Customer Journey Map. What is it? Why Do It? (Part 1)

A customer journey map is a simple concept: it is a diagram that shows the steps customer(s) go through when interacting with a company, such as shopping online, visiting a retail store and other experiences. The need for journey maps become more important as the number of touchpoints increase and get complex. There are many ways to create journey maps. Though they may look visually different from one organization to another, there are consistent elements that need to be included regardless of design.

  1. Personas. Journey maps need to be created for specific customer segments. Maps account for how target audiences think and feel, their expectations, perceptions and more.
  2. Touchpoints. Journey maps identify a series of steps that customers go through as they proceed through lifecycle stages and channels. The different phases are often referenced as “LBGUPS,” which stands for Learn, Buy, Get, Use, Pay & Support. All of these affect customer decisions on whether to stay or leave for a competitive brand.
  3. Data. It is compiled from a variety of sources internally (i.e. website analytics) and externally (i.e. surveys). The quantitative and qualitative insights help bring the customer to life.

Why Do Journey Mapping? 

There are many benefits including but not limited to:

  1. Enables teams to understand their customers and create desired experiences in support of launches (products, services, websites, etc).
  2. Allows information to be organized in one place with the ability to identify actionable improvement opportunities.
  3. Helps cross-teams prioritize decisions together and focus resources on fixing customer pain points.
  4. Serves as a communication tool to keep everyone on the “same page.” Maps may also be useful for employee training.
  5. Helps leaders identify operational inefficiencies to ensure employees are spending time on activities that add value for customers.

What Journey Mapping Is Not:

Journey mapping is an effective method to understanding your business from a customer’s point of view. It is NOT meant to be designed from internal employee perspectives, though VOE (voice of employee) is a component that gets incorporated into a map. Likewise, the end goal of journey mapping is NOT for the sake of creating a pretty document. As Janessa Lantz articulates perfectly, “Every Customer Journey Mapping session should end with clear direction on what is happening next and who is responsible for making that happen. The most value from Customer Journey Mapping will not be derived from the Journey Map itself, but from the actions that follow.”

Want to learn about HOW to journey map and get a FREE TEMPLATE for your journey mapping sessions? Read more here.

In the upcoming weeks, I will be writing more about this topic to help readers increase their CX skills and transform their organizations to be more customer-centric. 

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  • Effective techniques and tools to leverage for journey mapping.
  • Best practices in capturing customer feedback, including how, when, why.
  • Successful ways to “close the loop” to ensure improvements are implemented.
  • Useful methods to gauge customer satisfaction, sentiments and other metrics across touchpoints. (Hint: While Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a standard measurement, it cannot be used alone to understand customer experiences and get to root causes of pain points.)






*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

9 thoughts on “Customer Journey Map. What is it? Why Do It? (Part 1)

  1. As someone who has practiced this type of investigation with varying terminology around usability investigation for years, it’s good to have standardized labels like “journey-mapping” and “touch-points” articulated. Too often in the past, I have seen narrow business cases written to solve a specific problem or another, without finding commonality in the data, and efficiencies in entire process by zooming out to see the big picture. By providing a standardized articulation of the discovery process, the industry has provided targets for quantifiable value for this type of investigation into solution design and UX. Of course, the true value of a Journey Map is in the efficincies it reveals, but it is a waste of everyone’s time unless you tie it up with clear, evidence-based recommendations linked to business goals.

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