How to create a customer journey map (2023)

How to start your customer journey map design process

Our ultimate guide to customer journey map design will help you learn the basics of creating a customer journey map and improving your customers’ experience with your brand.

In summary, you’ll need to:

Gather data and build a story

Without data, a customer journey is just a story – but without a story, data is just data. Building a cohesive journey for customers means using your data to create a story for your audience to follow. Our webinar on the five competencies of customer journey mapping explains this in more detail.

A customer journey map details the sequence of events that happen when a customer experiences your brand – but knowing exactly what is happening through data analysis is vital to create a story that has weight. Make sure you’re not just gathering information, but turning data into insights that can be used to tell a story to your customers. A customer journey map is a visual representation of your data and knowledge about your customer and the processes they undergo, but it’s also the brand story your customers will remember.

Select a customer persona to target and a customer journey to map out

Your route to designing a customer journey map starts with customer personas, complete with characteristics such as name, age, job role, and more. Read Step 1 of our ultimate guide to understand how to create a customer persona.

Appoint a diverse mapping team

Your customer journey mapping team members should cover all areas of your company. With frontline staff, management members, and other individuals at various levels of your business, you can create a customer journey map that covers every aspect.

(Video) How To Create A Customer Journey Map

Customer journey mapping process steps

To help make the customer journey mapping process clear, we’ll use our Customer Journey Template and an example customer journey.

The customer journey map template

Our tried-and-tested customer journey map template will help you to clarify what your customer is aiming to do, how they feel about their interactions with you and how you need to set up their experience. This will help you to create an effective customer journey map.

This template helps you narrow down, for each step of the customer journey map:

  • Customer behavior: What is your customer’s desired outcome or goal for this step?
  • Customer attitudes: What are your customers feeling? What are they telling you?
  • The on-stage experience: What interaction is your customer experiencing during this step, and with whom?
  • The off-stage experience: What is going on in the background of this step from your side of the business? Who needs to be present for this step to proceed?

Customer journey mapping example

Let’s use the following customer persona, goal, and journey to help us map out the steps we’ll need to take.

Customer persona

Name: Joan
Age: 43
Job role: Hospital director
Family status: Married with children
Professional goals: Creating a sympathetic and efficient healthcare environment for patients, helping staff to grow professionally Personal goals: Wants to be able to make purchases quickly as she is time-poor, prefers in-person interactions when making big decisions

Customer goal

Joan wants to purchase a new vacuuming device from an e-commerce organization to replace one that is broken.

Customer journey

A new buyer journey for your e-commerce business’ product or service

You might also want to consider your customer’s pain points based on their persona to help tailor your journey. For example, Joan’s pain point might be that she needs something quickly but feels unable to make a choice without speaking to a person before making a purchase.

(Video) How To Make An Effective Customer Journey Map In Under An Hour (FREE Templates)

Mapping the first step in the customer journey

As Joan is a new customer, it’s likely that her initial step might be to search for a new vacuum online.

We can use our template to build out this first step.

  • Joan’s customer behavior: Going to an online search engine and looking for a new vacuum cleaner
  • Her customer attitude: Looking for a good price or a deal
  • The on-stage experience: Search engine, your e-commerce website, search engine advertising
  • The off-stage experience: Your marketing agency (Advertising and SEO), internal marketing team, device manufacturer

The above covers this step on a basic level. However, for an effective customer journey map, each stage needs to be built out further.

We also need to consider:

  • People
  • Processes/things
  • Attitudes
  • Moments that matter
  • Needs
  • KPIs


Though it might seem that Joan is the only person involved in this step, there are many individuals on your side of the interaction that need to have their input to make it a reality.

For example, your product managers will likely have decided which products to offer to your customers, based on data for what will sell. Your marketing team and senior management may have worked with a web design agency and an SEO agency to create a website that appears top of search engine results, perhaps using advertising to help catch the eye of potential customers above your competitors.

Making sure that you understand who is behind the off-stage experience of this step will help you to understand who to consult about this customer journey section. If there are representatives for your business who will directly interact with the customer during a step, those people need to be noted and considered for their input on the on-stage experience.


As mentioned, Joan might potentially be interacting with several aspects of your brand, for example:

  • An online search engine
  • Your company’s e-commerce website
  • An advert your company has created

Ideally, her interaction with parts of your brand and processes you have control over – such as advertising, or your website – should lead her to the next step of the customer journey.

(Video) Customer Journey Mapping Tutorial

Considering the data behind these processes can help you to make this step more effective. For example, if you find that your advertising isn’t leading potential customers to your products or your website isn’t helping customers complete their desired tasks, adjusting your marketing approach or website processes might help you to create a more effective customer journey.

Customer attitudes

Your customer’s attitude might start out being basic – in this case, Joan seeking a good price on an item that she needs – but to create a truly successful customer experience, your customer should feel emotions such as satisfaction, or elation.

In this example, Joan could feel excitement at a great offer on a vacuum that you’ve advertised on a search engine. She could also feel relief at finding something quickly, or satisfaction that she’s able to source a new vacuum easily.

