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Five steps to an effective customer journey map

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Based on your in-depth research, customer journey maps reveal the true paths people take to become your customers, and the emotions they experience along the way.


You’ll discover their happy moments, preferences, frustrations, barriers and exit triggers. This detailed understanding makes it much easier to promote what works well and target your efforts to what your customers are struggling with. This knowledge will result in improvements in your products, processes, technology, marketing and educational content, and employee training to name a few benefits.


Done well, a customer journey map can help you:


  • Identify and prioritise projects
  • Bring teams together to resolve specific customer hurdles
  • Plan for future talent and resourcing requirements
  • Build faster and higher customer conversion rates
  • Increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations


5 steps to start your customer journey map


1. Update your customer persona(s): The first step is to create or refresh your customer personas.


2. Define your customer stages: Choose a persona and define the relationship stages that your customer experiences with you over time. Define how, when and where they: discover your company, research your products and services, choose you over competitors, purchase from you, and maintain a relationship with you.


3. Identify customers to interview: Choose customers that match the particular persona and try to include some that did not complete the purchase journey, or who are no longer customers.


4. Conduct research: While you may need to offer some incentives for participation, most people are happy to help if they believe you are genuinely interested in their experience and will use their feedback to improve things for others. 


For each stage of the journey, try to identify:


  • What their goals were, what they wanted to achieve
  • What they expected the process would be like
  • The steps and touchpoints they used to complete the stage
  • How they felt emotionally during each touchpoint experience and why
  • Other thoughts they had during the stage
  • How long it took to complete


5. Take your time: Customer journeys are seldom straightforward or linear. It’s possible that things will get challenging and untidy before any clarity emerges. This is a natural process, so take your time and stick with it!


5 tips for customer journey mapping excellence

  • Try not to jump to early conclusions
  • Balance your validated research data with your team’s ‘experience’ and assumptions
  • Share progress along the way to build cross-team engagement
  • If an indisputable quick win emerges from the draft map, get started on it to build traction
  • Treat your map as a living document to be revisited regularly and updated as required and remember to share it with any relevant stakeholders


Download your customer journey map template

We’ve created a handy template that will get you on the road to understanding and providing what your customers really need. Download your free Customer Journey Map Template now.

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