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Effective Tips and Tricks for Studying

No matter how old you are, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to studying. Whether you’re taking the biggest exam of your life or you know your teacher or professor is going to give a pop quiz soon, efficient studying is a great way to be prepared.

Create a Routine

One of the best things you can do for yourself, whether you’re in fifth grade or college, is to make studying a habit. One helpful way to do that is to find a way to incorporate it into your daily routine at the same time every day. Perhaps it’s after dinner or right when you get home from school. Find the time that works for you, and make yourself sit down to study and handle any homework you have at that time every day or on as many days as possible.

Break It Up

Everyone’s been there. You wait until the very last minute to study, and you do it all in one sitting. Not only is it exhausting, but you probably also don’t even remember half of what you study. This is why it can be better to break it up and do a little bit each day. If you have a big project coming up in a few weeks, break it down into steps, and take on one of the steps every other day until everything is complete. If you have plenty of reading to do, break it down into chapters or pages, and read one section each day.

Get Some Sleep

While it can be tempting to stay up all night studying before a big exam, you’re better off getting sleep. Your brain and memory function better when you’re rested, so you can retain more of the information and do better on your test. If you didn’t get a full night of sleep, consider napping briefly during the day to help catch yourself up on sleep.

Clear Your Mind

Before you sit down to study, make sure you have a clear mind and that you’re not focused on something else. Take a walk, listen to some music, read a book or do some stretches. Try meditation. Do whatever it takes to get your mind in the right mood for study time. Be sure to take breaks while you study too. Resting for five minutes every 30 to 60 minutes may help you retain the information.

Create the Right Environment

Finally, create a good study environment. It can be hard to pay attention when the TV is on or when you’re constantly receiving texts from friends. Turn off your devices. If you don’t do well with quiet, use a fan for background noise, or turn on a radio. You may find it more effective to study to music that doesn’t have lyrics. Make sure you’re comfortable and organized. You’ll also want to make sure you have plenty of water and a few healthy snacks on hand if you’ll be studying for a while.


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How to conduct research for customer journey-mapping.

Summary:  When conducting research for customer-journey maps, use qualitative methods that allow direct interaction with or observation of users, such as interviews, field studies, and diary studies.

By Kate Kaplan

on 2019-02-10 February 10, 2019


Customer-journey maps visualize the steps that a person goes through in order to accomplish a goal. To be convincing and compelling, journey maps must be based in truth, rather than a fairy-tale–like depiction of how we would like users to interact with our products.

This article is a discussion of which research methods are appropriate for collecting data to create a customer-journey map. Additional articles discuss  when to create customer-journey maps , the 5-step process for creating journey maps , and  journey mapping in real life .

Why Conduct Research for Customer-Journey Maps?

Research can be expensive and time-consuming, so what’s wrong with creating and using an assumption map based on stakeholder input and cutting out the research phase? While stakeholders do hold valuable knowledge about different areas of the customer journey, most of them do not have a broad enough perspective of the customer journey, nor a deep enough perspective of users needs at each stage, to be able to piece together a realistic, comprehensive view.

A journey map based on assumptions alone carries two risks:

Step 1: Look for Existing Data First

Before beginning research for your journey-mapping initiative, spend some time looking for existing, relevant data within your organization. There is often existing (though disparate) information about the journey buried throughout various past internal efforts. This data, both qualitative (e.g., data from past focus groups, customer-support call logs, etc.) and quantitative (analytics, customer-satisfaction scores, etc.) can give you clues about how to shape and focus the content of your research efforts.

Step 2: Conduct Qualitative Research

You may be tempted to use existing quantitative data as the basis for your journey map. While quantitative data can give you a high-level understanding of customers’ general attitudes and levels of satisfaction for specific interactions (think: NPS ), it is less appropriate for understanding emotions, mindsets, and motivations at the level required for effectively depicting the entire journey.

For this type of insight, qualitative research methods that allow you to directly observe or converse with customers are a better use of your time. Consider the following qualitative research methods that will allow you to understand users’ thoughts, feelings, and actions at each phase of the customer journey:

Customer or User Interviews

Interviews allow you to hear first-hand stories about customers’ experiences, mindsets, and actions. If you have been able to use existing data to create an overarching hypothesis of the phases in your customer journey, you can ask direct questions about each phase. Broad questions, such as, “Tell me how you feel about [product or service]?” are less helpful than specific ones, such as "What was particularly challenging or easy about the sign-up process?"

Interviews can be conducted in-person or over the phone. One technique for in-person interviews is to encourage participants to use sticky notes to visually capture their steps from the moment they discovered the need for a product or service through usage. This process helps users recall steps and rearrange them accurately throughout the interview. Subsequent phone interviewees can be sent strawman templates created from the in-person process, and invited to review and revise to as needed to reflect their experiences.

Field Studies

Interviews are a valuable research method for journey maps; however, because what people say they do is not always what they actually do , it’s best to couple interviews with additional qualitative methods, such as field studies . Field studies can take many forms, from in-home visits utilizing contextual inquiry to “shop-alongs” for retail experiences.

Observing customers in their own element is critical for uncovering blind spots and verifying what customers tell you during the interview process. Take note of any differences in findings from interviews and field studies. For example, during one journey-mapping research initiative, customer-service representatives reported the “correct” protocol for finding answers to customers’ questions who called in with an issue. But during a field study, however, those same customer-services representatives were observed using convoluted workarounds to find answers to customers’ questions.

Diary Studies

Because customer journeys happen over time and across many different channels, diary studies are a particularly useful method for understanding users’ thoughts, feelings, and actions over time. Diary studies are long-term studies: Users are asked to log each and every action they take related to a specific goal (e.g., buying a refrigerator or signing up for a new mobile plan), as well as how they felt during those interactions over many days, weeks, or months. Because the participant’s actions, feelings, and thoughts are captured as close to real-time as possible, the (fallible) memory that interviews rely on is eliminated. Data is also captured from participants at all stages of the journey, rather than just from one phase. Diary studies are inexpensive to set up and can be running in the background while you conduct additional types of research.

Competitive Analysis

Competitive analysis can be especially helpful if you are designing a future-state journey map for a product or service that does not exist yet. You can take a virtual approach by using a remote-usability testing platform to record customers’ use of competitor sites and have them comment on their thoughts, feelings, and motivations at specific points within the session. This data allows for research input even when there is no existing user base.

Qualitative Research Methods Appropriate for Customer-Journey Mapping

Plan a multipronged, qualitative research study.

When time and budget allow, it’s best to use a multipronged approach for customer-journey mapping research. That is, combine several different qualitative methods from above into a research study in order to explore the journey from multiple angles. Here is a sample research plan that makes use of multiple qualitative methods. (This plan should be adjusted based on contextual factors such as project goals, timeline, and budget.)

Sample Customer-Journey Research Plan

Finally, when revisiting and revising your assumption map with your newly collected insights, consider taking the opportunity to bring users into your workshop as part of the process!

Complement Qualitative Research with Quantitative Data

Aside from highlighting potential problem areas to help shape qualitative research efforts at the onset of a customer-journey mapping initiative, quantitative data can also add another layer of evidence to your insights to make your narrative even more compelling.

For example, after the qualitative research study has been completed, you may choose to supplement or reinforce findings in the following ways:

As you begin planning your customer-journey–mapping research initiative, use the following steps as a guide:

To learn more, check out our course, Journey Mapping to Understand Customer Needs .

About the Author

Kate Kaplan is Insights Architect at Nielsen Norman Group. She specializes in the application of human-centered design and research practices to enterprise UX challenges.

Prior to joining NN/g, Kate was VP of Strategy at the digital marketing agency Centerline Digital, where she led a cross-disciplinary team of UX designers, content strategists and digital marketers in solving complex problems for high-technology B2B organizations, such as IBM, GE and National Instruments.

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The 7 best research methods for customer journey mapping

Getting authentic insights from customers is essential to effectively map out their journey. And understanding how users really interact with your product is the best way to provide tailored experiences that fit your customers’ diverse needs.

But it’s often hard to know where to begin the customer journey mapping research process and which methods to use.

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This article outlines the seven most effective research methods for customer journey mapping. Use our guide to prioritize the right qualitative and quantitative research processes for your needs—and implement them right away.

Use product experience insights to map your customer journey

Hotjar helps you understand your users by combining observational data with voice-of-the-customer (VoC) insights

7 effective customer journey mapping research methods

A customer journey map is a visual representation of how your users engage with your brand, from initial discovery—like searching online for a solution to their problem—to browsing your site, trying out your product, making a purchase—and beyond. 

Make sure your customer journey maps are informed by user-centric research rather than assumptions and guesswork.

Carry out both qualitative and quantitative research using the methods below to create a map that accurately represents your users' product experience (PX):

Qualitative research methods

Quantitative research methods are essential for effective customer journey mapping: they provide hard data that’s easy to track and compare over time. But qualitative methods uncover the how and the why behind the numbers, helping you deeply understand your customers' experience.

Hotjar Product Designer Iga Gawronska stresses the importance of diving into customer emotions in research:

"I think it’s important to map out the actions, and also the emotions and thoughts of the people that perform the actions, your users."

Use the following four qualitative research methods to get an in-depth understanding of how customers engage with your brand online.

1. Customer interviews

Customer interviews are one-on-one conversations with people who actually use your product or service. Conducting them in-person often yields the best results because it’s easier to pick up on non-verbal cues and the interview can flow more naturally—but video conferencing with tools like Zoom is a good secondary option.

By engaging in an open-ended conversation with customers, you’ll get unexpected insights and granular details about your customer’s journey, which helps you empathize with the user experience (UX).

Structuring your user interviews in different stages can help get the conversation going. Start with a warm-up that establishes trust and builds rapport, then home in on your core questions, and end with more informal, concluding thoughts from both parties.

Input your results into a user research repository as you go, so you don’t get overwhelmed at the end of the interview process. Some researchers make simple spreadsheets in Google Sheets or Excel, while others use dedicated tools like EnjoyHQ or Dovetail .

Once you’ve aggregated your interview data, you’ll start to notice trends and commonalities between interviewees and understand how they’re engaging with key touchpoints in your customer journey and what’s most important to them.

Pro tip : use a transcription tool like to stay focused on conducting your interview without having to take detailed notes. Having a written record of interviews at your fingertips also speeds up your data organization and analysis later.

2. Remote observation

Remote observation lets researchers see how users are behaving using online tools like video calling and screen recordings.

Remote research is convenient for both researchers and participants—neither party has to leave the comfort of their home or workspace and they can do what they need to do when it suits their schedule. Using remote research gives you insights into how your customers interact with key touchpoints on the customer journey in their everyday environment and context.

Here are two effective ways to observe your customers’ journey remotely:

Use a video conferencing tool like Zoom or Google Meet and ask users to share their screen with you while they’re interacting with your site, app, or product. Draw on the data you gather to inform your customer journey map.

Use a product experience insights tool like Hotjar Session Recordings and watch playbacks of real users interacting with your site or product across an entire session, as you observe how they scroll, what attracts attention, and where they backtrack or bounce.

Recordings are particularly valuable tools to understand the customer journey because they let researchers observe users remotely without them feeling ‘watched’ and behaving differently than usual.  

Filter your Hotjar Recordings to show certain user sessions based on referrer URL, the landing page they visited, whether they’re a new or returning customer, their session, the specific action they take, their location, and u-turns. This helps you spot trends, understand behavior patterns for different user personas , and dig deeper into the customer journey.

#Hotjar Session Recordings are a great way to remotely research how people engage with your site as part of their customer journey.

3. Lab observation

In lab observation, the researcher observes the participant in person, either in a formal ‘lab’ setting or another professional, controlled environment.

Lab observation can be complicated to carry out because of the cost and logistics involved, and it’s often more time-consuming than remote methods. But it’s a valuable research technique, with a reduced risk of technical difficulties and a great opportunity to build a friendly rapport with participants.

If you op for lab observation, record your conversations with participants or use a note-taking tool like Notion or Evernote to write down your observations while the participant is interacting with the site or product, so it’s easy to find the data later. As the participant explores key customer journey touchpoints , take the opportunity to ask follow-up questions to understand why your test customers are making certain choices.

4. Qualitative surveys

Qualitative surveys usually involve asking open-ended questions that prompt detailed, long-form user responses. They give you great customer insights to inform your journey map, are easy to put together, inexpensive, and work well with large numbers of participants.

The success of your survey depends on the UX research questions you ask . 

It’s important not to (knowingly or unknowingly) ask leading questions, as you’ll likely get biased responses from your participants, which won’t help you in accurately mapping out your customers’ journey. Let’s imagine you ask a research participant the following survey question:

“Did our ‘sign up for a free trial’ button catch your attention on our homepage? Why?”

This doesn’t work because the participant can’t really answer your question freely: you’re implying that your homepage CTA button should have caught their attention, so they’re more likely to answer ‘yes.’ 

Instead, you should ask:

“What site element attracts your attention most on our homepage? Why?”

