Customer Journey Map allows us to increase empathy in the organization to better understand the user and their path on our website or app. As a result, we will be able to improve our customers’ experience. Read the article if you want to learn how to design a CJM and how it can help you develop a better product.

Customer Journey Map – table of contents:

  1. What is a Customer Journey Map?
  2. Advantages of creating a Customer Journey Map
  3. How to Create a Customer Journey Map?
  4. Summary

What is a Customer Journey Map?

A Customer Journey Map is a visual representation of a customer’s experience with a company or a specific product. Such a map is a diagram that typically covers touchpoints, customer sentiment, pain points and actions in a set order. The main goal of devising a CJM is to empathize more with the user and form a clear vision for improving their experience. There are no rigid rules on what a CJM should look like – it can be either a simple, schematic table or an elaborate diagram, depicting many paths.

Above all, the map should be tailored to the company, the product as well as the project – to help the research and design team match the product to the customers’ needs.

Advantages of creating a Customer Journey Map

A customer journey map primarily provides project team members with one common source of information with which to work. It should help the team visualize the customer journey as a whole and better understand (and then solve) its problems. Perhaps the greatest benefit associated with developing CJMs is empathy. It is what makes us realize and reminds us that our customers are real people with real problems.

Customer Journey Map allows us to understand multiple customer paths and many personas. Maps help us understand where the similarities and differences between customer experiences lie, allowing us to reach different personas and solve their problems more effectively. They allow us to visualize customer pain points and understand which personas and types of users (customers) are most important from the company’s point of view. This data will help prioritize planned product improvements based on this most influential.

CJMs are also a great way to summarize and understand the research that has been done previously. They can also facilitate auditing your current operations to make sure they are in line with current customer needs. In the case of such an audit, it helps to see what the actual customer journey currently looks like – with all the flaws, problems as well as areas for improvement.

How to Create a Customer Journey Map?

Creating a customer journey map does not have to be complicated, but it will be essential to plan it properly and think about what purpose you want to use it for. To create a valuable CJM, several steps should be taken care of:

  1. Conduct interviews with stakeholders
  2. At the very beginning, you need to figure out how your team will apply the resulting map. If the team doesn’t do it, it won’t be effective – so it’s a good idea to determine what each team member should take from the customer journey map to find it useful.

    The list of stakeholders will vary depending on the organization, the project and how the map is incorporated, as it may include people associated with the product, the UX team, analysts, customer service, sales or marketing departments. The main goal of stakeholder interviews is to understand in which form the customer journey map will be most functional and to identify key points of contact.

  3. Decide which user personae to include on the map
  4. The next step is to determine which customer journey you will map. To do this, you must decide which user personae (representing key audience segments) should be included. Defining the personas or customer segments at this stage will also help narrow down the pool of participants for the next step, which is user research.

  5. Refine your ideas with user research
  6. After conducting stakeholder interviews, identifying touch points and selecting personas for mapping, it’s time to get serious about dedicated customer journey mapping research. There are various ways to survey users to devise CJMs – the choice of method depends, of course, on our needs and time resources.

    The best solution will combine qualitative and quantitative research. You can use the customer data you already have (from Google Analytics, Hotjar, sales or customer service data) and combine it with some in-depth interviews to expand the context and knowledge of your customers. You can also employ unmoderated usability tests, diary or ethnographic surveys, or a combination of these.

  7. Create an empathy map for each persona
  8. It’s time to use the insights gained from user research to complete empathy maps. The purpose of an empathy map is to learn more about how a person experiences certain things – this allows you to supplement your list of dry data about a persona and make it a little more human. You will need a separate empathy map for each persona/customer segment. The empathy map consists of 4 elements, covering what the user says, thinks, does and feels.

  9. Sketch a customer journey map
  10. At this stage, you should already have enough information to make a preliminary sketch of the customer journey map. Making a preliminary sketch at this point will help you create a more complete final map and focus on the most relevant areas. This step is a kind of audit of the process so far and helps guide the next steps.

    This first, schematic version of the customer journey map doesn’t have to be detailed, it’s just meant to illustrate what you’re currently working on. The initial draft also helps identify areas where information needs to be supplemented.

