Mastering the Art of Customer Journey Map

Discover the artistry behind creating impactful customer journey maps, refining your approach to enhance engagement and satisfaction at every touchpoint.

Mastering the Art of Customer Journey Map - Clay

Mapping a customer journey is a pivotal tool companies can leverage to understand better how to turn a customer into a loyal, long-term prospect. In simple terms, a journey map allows a business to contextualize its customer’s experience by identifying the steps a customer goes through while interacting with their service or product. It leads to the discovery of which areas the customers find troublesome (known as pain points), and those are then applied when considering how to optimize the product by the UX design team.

With a revitalized design based on understanding this interaction, companies will improve their services or products, leading to higher customer satisfaction rates and securing future business from the targeted base. Studies have shown that upsell and cross-sell revenues by companies who engage in journey mapping increase by as much as 79% over those who do not. This guide will dive into the customer journey mapping artform, allowing your business to use the collected customer data more effectively to enhance customer experiences.

Customer Journey Map Defined

From a holistic standpoint, a customer journey map (or CJM) breaks down the customer’s interaction with a business by visualizing the interaction process from start to finish. This affords insights for the business into what their customers are motivated by, what they need, and what they expect from the product or service.

Customer journey maps have utility across sectors. A visual map of customer interaction routes with the company and its product(s) enables a more detailed understanding of how customers behave throughout their experiences, whether for UX design, marketing, or customer support reasons. With this information, companies may adjust their goods to the needs of their clients and improve their overall experience. Happy customers will return and make purchases from the business again, allowing the organization to reap the financial rewards.

Source: NNGroup

The first step in a journey map is the customer’s product discovery. Still, other typical touchpoints generally include researching the product, deciding to make the purchase, making said purchase, obtaining it, and everything that comes after the sale. Customers may experience pain points at any time during this process, so the business can use the CJM to improve the necessary part(s).

Perhaps even more pertinent than the steps customers conduct during their interaction is how they feel about the product and if they believe they are getting what they need. If a business can tailor the improvements to those needs, customer experience is improved, driving the customer’s loyalty and engagement. For instance, if a customer is trying to use the business’s website to research a product but finds this difficult, key adjustments to the website navigation tactics and research areas can alleviate this frustration. As a result, customers will have an easier time finding what they need, driving satisfaction up.

When a business understands its customers’ experiences, it allows them to adjust and, in turn, acts as a tool that bolsters the meaningful nature of its relationship with that business. CJM illuminates those areas that need improvement along the customer’s journey, generates more positive experiences, and, over time, allows users to return as loyal customers while referring others, which then grows the business.

Journey Mapping Benefits

The primary benefit of CJMs is the ability to identify areas where customers encounter challenges and resolve them with targeted changes, which, in turn, bolsters customer satisfaction. By providing a tighter and more concentrated understanding of customer behaviors, businesses can employ more strategic tactics to improve the customer’s experience. This includes multi-channel improvements, process streamlining, and other operational optimizations. Journey maps also open opportunities for a business to grow and scale. With a deeper understanding of the needs of a target audience, companies can better personalize their offerings.

Source: Zapier

Observation and study of CJMs also inform businesses about the best ways to launch products and engage in marketing campaign strategies. This can be done in real-time, employing customer feedback to make the necessary adjustments or modifications and more efficient resource allocation, ultimately leading to a higher return on investment. Therefore, every improvement CJMs offer serves a business on multiple fronts, from loyalty building to long-term profitability.

Components of a Customer Journey Map

The first component of a CJM is choosing to purchase a product and making it. That process can involve many smaller parts, and understanding any related shortcomings can help make adjustments to eliminate them. This covers the spectrum of interactions from when the customer first discovers the product to how long after purchasing it. The key step to improving something is understanding and addressing the problems it incurs.

The customers’ emotional experience is another component of CJMs. Businesses use CJMs to tailor the customer's experience to their needs, allowing for more positive results, bolstering engagement, and securing loyalty. Another vital component of CJMs is the set of user actions, which businesses can trend over time. This yields insights into what users want from products, allowing the organization to revise or update the product to suit those desires, needs, and requirements.

