examine the map again based on details from these target market personas to determine if journey changes need to be made.
According to Levy, when it comes to supporting journey mapping, nothing is better than talking directly with customers to get firsthand insights. “To add further color and detail to the journey map,” Levy continued, “gather and synthesize data through surveys and ethnographic studies, third-party research as well as existing company journey analytics — escalations, text analytics from chats, calls, social media posts and forums.”
How to Keep Emotion in Customer Journey Mapping
Stacy Sherman, VP of Marketing, Agent & Customer Experience for Liveops, and founder and host of the DoingCXRight podcast and blog, said one of the main goals of a customer journey map is to better understand how customers feel when interacting with a brand.
“You want to put yourself in the ‘customer shoes’ and identify the emotions they feel along the journey,” Sherman said. You can do this, she said, in three steps:
1. Define Personas
The first step is to get an accurate understanding of who the target audience is. You’ll want to ask questions about age, income, and education. But equally important is discovering the needs and obstacles your audience faces and where they go to find information that informs their decisions.
2. Identify Touchpoints
Touchpoints are the moments a customer engages with a brand. They can include advertising, social media posts, a website, online search results, and much more. According to Sherman, it’s important to find out what emotions customers feel at various points along the journey.
For retailers with both online and brick-and-mortar stores, they must consider digital and “on-site” touchpoints, such as in-store signage that promotes social media pages, text opt-ins or newsletter signups.
3. Dig Up Data
Once you’ve completed steps one and two, it’s time to start digging into your customer data. You should incorporate quantitative and qualitative insights from both internal and external sources.
You’ll also want to stay on top of ongoing data trends — like web browsers doing away with third-party cookies — to better understand what type of data you should collect and what to do with it.
Applying Neuroscience to Journey Mapping
Ed Powers is principal consultant for Service Excellence Partners. Listed as one of the Top 25 Customer Success Influencers, he has an approach to journey mapping that combines neuroscience with data analytics and enterprise-wide improvement.
“The customer experience is a human experience, and if we understand this process, then we can influence it,” Powers said.
His “brain friendly” journey mapping approach incorporates the following steps: CONTINUE READING →
by Stacy Sherman | Feb 20, 2022 | Resources
Delivering great customer experiences has become a top priority for many companies. Given the increased focus, employees and leaders with CX skills are in great demand. While on the job training and reading books provide great learnings, getting CX certified from a formal university program can accelerate your career. It did for me and that’s why I recommend you do the same.
The customer experience course I completed is now offered at several reputable schools including:
5 REASONS TO GET CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE (CX) CERTIFICATION
- FLEXIBILITY & CONVENIENCE. You can take CX course online. There’s no deadline to finish and can begin the class right now.
- COURSE CONTENT. You’ll gain access to helpful tools and templates that you can bring back to your job to make an immediate impact.
- TEACHERS EXPERTISE. Classes are taught by CX leaders across different industries. They share meaningful and relevant examples that reinforce the coursework including developing personas and journey maps, CX measurements, building a CX culture, and more.
- NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES: Connect with people who have instituted successful CX programs at their workplace.
- UNIVERSITY-BASED COURSE. The program is not a seminar or conference.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF REDUCED TUITION COST
I’ve been able to get DoingCXRight® readers a significant discount per my board position.
DISCOUNT APPLIES TO MORE CERTIFICATION COURSES:
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