Or, if they’ve already converted:

“What made you decide to click the ‘sign up for a free trial’ button on the homepage?’

Here, you’re letting the research participant fill in the blanks on their own, which will get you a more accurate picture of their user experience.

Pro tip: use Hotjar’s Survey tool and s urvey templates to quickly and easily create your own qualitative surveys and get all the details about your customers’ journey—in their own words. Filter responses and set up automations for your team to receive alerts when you get certain survey responses to uncover trends in your user data all in one place.

#Use Hotjar Surveys to connect with customers and hear about all the stages in their journey with your brand.

Use Hotjar Surveys to connect with customers and hear about all the stages in their journey with your brand.

Quantitative research methods to complement qualitative data

While qualitative research is the best way to build empathy with your customers and get a holistic view of their product experience, you also need quantitative data to get an objective, granular understanding of key moments in the customer journey.

Use these three quantitative research methods to gather precise information about your customers’ digital journey with your product:

5. Website analytics

Because website analytics show you hard data about how people are interacting with your site, they’re a great resource for customer journey mapping research. Investigate these key metrics to better understand how your users move across touchpoints:

Traffic source: are customers searching for your site on Google, clicking on a landing page, or visiting from a social media channel?

Bounce rate : do visitors arrive on your site and navigate away soon after? Or do they stay for a while, browse, and take a conversion action, like making a purchase?

New vs. returning customers: how many users are new leads and how many are existing customers?

Session duration: how long do customers spend engaging with your site on average?

While website analytics don’t explain why your users are taking certain actions, they clearly show what customers are doing on your site —and how they got there .

For best results, use a PX insights platform like Hotjar to fill in the gaps between the numbers with rich qualitative insights.

Matthew Nixon, managing director of  Molzana , illustrates how teams can combine website analytics and qualitative research tools for optimal customer journey mapping:

"Using tools like Hotjar adds color to our quantitative analysis. Before, events like button clicks, scroll rate, and video plays might not have been tagged. This is where Hotjar comes in; click and scroll maps allow us to quantify user behavior in a much more granular way, which complements the trend data we collect from web analytics."

Google Analytics is a great option for quantitative website or app data: it’s both powerful and relatively easy to set up and navigate. Use Hotjar’s Google Analytics integration to go deeper and gather both qualitative and quantitative insights to inform your customer journey map .

6. Quantitative surveys

Quantitative surveys ask customers closed-ended questions that can be answered quickly—by checking yes or no, typing in one word, or selecting a multiple-choice answer.

Quantitative surveys can take a bit longer to put together, but they’re quick and easy for customers to fill out. With Hotjar, you can quickly create quantitative surveys by modifying questions from our question bank, and build surveys your users can address in a click or two, without disrupting their experience. 

While quantitative surveys don’t give you the same level of in-depth information as qualitative, open-ended questions, they’re helpful to get a statistical overview on the customer journey, or if you’ve already identified a potential problem and want to better understand the issue.

Imagine you've discovered, through qualitative research, that several customers report difficulties browsing your website. Place a quantitative survey on key web or product pages to get more details about the exact issues they’re experiencing with questions like:

Did you experience friction when browsing our website?

What was the biggest problem you experienced when browsing our website:

Difficult to navigate on mobile

Bugs or glitches

Confusing navigation menu

Pages loaded slowly or incorrectly

I had trouble finding what I wanted

Collecting enough responses to quantitative questions helps you prioritize the most important elements of the customer experience to map out an improved user journey.

7. Customer satisfaction scores

#Use Hotjar’s Feedback widgets to conduct on-site NPS surveys without disrupting UX.

Measuring customer satisfaction is important to understand which touchpoints are working well for your users, and which you need to improve. In particular, Net Promoter Score® (NPS) is a great indicator of overall customer loyalty and satisfaction. 

Researchers calculate this metric by asking existing customers how likely they are to recommend your product to their network on a scale of 1 to 10. Their ratings help you understand overall customer satisfaction levels, and also split users up into specific groups:

Promoters (9-10): your biggest fans. They’re highly likely to stay loyal to your company and recommend you far and wide.

Passives (7-8): middle of the road. These customers are more or less satisfied with your brand but would consider jumping ship to a competitor who meets their needs better.

Detractors (0-6): these users may have had a negative experience with your company that’s made them unlikely to return—they may even write negative reviews or testimonials about your product or services. However, negative feedback is also useful as it helps you understand which parts of your customer journey you need to focus on and fix.

While NPS scores give you an idea of how well your brand is serving your customers, they don’t tell you why customers are so loyal they regularly recommend your company. That’s why it’s a good idea to ask a couple of quick follow-up questions in your NPS survey , like “What can we do to improve your score?”

Use Hotjar’s non-intrusive Feedback widgets and Survey tools to get NPS survey responses from customers while they’re navigating your site.

Once you’ve calculated your NPS score, use your findings to identify how you can improve the customer experience and where the customer journey needs updating. For example, if many customers complained about friction in the checkout process, that’s a good indication you should focus on optimizing that part of your on-site customer journey.

Deep customer knowledge makes for easy journey mapping

Thorough research is the best way to build a customer journey map that lets you truly understand your customers and their user experience. It’s essential to use a mix of qualitative and quantitative research methods to dig deep into how customers are behaving on your site and understand why and how they’re carrying out certain actions.

Combine these methods to understand your customers’ experiences from different perspectives and prioritize creating a stellar user journey.

Hotjar helps you understand your users by combining observational data with voice-of-the-customer (VoC) insights.

FAQs about customer journey mapping research

Why is customer journey mapping research important.

Customer journey mapping is important because it helps teams understand how customers interact with their brand in the wild. Customer journey mapping research makes sure your maps are based on accurate user data rather than guesswork and assumptions. By doing research, teams dig deep into the customer experience, uncover the touchpoints that are most impactful, and optimize their products or services accordingly.

What methods are good for customer journey mapping research?

Use a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods to get a full picture of how customers experience brand touchpoints and engage in strong customer journey mapping research. Here’s what we recommend:

Qualitative methods: customer interviews, remote observation, lab observation, and qualitative surveys

Quantitative methods: website analytics, customer satisfaction scores like Net Promoter Scores®, and quantitative surveys

Is quantitative or qualitative research better for customer journey mapping?

Neither quantitative nor qualitative research is better for customer journey mapping—both approaches complement each other and should be used together to get a full picture of how customers are behaving—and why they’re behaving that way. While qualitative research excels in uncovering genuine customer feelings and emotions, quantitative research is valuable because it gives research teams hard data that’s easily measurable and useful for analytics and spotting trends.

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Your ultimate guide to customer journey management.

15 min read Find out about how to start customer journey management using customer journey mapping, and how to improve journeys for the benefit of your customers and the business.

If you want to improve your customer experience you need to be able to understand and adapt the customer journey you offer when someone interacts with your organization. Whether their journey is entirely online , offline, or a blend of both, there are multiple journeys a customer might undergo.

Understanding the customer journey in depth helps you identify and take action on customer pain points and repeat what’s working. By doing this, you will improve the overall experience that your customers have , which will have better outcomes for your business.

Outlining the potential customer journeys your audience might go through requires a process called customer journey mapping. This forms part of your overall customer journey management.

What is customer journey management?

Customer journey management is where businesses take a holistic view to customers’ experiences with their brand, taking action to shape the journey audiences take to a desired end action.

Customer journey mapping allows this management to gain focus. Creating a customer journey map helps you to form a visual representation of customers’ processes, needs , and perceptions throughout their interactions and relationship with an organization. It helps you understand and drive the steps customers take – the ones you see, and don’t – when they interact with your business.

It enables you to assess:

Free Course: Customer Journey Management & Improvement

Why does customer journey management matter for my business?

When carried out effectively, customer journey management can transform both your internal operations and your customer experience.

Knowing precisely where your customers interact with you and why – as well as how they feel about it – allows you to take targeted action. Customers will be more likely to engage, not only for one interaction but across their entire lifecycle with your brand, increasing customer lifetime value.

Your customer experience will be improved with journeys that are personalized. You’ll have put yourself in your customer’s shoes and adapted your strategy to reflect your customer’s perspective – which in turn will create more memorable, positive experiences and increase your revenue.

Internally, you’ll break down internal silos, empowering you to streamline services across departments because teams will know what is required from them to deliver the experiences that customers expect.

Overall, you’ll develop a customer-centric culture and approach – which will pay dividends.

“Maximizing satisfaction with customer journeys has the potential not only to increase customer satisfaction by 20% but also lift revenue up by 15% while lowering the cost of serving customers by as much as 20%”

– McKinsey, The Three Cs of Customer Satisfaction

Why is customer journey mapping important?

Customer journey mapping gives you deeper insight into the customer, so you can go beyond what you already know. Many brands see the customer’s journey as something that is visible – where the customer interacts with the brand. But in reality, this is not true, and only accounts for a percentage of the entire journey.

Creating a customer journey map gets you thinking about the aspects of the journey you don’t see, but have equal weight and importance to the entire experience. When mapping out customer journeys, you are looking for the moments that matter – where there is the greatest emotional load.

If you’re buying a car, then the greatest moment of emotional load is when you go to pick the car up because it’s yours , after picking the color, choosing the model, and waiting for it to be ready.

The basics of customer journey management

Customer journey management involves the examination of journey data and taking subsequent action to improve the customer experience. When exploring and visualizing customer journey data, we are assessing:

So what could the customer journey map look like when starting the process of buying a car?

6_Hub_Cust Journey steps@2x

Customer journeys vs process flows

Understanding customer expectations, behavior, attitudes, and the on-stage and off-stage is essential for successful customer journey management – otherwise, all you have is a process flow. If you just write down the touchpoints where the customer is interacting with your brand, you’re typically missing up to 40% of the entire customer journey.

There is no single journey to manage. In fact, there are multiple. The best experiences combine multiple journeys in a seamless way to create a continuous customer lifecycle as outlined below.

6_Hub_Buy Own image@2x

Download our free journey mapping template here

The customer journey management framework

The step-by-step process of customer journey management begins with the buyer persona.

Step 1 – Create a customer persona to test

In order to effectively understand the journey you need to understand the customer – and this is where creating a persona really helps. You may base this around the most common or regular customers, big spend, or new customers you haven’t worked with before. This persona is beyond a marketing segment , but that can be a great place to begin if you’re just starting out on the mapping process for your organization.

What do you include? Start with these characteristics.

These personas help you gain a deeper understanding of your customers and can be derived from insights and demographic data , or even customer interviews . This works for both B2B and B2C business models, but in B2B especially you’ll have multiple customers for each opportunity so it’s recommended you build out multiple personas.

To begin, start with no more than three personas to keep things simple.

Step 2 – Choose a journey to map

Select a journey to map, then build a behavior line. This might be a new journey, renewal, or fixing a product issue. You might also choose this based on the most frequent journeys taken, or the most profitable.

Step 3 – Work through the mapping process

Ask yourself the following:

Step 4 – Innovate

Once you’ve created your map, brainstorm ideas for how to improve the moments that really matter. These ideas don’t need to be practical, but by putting together a diverse mapping team from around the business you can begin to filter through these ideas.

Then, test them.

Ask yourself: Is it feasible? Is it viable? Is it desirable? Don’t ask can we do it, ask: should we do it? Then you can start to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Step 5 – Measure

Use your journey map to decide on your measurement framework.

Who are you measuring? What are you measuring? When on the journey are you measuring it? And why? And finally, what metrics and KPI’s are in place to measure this?

6_Hub_Cust Journey Bubbles long @2x

Step 6 – Take stock and take action

To improve the customer journey you need a clear vision of what you want to achieve and you need to make a distinction between the present and the future.

By understanding your customers’ attitudes and needs at critical times in the journey, you can begin your customer journey management and make amends to better meet them – and develop contingencies to cope when these needs aren’t or can’t be met.

You’ll need to orchestrate journeys using real-time customer behavior to adapt your strategy as your customers make choices. Orchestrating a journey means taking dynamic action towards optimizing your customer’s experience, using real-time customer behavior as informative data.

Step 7 – Improve your employee experience

Use a diverse customer journey management team to come up with ideas that incorporate experience from all aspects of the business. Improving the employee journey – by giving teams the tools to make a difference – can have a positive knock-on effect for the customer and improve their experience in those key moments.

Ebook Download: Discover The Moments That Matter Most

What data do I need for customer journey management?

Your customer journey management process will require you to use several different data inputs to get an accurate picture.

To create a customer journey map that accurately reflects the truth of customer actions and intentions, you need to take into account both solicited and unsolicited data using customer journey analytics . Journey analytics include: customer needs, emotional highs and lows, and key metrics per step in the journey. This helps you to accurately start journey management.

Solicited data

Solicited data includes the customer feedback you gain when you conduct research through surveys such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) or ask customers for feedback on social media. This approach can be very useful for understanding your customer’s point of view , rather than just making assumptions about how they think and behave.

