A guide to customer journey mapping

Customer journey map icon illustrated by Ad Esse Consulting

The purpose of a CJM is to visualise the customer experience by capturing it in a visual format and then using it to inform and drive improvements.

What is a customer journey map?

A Customer Journey Map (CJM) is a visual representation of any process your customer goes through with your organisation. Using a CJM will give you a clear sense of your customer’s needs and current frustrations when interacting with your business.

A current state CJM highlights all the customer activities, touch points with your organisation and overall experience. A future state CJM addresses all the issues highlighted in the current state CJM and identifies the new and improved journey that you want to implement. Customer Journey mapping is not a high tech or complex exercise, in fact one of the most effective ways to capture a CJM (both current state and future state) is by using brown paper and post it notes.

There are also many templates available to use on online platforms like Miro, Mural and Lucidchart, or to download for free on the web. Our advice is to keep it simple and not overcomplicate the design or the content or get too hung up on the overall appearance of your map, the most important thing is that it can be clearly understood by those reading it. We’ve seen some great animated CJMs pulled together by people with a hidden talent.

Why use a customer journey map?

It creates a customer focused culture. A Customer Journey Map provides a new lens for your colleagues to understand what they do and the impact it has on their customers.

It can be used to prevent poor internal process design and stops organisations being too inwardly facing when designing services. Often processes are designed without primary consideration being given to the customer. By starting with the customer experience, it is hard to be distracted by high-tech solutions or far-out ideas that actually just add cost to your process delivery rather than benefits for your customer.

You can use it to proactively improve your customer experience and drive down complaints. Creating a customer journey map is like capturing any piece of business intelligence, it is only truly valuable if it is used to drive improvement action. Seeing the experience from a customer’s perspective makes it hard to ignore the improvements that need to be made.

Nine steps to create your customer journey map

Step 1: Identify the process or service that you are going to capture the journey for.

Step 2: Identify what you want your map to tell you and design or adjust your template accordingly.

Step 3: Identify the customer personas for the CJM and define their goals.

Step 4: Identify the customer activities, ideally by consulting with your customers wherever possible.

Step 5: Fill in the other elements of your CJM template, using data to evidence where available (if not available it might be worth collecting this information to make your map more credible).

Step 6: Validate the customer journey by either gathering a focus group of customers or by walking through the journey yourself as a mystery shopper.

Step 7: Identify improvements & design future state customer journey map.

Step 8: Make the improvements so your future state CJM becomes your current state CJM.

Step 9: Repeat steps 1-8 so you continue to refine and improve your customer journeys.

If you need any help with your Customer Journey Mapping, get in touch. Email hello@ad-esse.com or use our Contact page.

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