Table of contents
What is Journey Mapping?
Why is Journey Mapping so important?
Setting up a Journey Mapping Process
How to Create a Journey Map
Journey Mapping Examples
Journey Mapping Template
Journey maps

A Complete Guide to Customer Journey Mapping

Customer journey mapping introduction

A successful product is built on a solid sense of empathy for the people it’s designed for. Having an in-depth understanding of their needs, worries, and expectations is no less than a superpower—it allows you to deliver innovative and satisfying customer experiences.

But, hey—easier said than done, right?

Let’s say you’ve done your research into your users. You understand what they want and what they need—how do you then tailor an experience that fits their preferences?

The answer is simple—customer journey maps (also referred to as CJMs). These visual representations of your customers’ interactions with your brand will help you increase their satisfaction with your product, boost sales, maximize retention, and ensure an optimal omnichannel experience.

Curious how journey maps work? Let’s get into it! 🏄

Download our Complete Guide to Customer Journey Mapping

How to get an in-depth understanding of your customers' needs, worries, and expectations to deliver the best customer experience.
Illustration of two people adding their comment to a progress bar consisting of steps

What is Customer Journey Mapping?

Fundamentally, the primary purpose of mapping your customer’s journey is seeing your business from their perspective, which, in turn, should allow you to earn their long-term loyalty.

CJMs is an end-to-end outline of a customer’s experience with your brand, which is sort of a blueprint of how they’ll interact with your business and what you can then do to make it more enjoyable.

Think of it as a story—it starts with a person spotting your product out there in the wild, they learn more about it, and then, over time, they fall in love with it.

A customer journey map helps you address customer needs and pain points, which is extremely valuable to a wide array of stakeholders that leverage this information to help the business evolve and scale.

However, it’s important to underline that this practice is more than just a neat bonus; it’s slowly becoming a standard in product development.

In fact, in a global study of 248 customer experience professionals, two-thirds said their firms used customer journey mapping. Among those, 90% found it effective, and over a third said that it had an extremely positive impact.

Why is Customer Journey Mapping so important?

“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology- not the other way around.”
Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple Computers

We mentioned above that CJMs aren't just for UX departments—they define the outlook of a variety of stakeholders. Let's explore this for a bit.

These maps are sort of a two-sided representation of the business-customer interaction. On the one hand, you outline how users want your product to be. On the other—how your company should achieve that. Therefore, the information provided in the customer journey map will impact how sales, logistic support, and distribution channels will work. This is, simply put, what customer-centricity is—you build your organization around what your users want, not what you assume they want.

Data reveals that businesses that focus on improving customer experience undergo an 80% increase in revenue. Another study suggests that 73% of customers agree that customer experience plays a central role in their buying decisions.

Respectively, the companies that do not consider the entire customer lifecycle might underdeliver on their expectations, which will invariably affect the business's bottom line.

While these numbers speak for themselves, we'll take a more detailed look at how customer journey maps can improve your product.

Uncover new problems

After working on a particular product for years, it’s easy to fall into the trap of outdated assumptions about your customers. These assumptions might be based on the research you conducted back in the day, the analytics you sourced years ago, or, perhaps, just plain instinct.

Having a thorough understanding of your product that spans many years is a crucial part of good decision-making. But taking the time to conduct research that will eventually fuel your customer journey map is essential for uncovering recent issues, as well as problems you may have missed months and even years ago.

CJMs are an excellent tool to make sense of your research, which as a result, will allow you to question your current efforts and align them with current customer needs.

Ensure better user experience

Good user experience is subtle and satisfying—users flow through your product’s touchpoints, and they gradually become more curious about your brand. It’s nearly impossible to ensure this smooth path without taking a look at the journey as a whole.

CJMs allow you to understand the interaction between your prospects and your product. As a result, they will help you align your brand with people’s expectations.

Break down silos and unite stakeholders

Siloed communication is exceptionally harmful to an organization’s success. When departments are segregated, their understanding of the product quickly loses sync. As a result, this leads to false assumptions and a lot of wasted time, money, and effort just because multiple departments weren’t on the same page.

Find out how Reveall helps PostNL break down silos and have teams collaborate on a single source of truth for all customer insights.