However, this type of feedback presents a few issues:

You’ll need to infer how customers feel to be able to accurately predict the actions a customer takes. To do so, you’ll need to look at unsolicited data.

Unsolicited data

Unsolicited data covers everything your customers aren’t telling you directly when you ask them and contextual data that you likely already collect on them, such as purchase history. It can be taken from various sources, such as your website and social channels, third-party sites, customer calls, chat transcripts, frontline employee feedback , operational sources, and more.

This type of data is nuanced, but it allows you to establish the truth of your customers’ experience. Using real-time feedback gathering and natural language understanding (NLU) models that can detect emotion, intent, and effort, you’ll be able to understand your customers’ actions in a more profound way. Unsolicited data offers you a 100% response rate that better indicates what your customers actually think of each step in their journey.

Customer journey management tools

Customer journey management isn’t just designed to improve the customer experience.- it can directly improve your business outcomes.

Being able to link customer and operational data to key touchpoints in a customer journey is transformative for organizations. Improving your ability to see unsolicited and solicited customer feedback data overlaid with touchpoints helps you to enact an effective customer journey management program.

With Qualtrics CustomerXM , you’ll:

Original Research: The customer journeys that matter most

Related resources

Customer Journey

Journey Mapping Workshop 3 min read

Customer journey touchpoints 9 min read, customer journey stages 12 min read, buyer's journey 16 min read, customer journey analytics 13 min read, create journey map 12 min read, b2b customer journey 13 min read, request demo.

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Customer Journey Research: Mapping the moments of truth throughout the buyer journey

Customer journey research uses customer journey mapping or buyer journey mapping to identify, structure and improve the complex interactions that customers experience across their relationship with your company, helping you to become more customer centric.

Improving the customer experience from average to exceptional can lead to a 30 to 50 percent increase in KPIs such as likelihood to renew or purchase another product.

Our approach: The Customer Journey Map / Buyer Journey Map

Customer Journey Research Approach - Customer Journey Mapping

At the beginning of the journey potential customers will build an awareness of the company, sometimes by recommendation, sometimes by seeing a promotion. Thereafter, their interest will hopefully be piqued, and a buying relationship will be developed. This could carry on for many years, influenced by different experiences, conveyed by the product and supporting services.

B2B customer journey maps can take several forms, depending on the needs of the business and the extent to which business processes are incorporated into the map:

Case study: Understanding the buyer journey and building personas and value propositions for Sodexo

Sodexo, a world-leader in food service and facilities management, places insight at the core of their marketing strategy. The company recognizes the importance of leveraging primary research to ensure that service offers meet the needs of the target market, with all their business decisions born out of research insights.

While regularly monitoring market and consumer trends, Sodexo partnered with B2B International to carry out customer journey research to help them understand typical buyer journeys and personas across four different business units.

Find out how these insights were used to inform top of the funnel marketing strategies, sales engagement strategies during the purchase process, and ensuring that the ongoing relationship throughout the contract period is nurtured in order to encourage customer satisfaction and loyalty.

buyer journey research

Case study: Using buyer journey research to provide deep insights into commercial bank decision-makers for Visa

Visa is at the forefront of driving a myriad of new payment solutions including Visa Direct and Visa B2B Connect. Visa Direct helps enable money movement to eligible debit cards domestically, and to eligible debit cards and accounts cross border. Visa B2B Connect enables B2B, cross-border, higher value payments to accounts on the same or next day through a single connection.

Visa required research to understand how to connect to and engage with new audiences within commercial banks and how to position Visa Direct and Visa B2B connect to help commercial banks adopt the solutions successfully.

customer journey research case study

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What is Journey Mapping in Market Research?

by George Kuhn

Posted at: 7/28/2021 4:06 PM

Market researchers can be creative. No really! We can be.

Even today, people still think about market research professionals as statisticians, math people, or numbers-gurus.

We still hold those associations close to heart, but our job involves so much more than just numbers.

For example, journey mapping is another growing trend in market research that plays on the creative side of the fence.

Although journey maps are based on data and statistics behind a path to purchase, the actual map itself can be understood by all.

It is another reason we love our job more and more each day as these new tools get added to our toolbox.

In this blog post, our market research company defines journey mapping, the importance of journey maps, and the process of creating a data-driven journey map.

journey mapping in market research

First things first, let's share a brief definition of journey mapping.

The Definition of Journey Mapping Journey mapping is the process of boiling down all touchpoints and interactions a customer has with a company, organization, or brand into one path to purchase. It is a technique used in market research, customer experience (CX) surveys, marketing strategy, and operations to help outline all of the potential touchpoints a customer or potential customer has on their path to purchase a product or service.

Journey mapping forces brands to think about market research differently. Not as a single solution, but as a service that integrates all facets of an organization.

Additionally, as infographics , data visualization, and dashboards have grown in market research, it's forced us researchers to think as non-researchers.

Some market research professional's creative hats may be larger than others, but nonetheless, we all must wear them at some point. Especially during reporting time.

Example of Journey Mapping in Market Research

Graphically appealing deliverables such as journey maps force brands to digest and display the insights and numbers in an easy to comprehend and visually appealing fashion.

In a way all can understand, not just those who have a background in statistics.

They become shareable pieces of information for all divisions in an organization, not just the math nerds.

For example, pick an airline company. Delta. Southwest. Jet Blue. You choose.

Now think about all of the potential touchpoints a customer has with that airline from the time they decide to take a trip to the time they arrive at the destination.

A journey map highlights all of the relevant touchpoints for the organization.

Here are just a few of the touchpoints outlined in the journey map:

Now, these are only simple examples of touchpoints. In reality, each of those touchpoints has touchpoints within them and they could be further broken down.

On top of this, there are several other points along the airline customer journey we did not outline in the list of 5.

example of a journey map

The Importance of Journey Mapping

1. Better understand the customer experience.

Journey mapping helps your organization understand the entire customer experience (CX) including every touchpoint along the way.

The maps help you understand all points of a journey that are often missed by quantitative surveying.

For example, a journey map might detail a heavy amount of search for a product or service in the research phase.

Answering a question such as, "How visible is our brand on Google?" is often difficult to assess or measure with online surveys.

2. Visualize customer patterns.

By identifying all touchpoints, it helps an organization understand customer flow from step-to-step. It helps a brand visualize patterns.

By first identifying them, you can then discover ways to monitor and measure them.

3. Identify gaps in your current CX programs.

Journey mapping in market research will also help you identify gaps in your current CX or Voice of Customer (VoC) programs where no feedback is being obtained.

This is the ultimate goal of journey mapping: to ensure all important touchpoints have a measurement tool in place to monitor them.

Let's say a hotel conducts a customer survey and finds that 58% of reservations come through their website.

The survey also gathers feedback about the ease of use of the website, improvements to the site, and so on.

While this feedback is helpful, does it really explore the user experience (UX) of your website?

A journey map can help you understand and place emphasis on specific areas of the customer journey that need it the most.

It walks you through all steps including research and planning, shopping, booking, pre-travel, travel, and post-travel.

Journey Mapping Process Work in Market Research

Step #1: Conduct a Customer Survey

Two important perspectives to map out are:

Understand that these may be very different but both need to be mapped out and understood fully.

What the organization views as a strength in the customer journey may not be viewed as a strength by the same customers.

This is often why an organization starts with a broad customer survey as a first step before drawing a journey map.

Watch this video to learn what our market research professionals believe are the most important questions to include in a customer survey.

Step #2: Create a Comprehensive Map of the Customer Journey

Once you have each laid out, you will need to create a comprehensive map and overview of the journey including each touchpoint (no matter how small or minor).

During this process, you must identify ways to measure each touchpoint.

List ways to measure this through secondary data or primary survey data through VoC programs.

If the journey involves online or mobile parts (most do) Google Analytics is a great resource to measure.

Step #3: Identify Areas of Opportunity 

Finally, identify the areas which need the most improvement. These touchpoints become your priority focus for the next steps and outcomes.

The ultimate goal of a customer journey map is to make the following claim:

"We reviewed our typical customer journey from Steps A to J. We are able to measure 80% of these steps currently but we realized that among the 20% that are not currently measured, two of those unmeasured steps have a large impact on satisfaction, loyalty, and purchase intent on our brand. These priority areas need to be further examined through market research using both VoC and UX."

This type of solution statement is a typical next step or recommendation from customer journey mapping.

As with any research, a journey map answers a lot of questions for your organization but will also likely raise a few others which leads to continual improvement.

Contact Our CX Market Research Company

Drive Research is a national market research company located in Upstate New York. Although based in Syracuse, we work with organizations across the country on VoC, CX, and UX needs.

Need a proposal on journey mapping or a CX program? Contact our team today for a project quote.

Author Bio George Kuhn

George Kuhn

George is the Owner & President of Drive Research. He has consulted for hundreds of regional, national, and global organizations over the past 15 years. He is a CX-certified VoC professional with a focus on innovation and new product management.

Learn more about George, here .

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**Editor's Note: This blog post was originally posted in March of 2018 but has since been updated for readability.

Categories: Market Research Glossary

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Competing on Customer Journeys

customer journey study

As digital technology has enabled shoppers to easily research and buy products online, sellers have been scrambling after them, trying to understand and satisfy their wants. Savvy companies, however, are using new tools, processes, and organizational structures to proactively lead digital customers from consideration to purchase and beyond. They are creating compelling customer journeys and managing them like any other product—and gaining a source of competitive advantage.

Building successful journeys requires four key capabilities: automation, to smoothly carry customers through each step of their online path; personalization, to create a customized experience for each individual; contextual interaction, to engage customers and appropriately sequence the steps they take; and journey innovation, to add improvements that enhance and extend the journey and foster customer loyalty.

In addition, the most successful companies have a particular organizational structure, with a chief experience officer overseeing a journey-focused strategist and a “journey product manager.” This latter role is critical—the journey product manager leads a team of designers, developers, data analysts, marketers, and others to create and sustain superior journeys, and he or she is accountable for the journey’s ROI and general business performance.

You have to create new value at every step.

Idea in Brief

The problem.

Digital tools have put shoppers in the driver’s seat, allowing them to easily research and compare products, place orders, and get doorstep delivery of their items. Sellers have largely been reactive, scrambling to position themselves where customers will find them.

The Solution

Companies can use new technologies, processes, and organizational structures to proactively lead rather than follow customers on their digital journeys. By making the journey a compelling, customized, and open-ended experience, firms can woo buyers, earn their loyalty, and gain a competitive advantage.

The Strategy

Superior journeys feature automation, personalization, context-based interaction, and ongoing innovation. To achieve all this, companies need to treat journeys like products, built and supported by a cross-functional team that’s led by a manager responsible for the journey’s business performance.

The explosion of digital technologies over the past decade has created “empowered” consumers so expert in their use of tools and information that they can call the shots, hunting down what they want when they want it and getting it delivered to their doorsteps at a rock-bottom price. In response, retailers and service providers have scrambled to develop big data and analytics capabilities in order to understand their customers and wrest back control. For much of this time, companies have been reacting to customers, trying to anticipate their next moves and position themselves in shoppers’ paths as they navigate the decision journey from consideration to purchase.

Further Reading

Branding in the digital age: you’re spending your money in all the wrong places.

Now, leveraging emerging technologies, processes, and organizational structures, companies are restoring the balance of power and creating new value for brands and buyers alike. Central to this shift is a fresh way of thinking: Rather than merely reacting to the journeys that consumers themselves devise, companies are shaping their paths, leading rather than following. Marketers are increasingly managing journeys as they would any product. Journeys are thus becoming central to the customer’s experience of a brand—and as important as the products themselves in providing competitive advantage.

Consider how one company, Oakland-based Sungevity, competes on its ability to shape the journey. At first glance, Sungevity looks like a typical residential solar panel provider. But closer inspection reveals that the company’s business is to manage the end-to-end process of sales and custom installation, coordinating the work of an ecosystem of companies that supply, finance, install, and service the panels. Sungevity’s “product” is a seamless, personalized digital customer journey, based on innovative management of data about the solar potential of each home or business. Sungevity makes the journey so compelling that once customers encounter it, many never even consider competitors.

One of us (David) experienced the Sungevity journey firsthand. The process began when he received a mailing with the message “Open this to find out how much the Edelman family can save on energy costs with solar panels.” The letter within contained a unique URL that led to a Google Earth image of David’s house with solar panels superimposed on the roof. The next click led to a page with custom calculations of energy savings, developed from Sungevity’s estimates of the family’s energy use, the roof angle, the presence of nearby trees, and the energy-generation potential of the 23 panels the company expected the roof to hold.

