Skip to main content

The Reed College of Media and College of Creative Arts will merge to form the new WVU College of Creative Arts and Media as of July 1, 2024. Get details.

Customer Journey Map: 7 Tips for Mapping A Customer’s Journey


Customer Journey Map: 7 Tips for Mapping a Customer's Journey

As a marketer, you need to know your customer base. At some levels, each customer's journey from awareness to purchase can always be unpredictable. Still, despite some unpredictability, customer journey mapping can be a handy tool for keeping different milestones that customers hit. In this blog, we’ll cover what customer journey mapping is, as well as tips for creating your own.

What is a Customer Journey Map?

Customer journey maps illustrate the various stages or milestones customers go through when interacting with a company, from brand awareness to purchase.

Creating an effective customer journey map takes quantitative and qualitative research rooted in data-driven analysis. Tools can be customer interviews, website page tracking, visit tracking and more.

The visual representation tells a story about how a customer moves through each phase of interaction and experiences each phase. This map should include moments of truth — customer feelings such as frustration or confusion — so you can work on making improvements.

Tips for Creating a Customer Journey Map

1. Set Goals

Whether it is to improve the customer experience, improve efficiencies or find ways to reach a new audience, you have to set a goal to know the benefit of creating this asset. Setting a goal will also help you know what departments need to work together.

Make sure the customer journey map also aligns with business goals so there is an applicable insight. A customer journey map can also be great for shifting a company’s perspective, breaking down silos, assigning ownership and targeting specific customers.

Tip: If you don’t already have buyer personas in place, create some that can be focused on for the customer journey map, especially if you are finding ways to reach a new audience.

2. Conduct Quantitative Research

A quantitative research project involves collecting and analyzing numerical data. Depending on your brand’s assets, you will have website data, purchase data and reports that already exist.

A few options for quantitative research:

  • Capture website analytics from Google Analytics.
    • Look at page paths, traffic sources and landing pages.
  • Capture engagement and following on social media channels.
  • Email a rating-based survey.
  • Product purchase data.
  • Customer demographics.

3. Conduct Qualitative Research

Participants' perceptions, experiences, and behaviors are collected during qualitative research. Finding the good and bad points of a customer’s journey requires gathering qualitative research on customer interactions.

A few options for quantitative research:

  • Conduct customer interviews.
  • Talk to employees who regularly interact with customers.
  • Email a survey to existing users.
  • Review complaint logs.
  • Pull clips from recorded call center conversations.
  • Monitor discussions on social media.

4. Define Customer Touchpoints and Channels

Customer touchpoints as a key aspect of a customer journey map. It’s the points at which a customer interacts with your brand.

The number of touchpoints does differ depending on your business or brand. A coffee shop is going to have different touchpoints than a tech business. Choose the touchpoints that accurately reflect your brand and your customer’s journey.

Be sure to note the different element’s actions, emotions and potential challenges. And be honest! You can’t implement a better journey by sugarcoating the feedback.

A few things to watch for:

  • When/if customers purchase or cancel.
  • How easy it is for customers to find your brand.
  • What problems your brand does or doesn’t solve.

5. Map the Current Outline

Build the map for your business’s current experience. Prioritize capturing the right journey first before making changes and collaborate with different team members whose work has an impact on the different touchpoints.

There is no correct way to format this, but make sure you capture each phase along the timeline of the journey. Once you’ve outlined this, you can make it more visual with designs, colors, etc. By mapping your current experience, you can then look at the gaps, red flags and opportunities.

6. Outline Opportunities and Insights

Looking at the different touchpoint’s actions, emotions and challenges, along with the full journey will show the different pain points, gaps and opportunities you can plan on implementing.

Maybe the customer buys the product and then never hears back? Or maybe there isn’t a touchpoint before the purchase to help those who are on the fence? Outline the points where improvement can be made and discuss opportunities with colleagues.

7. Plan Touchpoint Improvements

After outlining opportunities and insights, now you can go in and make those improvements in your customer experience. It is important to loop in team members who have an impact on those gaps and areas of opportunity to put the customer journey map improvements into action.

Keep the original map and make edits on a new map so that you can preset the findings company-wide and implement change. Engage with the team. Make it a living, interactive document.

Developing a customer journey map will be a vital aspect of improving customer experience. Research different customer journey map designs and choose one to implement at your company.

Marketing Communications Online Programs

The marketing communications landscape is constantly changing. Our programs are focused on what is happening next in marketing. Learn more about our innovative programs.

Request More Information

Marketing Communications Online Programs in Data, Digital and Integrated Marketing Communications

Meet the Author

Stefanie Moore

Stefanie Moore
Marketing Manager

Stefanie is a marketing manager in the Marketing Communications Online Programs through the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. She is an alumna of WVU's M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and has been working in marketing for over 6 years after beginning her career in the newspaper business. She's a marathon runner and she recently ran a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon.

Marcom Today

Marketing Communications Today is a collection of resources for marketing communications professionals filled with industry research, marketing trends, and career information about integrated marketing and data-driven communications. Learn industry insights through the Marketing Communications Today blog, podcast, as well as Integrate Online.

Subscribe to get the Latest Trends in Your Inbox

Marcom Today