In this process tool, published under a creative commons license, I cover how to map the customer journey in three steps. It goes over the preparation, workshop, and documentation necessary to create this key artifact in a digital customer experience strategy.
Image courtesy of Scott McLeod - https://www.flickr.com/photos/mcleod/16057153913/in/photostream/
How to map the customer journey in three steps.
How to map the
customer journey in
A digital strategy process tool by Jake DiMare
published under a Creative Commons 4.0 License
leads, a process
With the explosive proliferation of
channels with which to communicate and
the emergent complexity of contextual
and personalized content, it's never been
more challenging to provide a seamless,
cohesive, and consistent customer
experience. Particularly one that moves
the needle in ways that create value for
the customer and the organization.
Digital experience management platforms
provide all the capability necessary to
succeed, but organizations still struggle
because operating in this mode requires
tight system integration, new skills and a
process that often eludes.
Mastering these skills
by being the Dungeon
While playing Dungeons and Dragons as a kid, my
favorite role was the dungeon master. For those
whose childhood was somewhat less nerdy, the
dungeon master’s job is to create the journey their
companions will take. It includes everything from
designing maps that describe the other player's
surroundings to calculating the success of their
choices as the game unfolds.
It's fascinating to me how these skills have
transferred to my career as a marketer in the 21st
Century, trying to build world-class customer
experiences. As customers go down various paths
with the brand, it’s necessary to have a map to
meet them with contextually relevant, personalized
experiences in real time.
This tool provides a process to create Customer
Journey Maps for your organization. This
deliverable will allow you to understand and
communicate your customers’ wants, needs, and
challenges across their experience with the brand.
“Nothing short of an
obsessive understanding of
the journey your customer
takes is required for a
seamless, cohesive, and
Mapping the customer journey: A
Understand Collaborate Document
Step 1: Understand
The goal of the first step is to learn as much as possible about
your customers. Consider the following inputs, at a minimum:
• Customer interviews
• Existing customer research
• Customer Database (CRM)
• Behavior analytics
• Audience segmentation
Pro tip: In this step of the
process it’s important to look at
the customers only, and not get
distracted by the goals of the
Step 2: Collaborate
During step two, hold one or more workshops
designed to gather information from the rest of the
team and begin the process of documentation.
• Review the entire process
• Define the phases across the top of the grid.
• Fill out each column from top to bottom, one
column at a time.
Not all journeys are equal
The phases across the top of the
grid will vary based on the type of
business and journey to be
mapped. For instance, the path to
purchase is different than the
path to service, or the product
One map per key segment
To the extent that there will be a
different journey for an audience
segment, they should have a
different journey map.
Prepare the room
Bring together the broadest
cross-section of disciplines
possible. Encourage participants
to be aspirational & avoid
thinking about constraints during
the exercise. Bring sweets!
The next two slides include a blank
template handout and a sample
Step 2 deliverable with the first column
filled in to give you a feel for how it
SAMPLE B2B Software Company – End User Persona
Step 3: Document
The versions of the journey map
documented during the workshops are only
meant to be a draft and will likely vary
across the participants.
The next, and final step, is to synthesize all
the data you’ve collected and create a final
This final deliverable should be versioned,
as it will change over time. It’s likely going to
take into consideration parts of the journey
which are both linear and non-linear.
The example to the right is a straightforward
diagram, but this is also an opportunity to be
creative. I’ve seen versions that look like
actual maps. Current journey maps should
go up on the walls anywhere people who
manage the customer experience work!
• Customer Journey Maps are a critical component of a customer
experience driven approach.
• Follow this three-step process and don’t hesitate to contact me if you get in
• Current and correct journey maps should be required reading for everyone
who interacts with customers or manages the customer experience. They
should be hung in the areas where customer-facing employees work.