Another click connected David through his desktop to a live sales rep looking at the same pages David was. The rep expertly answered his questions and instantly sent him links to videos that explained the installation process and the economics of leasing versus buying. Two days later, Sungevity e‑mailed David with the names and numbers of nearby homeowners who used its system and had agreed to serve as references. After checking these references, David returned to Sungevity’s site, where a single click connected him to a rep who knew precisely where he was on the journey and had a tailored lease ready for him. The rep e‑mailed it and walked David through it, and then David e‑signed. When he next visited the website, the landing page had changed to track the progress of the permitting and installation, with fresh alerts arriving as the process proceeded. Now, as a Sungevity customer, David receives regular reports on his panels’ energy generation and the resulting savings, along with tips on ways to conserve energy, based on his household’s characteristics.

Starting with its initial outreach and continuing to the installation and ongoing management of David’s panels, Sungevity customized and automated each step of the journey, making it so simple—and so compelling—for him to move from one step to the next that he never actively considered alternative providers. In essence, the company reconfigured the classic model of the consumer decision journey, immediately paring the consideration set to one brand, streamlining the evaluation phase, and delivering David directly into a “loyalty loop,” where he remains in a monogamous and open-ended engagement with the firm. Sungevity’s journey strategy is working. Sales have doubled in the past year to more than $65 million, exceeding growth targets and making Sungevity the fastest-growing player in the residential solar business.

customer journey study

Getting Proactive

McKinsey’s marketing and sales practice has spent more than six years studying consumers’ decision journeys. The term (as explained in “Branding in the Digital Age,” HBR, December 2010) broadly describes how people move from initially considering a product or service to purchasing it and then bonding with the brand. More narrowly, the term can refer to the sequence of interactions consumers have before they achieve a certain aim—for instance, transferring cable service to a new address, or even discovering and buying the right mascara. Many firms have become competent at understanding the journeys their customers take and optimizing their experience with individual touchpoints along the way. The more sophisticated companies have redesigned their operations and organizations to support integrated journeys (see “The Truth About Customer Experience,” HBR, September 2013). Still, firms have largely been reactive, improving the efficiency of existing journeys or identifying and fixing pain points in them.

We’re now seeing a significant shift in strategy, from primarily reactive to aggressively proactive. Across retail, banking, travel, home services, and other industries, companies are designing and refining journeys to attract shoppers and keep them, creating customized experiences so finely tuned that once consumers get on the path, they are irresistibly and permanently engaged. Unlike the coercive strategies companies used a decade ago to lock in customers (think cellular service contracts), cutting-edge journeys succeed because they create new value for customers: Customers stay because they benefit from the journey itself.

Best practitioners aim not just to improve the existing journey but to expand it.

Through our experience advising more than 50 companies on journey architecture, infrastructure, and organizational design; our deep engagement with dozens of chief digital officers and more than 100 digital-business leaders worldwide; and our research involving more than 200 companies on best practices for building digital capabilities, we have seen this shift unfold. And although it is still early, we believe that an ability to shape customer journeys will become a decisive source of competitive advantage.

Four Key Capabilities

Companies building the most effective journeys master four interconnected capabilities: automation, proactive personalization, contextual interaction, and journey innovation. Each of these makes journeys “stickier”—more likely to draw in and permanently capture customers. And although the capabilities all rely on sophisticated IT (see the sidebar “New Journey Technologies”), they depend equally on creative design thinking and novel managerial approaches, as we’ll explore later.


Automation involves the digitization and streamlining of steps in the journey that were formerly done manually. Consider the analog process of depositing a check, which used to require a trip to the bank or ATM. With digital automation, you simply photograph the check with your smartphone and deposit it via an app. Similarly, researching, buying, and arranging delivery of, say, a new TV can now be a one-stop digital process. By allowing consumers to execute formerly complex journey processes quickly and easily, automation creates the essential foundation for sticky journeys. This may seem self-evident, but companies have only recently started to build robust automation platforms expressly designed to enhance journeys. And consumers can readily see who does it well. Superior automation, while highly technical, is something of an art, turning complex back-end operations into simple, engaging, increasingly app-based front-end experiences.

Consider how Sonos, the intelligent connected music system, automates setup. The process used to involve threading wires throughout the house, hooking up speakers to a computer, and creating separate online accounts with music providers. Sonos streamlines setup with wireless speakers (just press a button to connect them) and an app that adds music-streaming sources with a few taps and allows users to select music, control volume, and choose what plays in which room—all from a mobile device.

Proactive personalization.

Building on the automation capability, companies should take information gleaned either from past interactions with a customer or from existing sources and use it to instantaneously customize the shopper’s experience. Amazon’s recommendation engine and intelligent reordering algorithm (it knows what printer ink you need) are familiar examples. But remembering customer preferences is only the beginning; the personalization capability extends to optimizing the next steps in a customer’s journey. At the moment a customer engages (for example, by responding to a message or launching an app), the firm must analyze the customer’s behavior and tailor its next interaction accordingly. Companies such as Pega and ClickFox (a firm in which McKinsey has an ownership stake) offer applications that track customers across many channels, blending data from multiple sources (such as transaction and browsing histories, customer service interactions, and product usage) to create a single view of what customers are doing and what happens as a result. This allows real-time insights about their behavior—in effect, isolating moments when the company can influence the journey—and permits customized messaging or functionality (for example, immediately putting a valued traveler on an upgrade list). The retailer Kenneth Cole reconfigures elements on its website according to a visitor’s interaction with the site over time: Some people see more product reviews, while others see more images, videos, or special offers. The company’s algorithm constantly learns which content and configuration work best for each visitor and renders the site accordingly, in real time.

New Journey Technologies

Underpinning the rise of competitive journeys is the emergence of new programming, data-access, and user-interface technologies that enable unprecedented tracking of customer behavior and personalized interaction. Attribution tools, for example, can reveal which channels most strongly influence consumers’ decisions and lead to a purchase. Other technologies can discern when and why customers jump across channels and devices as they shop; the programs can then deliver personalized messaging that follows shoppers accordingly. Interface design tools allow a mobile app or a website to change its function or appearance, depending on where a customer is in his or her journey.

Three core technology developments in particular have redefined how companies connect with their customers:

Continuous connection capability.

Smart, connected products create a permanently open link between company and customer, providing companies with a continuous stream of data about how individuals use the products and thereby helping firms customize and upgrade them—for example, by fixing problems or adding capabilities.

New journey analysis and management tools.

ClickFox and similar systems track customer behavior across online and off-line touchpoints, helping companies to map and optimize journeys. Platforms such as Cloudera allow companies to analyze unstructured data, while machine learning software such as R can mine huge amounts of customer data and predict behaviors. Pega and similar tools enable consistent, personalized communication across channels. And Adobe and other companies offer tools to manage and execute more complex workflows.

Widespread adoption of APIs.

Application programming interfaces permit disparate applications, including those from different companies, to communicate. APIs have been around for a while, but companies are only now starting to embrace them to build integrated cross-company customer journeys. For example, APIs allow Delta Air Lines’ travel management app to seamlessly connect its customers with Uber.

L’Oréal’s Makeup Genius app takes these capabilities a step further, allowing customers to try on makeup virtually and delivering ever-more-personalized real-time responses. The app photographs a customer’s face, analyzes more than 60 characteristics, and then displays images showing how various products and shade mixes achieve different looks. Customers can select a look they like and instantly order the right products online or pick them up in a store. As the app tracks how the customer uses it and what she buys, it learns her preferences, makes inferences based on similar customers’ choices, and tailors its responses. L’Oréal has created an enjoyable experience that quickly and seamlessly leads the customer along the path from consideration to purchase and, as the degree of personalization increases, into the loyalty loop. With 14 million users already, the app has become a critical asset both as a branded channel for engaging with customers and as a fire hose of incoming information on how customers engage.

L’Oréal App Keeps Customers Coming Back—and Buying

The Makeup Genius app, which allows users to virtually test makeup, has been downloaded 14 million times since its launch in 2014 and has driven more than 250 million virtual product trials. By making experimenting, sharing, and purchasing seamless and fun, the company is rolling out a highly sticky journey that builds loyalty to L’Oréal products.

1. Leah’s friend texts her a link to L’Oréal’s cool new app, Makeup Genius. She downloads it to her tablet, and her screen becomes a mirror reflecting her face.


2. Leah allows the app to scan her image.


3. The app asks if she’d like to “try on” individual products or a complete look. She opts for the latter, and the app instantly displays a gallery of photos showing made-up models.


4. She taps on each look to see it overlaid on her own face. Another tap shows the products needed to achieve it.


5. When she decides to buy, buttons offer her a choice of retailers. She selects Amazon and places an order. When her order arrives and she reopens the app, it has proactively reconfigured to give her instructions on applying the makeup.


6. A few days later, the app alerts Leah to a new style she might like, basing its recommendation on her preferences and those of similar users. She considers a picture of herself with that look. The app tells her what additional products she needs to achieve it. She taps to buy.


7. Aware of her preferences and previous makeup purchases, the app sends periodic recommendations for other looks. Leah continues to try out new looks and buy products. Appreciating how simple and useful the app is, Leah becomes a loyal customer and advocate, sending app links to a growing group of friends who share favorite looks and advice.

Contextual interaction.

Another key capability involves using knowledge about where a customer is in a journey physically (entering a hotel) or virtually (reading product reviews) to draw him forward into the next interactions the company wants him to pursue. This may mean changing the look of a screen that follows a key step, or serving up a relevant message triggered by the customer’s current context. For example, an airline app may display your boarding pass as you enter the airport, or a retail site may tell you the status of your recent order the moment you land on the home page.

More-sophisticated versions enable a series of interactions that further shape and strengthen the journey experience. Starwood Hotels, for example, is rolling out an app that texts a guest with her room number as she enters the hotel, checks her in with a thumbprint scan on her smartphone, and, as she approaches her room, turns her phone into a virtual key that opens the door. The app then sends well-timed and personalized recommendations for entertainment and dining.

Journey innovation.

Innovation, the last of the four required capabilities, occurs through ongoing experimentation and active analysis of customer needs, technologies, and services in order to spot opportunities to extend the relationship with the customer. Ultimately, the goal is to identify new sources of value for both the company and consumers.

Best practitioners design journey software to enable open-ended testing. They continually do A/B testing to compare alternative versions of message copy and interface design to see which works better. And they prototype new services and analyze the results, aiming not just to improve the existing journey but to expand it, adding useful steps or features.

A journey innovation may be as simple as Starwood’s introducing a prompt for ordering room service after a guest uses a key, remembering previous orders and using those as the initial options. Or it may be more sophisticated, expanding a journey by integrating multiple services into a single straight-through customer experience. Delta Air Lines’ mobile app, for example, has become a travel management tool for almost every aspect of an airplane trip, from booking and boarding to reviewing in-flight entertainment to ordering an Uber car upon landing. Kraft has expanded its recipe app to become a pantry management tool, generating a shopping list that seamlessly connects with the grocery delivery service Peapod. Key to these expanded journeys is often their integration with other service providers. Because this increases the value of the journey, carefully handing customers off to another firm can actually enhance the journey’s stickiness.

Capabilities in Practice

Let’s return to Sungevity to see how it combines these four capabilities to create a valuable and evolving journey.

From initial customer contact to installation and beyond, Sungevity has automated most steps of the journey, including collecting and integrating customer data, calculating energy use, and creating personalized visualizations of the panels on a roof. Crucial here is sophisticated use of APIs (application interfaces) to pull data from other providers, such as Google Earth and the real estate service Trulia, to assemble a picture of the customer. Data analysis allowed proactive personalization that targeted David with customized information such as costs, timeline, and anticipated breakeven and savings, all available across multiple channels, including e‑mail, Sungevity’s site, and customer reps. Contextual interaction capabilities allowed Sungevity to serve the right content in the right channel for each of David’s interactions—for example, using APIs to track the panel installation by the company’s local contractor and then regularly updating David’s landing page with the latest status.

Sungevity is continuing to pursue journey innovation, using what it knows about its customers to extend the journey into energy storage and conservation services. Not long ago, such activity might have been a generic upsell, blanketing a customer segment with pitches for a new offering. Today the outreach can be to a single individual, and the strategy not simply to sell another product but to invite customers to take the next step on their personalized journeys. With granular data on each household’s energy use and habits, Sungevity can advise people one-on-one about managing their energy consumption, and it can recommend a tailored package of products and services to help them reduce their dependence on the grid and reap savings. To this end, the firm will soon offer batteries from the German supplier Sonnenbatterie to store surplus electricity generated by the solar panels. It is also creating customer dashboards that track energy production and use. Ultimately, the firm plans to integrate its services with home-management networks that can automate energy conservation (adjusting lights and heating, for example) according to decision rules that Sungevity develops with each customer. Another project is to create conservation-oriented customer communities.

The Rise of the Journey Product Manager

Technology smarts are necessary but not sufficient for designing competitive, continuously improving journeys; companies also need new organizational structures and types of management. We have worked with many “digital native” firms that have had the luxury of building organizations optimized from the outset for creating effective journeys—and their experience offers lessons for traditional firms. We have found that traditional companies are most successful when they focus on selected high-value journeys and create dedicated teams to support them, drawing from across the firm’s functions.

