What is a Customer Journey Map?

pirate treasure map

What is a Customer Journey Map?

Customer Journey Maps are a type of infographic intended to communicate important details of the average customer’s relationship with a brand.

They typically cover every stage of interaction in chronological order, from the customer’s first display of interest to their renewal of service. Experiences are rated for customer satisfaction and the rate at which they help direct the customer.

Various kinds of interaction data can be used to inform the map, with more data producing more informative resources.

The Purpose of Customer Journey Mapping

Journey maps translate various kinds of complex information into a single, simple graphical format. This way, information which might otherwise need a lengthy written report can be presented and understood at a glance. Key data such as where customer satisfaction is lost or gained by the widest margin becomes more apparent.

The maps can also represent how information about a business is displayed in different media, and what the quality of that information is. It may be clear that while customers who speak to an agent are well informed, those who sign up online know relatively little.

Another application is the ability to understand the different categories of customer, usually called customer personas. Different customer personas will request and receive information in different ways and show varied levels of satisfaction along their journey.

Customer Touchpoints

Customer Journey Maps tend to focus very heavily on customer touchpoints, on the areas where the customer is in contact with the organisation. This is particularly useful where the customer may use different contact methods such as voice, email, webchat, or social media. Using different touchpoints is usually referred to as multichannel. Many organisations try to bring consistency across all the customer touchpoints – a technique known as omnichannel.

How to Create a Customer Journey Map

The most important consideration when creating a journey map is to make it an attractive and accessible item. Turning complex data into imagery is a job for someone with a grounding in graphic design – their brief should be to display the information simply, so that even someone outside the business could understand what it means.

A step-by-step process map from Intelecom for mapping the customer journey.

A step-by-step process map from Intelecom for mapping the customer journey

It is also important to reflect the customer-centric nature of the information on a journey map. CJMs provide insight into how customers deal with a business. There is no point creating the journey you would like to see and trying to fit existing customer experience to it.

Finally, understand what it is that business planners need to know. Journey maps can be used to display the entire customer lifetime, single processes, specific personas, or fixed periods.

To find out which mistakes to avoid, read our article: Worst Mistakes to Avoid… Mapping the Customer Journey

Author: Jonty Pearce

Published On: 12th Aug 2016 - Last modified: 20th Apr 2022
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