Moments that matter

Creating moments that matter is vital for retaining customers throughout their journey with your brand. Each time a customer takes a step on their customer journey with your brand, you should be aiming to identify the greatest moment of emotional load. Their attitude should be transformed from the banal – completing their journey – to having a memorable experience.

In this example, creating that emotional sense of relief, excitement, or satisfaction for Joan in this step will encourage her to choose your brand over competitors.

Customer needs

Understanding and anticipating Joan’s needs will help you to create a customer journey map that fulfills her goals. This is where drafting a persona from user research helps you to develop a journey that meets expectations and exceeds them.

In this customer journey map step, knowing what Joan might be searching for and offering her an advert or website product description that matches that search will fulfill her need. Offering her a deal takes that fulfillment to the next step by providing an additional emotional component such as elation or satisfaction.


Creating each step of the customer journey is the first process that you need to complete, but the work doesn’t end there. Once you’ve traced out your journey map stages, you’ll need to track progress and analyze the data you collect to make sure your steps are accurate and are optimized for the best user experience.

Measuring your customer experience using metrics and insights is the best way to make sure that customers like Joan are having the best experience possible, and improving the areas where they’re not.

(Video) Customer Journey Map Workshop

Subsequent steps in the customer journey map

Planning the next steps

Using data on how your customer currently moves through the purchasing journey can help you to pinpoint how to optimize the customer journey, and make it as easy as possible for the customer. Each step should be considered using the template and the further aspects outlined above.

An important factor to remember is that customer behavior and attitudes might not reflect the internal stages you think are part of the customer journey. Remembering to design the customer journey based on data you’ve collected from the real world and the emotional journey you want to provide is key for success.

Subsequent steps

Subsequent steps for Joan’s customer journey could be:

  • Step 2: Visiting your e-commerce website via your search engine advert
  • Step 3: Browsing your online product directory for other options and comparing products
  • Step 4: Purchasing a vacuum and going through your payment process
  • Step 5: Receiving the vacuum and setting it up

Additional steps might be:

  • Using a self-service help center on your website to understand your delivery process
  • Speaking to a frontline employee via chat to ask a question about the vacuum
  • Calling your customer service center once the device has been delivered to get set-up assistance
  • Leaving customer reviews on your social media or third-party review platforms

These might become subsequent customer journeys in themselves. These could be:

  • Issue resolution through customer support (such as an issue with the device)
  • Renewal of services (such as a warranty on the vacuum)

How to improve your customer journey maps

Choose the appropriate touchpoint

Understanding how to tailor the customer journey is key for a successful customer-focused approach. How every customer interacts will be different – so make sure you take customer feedback into account when deciding how best to interact with your customers. Each touchpoint needs to address user pain points and meet their needs – this is how you improve the customer experience.

Read our guide to customer touchpoints to learn how to craft a memorable experience for your customers.

Use an effective customer experience platform

We’ve provided a very simple example of customer journey maps, with only one journey outlined. Often, customer journey maps can become incredibly complex, with multiple trajectories, touchpoints, personas, and personnel to consider. Find out how we can help you to improve your customer journey mapping capabilities and provide an increasingly tailored customer experience to your audience.


How do I create a journey map? ›

How to create a user journey map
  1. Define the scope. Creating a helpful user journey map starts with defining your goals. ...
  2. Build user personas. ...
  3. Define user goals, expectations, and pain points. ...
  4. List out touchpoints and channels. ...
  5. Map the journey. ...
  6. Validate and refine the map.
Aug 11, 2022

What is customer journey map with example? ›

Customer journey mapping (also called user journey mapping) is the process of creating a customer journey map, a visual story of your customers' interactions with your brand. This exercise helps businesses step into their customer's shoes and see their business from the customer's perspective.

What is a good customer journey map? ›

A customer journey map is a visual storyline of every engagement a customer has with a service, brand, or product. The creation of a journey map puts the organization directly in the mind of the consumer, so they can see and understand their customer's processes, needs, and perceptions.

How do you build a simple customer journey? ›

  1. Nail down your buyer persona. The first step in creating a customer journey map is understanding who your customers are. ...
  2. Understand your buyer's goals. ...
  3. Map out buyer touchpoints. ...
  4. Identify customer pain points. ...
  5. Prioritize and Fix Roadblocks. ...
  6. Update and Improve.

What are the 5 A's used for building a customer journey map? ›

Named by Dr. Philip Kotler, the five stages (Awareness, Appeal, Ask, Act and Advocacy) allow marketing and sales professionals to create a map of the customer's needs and priorities during the different parts of their purchase process.

What are the 4 sections of a customer journey? ›

There are at least four stages in a customer journey: inquiry, comparison, purchase and installation. These stages may have different names; inquiry, for example, is sometimes called awareness. Often, there is a fifth stage called loyalty or advocacy.

How can I create my own map? ›

Start by heading to Click on the menu icon on the top left hand side of the screen and select “Your Places.” (The menu icon is just to the left of the search bar on the top left hand side of your screen.) Select the maps tab. Navigate to the very bottom of that window and select “Create a Map.”