While we’ve seen many different organizational models for product-managing journeys (and an array of titles for the executives involved), they generally have a similar structure.

customer journey study

Overseeing all of a firm’s interactions with customers is someone in the role of chief experience officer, a relatively new position in the C-suite. Chief digital officers are also starting to have this top-level responsibility. Typically reporting to this executive is a journey-focused strategist who helps guide decisions on which journey investments and customer segments to focus on; he or she prioritizes current journeys for digital development and spots opportunities for new ones.

Sitting at the center of the action for a given journey is new type of leader, the “journey product manager.” People in this role (more commonly called “solution managers,” “experience managers,” or “segment managers”) are the journey’s economic and creative stewards. They have ultimate accountability for its business performance, managing it as they would any product. And like other product managers, they are judged according to how well they meet an array of product-specific measures, including journey ROI (see the sidebar “Holding Journey Managers Accountable”).

Guided by the firm’s business priorities (for example, growing market share, increasing revenue, and improving customer satisfaction), they explore ways to expand and optimize the journeys they’re responsible for, increase their stickiness, engage new partners, fend off competitors, and cut costs, particularly through digitizing manual processes. More operationally, it’s their job to understand how customers move through the journey, to spot unusual customer behaviors (such as detouring or abandonment at a critical touchpoint), and to discern what attracts new customers—or dissuades them from engaging.

To build successful journeys, these managers rely on “scrum teams” of specialists from across IT, analytics, operations, marketing, and other functions. The teams are execution-oriented, fast, and agile, constantly testing and iterating improvements. Collectively, the team members work to understand customers’ wants and needs at each step of the journey and make taking the next step worthwhile. They ask questions such as “What types of functionality, look and feel, and message will propel customers to the next step?” and “How does the timing of prompts affect customers’ responses?” Pursuing answers to questions like these, teams enter into rounds of development, piloting iterative digital-journey prototypes, analyzing operational and customer-use data, and then measuring the impact on customer behavior produced by each tweak to the journey.

Holding Journey Managers Accountable

Just as conventional product management depends on close tracking of carefully chosen metrics, “product managing” a journey requires tracking both familiar and specialized metrics that gauge progress and performance. In addition to providing an array of information about journey investments and ROI, the right metrics permit accountability.

Journey managers must be able to answer financial questions: What can we afford to invest in journey development? What new sales or revenue do we need to generate? What is the variable cost per customer or action that we can afford for each journey? They also need to assess customer satisfaction with the entire journey and with interactions at specific touchpoints.

Because individual touchpoints may be handled by different functions or partners (for example, an appliance sale could involve an affiliate store agent, a call-center sales rep, credit underwriters, and installers), the performance of these players must be measured and tracked so that they, too, can be held accountable. Other metrics should track the journey’s ROI by calculating the ongoing costs of delivering the journey, the revenue and profits it generates, and the impact of continual innovations to the journey.

One airline we work with measures its effectiveness in helping customers navigate the journey for rebooking and resuming travel when a flight is canceled. The airline gathers an abundance of data about rebooked customers, including the percentage who have downloaded its mobile app, and of those, the percentage who boarded their new flight without any live help. It also ascertains the percentage who provided a mobile phone number or e‑mail address, and of those, the percentage who opened their notification of a rebooked flight, and of that subgroup, the percentage who boarded without help. In addition, the airline calculates the percentage of passengers who boarded the first alternative flight suggested to them. The team analyzes each of these metrics across tiers of frequent-flier value and ticket price in order to optimize the costs and revenue associated with this journey for each customer.

Nordstrom is one company that has used this scrum-team approach. To enhance the journey around shopping for sunglasses, for example, a team set up temporary camp in the retailer’s flagship store and launched a series of weeklong experiments to perfect a new app. The app was envisioned to guide customers through the selection process by matching sunglasses styles with their facial characteristics and preferences. Right in the store, team members mocked up paper prototypes of the app and studied how shoppers tapped on them, as if using a live version. Throughout the process, they asked customers which app features seemed helpful, unnecessary, or distracting. On the basis of that feedback, the team’s coders built a live version of the app for customers to test, making real-time adjustments as they received more input. After a week of tweaking, they released it on tablets to the store’s sales associates, who use it alongside customers to help them choose sunglasses.

Typically, journey managers bring scrum teams together on-site (as Nordstrom did) or in war rooms for design sprints, in which teams pitch new journey paths and features and then develop, test, and scale prototypes. Experiments may focus on anything from designing landing pages and devising live chats with reps to optimizing back-end processes and improving “experience flow” (how a customer moves from one journey step to another).

While the best journey product managers work in this way to continually refine existing journeys, they’re also looking at the bigger picture, introducing larger-scale innovations that extend the journey and increase its value and stickiness. Consider, for example, how one of our clients, a global consumer electronics company, is developing and marketing a new countertop cooker. The product has programmable compartments that can be controlled by an app, allowing customers to simultaneously cook different parts of a meal. This creates opportunities to build an array of services that help customers get the most from the cooker.

Although the firm had long experience with product design, as it began adding connectivity to its products, management realized that it knew relatively little about creating services to enhance them. Recognizing that it would need a new structure for designing and managing such services, the company created a global experience-innovation team, led by a new-business-development executive and supported by a product design executive. Essentially serving together as chief experience officers for the new services envisioned, these executives oversee all of the firm’s connected-product initiatives and supervise the journey product managers (or “innovation leaders”) in charge of these programs.

The cooker’s journey product manager was tasked with creating various related services (help with meal planning, ingredient purchasing, and meal prep) and building the journeys that would deliver them. With his scrum team of designers, programmers, operations managers, and marketers, the manager has led the development of a service that provides recipes through the cooker app, tracks what customers make, and then personalizes suggestions over time. The team is now developing weekly meal-planning apps, and it has partnered with food producers to create recipes and offer discount coupons for key ingredients. Ultimately, the team plans to support a customer community whose members create and share their own recipes.

To do all this, the team scrutinizes data flowing from the app: what percentage of customers download it, how many register, how (and how often) they use it, how cooker use and meal type vary by geography, and, for those who stop using the app, at what point they defect. This data informs the team’s tuning of the app’s navigation and prompts, along with the meal ideas and incentives the firm provides customers to keep them engaged. Analysts within the broader work group focus on narrow segments of the user base, typically zooming in on different countries to understand how usage patterns vary. This tracking extends to the level of the individual, revealing what recipes a given customer tries, how often she uses the cooker and the app, and which app features she uses—all of which allows continuing innovation and personalization of the journey.

The move from selling products to managing a permanent customer journey has required mastering the four capabilities that all companies will need to compete: automation (in this case, the ability to control the cooker from an app); personalization (offering tailored recipes); contextual interaction (changing the app interface as customers move from purchasing ingredients to cooking); and journey innovation (adding new recipes, online purchase capabilities, and community).

In perfecting these capabilities, the firm has made the continuing customer journey as much a part of the brand as the cooker itself—and as important a source of value. Leveraging its new journey-focused managerial structure, the company is now developing service-based journeys for other home health and household management products.

Thinking about the customer journey as a product is leading to a major shift in how product investments are determined, prioritized, funded, and measured. Increasingly, firms will be focusing on how an investment improves the economics of delivering products and journeys to a customer segment—and how powerfully it reinforces engagement—rather than just how it drives sales or reduces costs. Particularly for companies that are somewhat distant from customer transactions, such as consumer-goods makers and B2B firms, this requires developing fundamentally new skills and structures for gathering and analyzing customer data, interacting with customers, and focusing on the experience design along with product and creative design. Today, winning brands owe their success not just to the quality and value of what they sell, but to the superiority of the journeys they create.

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How to Create an Effective Customer Journey Map [Examples + Template]

Aaron Agius

Published: February 22, 2023

Did you know nearly 70% of online shoppers abandoned their carts in 2021? Why would a customer spend hours looking through a store and adding products to their cart just to close the tab right at the last second?

artwork that represents the customer journey with customer holding a phone and business earning money

Well, here’s the thing — understanding your customers’ minds can be extremely challenging.

And even when you think you’ve considered every possible factor, the journey from awareness to purchase for each customer will always be unpredictable, at least to some level.

Download Now: Free Customer Journey Map Templates

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That said, while it isn’t possible to predict the customer journey with 100% accuracy, customer and user experience (UX) journey mapping will allow you to understand as much as possible.

This post will explain everything you need to know about customer journey mapping — what it is, how to create a journey map, and best practices.

Table of Contents

What is the customer journey?

What is a customer journey map, the customer journey mapping process, what’s included in a customer journey map, steps for creating a customer journey map.

Benefits of Customer Journey Mapping

Free Customer Journey Map Templates

The customer journey is the entire buying experience from pre-purchase to post-purchase.

It covers the path from the customer’s awareness of an existing pain point to becoming a product or service user.

In other words, buyers don’t wake up and decide to buy on a whim. They go through a process to become aware of, consider and evaluate, and decide to purchase a new product or service.

For example, the typical Hubspot customer’s journey is divided into 3 stages — pre-purchase/sales, onboarding/migration, and normal use/renewal.

Then, within each stage, there are several “moments” such as comparing tools, sales negotiations, technical setup, and so on.

A customer journey map is a visual representation of the customer’s experience with a company. It also provides insight into the needs of potential customers at every stage of this journey and the factors that directly or indirectly motivate or inhibit their progress.

The business can then use this information to improve the customer’s experience, increase conversions, and boost customer retention.

Free Customer Journey Map Template

Fill out this form to access the free templates., what is ux journey mapping.

A UX journey map represents how the customer experiences their journey toward achieving a specific goal or completing a particular action.

For example, the term “UX journey mapping” can be used interchangeably with the term “customer journey mapping” if the goal being tracked is the user’s journey toward purchasing a product or service.

However, UX journey mapping can also be used to map the journey (i.e., actions taken) towards other goals, such as using a specific product feature.

Why is customer journey mapping important?

While the customer journey might seem straightforward on the surface — the company offers a product or service, and customers buy it — for most businesses, it typically isn’t.

In reality, it is a complex journey that begins when the customer becomes problem-aware (which might be long before they become product-aware) and then moves through an intricate process of further awareness, consideration, and decision-making.

Within this process, the customer is also exposed to multiple external factors (competitor ads, reviews, etc.) and touchpoints with the company (conversations with sales reps, interacting with content, viewing product demos, etc.).

Keep in mind that 80% of customers consider their experience with a company to be as important as its products.

By mapping this journey, your marketing, sales, and service teams can understand, visualize, and gain insight into each stage of the process.

You can then decrease any friction along the way and make the journey as helpful and delightful as possible for your leads and customers.

Customer journey mapping is the process of creating a customer journey map — the visual representation of a company’s customer experience. It compiles a customer’s experience as they interact with a business and combines the information into a visual map.

The goal of this data gathering is not simply for the sake of the data itself but to draw insights that help you understand how your customers experience their journeys and identify the potential bottlenecks along the way.

It's also important to note that most customer journeys only sometimes happen linearly. Instead, buyers often take a back-and-forth, cyclical, multi-channel journey.

Let’s look at the stages in the customer journey.

1. The Buying Process

To determine your customers’ buying process, you’ll want to pull data from all relevant sources (prospecting tools, CMS, behavior analytics tools, etc.) to accurately chart your customer's path from first to last contact.

However, you can keep it simple by creating broad categories using the typical buying journey process stages — awareness, consideration, and decision — and mapping them horizontally.

2. User Actions

This element of the customer journey map details what a customer does in each stage of the buying process. For example, during the problem-awareness stage, customers might download ebooks or join educational webinars.

Essentially, you’re exploring how your customers move through and behave at each stage of their journey.

3. Emotions

Whether the goal is big or small, it’s important to remember your customers are solving a problem. That means they’re probably feeling some emotion — whether that is relief, happiness, excitement, or worry.

Adding these emotions to the journey map can help you identify and mitigate negative emotions at various points.

4. Pain Points

Where there is a negative emotion, there’s a pain point that causes it.

Adding pain points to your customer journey map can help you identify which stage your customer is experiencing negative emotions and deduce the reason why.

5. Solutions

As the final element in your customer journey map, solutions are where you and your team will brainstorm potential ways to improve your buying process so that customers encounter fewer pain points as they journey.

What is a touchpoint in a customer journey map?

A touchpoint in a customer journey map is an instance where your customer can form an opinion of your business. You can find touchpoints in places where your business comes in direct contact with a potential or existing customer.

For example, a display ad, an interaction with an employee, a 404 error, and even a Google review can be considered a customer touchpoint.

Your brand exists beyond your website and marketing materials, so you must consider the different types of touchpoints in your customer journey map because they can help uncover opportunities for improvement in the buying journey.

1. Set clear objectives for the map.

Before you dive into UX journey mapping, you need to ask yourself why you’re creating a map in the first place.

What goals are you directing this map towards? Who is it specifically about? What experience is it based upon?

Based on this, you should create a buyer persona . This is a fictitious customer with all the demographics and psychographics representing your average customer.

