— Marketing

Tips and advice for excellent CX workshops


Customer experience workshops can be the difference between effective marketing campaigns, perfectly targeted and with all the right messaging, or inefficient content that wastes money.

During times of crisis, it’s more important than ever to tighten up your messaging for maximum impact and deliver a competitive customer experience. You can only do that once you know what the customer is thinking, feeling and doing, what they need, and what pain points they’re experiencing – all things you can map in a customer experience workshop.

To find out more about the what, why and how of customer experience workshops, we sat down with krunch.co’s Head of Digital Experience Amanda Moyle to gain her insider tips.

So, what is a customer experience workshop?

There are many different kinds of CX workshops – you could be doing empathy mapping, mapping the entire customer lifecycle or a specific experience, like a path to purchase.

Typically, I start by defining the personas using data collection and empathy mapping, then mapping a customer’s lifecycle with a brand, and then delving into specific experience mapping and messaging. It’s important to ensure we have a really clear grasp on who the customer is from the start. If we don’t understand the customer, it’s unlikely we can accurately map an experience that will work for them.

  • Empathy mapping workshops: An empathy mapping workshop helps flesh out the general emotional and mental state of a customer. It’s a useful exercise to do to get everyone in the same headspace as the customer, and it can contribute to data-driven personas that can be used for lots of different purposes.
  • Customer lifecycle workshops: Mapping the customer lifecycle may take you from cradle to grave, or just from when your customer first experiences your brand to when they last experience it (say, over a year or course of membership). It allows you to see the many touch points you have with your customer over the course of their time with your brand, as well as what their needs are and how that relates to your product or offering.
  • Customer experience workshops: Pain points and opportunities become very clear when you map a specific experience a customer has with your product or service, for example, their path to purchase, or their experience being onboarded.
  • Content workshops: Content workshops can be useful to pin the right messages to the right points in time and the right personas. I like to workshop this and then create a messaging matrix for the team to use in all comms going forward.

Why are customer workshops important?

Getting on the same page

Actually putting yourself in the shoes of your user personas and mapping out, step by step, what they experience from your brand – how they’re feeling at a point in time, what they’re doing, what they’re getting versus what they need – can be a very revealing exercise. It often highlights gaps not only in the customer experience, but in the understanding within the marketing team of what’s going on – what’s live, what message gets sent when, where there’s currently content and where there are opportunities.

Setting priorities

When you map a customer lifecycle or experience, you have a clearer idea of what journeys, comms or experiences will make the biggest business impact because of the impact they’ll have on the customer’s experience. You can then prioritise marketing work accordingly. When you map personas, you have a better idea of which customer segment has the biggest impact on your business, and can therefore focus your marketing efforts more efficiently.

When you map a customer lifecycle or experience, you have a clearer idea of what journeys, comms or experiences will make the biggest business impact because of the impact they’ll have on the customer’s experience.

Customer Experience Mapping

From a customer lifecycle or experience workshop, it becomes very clear not only what comms need to be produced – a welcome journey, for example, to ease the customer’s onboarding process – but also what those comms need to say, and how they need to say them. You get all of this from firstly understanding your personas and then understanding their experience via the mapping exercises.

What’s the best way to learn about your customer?

You can learn about your audience in a number of ways:

  • Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Workshops with stakeholders, or those who work with the customer

I would warn marketers though: Workshopping for personas or audience groupings with internal stakeholders can be dangerous, because everyone in the room will bring their assumptions about the audience, and this may or may not be based on facts or reality. It’s important to get the data first and then use workshops to “colour in” the data – specific anecdotes or experiences shared in a workshop can do this nicely.

From here, we can form personas or audience groups, and from there we can map their experiences and plan messaging and content for them.

What should marketers running a CX workshop aim to achieve?

It really depends on your workshop objective – which is something that should be set out and agreed upon at the start of the workshop.

Generally, marketers should be aiming for a range of insights and as much participation from all attendees as possible.

What are your top three tips for organising a successful CX workshop?

  • Preparation: Understanding exactly how the workshop will run is key. For example, how long will each part take, how you will set up the room when you’ll have breaks. Logistics are very important in running a successful workshop.
  • Variety: I like to make my workshops interactive with different activities, different groupings of people, different ways of gathering info and brainstorming – it gets people out of autopilot which is helpful to get the more helpful insights and ideas flowing.
  • Supplies: Having the right supplies makes all the difference – you need enough of the right colour Post-its, for example, and enough pens for everyone, and the right pre-made charts, tables, timelines etc. so you can easily capture the information you’re after.

What are your top three tips for sorting the data from a workshop so it can be useful?

  • Colour coding: I am a big fan of colour coding Post-its to ensure the right insights and ideas end up in the right place.
  • Digitise: I start by taking photos of all the work up on the walls, and then use the photos to digitise and synthesise the work into usable insights, maps, charts and more.
  • Design: You can’t overstate the importance of design on something like a customer experience map. A well-designed layout means insights can be shared around and marketers can turn back to the map again and again to pull insights and ideas out of it.

What should brands do if they can’t workshop in person?

There are a lot of online whiteboarding and workshopping tools available that suit a wide range of customer experience workshop formats. The prep for remote, online workshops is largely the same as doing in-person ones, in terms of planning the flow and how you will collect the information you need.

Naturally, for online workshops, you need to give extra consideration to things like making sure technology is accessible and functioning properly! I also take care to ensure there are lots of opportunities for every participant to engage – it’s easy to be a bystander when you’re on video chat.

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