VTT Global - Strategy and Management Consultancy
VTT Global > Blog > News Blog > The What and How of Customer Journey Mapping: 11 Easy Steps to Create your own

Customer journey mapping is a visual representation connection with customers, the process by which customer interact with companies to achieve and accomplish the shared goals. Clients can see their self from the eyes of buyer/customer to gauge their business see where THEY ARE- clients gain reflection and insights how to improve and scale up businesses and long-term relationship with clienteles.

With the help of journey mapping clients – businesses can assess the sense of the customer`s enthusiasm, requirements and pain points.  Changed patterned layers of touch points are involved in journey mapping process either minor or major-all important at certain level.

Customer journey mapping (CJM) is not necessarily linear which goes in one direction like A to B to C, could be many patterns i.e. cyclical or back and forth- in fact multi-channel drive. Difficult to visualized the mapping progression. Before jumping into it, fold the information from customers and anticipated consumers.

Evident illustration of journey mapping can be on excel databases, infographic or tiny sticky notes on big flat walls. No certified template for CJM, because interaction of customers and client might be in different patterns. Choice in your hands to design your own template which suit your business.

Marketing Framework & Where does CJM fit in

Before moving into the process of customer journey mapping it is essential to have a marketing framework ready as per which you’ll be going forward.  We believe the easiest framework to use is the 5 W’s and 1 H framework, briefly speaking:

  1. What: Refers to what your offering
  2. Who: Your customers
  3. When: Your customers journey
  4. Why: Your marketing objective
  5. How: Your message
  6. Where: Channels your customers use

The key themes to consider in the What part are:

  1. Marketers need to understand the business that they market and their core components
  2. Business Value Proposition is a key starting point
  3. Company’s business model will affect the type & amount of marketing they can do

As far as business value proposition is concerned it can be further divided into four main components: What your selling, benefit, target customer and what makes you unique. For those of us who want to understand how that can be articulated in actual terms, we offer the following template for your consumption:

  • For – Target Customer
  • Who – Statement of the need/opportunity
  • Our – Product or service/category
  • That – Statement of Benefit
  • Unlike – Closest Competitor
  • Our Offer – Primary Differentiator

Last component of the WHAT part is the business model. In essence we divide the business models either as Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Consumer (B2C). The business lifecycle for either model normally moves in the following fashion: Startup to Growth to Maturity to Decline. The type of marketing you will do will change with the stage you are in.

The key themes to consider in the WHO & WHEN part are:

  1. Understand who your customer is
  2. Use Empathy maps and personas
  3. Build a customer journey

In this part you first need to identify WHO your customer is exactly: are the single type or a few customer types so you need to think in terms of audience. The common characteristics of your customer may be divided into the following form:

  • Demographics
  • Psycho graphics
  • Lifestyle
  • Beliefs and Values
  • Geography
  • Behavior

In identifying who your customer is empathy maps play a key role. To build an empathy map you need to collect information & place it in each one of the four quadrants listing actual phrases, websites, habits that the customer reports, you may collect the customer information from call center feedback, customer surveys or customer interviews etc.  Here’s is a sample list of questions you may ask your respondents:

Summarizing all the customer info in empathy maps sets you on your way towards marketing activities. Here’s a sample empathy map we have built for your understanding (based on a questionnaire filled by multiple respondents)

The natural progress from empathy maps is towards building target personas. The customer personas can utilize frictional characters or the actual key characteristics of your customers.

Finally, we now reach the WHEN part and that directly deals with the customer journey in 5W’s and 1H. Did you know on average the common person utilizes digital media for an average of 5.5 hours per day? How someone can hear about you can start from anywhere e.g. Email, Social Media or a random Google search. The customer journey is not necessarily linear and most customers bounce around but as a rule of thumb it may follow the following pattern:

  • Its important to know where your customer is in the journey map and subsequently the marketing effort will also be different for each stage

For an experienced marketer you would know the details of the journey but for new comers here’s a bit of detail about what each stage in the journey entails:

  1. Awareness: Lets customers know who you are & what you do
  2. Interest: Interested in what you offer
    • Agenda point: Requires digital marketing that informs customer about your product/service
  3. Desire: Customer knows the thinking & desires what you’re offering
    • Agenda point: This stage requires digital marketing that makes it clear to the customer why they should go for your product/service
  4. Action: When your customer is ready to take action
    • Agenda point: This stage requires marketing which makes it easy for the customer to take action e.g. making it clear what the price is
  5. Post Action: What post purchase service you offer
    • Agenda point: This is the neglected part of marketing

A brief recap of the customer journey map:

  • You can never know too much about your customer
  • Customer Journey mapping is not linear
  • Each Stage of the customer journey requires different marketing approaches

Now that you know which marketing framework you can use and customer journey mapping is all about, we will now take you into the process of creating your very own customer journey map:

11 easy steps to creating your very own

  1. What are the customers touch points?

The touch points are; where customers can get in touch with you – consumers engagement with clients/businesses. If customers get in touch through online web tech -social channels, in person, via blog whatever it is; The means by which customers intermingle with brands or enterprises through these channels is called a ‘touchpoint’’.

