Friday, August 21, 2015

Customer Journey Mapping Toolkit: How to Create Your Own

Multiple thumbs-up in the air
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“Customers are the greatest advocates of a brand or specific product or service: they tell stories and they make recommendations. They have the power to infect others with their enthusiasm for adoption, and therefore have to be seen as a core element of long term strategic growth.” (B2BInternational) Knowing this, companies need to start making positive customer experiences a top priority before they get left behind. “By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.” (Customers 2020 Report) One way that has assisted many companies take their brand to the next level is a trending topic called Customer Journey Mapping, an exercise used to better understand how to improve the customer experience.

What Is It?
Customer Journey Maps are a diagram that takes you on a detailed story of your customers’ experience, starting from the research stage all the way to support. Each map can be structured differently (as they do not all look identical), but all journey maps should identify key touch points a customer has with a company and how they were feeling during these interactions. According to Joanna Lord, former CMO at BigDoor, customer journey mapping is “a framework that maps out the stages of your customers lifecycle. It enables you to improve your customers experience through helping you best understand how customers are interacting with you now and what areas to invest in moving forward.”

An example of a customer journey map for an airline
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Why Do It?
Customer Journey Mapping is a hot topic right now, and an effective way for companies to identify areas of improvement. As mentioned earlier, becoming a customer centric brand is important to the success of a company. Getting to that place can be challenging, but leaders are finding that journey mapping is one of the best options to better understand your customers’ entire experience. In fact, “Executive dashboards and customer journey mapping are the 2 customer experience activities that had the largest increase in focus since last year.” (Temkin Group) It is an active way to identify key pain points within the customers’ journey, and also leverage the entire company’s assets to work in unison; evolving the company to work like a well-oiled machine, producing a positive experience for every customer. Marketing can help the support team, support can assist the engineering department.

How to Do It?
We have produced a simple presentation that goes over the basic guidelines of how to create a Customer Journey Map for your company. Follow these 11 steps to get a better understanding of what your customer journey really looks like. 

Stay tuned next week as we take you through each step of the process within an example for the Consumer Electronics industry. Also, we will complete our Customer Journey Mapping toolkit with a blank template for you to draw out your own journey map.