Having a clear persona helps remind you to direct every aspect of your customer journey map toward them.

2. Profile your personas and define their goals.

Next, you should conduct research.

Some great ways to get valuable customer feedback are questionnaires and user testing. The important thing is to only reach out to actual customers or prospects.

You want feedback from people interested in purchasing your products and services and who have either interacted with your company or plan to do so.

Some examples of good questions to ask are:

You can use this buyer persona tool to fill in the details you procure from customer feedback.

3. Highlight your target customer personas.

Once you’ve learned about the customer personas that interact with your business, you’ll need to narrow your focus to one or two.

Remember, a UX journey map tracks the experience of a customer taking a particular path with your company — so if you group too many personas into one journey, your map won’t accurately reflect that experience.

When creating your first map, it’s best to pick your most common customer persona and consider the route they would typically take when engaging with your business for the first time.

You can use a marketing dashboard to compare each and determine the best fit for your journey map. Don’t worry about the ones you leave out, as you can always go back and create a new map specific to those customer types.

4. List out all touchpoints.

Begin by listing the touchpoints on your website.

Based on your research, you should have a list of all the touchpoints your customers are currently using and the ones you believe they should be using if there’s no overlap.

This is essential in creating a UX journey map, as it gives you insight into your customers’ actions.

If they use fewer touchpoints than expected, does this mean they are quickly getting turned away and leaving your site early?

If they are using more than expected, does this mean your website is complicated and requires several steps to reach an end goal?

Whatever the case, understanding touchpoints can help you understand the ease or difficulties of the customer journey.

Aside from your website, you also need to look at how your customer might come across you online. These might include:

Run a quick Google search of your brand to see all the pages that mention you. Verify these by checking your Google Analytics to see where your traffic is coming from.

Whittle your list down to those touchpoints that are the most common and will be most likely to see an action associated with it.

Consider the following touchpoints as you create your UX journey map.

Customer Actions

List your customers’ actions throughout their interaction with your brand. This might be a Google search for keywords or clicking on an email.

You may wind up with a long list of actions, and that’s fine. You’ll get a chance to rationalize your information later.

It’s important to recognize when customers are expected to take too many actions to achieve their goals. Reducing the number of steps a customer needs to take can feel risky but pays off in higher conversion rates.

Customer Emotions & Motivations

All marketing is a result of cause and effect. Likewise, every action your customers take is motivated by emotion. And your customers’ emotions will change depending on which part of their journey they’re at.

A pain point or a problem is usually the emotional driver of your customer's actions. Knowing this will help you provide the right content at the right time to smooth the customer's emotional journey through your brand.

Customer Obstacles & Pain Points

Get to know what roadblocks stop your customer from taking their desired action.

One common obstacle is cost. For example, one of your customers could love your product but abandon their cart upon discovering unexpectedly high shipping rates.

Highlighting these potential obstacles in your customer journey can help you mitigate them. For example, you could provide an FAQ page that answers common questions about shipping costs.

5. Determine the resources you have and the ones you’ll need.

Your customer journey map is going to touch on nearly every part of your business. This will highlight all the resources that go into creating the customer experience.

So taking inventory of your resources and the ones you’ll need to improve the customer’s journey is essential.

For example, maybe your map highlights that your team doesn’t have the tools to follow up with customers properly. Using your map, you can advise management to invest in customer service tools to help your team manage customer demand.

And by including these new tools in your map, you can accurately predict how they’ll impact your business and drive outsized value. This makes it much easier to convince gatekeepers and decision-makers to invest in your proposals.

6. Take the customer journey yourself.

Just because you’ve designed your map doesn’t mean your work is done. This is the most critical part of the process: analyzing the results.

How many people click on your website but then close out before making a purchase? How can you better support customers? These are some of the questions you should be able to answer with your finished map.

Analyzing the results can show you where customer needs aren’t being met.

By approaching this, you can ensure that you’re providing a valuable experience and making it clear that people can find solutions to their problems with your company’s help.

The whole exercise of mapping the customer journey remains hypothetical until you try it out yourself.

For each of your personas, follow their journey through their social media activity, reading their emails, and searching online.

7. Make the necessary changes.

Your data analysis should give you a sense of what you want your website to be.

You can then make changes to your website to achieve these goals. Perhaps this is adding more specific call-to-action links, or it’s writing longer descriptions under each product to clarify its purpose.

No matter how big or small the changes are, they will be effective as they directly correlate with what customers listed as their pain points.

Rather than blindly making changes in the hopes that they will improve customer experiences , you can feel confident that they will.

And, with the help of your visualized customer journey map, you can ensure those needs and pain points are always addressed.

How often should you update your customer journey map?

Your map should be a constant work in progress.

Reviewing it monthly or quarterly will help you identify gaps and opportunities for further streamlining your customer journey. Use your data analytics along with customer feedback to check for any roadblocks.

Keep all stakeholders involved in this process, which is why you should consider visualizing your maps in a collaborative tool such as Google Sheets.

Additionally, consider having regular meetings to analyze how new products or offerings have changed the customer journey.

Types of Customer Journey Maps and Examples

There are four customer journey maps , each with unique benefits. Depending on the specific purpose of the map, you can choose the proper one.

Current State

These customer journey maps are the most widely-used type. They visualize the actions, thoughts, and emotions your customers currently experience while interacting with your company. They are best used for continually improving the customer journey.

Customer Journey Map Example: Current State Journey Map

Image source

Day in the Life

These customer journey maps visualize the actions, thoughts, and emotions your customers currently experience in their daily activities, whether or not that includes your company.

This type gives a broader lens into your customers’ lives and what their pain points are in real life.

Day-in-the-life maps are best used for addressing unmet customer needs before customers even know they exist. Your company may use this type of customer journey map when exploring new market development strategies .

Customer Journey Map Example: Day in the Life

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Outline your company's customer journey and experience with these 7 free customer journey map templates.

How to Research and Build a Customer Journey Map: 201

Colourful post-it notes against white background for design workshop

In this three-part blog series, we’re breaking down one of our favourite service design tools: Customer Journey Maps! We cover:

Customer Journey Mapping 101: What are customer journey maps, and why do you need them?

Customer Journey Mapping 201: How to Research and Build a Customer Journey Map (this post)

Customer Journey Mapping 301: Designing for the future, evolving your map, and making it actionable

In this post, we’ll really get into the “nuts and bolts” of customer journey research and map building.

We will explore:

The best mixed method research to collect data for your journey map

Goal-setting and research questions to ask to get at the data points you need

Anatomy of a good journey map

How to visually bring it all together

Full customer journey map

Begin with the end in mind, before you start.

It’s very important to identify and set clear goals to truly reap the benefits of customer journey mapping. The clearer and more precise your research goals are, the clearer your findings will be.

A few examples of strong research goals include:

To better understand the factors that contribute to first-year renewal of an online membership/subscription

To better understand the decision-making process for first-time home buyers seeking a mortgage provider

To uncover why such a high volume of customers are making calls to a company’s support centre

Remember to also strategically select the type of journey map you’d like to build (we explore this at length in Part One of this series ), and the user groups/personas you should be targeting with your research.

Research and Data Collection

Conducting mixed methods research is the best way to gather information from and about your customers to build an effective and insightful journey map. As you conduct user research, try to ensure that, as much as possible, you are capturing their journey––the step-by-step process that each individual user takes during their day (or month/year) as they interact with a service or product.

As a rule of thumb, you should also seek to engage in “data triangulation”. This means using three (or more) data sources (e.g. a survey, user interviews, and a workshop) to ensure your findings are robust.

Here are the five top research methods we recommend for building journey maps:

Surveys are great when you have easy access to a large pool of target participants (e.g. through a newsletter or mailing list). Surveys also allow you to gather quantitative as well as qualitative feedback all at once.

User Interviews (in-depth and one-on-one) will allow you to flesh out journey maps in detail. In another blog post , we explore how to conduct effective and well-organized one-on-one interviews with users/customers.

Observations (contextual research) involve observing participants in their “natural habitat”, like a fly on the wall. We highlight our best practices for conducting observations here .

Diary studies involve giving participants a “diary” or workbook to complete on a daily or weekly basis. Read more about how to conduct an effective diary study here .

Participatory workshops involve hosting a workshop with users where you have them actually map out the journey themselves. We explore best practices for holding a design workshop in a previous post , as well.

Asking the Right Questions

Once you’ve selected the research methods you’ll use to collect data for your journey map – what questions should you ask? This will depend on your goals.

In general, the key information you’ll need to collect from the research activities to build your journey map includes:

Demographic and segment information

User goals, motivations, and needs

Journey Information: Questions related to specific touchpoints, activities, and tasks, e.g. “Please describe a typical day in your life”, “Tell me about your experience with X,Y, Z”, or “Can you describe the steps you took to ….”

User Pain Points: What are the most frustrating parts of their journey? How do users feel, and what are they thinking? Try to capture verbatim quotes here from users, as well as images/video if you are shadowing or conducting a diary study.

A few more things to consider as you conduct research:

Consider the time interval you would like to map. Are you seeking to map a user’s interaction with a brand over a year? A few months? One day?

Consider the level of detail you need to show in the map. For example, if you are trying to understand a “day-in-the-life” of a user (e.g. a person’s experience arriving at and watching a sporting event), you could shadow them and capture their day in a lot of detail. But if you are mapping a journey over three months, the level of detail will naturally be less (otherwise the map will be too long and overwhelming for readers). Remember that participants will also have more difficulty recalling high levels of detail from activities they engaged in one week vs. one month ago.

Journeys are easier to map in chronological order . As you ask questions and observe users, consider the order in which they perform activities/tasks.

Don’t miss your chance to grab a FREE Plan A Stellar User Interview Workbook to kick-off your journey map research!

Anatomy of a Journey Map

Journey map framework

Let’s break down the components of a strong customer journey. While each journey map and project is different, there are certain pillars we typically include:

Personas –– Whose journey are you mapping out ?

Phases –– Are there any distinct phases in the customer journey, or a collection of tasks that mark a transition? For example, for a first-time home buyer, phases may include “Researching Mortgages”, “House Search”, “Financing” “Offer and Purchase”, and “After Purchase”.

Motivations –– What are the users’ motivations as they go through each phase? For a house purchaser, a motivation may be “Find the best financing deal”.

Tasks and activities –– What are all of the tasks users need to complete in order to accomplish their goal?

Thoughts and Feelings –– How do users feel as they go about their tasks and proceed through each phase? Stressed, anxious, excited? You can include verbatim quotes from your research here.

Touchpoints –– What are the users’ points of interaction with the organization? (E.g. website, in-person meeting, phone call with an agent, and so on).

Tools and technology –– What apps are customers using for a particular task?

Pain points –– What challenges are users experiencing as they accomplish certain tasks?

Key Moments –– What are pivotal moments in the user’s journey that make or break their experience? Similarly, what are the happy and memorable moments?

Opportunities –– Ideas, solutions, and improvements to the pain points.

Note: Adding “Opportunities” to your journey map is important. Each pain point in theory could be turned into an opportunity. Yet, to be truly useful, we recommend running a co-design workshop or brainstorming session with stakeholders and/or users to come up with valuable solutions to the pain points and real opportunities for innovation.

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Click through to explore a detailed customer journey map…

Building your Journey Map

Now that you’ve completed the research, there are FOUR key steps to building your customer journey map.

1. Sketch out individual journey maps for your users, based on the research. Ideally, you’ll do this as a debrief after each interview and/or observation session 
. No two journeys are exactly alike, and as you perform more research and talk to more customers, their journeys will certainly begin to blur. By sketching and mapping out individual journeys after each interview or observation session, you can more easily compare and contrast individual journeys and locate patterns (see Step #2 below) to create your final customer journey map, which will be a representation of all customer journeys combined.

2. Pull out the tasks/pain points/etc. users went through to accomplish their goal
. As you read through interview transcripts or research notes, identify commonalities in the journeys. What were the common tasks, pain points, thoughts, and feelings users experienced? Then, determine in chronological order all of the tasks and activities that your final journey will include IN DETAIL.

3. Start building your journey map! We recommend using a spreadsheet for this step in the process. In your spreadsheet:

Journey map planning spreadsheet

The first column should include the following headers: Phases, Motivations, Main Tasks, Sub-Tasks, Touchpoints, Tools & Tech, Pain Points, and Opportunities (plus any other pieces of information you want to include).

Start filling out the “Main Tasks” row in chronological order for the entire journey. Each task should take up one cell (you can place Sub-Tasks in the row below a main task).

Once your tasks are filled in, go back to the beginning and add in other details, like which pain points users experienced for a particular task, which touchpoints they interacted with for that task, and so on.

Determine your high-level phases and list them out across the top of your spreadsheet (each phase will include multiple tasks).

Complete your spreadsheet by filling out as much detail as you can in each of the rows.