What is the best free map maker? ›

Table of Contents
  1. My Maps by Google.
  2. Visme.
  3. Mapme.
  4. ZeeMaps.
  5. Scribble Maps.
  6. OnePlace.
  7. Inkarnate.

How do I create a simple map? ›

How to Make a Map
  1. Choose a map template. Choose a map that fits your purpose. ...
  2. Label important locations and areas. Use text and graphics (such as push pins, arrows, and other symbols) to label the map with key information. ...
  3. Add a compass. ...
  4. Include a legend.

What are the three 3 D's of customer experience? ›

Any company can create a customer experience that sets it apart from the competition. It involves a serious, long term commitment, but means getting just three things right. They are the “three Ds”: Design, Delivery and DNA.

What are the 5 P's of customer service? ›

The 5 areas you need to make decisions about are: PRODUCT, PRICE, PROMOTION, PLACE AND PEOPLE. Although the 5 Ps are somewhat controllable, they are always subject to your internal and external marketing environments. Read on to find out more about each of the Ps.

What are the 5 A's in customer service? ›

The 5 A's: Apologize, Acknowledge, Appreciate, Act, Audit. Apologize to the customer: If the customer is calling and they are upset, the first thing you should do is apologize.

How long should a customer journey map take? ›

Research-first approach: Deep customer insights are gathered before mapping the customer journey. The process may take anywhere from 3 to 12 weeks to gather the research, plus time for data analysis and stakeholder readouts.

How long does it take to create a customer journey map? ›

Typical Time Spent Journey Mapping

Participants reported spending the most time conducting external research (20.6 hours) and synthesizing that research (16.4 hours) and the least time building buy-in or securing resources (8.9 hours).

What are the steps in the customer journey? ›

What are the 5 phases of the customer journey? There are Distinct phases in which your potential customer passes through and should be guided accordingly in order to be introduced to and “buy into” your product. The five phases are Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Retention, and Advocacy.

What are the 5a's used for building a customer journey map? ›

Philip Kotler, the five stages (Awareness, Appeal, Ask, Act and Advocacy) allow marketing and sales professionals to create a map of the customer's needs and priorities during the different parts of their purchase process.

How many stages are in a customer journey map? ›

There are at least four stages in a customer journey: inquiry, comparison, purchase and installation. These stages may have different names; inquiry, for example, is sometimes called awareness. Often, there is a fifth stage called loyalty or advocacy.

What is Journey map process? ›

Definition: A journey map is a visualization of the process that a person goes through in order to accomplish a goal. In its most basic form, journey mapping starts by compiling a series of user actions into a timeline. Next, the timeline is fleshed out with user thoughts and emotions in order to create a narrative.

What are the four pillars to create a customer journey? ›

When starting your journey strategy, we recommend addressing your preparations in four main areas: audience, data, content, and channel.

What is customer journey funnel? ›

A customer journey funnel is a path that customers take from initial awareness to the final purchase of a product or service. The funnel helps businesses track how well they are doing at acquiring leads and converting them into paying customers.

What are customer journey mapping tools? ›

What are customer journey mapping tools? Customer journey mapping tools—also known as user journey mapping tools— are digital tools that collect and present quantitative and qualitative data about how users interact with your product or website so you can better understand your buyer persona.

What are the most important KPIs for customer journey mapping? ›

4 KPIs for measuring the customer journey's consideration stage
  1. Clicks. Clicks show visitors engaging with website elements, media content, links, and CTAs: a click means a user is looking to trigger an action. ...
  2. Click-through rate (CTR) ...
  3. Cost-per-click (CPC) ...
  4. Engagement rate.
Jun 15, 2022

What are the 3 reasons that a customer journey map is important? ›

Helps create personalized experiences

Show relevant social media ads to potential customers browsing online. Provide personalized support over multiple channels. Improve onboarding by tailoring the process to each customer.

Who creates the customer journey map? ›

Heads of customer experience, CMOs, and even CEOs — they all report high success rates. If you have a CCO in your organisation, this person is highly likely to take journey mapping ownership. But the majority of organisations don't have one. So, CEOs, COOs, or CMOs take the driver's seat instead.

What are the four different types of journey maps? ›

There are four major types of journey maps that you can design to understand various scenarios your customer may encounter: Current state, Future state, Day in the Life, and Service Blueprint. There is no need to chart all four, but it can be helpful to understand each depending on your goals.

What are the 3 stages of map making? ›

Map-making, step by step
  • STEP ONE: PREPARE. Do not neglect this step. ...
  • STEP TWO: MAP. Now that you've got all the pieces in place, you are ready to actually make a map. ...
  • STEP THREE: LABEL. Good labels make a good map. ...
  • STEP FOUR: FINISH. It's time to make a layout. ...
Mar 12, 2018


1. How to create a customer journey map
2. How to make a User Journey Map | UX Toolkit
(Mallory Dean)
3. Customer Journey Mapping 101
4. How to create a Customer Journey Map using PowerPoint | We show you how
(Slidesho Presentation Design Agency)
5. How To Create A Customer Journey Map [8 Step Template]
(Brand Master Academy)
6. Customer Journey Map templates - How to pick the right one?
(Service Design Show)
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