    Once you have a map sketched out, think about the lists of points of contact you made earlier. Consider whether your map is missing any of the most important ones. At this stage, you can also ask yourself questions about the individual steps on the map – is there anything that happens in between? Does anything need more or less detail? Review your initial notes from the brainstorming and stakeholder interviews to determine if your map covers all the things previously identified as essential.

    Remember, this is just a draft – if you don’t know something, aren’t sure, or are missing information, you’ll be able to supplement and improve your map in further steps.

  11. Choose the type of customer journey map that best suits your needs
  12. Depending on the goal you want to achieve, there are several types of SJMs you can choose from.

    Customer Journey Map

    Customer Journey Map – current status

    These customer journey maps are fact-based maps that show what the current customer journey looks like. This is the most common type of CJM. Current state maps help identify, document and come up with ways to solve current customer problems.

    Choose this type of customer journey map if you wish:

    • communicate the existing problems to stakeholders, show exactly how the product does not meet the customer’s needs and convince them to take action
    • focus the team around a common, better understanding and empathy with the customer
    • explore new research and product opportunities based on the current state of the art

    Customer Journey Map – future state

    Customer journey maps in the future state visualize what the ideal customer journey could look like in the future. This type of map helps the team align on a shared vision of what your final product should be. generally, the best option would be to create a current state map first – since much of the same data will show up in a future state map. Future state maps require much more creativity from the team and hypothesizing about what the customer journey would look like and how it would differ from the existing (current) one.

    Decide on a customer journey map in a future state when you want to:

    • focus the team around a shared vision of where your product is going
    • explore possible reactions, hopes and expectations of customers
    • create a map for a brand-new product or experience that doesn’t yet exist

    Customer Journey Map – a day in the Life of a Customer

    A day in the life of a customer in the form of a customer journey map follows someone throughout the day. It documents everything a customer does – from their morning coffee to their dinner plans – whether these things will be related to your product. Such a map will differ from current as well as future CJMs in that their scope is not limited to your company’s touchpoints.

    Choose this type of customer journey map if you wish to:

    • learn how other elements of a customer’s life affect their experience with a product
    • identify the moments when your product could be most useful to your customers

    Service blueprints

    A service plan can be a useful supplement to a classic customer journey map. Service plans cover all the little things that make up a successful customer journey.

    Choose a service plan when you need it:

    • learn about the elements that influence the current customer journey
    • identify structural changes you can make to improve the user experience
    • plan procedural or organizational changes
  13. Select customer journey mapping tools
  14. Choosing customer journey mapping tools is the final straightforward part of the whole process. There are scores of different tools useful for creating CJMs – select the ones you find easiest to use or have access to. Remember that the goal of journey mapping is to get a common, accurate picture of the customer experience, not to create a work of art. Therefore, if you don’t have design experience, select simple tools and focus on the content rather than the style of your map. We list some tools worth considering below.

    Simple and publicly available tools to help create customer journey maps include: Paper, PowerPoint, Google presentations, Miro, LucidChart

    Customer journey prototyping tools: Sketch, AdobeXD, Figma, AxureRP

    Dedicated tools for creating customer journey maps: UXPressia, FlowMapp

  15. Build a customer journey map!
  16. The last step will be the easiest of all because you are just putting together all the elements you prepared earlier. Start by looking at your draft customer journey map – have you completed all the data you were missing? Do you already have all the information to create a complete map? If so, it’s time to translate all the data into a CJM and create a customer journey using the tool of your choice.

    You can create your map from scratch, however, there is a wide selection of ready-made customer journey map templates only to fill in. This will save you a lot of time and allow you to focus on the content. When you’re done, be sure to review the completed map with your team to make sure it’s clear, accurate and functional for everyone.


Creating a customer journey map is not difficult, and it allows you to better understand the user and diagnose the most problematic elements in the product. It will also help build empathy and increase stakeholder engagement. Make sure to properly prepare for creating a CJM and do your research diligently. Having that, you will surely visualize the customer path, which you can apply in creating a better final product that meets the users’ needs.

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Customer Journey Map - what is it and how to create it? | UX research #35 klaudia brozyna avatar 1background

Author: Klaudia Kowalczyk

A graphic & UX Designer which conveys into design what cannot be conveyed in words. For him, every used color, line or font has a meaning. Passionate in graphic and web design.

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