We mentioned above that CJMs aren't just for UX departments—they define the outlook of a variety of stakeholders. Let's explore this for a bit.

These maps are sort of a two-sided representation of the business-customer interaction. On the one hand, you outline how users want your product to be. On the other—how your company should achieve that. Therefore, the information provided in the customer journey map will impact how sales, logistic support, and distribution channels will work. This is, simply put, what customer-centricity is—you build your organization around what your users want, not what you assume they want.

Data reveals that businesses that focus on improving customer experience undergo an 80% increase in revenue. Another study suggests that 73% of customers agree that customer experience plays a central role in their buying decisions.

Respectively, the companies that do not consider the entire customer lifecycle might underdeliver on their expectations, which will invariably affect the business's bottom line.

While these numbers speak for themselves, we'll take a more detailed look at how customer journey maps can improve your product.

Uncover new problems

After working on a particular product for years, it’s easy to fall into the trap of outdated assumptions about your customers. These assumptions might be based on the research you conducted back in the day, the analytics you sourced years ago, or, perhaps, just plain instinct.

Having a thorough understanding of your product that spans many years is a crucial part of good decision-making. But taking the time to conduct research that will eventually fuel your customer journey map is essential for uncovering recent issues, as well as problems you may have missed months and even years ago.

CJMs are an excellent tool to make sense of your research, which as a result, will allow you to question your current efforts and align them with current customer needs.

Ensure better user experience

Good user experience is subtle and satisfying—users flow through your product’s touchpoints, and they gradually become more curious about your brand. It’s nearly impossible to ensure this smooth path without taking a look at the journey as a whole.

CJMs allow you to understand the interaction between your prospects and your product. As a result, they will help you align your brand with people’s expectations.

Break down silos and unite stakeholders

Siloed communication is exceptionally harmful to an organization’s success. When departments are segregated, their understanding of the product quickly loses sync. As a result, this leads to false assumptions and a lot of wasted time, money, and effort just because multiple departments weren’t on the same page.

Visualize customer journey maps with real data in Reveall

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Setting up a Customer Journey Mapping process

Before we discuss how to create a customer journey map, we should talk about what it's built on. CJMs are developed using several essential building blocks, and each of them plays a significant role in presenting a clear picture of your customer's expectations.

The decision making process

Although the process for adopting new products and features appears simple, it isn't that straightforward under the surface. The customer’s decision making process is about different phases your customer goes through before actually deciding to purchase and use what you have built. Here's what the process includes:

  • Awareness stage. The user becomes aware of a brand, product or feature. They can learn about it on social media networks, an online ad, via emails, through a friend, etc.
  • Consideration stage. The user is looking into various solutions to the problem they're facing. It could involve comparing your product to those of your competitors' and weighing in on the prices and features, along with their respective pros and cons.
  • Decision stage. The customer has evaluated each product in part and moves forward with a particular product or service.

Persona

Given that personas are detailed portraits of your ideal customers, they are a vital tool in prioritizing your product's content and its primary functionalities.

These profiles help a wide array of stakeholders make informed and calculated decisions, build a strong sense of empathy, and keep their decision-making objective.

Your customers' journey will be built around your personas—they define your channels, communication, and a whole spectrum of other vital brand parameters.

Emotions

Emotions rule all of us—your customers included, especially when making a purchase.

When looking for a product or service to address a pressing issue, people can experience a wide array of emotions—they can be sad, frustrated, excited, happy, and anything in between. Whatever it is, your customer journey needs to take that into account.

Pain points

Products and services aim to solve specific problems people experience in the market. There this one thing they want to address to make their life better. This is why your CJM must be built around their pain points.

Of course, people are different—we all experience a broad spectrum of inconveniences every single day, but it’s fair to assume that your customers’ problems overlap to a certain extent.

There are several types of pain points, but the common ones include the following:

  • Process. The prospect has a specific process in mind that needs to be more efficient to meet their goals - could be personal or business-related.
  • Financial. The target audience is unwillingly spending more money on their solution when they actually intend to spend less.
  • Support. They aren't receiving the support they expect at a specific customer journey stage.
  • Productivity. Your prospect is investing more time and energy in a task that can be completed more efficiently.