4. Visualize the journey map and bring it to life. Now that you have a skeleton of your journey map (in the form of a spreadsheet), you’re ready to visualize it. Use a program like Adobe Illustrator, or have a graphic designer help.  To ensure your journey map is not overly text heavy, make sure readers can look at the journey and understand its overall meaning “at-a-glance”, with added details for readers who look more closely.

Use icons where possible to represent things like tools and technology, touchpoints, and pain points––or even smiley/sad faces next to the thoughts and feelings. This will make your map more readable at a glance. Ensure to include a legend that explains each icon.

Use colours for each phase or row/section . For large journey maps, you’ll want readers to be able to easily identify different sections: colour is a good way of segmenting the map.

Connect the dots. Use lines or arrows to indicate the order of steps, and to tie tasks together so that it is clear which tasks are completed first, second, third, and so on.

Highlight key moments or critical pain points. Make pivotal moments in the journey, both good and bad, stand out from the rest of the map. When a reader is quickly scanning, they will immediately notice these key moments and stop to read more.

Tip: Print out a large version of your customer journey map. We can confirm that there are few documents more impressive and show-stopping in an office than a 10 ft. customer journey map banner. Everyone will stop as they walk by, and this will build interest. Printed journey maps can also serve as an “anchor” for teams when they need inspiration, or when they have trouble remembering the research insights. 

In the third and final segment of our Customer Journey Mapping blog series , we explore how to make your journey map highly actionable and how to evolve your map as your organization or team moves forward.

Resources we like…

Typeform and SurveyMonkey are tools we like for digital surveys

Capital One Design’s Guide to Experience Mapping and Baseline Journeys

Mapping Experience: A Complete Guide to Creating Value through Journeys, Blueprints, and Diagrams by Jim Kalbach. Outwitly CEO/founder Sara Fortier’s work is featured on page 97!

Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning by Dan M. Brown

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From touchpoints to journeys: Seeing the world as customers do

When most companies focus on customer experience they think about touchpoints—the individual transactions through which customers interact with parts of the business and its offerings. This is logical. It reflects organization and accountability, and is relatively easy to build into operations. Companies try to ensure that customers will be happy with the interaction when they connect with their product, customer service, sales staff, or marketing materials. But this siloed focus on individual touchpoints misses the bigger—and more important—picture: the customer’s end-to-end experience. Only by looking at the customer’s experience through his or her own eyes—along the entire journey taken—can you really begin to understand how to meaningfully improve performance.

Customer journeys include many things that happen before, during, and after the experience of a product or service. Journeys can be long, stretching across multiple channels and touchpoints, and often lasting days or weeks. Bringing a new customer on board is a classic example. Another is resolving a technical issue, upgrading a product, or helping a customer to move a service to a new home. In our research, we’ve discovered that organizations that fail to appreciate the context of these situations and manage the cross-functional, end-to-end experiences that shape the customer’s view of the business can prompt a downpour of negative consequences, from customer defection and dramatically higher call volumes to lost sales and lower employee morale. In contrast, those that provide the customer with the best experience from start to finish along the journey can expect to enhance customer satisfaction, improve sales and retention, reduce end-to-end service cost, and strengthen employee satisfaction.

This is especially true in today’s multitouchpoint, multichannel, always-on, hypercompetitive consumer markets. The explosion of potential customer interaction points—across new channels, devices, applications, and more—makes consistency of service and experience across channels nigh impossible—unless you are managing the journey, and not simply individual touchpoints. Indeed, research we conducted in 2015 involving seven EU telecom markets found that when consumers embarked on journeys that involved multiple channels their experience was materially worse than during single-channel experiences, whether those experiences were digital or not.

The trouble with touchpoints

Consider the dilemma that executives faced at one media company. Customers were leaving at an alarming rate, few new ones were available for acquiring in its market, and even the company’s best customers were getting more expensive to retain. In economic terms, a retained customer delivered significantly greater profitability than a newly acquired customer over two years. Churn, due to pricing, technology, and programming options, was an increasingly familiar problem in this hypercompetitive market. So was retention. The common methods for keeping customers were also well known but expensive—tactics like upgrade offers and discounted rate plans, or “save desks” to intercept defectors.

So the executives looked to another lever—customer experience—to see if improvements there could halt the exodus. What they found surprised them. While the company’s overall customer-satisfaction metrics were strong, focus groups revealed that a large number of customers left because of poor service and shoddy treatment over time. “How can this be?” one executive wondered. “We’ve measured customer satisfaction for years, and our call centers, field services, and website experience each score consistently over 90 percent. Our service is great!”

As company leaders probed further, however, they discovered a more complex problem. Most customers weren’t fed up with any one phone call, field visit, or other individual service interaction—in fact, most customers didn’t much care about those singular touchpoint events. What was driving them out the door was something the company wasn’t examining or managing—the customers’ cumulative experience across multiple touchpoints, multiple channels, and over time.

Take new-customer onboarding, for example, a journey that spanned about three months and involved an average of nine phone calls, a home visit from a technician, and numerous web and mail interactions. At each touchpoint, the interaction had at least a 90 percent chance of going well. But average customer satisfaction fell almost 40 percent over the course of the entire journey. The touchpoints weren’t broken—but the onboarding process as a whole was.

Many of customers’ numerous calls during the process represented attempts to clarify product information, fix problems with an order, or understand a confusing bill. Most of these service encounters were positive in a narrow sense—employees answered the questions or solved the issues as they arose—but the underlying problems were avoidable, the root causes left unaddressed, and the cumulative effect on customer experience was decidedly negative. The company’s touchpoint-oriented, metric-driven way of thinking about customer experience had a large blind spot.

Solving the problem would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, but the company needed a whole new way of thinking about and managing its service operations to identify and reimagine the customer-experience journeys that mattered most.

More touchpoints, more complexity

The problem encountered by the media company is far more common than most organizations care to admit and is often difficult to spot. At the heart of the challenge is the siloed nature of service delivery and the insular cultures, behaviors, processes, and policies that flourish inside the functional groups that companies rely on to design and deliver their services. In many cases, these groups are also the keepers of the touchpoints that shape and measure how the company’s activities meet the customer’s—say, an in-store conversation with a sales rep, a visit to the company’s website, or a query to the company’s call center. Whether because of poorly aligned incentives, management inattention, or simply human nature, the functional groups that manage these touchpoints are constantly at risk of losing sight of what the customer sees (and wants)—even as the groups work hard to optimize their own contributions to the customer experience.

The media company’s sales personnel, for example, were measured and rewarded for closing new sales—not for helping customers navigate a complex menu of technology and programming options to find the lowest-price offer that met their needs. Yet frustration about complex pricing for high-end equipment, confusion about promotions, and surprise over program lineups were all frequent causes of dissatisfaction later in the process, as well as frequent sources of queries to the company’s call centers. Executives knew that each of these discrete items was a challenge—but only when they took a broader end-to-end view did it become apparent that even though each individual link in the service-delivery chain appeared healthy, the cumulative effect was quite the opposite.

The answer isn’t to replace touchpoint management and thinking. Indeed, the expertise, efficiencies, and insights that functional groups bring to bear are important, and touchpoints will continue to represent invaluable sources of insights—particularly in the fast-changing digital arena. Instead, companies need to recognize and address the fact that—at least, in most cases—they are simply not wired to naturally think about the journeys their customers take. They are wired to maximize productivity and scale economies through functional units. They are wired for transactions, not journeys.

So how should companies tackle this issue? In our experience, six actions are critical to managing customer-experience journeys (articles elsewhere in this volume explore several of these topics in depth):

The amount of time it can take to identify journeys, understand performance, and redesign the experience can vary widely from company to company. For companies seeking only to fix a few glaring problems in specific journeys, top-down problem solving can be enough. But those that want to transform the overall customer experience may need a bottom-up effort to create a detailed road map for each journey, one that describes the process from start to finish and takes into account the business impact of enhancing the journey and sequencing the initiatives to do so. For many companies, combining operational, marketing and customer, and competitive-research data to understand journeys is a first-time undertaking, and it can be a long process—sometimes lasting several months. But the reward is well worth it; creating a fact base allows management to clearly see the customer’s experience and decide which aspects to prioritize.

Journeys explained

To better see how customer journeys work, let’s look at a measurable and routine service event—say, a product query—from the point of view of both the company and the customer. The company may receive millions of phone calls with questions about its product, and it is imperative to handle each of these calls well. But when customers are asked to recall their side of the experience months later, it is highly unlikely that they would describe such calls simply as a “product question.” That’s because the call has a context, and understanding it is the key to understanding customer journeys (Exhibit 1).

A customer-journey scorecard

Managers should know what a customer journey entails:

A journey is a specific, discrete experience in the customer life cycle. The act of simply purchasing a product in a store is a touchpoint within a customer’s journey. Researching and then buying a new product and getting it up and running at home would constitute the full journey as the customer sees it.

End-to-end experiences

It’s not enough to measure customer satisfaction on any single touchpoint; what matters is the customer’s experience across the entire journey. It’s common to generate high individual touchpoint-satisfaction scores and unacceptably low scores across the end-to-end journey.

Do managers describe journey events in the way a customer would (for example, “upgrading my product or service”)? Or do they lapse into company-speak (for example, “shipping new equipment”)?

Often multitouch and multichannel in nature, a “new-product onboarding” journey might begin with a website visit, then a sales call, then a second website visit, followed by a store visit, then a technical-help call during the activation or installation stage.

Journeys are often longer than you think. For example, the onboarding journey in the cable industry can extend through two or three billing cycles. (Most calls in the first few months are actually onboarding-related issues and inquiries.)

Journeys are repeatable—and can be repeated for a meaningful percentage of customers.

The customer might have been trying to ensure uninterrupted service after moving, for example, or was confused about renewal options at the end of a contract, or was trying to fix a nagging technical problem. A company that effectively manages its customer journeys would still do the best job it could with the individual transaction—but its agents would also understand the context for the call, address the root cause for the customer’s query, and create the feedback loops to help the company continuously improve the wide range of upstream and downstream interactions that surround (and sometimes cause) the call. That is a broader lens than most call centers apply (see sidebar, “A customer-journey scorecard”).

Most executives we talk to readily grasp the journey concept but wonder whether perfecting journeys pays off in hard-dollar outcomes. Our research, in the form of annual cross-industry customer-experience surveys that span pay TV, retail banking, auto insurance, and other sectors, shows that it does. Companies that excel in delivering journeys tend to win in the market. In both the insurance and TV industries, for example, better performance on journeys correlates strongly with faster revenue growth ; in fact, in measurements of customer satisfaction with the firms’ most important journeys, a one-point improvement on a ten-point scale corresponds to at least a three-percentage-point increase in the revenue-growth rate (Exhibit 2).

Moreover, the companies that perform best on journeys have a more distinct competitive advantage than those that excel at touchpoints; in one of the industries we surveyed, the gap on customer satisfaction between the top- and bottom-quartile companies on journey performance was 50 percent wider than the gap between the top- and bottom-quartile companies on touchpoint performance. Put simply, most companies perform fairly well on touchpoints, but distinctive performance on journeys can set a company apart.

Why are journeys so much more effective at driving results? For one thing, our research suggests that journeys are more predictive of desired outcomes. In most industries, the three journeys that matter most to customers account for more than 25 percent of total customer satisfaction. Indeed, across industries, performance on journeys is substantially more strongly correlated with customer satisfaction than performance on touchpoints—and performance on journeys is significantly more strongly correlated with business outcomes such as revenue, churn, and repeat purchase. In other words, delivering a distinctive journey experience makes it more likely that customers repeat a purchase, spend more, recommend to their friends, and stay with your company (Exhibit 3).

Journeys versus touchpoints: Some practical examples

Consider the case of the local operating entity of a global insurance player. Market leadership in one of its largest lines of business, car insurance, was under siege by both established players and new entrants. Executives knew that they would have to innovate in order to differentiate their offering. They also knew that for a long time the fragmented nature of their customer experience had been a problem: many of their customers bought their product and managed their claims via a broker. When a car needed repair after an incident, a local mechanic typically managed the process, with little involvement from the car insurer. With so many individual touchpoints outside the company’s control, the insurer struggled to provide a consistently high-quality and repeatable experience.

Research identified consistent and clear communications as one of the most important elements of customer experience. Improving the experience started with offering insurance policies that were easy to read, understand, and compare with those of competitors. But even more important to customers was securing answers to questions regarding the status of their car while under repair. What was being replaced or repaired? When would they get the car back?

The effort made it apparent that there was potential to resolve a critical frustration for customers during a very important part of their overall customer journey with the insurer. It also revealed the opportunity to build a deeper engagement and relationship. So the company set out to provide an end-to-end communications “glue” to what had been a multitouchpoint, multiparty customer journey.

Executives rapidly created a prototype using a sample of 20 current customer cases. Each day, the company would track where the case was and provide a simple update to the customer via email or text. The company set up “personal contacts” for each customer who would send the emails, serve as a single source of contact, and phone the customer directly if there was a material update to be announced, such as a delay in finishing the work. Overall, every effort was made to personalize communication during an important phase in the customer’s journey. By the end of the pilot, the company had learned a number of lessons related to the appropriate frequency of contact, the importance of using the customer’s preferred channels, and timing communications. The company also learned how to scale the service without adding substantial costs, largely by using underutilized call-center resources at off-peak hours.

