Up until this moment, we’ve talked CJM through: what it is, why and when to use it, how not to mess it up, and so on and so forth. There’s one thing we saved for later though. And that is a detailed step-by-step guide on how to create a customer journey map. Let’s fix this here and now, shall we?
Although there is no gold standard for creating a customer journey map, we’ll try to create a somewhat generalized map. So that you can use it as a reference when making maps of your own.
We’ll be using our Customer Journey Map Online tool along the way for two reasons. Because it’s easy to use and it lets you create a CJM fairly quickly without wasting time on setting up the environment. Oh, and there's a Personas building tool that comes with it 😉
Let’s take a pizza restaurant as an example of business for which we’ll be creating a customer journey.
Step 1: Define your persona
Defining personas is a crucial part of customer experience service and journey mapping in particular. We won’t go into details — you can find them in this post about creating personas.
Let’s just say that our persona’s name will be Eva Moline — 29, works as a journalist and loves pizza. Eva is not really tech-savvy and she tries to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Step 2: Set customer journey stages
Stages are the steps customers take when interacting with a business. The easiest way to identify them is to think of all the actions the person has to take throughout their journey, organize them into logical groups, and name these groups. These will be your map stages.
The number of stages varies from business to business, but we’ll take 8 for this example:
💡 Expert tips:
- If you’re not sure about the order or names of the stages, don’t worry about that. You can change both at any time when working on the map.
- If your stages are complex, you can break them into smaller ones. Read this blog post about defining stages to learn more.
Step 3: Define map sections
Sections are horizontal rows with data that together with the stages you defined make up a customer journey map.
When it comes to picking sections for a map, your choice will depend on your journey’s type and purpose.
As for UXPressia’s Journey Map tool, it offers a set of more or less universal sections for all kinds of maps.
We’ll use some of the sections in the current example.
Step 4: Set customer goals
Setting customer goals at each stage is great for multiple reasons:
- It helps you understand how your business goals align with the goals of your customers
- You can meet your customers’ needs better gaining their loyalty by helping them achieve their goals at each stage
Above, you can see some of the goals we set for Eva. They are self-explanatory, so there’s no need for extra details.
Step 5: Define touchpoints
Touchpoints are encounters that happen between your business and customers. In the pizza restaurant example, touchpoints happen:
- At the Awareness stage, when Eva is actively looking for a pizza place nearby. She is asking around, searching locations on Google Maps, etc.
- At the Research stage, when she is trying to find out what people say about the place by asking her friends and reading online reviews.
- At the Arrival stage, when Eva is searching for a parking spot and enters the restaurant to get seated after parking the car.
- At the Order stage, when she makes an order and waits for it.
- Time to eat! At this stage, touchpoints occur when Eva is being served and when she is eating her meal.
- At the Leave stage, when Eva interacts with the waiter, pays for the meal, etc.
- At the Feedback stage, when she goes to the pizzeria’s website and drops a few lines on Instagram.
- At the last stage, when Eva gets a promo email from the restaurant with discounts or other special offers.
Finding all the touchpoints is critical because each touchpoint leaves some impression and your main goal is to keep it up to the mark.
You can also have a separate section to describe the actions your persona takes:
Step 6: Processes and channels
Now you may want to add some processes and channels to the map. Just to see what channels your persona uses and what types of processes are in her journey. Luckily, our tool lets you do it in the most awesome way. Processes can be linear, non-linear time-based, cyclic, or bi-directional. You can specify up to 10 channels per process.
Step 7: Problems and ideas
Time to explore problems Eva might have when using our service. It could be a lack of info about our pizza house. Few reviews, ads do not show how our pizza is different from others.
Upon arriving, Eva may struggle with locating the place due to bad signboards or just due to a hard-to-find location.
When making her order, Eva may look for detailed info on dish ingredients to learn whether it contains peanuts she’s allergic to. Descriptions may be not as detailed as she’d want them to be.
While waiting for the pizza, Eva may want to check out the place. Finding a restroom can turn into a nightmare if you don’t have clear signs showing what’s where in the restaurant.
Once you’re done with problems, it’s time to find solutions to these problems. Brainstorm for some ideas on how this or that problem can be solved. Here’s what we brainstormed for Eva’s case:
Step 8: Emotional graph
Never underestimate the power of visualization. And UXPressia’s Customer Journey tool is all about it. We added an emotional graph to see where our service example shines and where it stinks. Plus, we filled text boxes with Eva’s thoughts:
There’s also a special section (“Think & feel”) where you can put personas’ thoughts.
Step ?: Be Creative!
This is a good start, but the map is far from being complete. So keep exploring Eva’s journey to find more insights and then add all of them to the map.
If you use our tool (which we highly recommend you to do), check out other CJM sections:
- Image section for screenshots, photos, or any other relevant imagery. You can even turn it into a storyboard, describing the journey from beginning to end with your images or those from our library.
- Charts section for communicating data in a visual and meaningful way, just like we did it in the persona:
- Video and document sections for journey-related videos and documentation (e.g., an annual marketing report).
- Personas section for visualizing different personas’ interactions within the same journey.
💡 Expert tip: The section with persona’s questions works like a charm for marketing and content purposes. So be sure to add one 😉
Once you’ve created your customer journey map, you can export, print, or share it with a customer or your teammates. And there’s also a whole lot of free templates for all sorts of journeys!
Now you know the basics of creating a customer journey map. Want to learn even more? Download our CJM guide 😉
The post was originally written in 2017.