Customer Journey Map: What it is and How to Create One

Customer Journey Map: What it is and How to Create One

Sheila Ghamkhar |February 7 2024 8 min

When talking about improving customer experience, the suggestion of doing a customer journey map normally appears in the discussions. But really, what is a customer journey map, what does customer journey mapping mean, and why is it beneficial for businesses to consider when they want to improve customer experiences? In this article, I will explore the purpose and benefit of a customer journey map and what to consider when doing customer journey mapping in your organization.

What is a Customer Journey Map vs. Customer Journey Mapping

A customer journey map is an overlooking outline of all the touchpoints a customer has, which affects their customer experience, and is used by businesses to understand what their customers’ experiences are when interacting with them. It allows you to visualize each stage of the customer journey on a map, from when a person discovers a need, research businesses that can fulfill that need, and when they become a customer of a brand when they buy a product or use a service. 

Customer journey mapping is the action of outlining the customer journey map and putting yourself in your customers' shoes to visualize how, when, and at which points customers interact with your business and brand that altogether affect their perceived experience of you.

What is the Purpose and Benefit of a Customer Journey Map?

Why businesses make a customer journey map may differ from case to case. Still, the primary purpose of a customer journey map is to understand and visualize how your customers interact with your business and how you can enhance their experience at different stages. A customer journey map is foundational in understanding what your customers experience when interacting with your business and helps to pinpoint how you can streamline your operations for a seamless customer experience.

The information a customer journey map provides is beneficial for businesses to identify inefficiencies and whether there are communication shortages in the customer journey. Identifying where improvements can be made makes it easier to find technical solutions to help resolve the issues, improve operations, and enhance the overall customer experience.

Essential Pieces of the Customer Journey Map

It is important to remember that a customer journey map considers feelings and emotions, in other words, the customer's perception, as well as the business' rational and measurable factors. So, ensuring you include these aspects and analyze them in relation to each other is key for an in-depth analysis of your customer journey and identifying fitting solutions. This means that you should include all types of communication used for attracting and convincing your customers to buy a product or service and what emotions or impressions it may cause through the various communication channels.

How to Create a Customer Journey Map in 7 Steps

A customer journey looks different for every business, and some touchpoints are dependent on your customer profile and industry. It is important to consider which touchpoints are relevant for your organization, which are general, and which are unique to your situation to summarize later key tools, channels, and elements of your customer journey. What is essential to have in mind when doing customer journey mapping is to adapt the customer lifecycle stage to the customer profile of your target audience to identify which touchpoints in the customer journey bring the highest value to your customers.

To help you on the way, we have summarized the seven steps mentioned in this guide on how to create a customer journey map, and those are:

  1. Set your goals and objectives.
  2. Identify your target audience and customer profile.
  3. Define the stages of your customer journey.
  4. Map the current state of your customer journey to identify improvement opportunities.
  5. Map the ideal state of your customer journey that reflects your goals.
  6. Communicate your customer journey map across the organization.
  7. Review, update, and repeat to continuously improve the customer journey and experiences.

How to Use Your Customer Journey Map

So, when you have your customer journey map ready, now what? Easy, you use it. Implement the insights gained into your efforts to enhance operational processes and improve customer experience by providing a positive and smooth customer journey with new solutions, for example, a customer journey management system. Establishing a plan to bring your customer journey map to life will help you pinpoint exactly what changes you can make to improve customer experience continuously.

Technical solutions to increase efficiency

Speed of purchase or receiving a service is an important part of providing a good customer experience. Many technical solutions can help increase operational efficiency in your customer journey, e.g., appointment scheduling systems or queue management systems to decrease actual and perceived waiting times. Technical solutions for achieving higher operational efficiency can also be about finding tools for better use of your resources. An appointment scheduling system would, for example, provide staff planning solutions to enable you to allocate staff members during peak visiting hours instead of even staff distribution throughout the workday.

Adjust your message on various communication channels

From your customer journey map, you can identify which communication channels are being used to reach out to your targeted audience and their performance rates and ask yourself if the message fits the respective channel. Knowing the response rate and impression of your communication amongst your customers will help adjust your marketing communication and perfect it to fit the communication outlet and your objectives better.

If you are interested in learning more about customer journey management and how to improve customer experience, discover our customer journey management system below. 

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