  1. In depth information of buyer persona:

Before getting into mentioned step, ask yourself what are your goal line – who are the targeted customers. Get into their shoes and realize their desires, their likes – dislikes and their behavior. No matter whatever the touch points are, all are vital at certain level. Judge multiple persona which help give you vast understanding flavor.

Getting the in-depth information of your persona, both quantitative and qualitative method can be used. Quantitative technique includes surveys, tests and web analytics while in qualitative research the client can have desk review – interviews – Voice of Customer`s (VOC) feedback, focus group discussion with desired customers – by this you know the goals, attitudes or inspirations of your customers.

  1. Team Introduction – Bring all on one page:

Bring the whole cross disciplinary team on one page, let them aware of the launch and briefly introduce them about the agenda of the workshop.

While starting the narrative of the workshop – summit, first develop “the rules of the road” which is the equal specking time to all participants.

Provide a shared space for cross functional team to interact and the needs are:

  • Broad whiteboard or Flat Big Wall
  • Sticky write notes – mike etc.
  • Necessary online tools
  • Shared space (Conference room)

Once all staff members are onboard, let them know the goals and objectives of the day. CJM more like thinking activity, team leader and the participant can bring in additional exercises which boost up and make energy level high.

  1. Time Lines:

In the fast-moving technological time, customer demands for quick and sound services from their clients. Consumers has no concern and not taking any interest even in companies’ sophisticated product (applications, websites or any other services) unless and until that works for them.

Enterprises need to identify the bottle neck and bridge up the gaps which hinder process movement.

  1. Touch point Brainstorming Techniques:

Use such thinking techniques that fits to cross functional team and generate innovative inkling for imminent customer experience. Generate and identify touch points as much as you can, and study relevant channels -networks between them. For instance, the channel could be: marketing channel (email, telephone, Facebook, blogs), Research Channel (online web tech, store, customer services).

Every touch point is the opportunity which can reinforced the businesses’ relations with customers.

  1. Empathy Map:

An empathy map is a collaborative visualization which is used to know about a particular customer’s behavior, motivations and objectives etc.

First explain the goal and scope of the empathy map, which persona will you map, gather the team (cross functional) at common shared place, distribute colorful sticky note and broad tip markers among the participants – print and paste the large printed empathy sketch on a big wall or white board. Members of the team should write up their thoughts on sticky notes and paste on the board in.

Ask questions in a manner such as:

  • What the customer think and feel about your product?
  • What experience and knowledge the customer take from our product and services?
  • What are doubts, reservations and objectives of the customers?

While pasting note; thoroughly explain the ideas written on the notes to whole team so all the members can consume the taste of other`s ideas and at the end ask the team what are their take away(learning) from the session:

  1. Personas:

While launching any product or service; the first thing is to know who will be your target groups/customers. Personas is an important strategic tool CJM to know and have in depth understanding about your customers, what are their needs, views, goals, thoughts, expectations, and pain points; why a particular customer is more important for you.

Persona includes:

  1. Customer`s Bio-data
  2. Behaviors – Attitudes
  3. Expertise – hobbies
  4. Must-haves/Nice-to-have
  5. Desires
  6. Needs, goals, objectives, motivations


Once the persona is created – now move forward for customers journey map. While creating a customer journey map; keep your persona in your mind because maximum information and data comes from your persona.


  1. Moment of truth (MoT):

Moment of Truth “MoT” is touch points between businesses – enterprises and buyer. Constructive MoT have positive and long-lasting impressions but discrepancies leads confusion and customer disappointment. This can be categorized into:

  • Moment of discomfort – pain
  • Moment of gain – glory

Businesses need to ensure they have a user-friendly website, which allows clients to find everything easily what they are looking for. If no successful interaction and no movement of truth then companies can lose the potential clients.

For instance: Customer install a specific Streaming Application, has hard time in usage and raised quires against the App, the customer`s agent need to give quick feedback which resolve the headache of the customer. So, ensuring your exchanges are well balanced in your communication is consistent with your customer is the key of success. By this way businesses can develop their trust and long-lasting relationship with customers.

  1. Illustration:

In illustration phase, combine all outcomes and results in one map. The different touch points give specific information such as:

  1. To know buyer goal at each stage.
  2. Real and expected barriers.
  3. What to do; if the barrier at any point.
  4. KPI`s quality at touch points.

Assigned a work partner to digitize the work done at the conference hall and shared it with all the colleagues at organization. Once Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) data digitized – use any online JM template.

  1. Implementation plan:

Examine the touch points are appropriate and aligned with customer need.  The efficient plan needs to cover the success criteria, budget and responsibilities. Its good to use sticky tool for touch points and barriers; which is convertible to sticky notes.

  1. Revision of Customer Journey Map:

While times fly, new tools and social pattern and new communication channels are emerging that is why CJM needs to be revised accordingly. While recap session thoroughly analyzes the scenario; what KPIs and target did not reach the milestone. Do the need analysis after sometimes.  Additional brainstorming session is required to generate new ideas which leads towards the ultimate goals.