Once the needs are illustrated, user research is the next logical component of CJMs to collect data about customer preferences and typical behaviors related to the product. Organizations can use several data collection methods, including surveys and general market research, to compare customers’ usage and satisfaction levels of similar products. This can illustrate other pain points that the business can include solutions to during their own design and development processes.

Source: Service Design Show

All of the data and information made available through customer journey maps is valuable only if actionable follow-ups are taken to lead to the final component of CJMs: solutions. By solving customers’ problems in the product interaction process at any stage, businesses increase satisfaction, promoting growth and product loyalty. These solutions might be in the form of slight or significant redesigns or the introduction of new features that serve the customer’s needs and preferences better. Therefore, mapping the customer journey can be quantitatively measured over time in the form of ROI.

Types of Customer Journey Maps

Not all customer journey maps are always applicable to every facet of a business. Certain types help certain companies achieve their particular goals better. Let’s discuss four different types of CJMs that businesses could use and their particular strength of purpose.

Current State

The current state map is immensely helpful for those looking to visualize the process of customer interaction with the product from beginning to end as it currently functions, yielding a better understanding of the needs and wants of the customer. This leads to businesses knowing the key areas to build upon or improve regarding their product. Surveys returned from customers, website analytics, and recordings from the company’s call centers are all perfect examples of metric and context tools that allow businesses to gather information based on which they will strategize to make informed decisions about the product’s current state.

Source: Fullstory

Future State

Future maps focus on how companies can improve future customer experience relating to their products and services by implementing new tactics and the utility of new technologies that will enhance and enrich the customer’s journey. One example is the adoption of push notifications or chatbot software to personalize customer experience based on their wants and needs.

Source: Xtensio

Day in the Life

Another vital aspect for businesses to explore about the customer’s journey is tracking it over long periods across various platforms and channels. This drives companies to many leads about areas where the customer journey can be improved. Metrics used to draft this type of CJM include social media engagement, through which organizations can better assess what type of messaging engages the customers, affording feedback about the strategies that work better than others.

Source: Xtensio


This type of customer journey map is used to create a formula for the ideal customer journey. It considers product placement, pricing, and messaging alongside multiple other metrics. Once this CJM is formulated, organizations utilize it as a reference point that guides their decision-making strategies to optimize their customers' experiences and avoid potential problems. When drafting a blueprint CJM, companies could consider, for instance, a long-term objective like customer loyalty cultivation alongside short-term ones such as growing conversions.

Methods of Creating Customer Journey Maps

To craft a customer journey map, a company must thoroughly study, analyze, and consider its customers' needs, motivations, and expectations. The first step is to define the goals of the customer’s journey, or in other words, what motivates the customer to seek out the business’s product and what need the customer is looking to satisfy with it. Businesses can map the steps between those two reference points with that information.

Logically, the next step includes the identification of all possible touchpoints along the customer’s journey that drive the process through which customers make their decisions regarding the product. These include product research, comparative analysis, reading reviews, and deciding to purchase the product.

Source: GeoJango Maps on Unsplash

Beyond identifying these touchpoints, this step also reveals the negative or positive ramifications of each touchpoint on the customer’s experience because this will ultimately guide the optimization strategies for the product moving forward. Once the touchpoints have been gathered, data about the interactions will be collected through methods such as reviewing web analytics (bounce rates, etc.), tracking survey responses, diving into call center logs and keeping a close eye on social media engagement. This data should fill any company's understanding gaps about the customer's journey, painting a more detailed start-to-finish picture.

Lastly, the compiled information should be leveraged to visually represent the customer’s journey, feelings, and sentiments regarding the product. This yields a full scope of the process, making it easier to identify its pain points and allowing businesses to respond to those by optimizing applications to the problem areas. With these improvements, the pain points can be systematically addressed, bolstering customer engagement and satisfaction, proving a highly effective strategy for pleasing customers, and creating brand loyalty.

Customer Journey Map Implementation

A well-crafted map will be useless if it is not implemented correctly. If done right, it will yield results leading to a better customer experience. Through the correct application of CJMs, businesses can better understand the customer’s journey, allowing for proper adjustments and enhancements to grow engagement and loyalty, optimizing efficiency on an operational level along the way.