The impact was profound. Net promoter scores for the customer journey climbed by 15 percentage points, and by 50 points for difficult cases, such as when repairs were first attempted but eventually the car had to be declared a total write-off. Delighted customers sent thank-you notes to the company, and brokers and mechanics reported significant improvements in their dealings with customers, who were now much better informed.

Or consider the European energy retailer that identified the “home moving” journey as a particular point of dissatisfaction among its customers, as well as a significant source of churn. The company mobilized a cross-functional team (service, sales, marketing, and IT) to understand what was happening—from the customer’s viewpoint—along the journey to prompt these high levels of customer dissatisfaction. What the team found was a basic journey that was performing poorly across the various functions and departments that supported it.

The journey’s design suffered from several features that imposed unnecessary inconvenience and anxiety on customers when moving. For example, customers had to contact the company no earlier than ten days before their move date to provide all of the necessary details—otherwise the IT systems would not record the information. An organized customer, one who called perhaps a month before the move date to set everything up, would find that his or her move details were never recorded. Customers also had only one method—voice calling—to contact the company.

Once the customer had notified the company of moving plans, he or she would receive several different forms of communication. Upon examination, the team found that some of the communications were redundant, while others contradicted other accurate pieces of communications. All this generated additional anxiety and confusion.

Poor communication, in fact, was the single largest reason that customers called into the call centers, and it was another source of dissatisfaction. Customer-service agents had no method of tracking where the customer was on his or her moving journey. More often than not, this meant that agents had to hand off the inquiry to a back-office team for further investigation and problem resolution. The back-office team, inundated with these types of inquiries, suffered delays in getting back to the customer with a resolution, naturally producing additional calls to the call center—and so on.

The good news was that, for the first time, the company understood the benefit of taking an end-to-end view of the customer journey and the importance of understanding how interdependent individual touchpoints were along the journey.

Several improvements were designed and implemented rapidly to address the key problem areas. The moving journey was redesigned into a signature customer journey for this energy-retail company: customers now have the flexibility to provide the company with their move information at a time that suits them. They also have the option to use a phone, the web, or a smartphone app to contact the company; all essential communications are now delivered consistently in a single “home movers” pack. Finally, the company now incorporates into the home-movers pack discount vouchers for do-it-yourself stores, tradespeople, and restaurants in the area—creating a welcoming cluster of local businesses (the businesses also happen to be customers of the energy retailer’s small and midsize business unit, thus creating a positive customer experience across all customer segments). The result? A 50 percent increase in customer satisfaction from the starting position, and a 15 percent reduction in the company’s customer-service cost. Employee satisfaction increased by 20 percent and churn related to this journey was cut by more than half.

In most cases, companies are simply not naturally wired to think about the journeys their customers take. Thinking about customer journeys—instead of traditional touchpoints—can require an operational and cultural shift that engages the organization across functions and from top to bottom. For the companies that master it, the reward is higher customer and employee satisfaction, revenue and cost improvements, and an enduring competitive advantage.

Nicolas Maechler is a principal in McKinsey’s Paris office, Kevin Neher is a principal in the Denver office, and Robert Park is an associate principal in the London office.

The authors wish to thank Conor Jones and Laird Rawsthorne for their contributions to this article.

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The 6 Research Process Pillars of a More Dynamic Customer Journey Map

Too many customer journey maps focus entirely on  what  your users are doing. Let's take a moment to talk about why they're doing it and how you can pave the way to make their path-to-decision smoother. 

When you set off to develop a customer journey map, you’ll find yourself needing to reroute from time to time.

You might work to get stakeholder buy-in and realize there are project roads “under construction.” As you layer your quant data with qual insights, you may run into “traffic” you don’t anticipate. Maybe you account for potential study biases and realize your map isn’t quite to scale.

In short: it’s a lot to navigate.

At this year’s UX Research & Insights Summit, Autumn Schultz and dscout CEO Michael Winnick shared their expertise on mapping an impactful customer journey. We’ve summarized their best advice for researchers looking to acquire, and make the most of, dynamic customer data.

1. Define your journey type

When your stakeholders start asking to map customer journeys, make sure you’re all on the same page about exactly what that means. It’s hard to deliver what they need without knowing what you’re looking for.

Most journeys fall into one of four categories: service journeys, experience journeys, decision journeys, and life journeys. Research should be fun, right? Let’s imagine these journeys as if they were games.

For service journeys, think Frogger

Remember Frogger? That arcade game filled with hopping frogs and zooming cars? Service journeys are similar; they’re linear. Your users are trying to get to the other side. They’re returning online orders, getting insurance claims, or completing tasks.

Make sure you’re zoned in and your research plan is focused on tracking their task-at-hand. Think step-by-step and look for friction points in the journey. Here, your goals will be very technical and research will be granular.

For experience journeys, think CandyLand

Experience journeys are linear, too, but they have a much broader flow. You’re tracking the peaks and valleys of the experience and looking for key moments. If you’re working in ecommerce, and looking at someone’s path to purchase, here you’re zooming out a bit to find their “general mood” as they interact with your website.

Sometimes, they’ll get stuck in the molasses swamp. Small issues will trip users up. Look for the emotional data behind their actions.

For decision journeys, think Chutes & Ladders

We tend not to think of decision-making as a journey, but that’s an idea worth reframing. With a decision journey, users make choices, move forward, reevaluate, and start over from square one. There’s a lot of back and forth, and things are far less linear.

You’ll start considering a new car—and you’ll be "moving up the board," evaluating your wants and requirements. But then something will change your mind, or change your circumstances, and you’ll ask: “Am I really going to do this?” You’ll fall down a shoot and you’ll start back over.

Look for the influences at play here. How are users honing in on that one particular car or outfit? When they start over, where do they start over from?

For life journeys, think Life

With life journeys, it’s all in the name. What’s the new mom journey? The patient journey? The healthcare journey?

Here you’re not thinking linearly at all. You’re looking for broad arcs and phase transitions. You're asking: what is the emotion at the heart of this journey?

2. Focus on the context

User emotions are your friends, and nothing happens in a bubble. Customer journeys should be less about “what the customer did,” and more about how they reached that decision.

One place to start is by asking yourself about “book-end moments.”

Sometimes, it can be useful to take a bird's-eye view of the data. You might want to expand your scope and mix your methodologies. For example, you could combine qual data collected from customer interviews with secondary research and site performance metrics. Zooming out can help you validate your findings and draw a map based on the bigger picture. And honing in on the emotional context of customer experience can give life and purpose to black and white metrics.

Life doesn’t happen in a funnel. People don’t “enter” your site or start engaging with your product at a predetermined state or qualification level. To understand the nuance of a user’s experience, take a second to divorce yourself from numbers and lead scores.

3. Meet your users where they are

Most of us are familiar with the concept of a marketing funnel; lots of users come in, fewer convert, and even fewer come back.

But life doesn’t happen in a funnel. People don’t “enter” your site or start engaging with your product at a predetermined state or qualification level. To understand the nuance of a user’s experience, take a second to divorce yourself from numbers and lead scores.

Speak directly with your customer base and ask them how they think about your product, or what they thought about your product. What inspires their shopping trends? Where do they look for advice? At what point did they really start the decision-making process?

Before you dig into your journey map, you have to understand what motivates your users. To understand where they’re going, learn where they’re coming from, and what took them there.

4. Observe changes throughout the journey

Biases can, if you’re not careful, skew the map. Of particular importance: the peak-end rule. People are most likely to remember how they feel at the peak and the end of an experience and judge it based on those moments. If we just talk to our users after they make a decision—the last moments of the journey are what we’ll hear about, and what will shape their opinions as they recollect.

That means we have to be the eyes and ears throughout the process.

Observe during every phase of the customer journey; really get inside and explore. Drawing maps is exponentially more powerful with an insider view.

For example, if you’re working on a product that your users would consider a “big purchase”—like taking a trip, or buying a home—they’ll probably spend a lot of time in the “planning phase.” You might think it’d be best to speed up the process, move them as quickly as possible, and make the groundwork more efficient for them. But when you engage with users, and center your research in customer emotions, you might find that the planning phase is what they find most enjoyable. It gives them room to dream, imagine, and explore.

But you’ll only know that if you talk to them in the planning phase. If you only interview them after they buy, their opinion will be colored by the last few stages of the process.

5. Be the tour guide

It isn’t enough to draw a map and stick it to the wall. Create shared ownership of your customer journeys; get others involved early and often. A sense of camaraderie and collaboration makes all the difference in journey mapping.

Empathy is the name of the game here. Share customer videos across your organization and put people face to face with their user’s joys, frustrations, and emotions. When your company is invested in the process, real change comes easily.

Maps are a fantastic tool, but without getting to the emotional core of all user journeys, real change will stall out. Think about hosting “customer movie nights” where your colleagues can view and discuss clips related to big themes. Send videos via Slack. Make sure that your entire team knows that they’re a part of something bigger.

6. Know the journey is never finished

Your service is always evolving—why shouldn’t your journey map? Stop viewing journey maps as a completed product and give yourself permission to adapt with the changing tides.

Make your maps approachable; give your team permission to mark it up, edit on the fly, and make suggestions. Start marking up the document yourself. Circle things, make notes of possible direction changes, and cross things out with markers.

As your team engages with the physical map, you’re making room for "big picture shifts" that move you towards optimization. Don’t worry if things get messy. Even the best mapped journeys require a few detours.

Ali Cassity is a writer living and working in Chicago. She likes making complex content more palatable and elevating the stories that put names and faces to research data. When in doubt, you can find her obsessing over her plant babies.

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Customer Journey Mapping is a speciality of Kelton Global.

Customer Journeys

Improve customer experience at every touchpoint with an accurate snapshot of all the ways shoppers interact with your brand.

Your customers are more empowered than ever before. And thanks to technology, they’re able to interact with your brand via endless channels. This is fantastic news in terms of marketing reach, but it vastly complicates the standard shopper journey map. We help companies navigate this shift by capturing– and uncomplicating– the interlaced paths shoppers take along their purchase journey. Our comprehensive approach produces a consumer journey map, patient journey map, or user journey map that more accurately reflects the shopper journey of today, and highlights opportunities to improve customer experience throughout all of your brand’s touchpoints. In a clear and compelling format, our Customer Journey Maps capture the critical points in your customers’ decision-making process and your opportunity to influence those decisions.

Learn More

Customer Journey Case Studies

Learn more about how our work has energized customer experience strategy for global brands, disruptive startups and everything in between.

We helped Revlon understand how to reach their key consumers with the right messaging, products, and channels, using cosmetics market research.

Beauty Industry Research and Customer Journey Map for Revlon

We did in-depth beauty industry research to help Revlon understand how to reach their key consumers with the right messaging and products, via the right channels, in the right moments.

Customer Journey Mapping case study for TOMS

Consumer Insights and Customer Journey Mapping for TOMS

As TOMS has grown, we’ve been there to help them stay true to the brand, true to the customer and true to the mission.

Consumer Journey: How to Revisit Your Shopper Journey (And Do It Right) | Customer Mapping

Why You Should Revisit Your Shopper Journey (And How To Do It Right)

Keep these two major shifts in mind when deciding on research strategy for your next customer engagement journey project.

Understanding the Shopper Journey

Understanding the Customer Journey: 6 Key Steps to Building Better Customer Relationships & Increased Loyalty

As consumer-brand interactions become increasingly harder to navigate, it’s never been more essential to define a customer journey that identifies opportunities, reveals hurdles and helps prioritize investments.

Kelton's Customer Journey Mapping: How We're Different

The essence of the Kelton brand comes through best in the people who are on the front lines. We’re not just number crunchers; we are botanists and baseball fans, homebrew geeks, and, yes– data heads, creatives and sociologists who choose the right tools, resources and experiences to meet each client challenge.

Every Touchpoint Matters

Every touchpoint matters. As does the time and space between touchpoints. With clean diagrams and vibrant graphics, we take you on your customer's journey - from trigger to consideration, decision and beyond. What do you customers think, feel, need, do and communicate every step of the way? We'll figure that out for you.

All About Context

People are complicated. Cultures are highly variable. Different industries carry different nuances. We leverage all three frames of reference in our qualitative work because often, it’s the context surrounding the answer that delivers the true insight.

Actionability is Key

There’s nothing we hate more than research that sits on a shelf. Our customer journey mapping projects always include recommendations for how your brand can take action on our findings.

Superior Design

Our journey maps are easy to understand, clearly illustrated, and specifically designed to capture the attention of your stakeholders. Kelton designers are perfectionists about this stuff.

Customer Segmentation

Attitude & Usage Studies

Brand Tracking

Conjoint Analysis

Geotargeted Mobile Services

Message Development + Testing


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