Our top tips for customer journey mapping

Customer journey mapping is a vital tool to help you understand how your customers are engaging with your brand. Let us help with getting you started.

Why is customer journey mapping important?

A customer journey map does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a map used by businesses to understand all the touch points that their customers could and need to interact with to buy their products and services. A fairly important map to have. Understanding the key touch points that your customers interact with, allows your business to use data and customer feedback to continually improve their experience, maximising your opportunity for business growth.   

Where should you start with your customer journey mapping?  

1. Start with Level Zero.

A level zero journey is a very simple customer journey. It fundamentally underpins why your business exists and is mapped into simple steps.  

Have you ever hired a car? If you have, your journey may have gone something like this: 

You research  

You hire 

You receive 

You use/return 

This is what’s known as a transactional, the steps are ‘what’ the customer needs to action to interact with your brand. An additional stage should be added to the example above to focus on customer retention. What can your company do to add value your customers, so they return; perhaps frequent user benefits or a points programme. Adding a retention stage, creates a customer journey loop, ensuring you maximise the lifetime value of the customer.    

Once you have defined your level zero process, a level one process would be built. Level one becomes the ‘how’ behind the actions a customer takes to interact with your brand. They would hire the car through using your website or calling you on the phone. These are the touch points that make your level one journey. It’s these touch points that should be continually optimised.    

2. Build internal processes to support your customer journey map

When mapping a customer journey, it is important to explore all the internal processes involved at every touch point. What do we mean by this? If we use the car example again, when a customer uses your website to hire a car, how is this communicated internally? Who is responsible to liaising with the customer? And who gets the car ready? Ideally companies should put emphasis on building intended journeys.  This is the path your company wants the customer to take. The reason for having intended journeys is that internal processes can assist in delivering exceptional customer experiences whilst delivering internal efficiencies for your business.  

There are three evolutionary phases of customer experience, as seen in the table below; random, intentional and differentiated. Ideally, companies should be looking to reach the differentiated phase, which is a sustainable approach to their customer’s journey.  

Random Intentional  Differentiated  
Carrying unnecessary cost Profitable  Sustainable  
  • Task & product focused 
  • Little/no measurement 
  • Exceptions are the norm  
  • Unintended consequences  
  • Disengaged employees 
  • Shared vision 
  • Think ‘customer’ 
  • Fixes own problem 
  • Balanced measurement programme 
  • Cross functional governance  
  • Easy to do business with 
  • Think and act ‘customer’  
  • Resolves customer mistakes 
  • Brand promise delivered 
  • Self- regulating 

3. Build a customer strategy that aligns and meets your business strategy  

Most companies will be able to produce their two-, five- or ten-year strategy which maps out the strategic goals, allowing them to grow. What most companies do not do, is map a customer strategy and, even less consider how their customer strategy can integrate into their business strategy.  

What is a customer strategy? A customer strategy should exist as a data driven approach to maximising the financial value of customers, by combining an understanding of your customer needs, behaviours and motivations and how to engage them in an optimal way. When approaching a customer strategy, businesses should consider their customer needs & expectations, their customer types, how they want their customer to feel when they interact with their brand and their intentional customer journey. This also sets clear expectations of accountability for internal departments and the responsibility they have in delivering excellent customer experiences.

4. Measurement

Before implementing your customer journey mapping, businesses must also consider how they will measure the success of their implementation. The three voices of CX measurement are the customer, the employee and the process. It is important to map metrics and KPI’s for the impact of change, before and after, and how it affects all these three voices.  

The customer – to measure the impact changes to your customer journey have had on your customer could be done through any of the following methods; customer satisfaction surveys, net promoter score, customer effort score & recommendations. You should also look at metrics that look at customer retention. How many customers return?  

The Employee – it is also valuable to seek feedback and measure the impacts for employees, this can be done through employee voice forums as well as tracking improvements to resourcing and efficiencies. Delivering faster and more effective customer experiences deliver internal efficiencies.    

The Process – metrics for process improvement should focus on complaint and call centre figures, as well as conversion figures and internal cost savings.  

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