How to improve your community's experience with an experience map
By improving the community experience, members can better get the value they came for which means they'll pay more, stay more and invite more members like them
The Filmhouse cinema in the Adeniran Ogunsanya Mall in Surulere has a long corridor to walk through before getting to the ticket counter and then the cinema screen hall.
This corridor has air conditioning on, the walls are plastered with currently showing movie posters, and hanging TVs are showing currently showing movie trailers. This experience catches your attention, it makes you feel like you’re already in the movie before you even buy a ticket.
Before this upgrade, the corridor was a plain and ordinary walkway. It added zero value to the experience. Then film distributors wanted a way to better catch the attention of people coming in to watch a movie so they buy their movie. This gave birth to the “movie-themed walkway”, and in improving that walkway or pathway into the cinema, a pull-in mechanism was added to the movie-watching experience.
The last part of that story is the koko here, you want to improve the experience of your community of users even before they see or use your product because in doing so, you increase the value they get from you, your brand, product or company. This also increases their likelihood of becoming or converting to a paying customer or member.
How can I create similar experiences for my community?
By using an experience map to first define your member’s experience so you know where they are and what their pain points could be and what the opportunities you can leverage to improve their experience is/are.
The community experience journey tells the story of a user as they navigate from a need or want that your community provides for or caters to, to being an active and loyal member of your community.
A community experience starts from when a user needs or wants something, it starts from when they are searching for a solution to their want and need, it starts before they’ve even encountered you, your community, product, or brand. This is key because understanding this makes your job easier. You may know this, but understanding it is an added step.
The image above shows the different stages in a community member’s journey in a new community. From when they are searching for a new community to when they become loyal to this community.
It is a map of their experience as they move through a community. Using it one can better capture and improve the value they can get from their community of followers, users, members or customers.
How can I use the community experience map?
Community User Experience/Journey Map Template
Click the link above or the image to access the community experience map template. By hovering on the grey boxes you’ll see prompts that guide you to create update the stages in your community experience journey map.
Every community is different so there can’t be a one-size-fits-all map, it has to be personalised to your community. If you need help creating your community experience map, please see go through the posts below as they speak to the different segments that you’d need to fill in the experience map:
How to define the needs and wants of your community, identify pain points and gain insights into opportunities (substack.com)
How I create opportunities and strategies to solve my community's needs (substack.com)
You can also reach out to me via DMs on my Twitter page @osioke if you need more specific help.
For an idea of what a completed experience map would look like, see this one that details the experience of a Nigerian as they look for and get health insurance. It is really large, so you may need to zoom into the image.