What is Customer Journey
Published on Apr 26, 2021, by Jan Kuzel
- What is Customer Journey
- Customer Journey
- Customer Experience
- How to Map
- Templates & Tools
- Learn more
To put it very simply, a customer journey is a set of experiences that customers go through when interacting with a company, and customer journey mapping is just the process of mapping it visually. It is used anytime you want to put yourself in your customer's shoes.
You may have also heard about customer experience mapping, which is actually a different thing. Often the terms are used interchangeably, but that's a mistake. So what is the difference?
Customer Journey Map
- visualizes a specific area or product
- has individual persona in mind
- more about technical touchpoints
- helps uncover user's pain points
Customer Experience Map
- visualizes the complete big picture
- has "generic" person in mind
- more about human behavior
- helps uncover bigger company issues
Typically you should use customer journey mapping when you have a specific goal in mind, or a specific issue that you are aware of that needs to be solved.
On the other hand, a customer experience map is best used if you don’t know exactly where the problem lies. With that clear, let's move to the benefits.
The Tech world is booming, competition is getting more and more fierce and customers are getting less and less tolerant of weak user experiences. I think that the general understanding of why you might want to smooth out kinks from experience with your product is pretty clear.
The bigger question is really - how important customer experience really is in today's world. While product or service quality doesn't certainly mean everything even today, it is pretty darn important.
80% of customers now consider their experience with a company to be as important as its products. ~ Salesforce
67% of people in B2B have switched vendors for a more consumer-like experience. ~ Salesforce
84% of consumers feel that being treated like a human rather than a number is crucial to winning their business. ~ Salesforce
Key benefits of mapping a customer journey
- pinpoint specific customer journey touchpoints that cause pain or delight
- know which messages users received along their journey and personalize them better
- identify roadblocks in the product that create unnecessary friction
- gain understanding of how different personas interact with your product (multiple maps)
- assign ownership of key touchpoints in the journey to internal departments
How to Map
Start by collecting the right data, user personas together with analytical and anecdotal research to start mapping touchpoints and interactions.
- Set an objective for your map
- Define your personas and their goals
- Select persona/s you want to map out
- Start mapping out all the touchpoints and interactions (from all channels)
- Select the key touchpoints you want your map to show and draw them in your visual tool
- Measure the key touchpoints quantitatively with analytics and qualitatively with surveys
- Take the customer journey yourself
- Document it and take notes
- Evaluate your map, your data and your notes with the goal in mind
- Create a plan of changes to your journey and execute
Templates & Tools
These three templates and tools are just an inspiration. All of these tools are versatile and you can quickly construct any type of visual structure you need, so starting from a template is not really that important. If you're a designer, you might appreciate templates for Sketch or Figma.
My go-to tool for any sort of visual flowcharting and mind-mapping, they include this boxed style of customer journey template.
A classic whiteboarding tool, they include a timeline style of customer journey template.
This app offers a pretty popular style of customer journey map oriented around the phases.
How Any Startup Can Create a Customer Journey Map
Amy is passionate about customer experience and runs marketing and PR at FullStory, the app that captures all your customer experience data in one powerful, easy-to-use platform. Previously, she was the Head of Integrations and Partnerships at MailChimp for 6 years.
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