A CJM should leverage reliable data sources for their customer’s journey visualization, achieved through a review of bounce rates, page views, and other website analytic metrics like social media engagement measurements (survey responses, call center logs, likes, shares, etc.). With the sentiments and data points derived from the above, businesses can accurately capture the state of every step of the customer’s journey.

Source: NNgroup

Once the map is formed, it should be thoroughly reviewed to identify areas of improvement and any potential pain points in the process. Some aspects that must be addressed include website presentation features, messaging, or tweaks to connect with customers across various channels. Companies can enhance their customer interaction experience by testing new tactics and strategies before implementing them.

It is also highly recommended that businesses invest in tools to help them track customer journeys effectively. This allows for evaluating and comparing various strategies, adjusting them based on customer feedback for maximum success. These tools allow the CJM to stay updated and fresh so businesses have a consistent source from which to base their informed decisions about various product launches and marketing campaigns.

Customer Journey Mapping Best Practices

Considering many factors and a careful plan are essential to creating an effective customer journey map. To achieve one, certain best practices are recommended.

Comprehensive Data Collection

Gathering as much information as possible about a customer's experience is vital before developing a user journey map. Tracking website analytics, gauging social media engagement metrics, compiling consumer survey replies, and going over call center recordings are just some techniques used to understand the user's experience more fully and to help pinpoint possible areas of concern or places for expansion.

Source: Scott Graham on Unsplash

Staying Up-To-Date

Customer journey maps must be modified frequently to account for shifts in buyer behavior. This includes ensuring the map covers all pertinent interactions, including marketing campaigns or product launches. Additionally, it is advantageous for organizations to use methods that enable them to monitor user journeys over time to assess the efficacy of various marketing initiatives and make necessary adjustments depending on client feedback.

Seeking Clarity

A consumer journey map strives to provide organizations with an accurate understanding of consumers' needs from beginning to end so they can develop focused techniques and plot business strategies that improve overall customer satisfaction. To do this, every process stage must be correctly portrayed on the map so businesses can immediately recognize any problems or areas for improvement.

Source: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Testing Before Implementing

Companies should continually assess new strategies and tactics before adopting any changes based on lessons gained via the customer journey map to see how they will affect all customer experiences before launch. This enables them to pivot strategies to achieve the best results while mitigating risk.

Examples of Customer Journey Maps

Customer journey modeling is an effective tool for businesses of every size, and one can generate an effective map by using a variety of examples and templates. One such is the Customer Journey chart Canva, which uses four sectors to help businesses chart the customer's journey. With the help of this template, organizations can quickly pinpoint where clients begin their experience and which behaviors are observed through its various stages.

The Customer Journey Audit Template is another example that delves more thoroughly into the customer's journey. By examining consumer feedback, website analytics, and social media interaction indicators, this template aids companies in identifying any shortcomings of current tactics or potential areas for change. Businesses could then use this information to make adjustments to improve customer satisfaction.

Source: Figma

The User Journey Map Template from UXPressia is another template option that gives companies a thorough understanding of user behavior while continually monitoring their sentiment. It draws attention to matters including the nature of customers' engagement with products and services and what factors influence the degree of their satisfaction. Utilizing this knowledge, businesses can implement strategic changes that optimize user experience while minimizing potential issues.

Final Thoughts

To provide consumers with the most satisfying experience feasible, companies have to develop an effective user journey map. This valuable resource enables them to make well-informed choices about marketing campaigns and product launches by utilizing real-time data that focuses on their target audience by gathering thorough data, keeping it updated with relevant touchpoints, striving for understanding in each process step, and evaluating strategic approaches before implementation.

Having a carefully thought-out user journey map will assist companies in better understanding the demands of their consumers, resulting in an overall boost in client satisfaction and revenues.

About Clay

Clay is a UI/UX design & branding agency in San Francisco. We team up with startups and leading brands to create transformative digital experience. Clients: Facebook, Slack, Google, Amazon, Credit Karma, Zenefits, etc.

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About Clay

Clay is a UI/UX design & branding agency in San Francisco. We team up with startups and leading brands to create transformative digital experience. Clients: Facebook, Slack, Google, Amazon, Credit Karma, Zenefits, etc.

Learn more

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