Make sure you include these customer pain points in the customer journey map. It'll help you identify the stages where they experience negative emotions and what you can do to improve them.

Solutions

All your efforts to outline your customer's journey would be rendered useless if you failed to implement any practical solutions in it.

At this point, your goal is to diminish customer pain points, reduce negative emotions, and increase the positive ones as they interact with your brand. We identified a few pain points previously; here's an example of how you can address them:

  • Process. Address present and future product/service integrations and highlight how you can make otherwise complicated and time-consuming tasks easy.
  • Financial. If possible, focus on lower price points—as long as they don't compromise product quality.
  • Support. Provide maximum assistance to your potential customers and use accessible and supportive language in your content. For example, words like "us" "we" make the people feel valued.
  • Productivity. Focus on reducing the wasted time experienced by customers in the past and promote easy-to-use features that improve efficiency.

How to create a Customer Journey Map

“Your customers’ journeys are their stories, NOT funnels.”
Bryan Eisenberg

Okay, so let’s take a look at how you can actually go about creating a journey map. It’s important to underline that these come in various shapes and sizes, but the end goal, nonetheless, remains the same—solving customer pain points.

Define your objectives

To begin with, you need to define your goals. Ask yourself:" Why do I want to create a customer map anyway?" "What are my objectives?" "What am I trying to achieve with it?"

In reality, different stakeholders can extract different benefits from a well-defined journey. For instance, a UX specialist could use it to:

  • Recognize factors that turn your customers into business advocates.
  • Determine how the product's user experience can be improved.
  • Learn how you can improve marketing at the early stages of the buying process.
  • Understand how current customer pain points affect their decision-making.

Profile your user persona

Now comes the user persona. Like most steps, it will require you to conduct some research. You can do so by collecting feedback through surveys and questionnaires. However, make sure you gather information from actual customers, existing or potential.

Their feedback will be valuable only if it's from people who are genuinely interested in your products and services.

Here are some examples of questions you can ask them:

  • How did you find out about our company? Was it through a social media channel, Google ad, or a friend recommendation?
  • What aspect of our brand caught your attention?
  • What are your specific problems, and what goals are you trying to achieve with our company?
  • Did you open our website with the intention of making a purchase but did not do so? If yes, what was the reason behind it?
  • Have you bought our product before? If yes, what factors contributed to your purchase decision?
  • How long do you typically spend on our website?
  • Is our website navigable? If yes, rate it on a scale of 1-10.
  • Did you ever interact with our customer support? If yes, how was it? Rate it on a scale of 1-10.

Note that these are just common examples, and they sound fairly generic. You are neither bound to include them exclusively in your customer journey map, nor are you restricted to not adding your own questions.

Highlight your target personas

After determining your user personas, you'll have to develop a separate journey for each. If you group several personas in a single journey, your map won't be precise enough, and you won't benefit much from it. Therefore, it's best the prioritize and strategize how your brand will interact with them.

Don't fret about the ones you miss out on; you can always go back and create a new map for them later on.

Outline all the touchpoints

Touchpoints include all the places the customers can interact with your business. This doesn't only involve the website; it can also be your social media, third-party mentions, paid ads, email marketing, and other channels. You have to narrow down all the customers' touchpoints based on the research you've conducted previously.

Customer journey touchpoints help you understand the actions your customers take. For instance, if their path is too long, does that mean your journey is too complex? What about if they use fewer touchpoints? Does it indicate they get turned away quickly and leave your website early?

Answering questions like these will help you uncover actionable insight into their emotions, motivations, and the obstacles they face.

Identify the resources

You need to determine the resources you have and those that you need. A customer journey map highlights all the critical aspects of a company, including the resources. Knowing where you lack can improve your customer's journey.

For instance, you may be offering excellent customer service on your part, but your team could be missing additional relatively inexpensive tools to significantly improve the quality of the support they offer. Through customer journey mapping, you'll be able to figure things like these out. Later, you can invest in those tools and upgrade your services accordingly.

Make necessary amendments

Customer journey maps are an iterative effort. Your first map will certainly provide you with a lot of value, but to help your business truly shine, you need to continuously optimize it.

