Journey Mapping: It's Not About The Destination

Journey mapping. You may have heard that term thrown around at an increasing rate lately. Why? Because just like a high school sophomore who just got their drivers license, it's getting pretty popular.

Journey mapping, as the name implies, is an end-to-end visualization of a customer's relationship with a business, or journey. Typically, a journey map starts with a potential customer becoming aware of a business and ends with the customer either exiting the relationship, or returning and continuing to do business. How a customer gets there, however, is unique to your company and industry.

Spine story. The first step in creating a journey map is creating the "spine". The spine is made up of the key stages of your customer's journey. This length and level of complexity varies from company to company, but it is important to note that journey maps are not always linear.
  • The individual stages can feed into and affect other stages, and should not be interpreted as standalone.
Touchpoints are everything. This is where a high degree of empathy comes into play. Mapping a customer's touchpoints involves listing all the interactions a customer may have at an individual stage. For example, if your customer journey map has an Awareness stage, these touchpoints might include:
  • Your company website
  • Social media
  • Advertisements
  • Marketing materials
  • Sponsored events
Heat-map heroes. Now that journey stages and customer touchpoints have been defined, it's time to heat-map. Why? The purpose of a journey map is to identify which stages and touch points need attention, and heat-mapping does just that. To evaluate their performance, touchpoints are placed into one of three main categories:
  • Pain points: Touchpoints where a customer encounters challenges or where a business does not adequately meet customer expectations.
  • Moments of delight: Essentially the over-performing sibling of the pain point, moments of delight are touchpoints where a business is doing a good job or exceeding customer needs.
  • Moments of truth: These are the touchpoints that are the most important as they have a major and/or long-term impact on customers.
So we've gone over what makes up the building blocks of a great customer journey map, but how do we know exactly how our customers feel at each stage and touchpoint? We ask them. While this may seem obvious, it is the most important step in creating a customer journey map as it allows your company to address gaps in performance vs. customer expectations.