As a business owner, it’s crucial to identify and optimize the exact components that define exceptional customer experiences.
Moreover, about 50% of customers say they’ll likely switch to a new brand after a poor customer experience.
That’s why a customer experience workshop is invaluable. These workshops help you train your team to improve empathy for customers, define problems along the customer journey, and ultimately improve your bottom line.
Read on to learn more about what a customer experience workshop is, its advantages, and how to run a customer experience workshop for your team, including hands-on activity ideas.
What Is a Customer Experience Workshop?
A customer experience (CX) workshop is a highly interactive, live, or virtual program that a company runs to boost an organization’s customer experience. These kinds of workshops are focused on optimizing a customer’s experience from their first interaction with your business to post-purchase support.
Considering that companies that focus on CX see up to 3.4 times more returns, it’s a no-brainer for you to keep a pulse on customer needs and rapidly innovate journeys to meet these needs.
To build a great customer experience, all departments must collaborate to understand the whole customer journey better.
Why a Customer Experience Workshop is Important
Customer experience workshops are crucial for different reasons. They provide an environment for everyone to get on the same page to set priorities. In turn, this yields a positive outcome for the customer, the team, and the company.
CX Workshops Get Everyone on the Same Page
A CX workshop puts the participants in the customer’s shoes.
Through the exercises, the team maps out, step by step, what the customer experiences from the brand, including how they feel at specific touchpoints, the value they receive, and so on—which can be very revealing.
By creating this workshop, gaps in the customer experience are revealed, and solutions to these gaps are brainstormed.
CX Workshops Help to Set Priorities
When the team engages in a customer experience workshop, they’ll have a clearer picture of the most significant experiences that impact the customer. It’s then easier to prioritize these experiences accordingly.
With these advantages in mind, let’s now see how you can create a customer experience for your team.
What You Need to Run a Customer Experience Workshop
Here is everything you need to get your customer experience workshop up and running.
“He who fails to plan has planned to fail.” That old saying rings true when creating a customer experience workshop.
To start your preparation, you must first define your objectives and make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely).
Some of the objectives you could set include improving the skills of your customer-facing employees or cultivating a “customer-first” company-wide culture.
You should also keep an eye on logistics. For instance, you need to determine the length of each workshop session, when you’ll have breaks, who the instructors or facilitators will be, and so on.
The Right People
Since the workshop will run in groups, ensure you divide your team into manageable group sizes, say 6-7 people, with each group having a moderator.
Anyone who is a part of any touchpoint across the customer journey should be in the CX workshop, whether they’re in sales, marketing, customer support, UX, content, or other departments.
It’s best to have decision-makers or those very close to the customer in the workshop.
You should also have senior leaders as part of the workshop because you’ll need their buy-in to implement changes and improve customer experience after brainstorming solutions.
Lastly, it’s smart to include some customers in the workshops because they’ll give the most accurate idea of what it feels like to interact with your brand.
The Right Supplies
A customer experience workshop needs loads of supplies.
For in-person workshops, you’ll likely need seats, screens, wall charts, different color Post-its, pens, tables, water, snacks, sound systems, and so on.
Online workshops will also require supplies like meeting applications, passwords, mapping tools, etc.
Alignment of Expectations
Aligning the expectations of all the participants means that everyone should have common goals and outcomes and realize what is asked of them.
When participants are clear about the requirements and expectations, it’ll be easier to participate fully.
So, before the workshop, share a repository of resources with participants. The repository might include reviews, podcasts, videos, revenue numbers, ratings, and other information to help participants understand what is required.
Ice-breakers make it easier for everyone to participate freely. One excellent way to do this is by asking team members to tell a short story about themselves.
By doing so, participants get in the mindset of being a customer of the product. You could use other ways to get participants to think creatively.
Here are customer experience workshop ideas you can use for your next customer experience journey mapping workshop. These activities are divided into three main parts:
Customer Experience Workshop Activity Ideas
- Alignment Workshop
- Current-State Mapping
Activity 1: Alignment Workshop
The first activity aims to ensure every participant is on the same page. Although you might have distributed material before the workshop, not everyone will be prepared. Therefore, use this activity to bring everyone up to speed.
Here are steps to follow:
Step 1: Refresh the team.
Find a creative way to bring everyone up to speed without boring those that prepared beforehand. For example, you could share a quiz, play or video, or trivia about the customer to get everyone empathetic and ready to walk in the customer’s shoes.
Step 2: Talk about the persona.
Next, allow your participants to feel ownership over the customer persona(s) you have chosen. For example, an interactive quiz containing a scenario and persona can help participants connect with the persona.
Step 3: Review the research.
Some people might not have read the research you shared before the workshop. So, take time to review the key points. Even if everyone has prepared, a brief review of the research aligns the group’s mindset and makes research fresh in everyone’s mind. Make it fun and interactive by choosing willing participants to present research findings.
Step 4: Facilitate the discussion.
If customers are part of the workshop, your team needs to be prepared to ease them through the process. Since the workshop might have more groups than you could lead, provide guidance by offering training. Then, assist teams with printed interview guides.
Activity 2: Current-State Mapping
Here, participants engage in several activities to create and update customer maps and identify pain points. Here’s what to do.
Step 1: Map the current state.
Have each team focused on an assigned scenario, and you might provide them with a customer journey map template. Since this is the start of the workshop, the team can make assumptions, keeping in mind that they’ll be gaps in their knowledge. As the workshop progresses, they will adapt the map and adjust based on additional information. Those Post-it notes will surely come in handy here.
Step 2: Interview your customers.
Interviewing customers will help the team fill in the gaps of the assumption map above. First, customers that align with each group’s persona join the team. They are then interviewed about their experience based on the assigned scenario.
Step 3: Update the map.
The team reveals the assumption map to the customer, and these customers are encouraged to share their experiences.
Step 4: Validate gaps and pain points.
After discussing with the customer and adapting the map, it’s time to focus on the pain points across the customer experience. Again, this discussion is critical to brainstorming solutions.
Activity 3: Brainstorming
In this activity, the team brainstorms ideas about solving the most popular pain points. After brainstorming, create an implementation plan for the top ideas, assign roles and responsibilities, and define a timeline.
There you have it — a customer experience workshop’s overall structure and the activities you can adapt based on your needs and scope. With this solid foundation, you can now create kick-ass customer experience workshops.