Put your first version into action—collect data, track metrics, and look for areas that can be improved. Maybe you want to include a call-to-action in a particular area of your site or start a blog where you can share valuable content with your customers. The opportunities are endless.

Don't be hesitant to make amendments—even if they are small. Often, it's the small things that matter.

Revisit and reevaluate the map on a monthly or quarterly basis to identify new improvements that make your customer's journey even more seamless.

Customer Journey Mapping examples

Did you know 73% of customers say that a single extraordinary experience raises their expectations of other companies? This is why we thought you might want to take a look at how some of the biggest companies on the market approach their mapping.

Spotify

Spotify is one of the largest and most popular audio streaming services, with over 180 million premium subscribers. When the platform wanted to improve its customer experience, it hired a marketing organization to create a journey map.

The aim was to know where music-sharing features fit best into the customer experience. Their map highlights user experience from the moment a person opens Spotify on their mobile phone, all the way to the point when they like a song shared by a friend.

The brand provided great details into how their users engage with the product, how they feel, and what they do. It helped them identify their pain points. Later, they addressed the concerns by making their music-sharing experience smooth and seamless.

Amazon

Amazon, the e-commerce giant, uses its own unique custom systems and technology to move a customer through the sales journey.

Their customer journey map was designed to encourage and push users through the sales funnel and remove as much friction as possible.

The platform includes success determinants for each stage of the customer journey. Common success metrics include CTR (click-through rate), impressions, conversion rate, purchase assists, add to cart, reviews, repeat purchase rates, subscriptions, and more.

Customer Journey Mapping template

Note that there is no fixed customer journey mapping template. You need to keep it relevant to your product experience and adjust accordingly. There are some questions though that you should ask yourself when creating a customer journey.

Key Customer Journey Mapping questions:

Who are the target users / customers?
What are their pains, needs and goals?
What drives them towards your product?
What are their concerns / hesitations?
What are their touchpoints with your product?
What notable actions do they take / or don’t take?
What data & feedback do we have to validate any of the above?

The key is to connect the overall needs and behaviors of the customer to the various experiences they have once coming into contact with your product or brand. Journey maps are a fantastic way to gain a holistic view on the user experience and to spot opportunities for improvement.

All you really need to map the customer journey is a wall, sticky notes and a pen. However, in today's digital world it’s often preferable to create your customer journey maps online so that you can collaborate with your team and easily share findings with others. There are a lot of templates out there, but the best option is to use a tool like Reveall, which has dedicated customer journey mapping features, making it easy to template and collaborate on journeys.

Choosing the Best Customer Journey mapping tool

There are plenty of customer journey mapping tools out there that you can look into, and we strongly recommend choosing one that will suit your and your teams' goals. However, there are a few factors that are really important when choosing the best customer journey mapping tool. Consider the following questions: .

  • Is the tool builts for your type of team (e.g. UX, Product, CX, Marketing)
  • Are all the steps and content within the journeys customizable?
  • Is it easy to add real customer research and feedback data to your journeys?
  • Does the tool help you spot opportunities for improving the customer journey?
  • Does the tool foster collaboration on customer journeys?

These are also the factors we considered when building our customer journey feature into Reveall. When you create a customer journey in Reveall, you can customize the steps and make the journey come to life by adding various data points, insights and other information to it. Reveall journeys can also automatically calculate the customer experience throughout the journey based on the sentiment analysis of the data you add.

Reveall makes it easier for UX and product design teams to collect and share research data and make the most of their customer insights.

More importantly, we offer a free trial, so sign up now and create your first dynamic customer journey!

Unactionable customer data can make your progress stall. Reveall can help you avoid that

Conclusion

Customers are the backbone of every business. Even a single unsatisfied, frustrated customer can contribute to business failure. Fortunately, devising a strategic customer journey map reduces customer churn and builds brand image.

By fully understanding your customer experience, you can design improved products and satisfy them at every stage of their journey.

Factors like touchpoints, pain points, and emotions can affect the customer journey. Nonetheless, you have the opportunity to serve your customer's untold and unacknowledged needs; try your best to make the most out of it!

Reveall can help you turn customer data into customer-centric decisions.

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