Customer Cartography: The Basics of Journey Mapping

By: Lisa Sigler

May 26, 2015

journey analytics
Net Promoter Score

Creating a customer journey map is an important first step in any Customer Experience Management (CEM) program.  Journey maps help you understand how customers are interacting with your organization, discover where customer expectations are not being met by their actual experience, and identify which touch points have the biggest impact on their overall customer experience.

Customer journey maps can come in many forms and include many different kinds of information, but there are a few fundamentals to keep in mind when building one for your business.

Set a goal

Before beginning the process to map the customer journey, identify a clear goal you want to achieve through the process. What are you trying to learn? You should also pinpoint which buyer persona will be the focus of the map.

Get support

Enlist support from executives as well as cross-functional engagement from key stakeholders. You should also take advantage of existing insights from customer research and stakeholder interviews to get your efforts off to a good start.

Build the map

Below are some of the core elements that should be included in every customer journey map that you create:

  • The customer persona, as previously defined
  • The goal of the journey – for example, purchasing a new smartphone
  • The stages of the customer journey
  • The key interactions at each stage along the customer journey
  • The sentiment at each stage
  • A prioritized set of improvements (if these are not included with the map, creating this list should be a critical next step)

Remember your goal

You can tailor and expand your customer journey maps depending on your goal for creating the map, which industry you are part of, and whether you have a B2B or B2C focus.  While each journey map should have the elements mentioned in the above response, the content may be different depending on the industry. Customer journey maps can be basic or detailed, with additional elements like customer expectations, metrics, moments of truth, etc. as are needed to help meet the company’s objectives.

Finish strong

There are a couple of best practices to note to get the most out of your journey map:  1) It’s best to use the customer’s voice when describing interactions are written,  and 2) Bringing in customer quotes helps illustrate the emotion of the customers at each stage.

When you’ve created your customer journey map, you’ll have a valuable resource for understanding what your customers need, how they are interacting with you, and what you can do to make their customer experience better.

Lisa Sigler is Sr. Manager of Content Marketing at Clarabridge. For over 16 years, Lisa has used her writing and editorial skills to bring the value and benefits of technology to life. In her current role, she works to demonstrate Clarabridge’s position as thought leader and trailblazer in the Customer Experience Management market. Lisa holds a B.A. of English from Kent State University. Read more from Lisa on Twitter @siglerLis.