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Customer Journey Map


Like most businesses, you want to improve your consumer experiences. That means optimizing the entire customer  journey by knowing your audience—online and offline. 

When you understand the customer journey, you can take action to improve or eliminate friction points and replicate what’s working well for your organization. By addressing pain points and repeating valuable interactions, you can improve overall customer experience (CX) and deliver better outcomes for your business.

Focusing on CX has never been more critical. According to a PwC survey, 59% of customers will walk away from a brand after several bad experiences. In addition, 84% of consumers value the experiences they have with companies just as much as they value the products and services those companies provide. That’s why mapping customer journeys is essential: A customer journey map provides the insights your company needs to provide your consumers with an experience that builds trust and loyalty.

What Is a Customer Journey Map?

A customer journey map helps you uncover information you may not already know. Creating a journey map means developing a visual overview of customers’ processes, perceptions and needs as they interact with your organization. But mapping goes beyond the visible, delving into realms of the customer journey you wouldn’t otherwise see. Understanding both the visible and invisible aspects of your customers’ journeys is essential to getting a clear overview of CX.

The mapping process enables you to step into your customers’ shoes, identify friction points, and deliver what they need, when they need it.

Customer journey maps provide the opportunity to discover:

  • Problems: Use mapping to identify and remedy friction points present in your existing journeys.
  • Effects: Assess the impact of your CX-improvement efforts and decide where to focus resources to best engage customers.
  • Insights: Uncover critical insights to help you better understand your customers.
  • Inspiration: Highlight areas of opportunity and innovation to enhance existing CX.

What Is the Value of Customer Experience Journey Mapping?

Customer journey mapping is valuable to your organization, no matter its size. A customer journey map offers a strategic way to understand customer expectations and discover areas where your team has the most opportunity to improve CX. Consumers expect a complete omnichannel and personalized experience when they interact with your brand.. McKinsey determined that 76% of consumers are more likely to buy from your business if you personalize interactions, and 80% of customers expect personalization. For your business to remain competitive, you must go beyond personalization by making interactions so effortless that they barely notice they’re making choices at all. Here’s where journey mapping delivers incredible value:

  • Improving the onboarding process: Mapping the customer journey enhances the onboarding experience, setting a positive tone from the start of your relationship with your customers.
  • Enhancing CX benchmarking: Maps compare your existing CX journey with data about what your customers expect and desire from you.
  • Increasing understanding of buyer personas: Maps track how customers interact with your brand, helping identify how different buyer personas engage before converting.
  • Replicating successful efforts: Mapping outlines how the buyer funnel truly works, helping you future-proof your efforts.
  • Optimizing customer journeys: Maps create a logical flow and organization to customer journeys throughout the CX lifecycle.
  • Enriching your consumer connection: Mapping unlocks insights into your audience. When you understand their expectations better, you can offer customized solutions and make valuable connections.

What Is the Process of Mapping a Customer Journey?

Mapping customer journeys may seem like a long, technical process, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are five steps to help you effectively map customer journeys.

1. Establish a Customer Persona

By creating fictional personas who represent typical customers, you can predict how your real-world consumers will engage with your brand. And because your customer base isn’t homogenous, the personas can vary, as well. Base them on current customers, big spenders or new customers you have worked with (or want to work with). A persona is not just a marketing segment—it goes beyond that. Identify these characteristics for each persona: 

  • Name
  • Age
  • Job title
  • Family status
  • Work and personal goals
  • Habits

Additional demographic data gathered through surveys or customer interviews can offer ideas to enrich your personas and create multiple profiles that represent your diverse audience. Employees from various departments in your organization can provide valuable client insights that  add depth to each buyer persona.

2. Select a Customer Journey to Map

Decide which customer journey you want to focus on, then build out the details that will help you create that map. You might zoom in on new customers or map out a problematic journey to improve, such as shopping cart abandonment. You can also consider analyzing the most profitable customer journeys or the most common journeys your customers take. 

3. Work Through the Mapping Process

  • Asking your team a series of questions will help you map the process: Which employees and people are involved in this customer journey? For instance, a journey might include a customer, sales representative, front-of-house staff and social media team.
  • What happens during the journey? What do consumers feel? What are their attitudes during the process? Are they excited, frustrated or anxious? Record these emotions throughout the stages.
  • What is the most significant moment during the journey? What is the biggest emotional load? What factors, processes and people are involved at the make-or-break moment? 
  • What are your customers’ needs? What are they getting from each stage, particularly at the most loaded moment? How do their needs and attitudes change if things don’t go as planned? These questions will help you be more responsive when issues arise.
  • How will you measure the effectiveness of your CX improvement efforts? What key performance indicators (KPIs) will help you benchmark the customer journey? How will you track progress and measure CX?


4. Optimize the Journey at Every Stage

While mapping, you will discover multiple friction points. Take the time to brainstorm with your team about how to improve these experiences at every stage of the customer journey. Record all suggested solutions and then filter them to choose the most feasible ideas. Ask yourself:

  • Is the solution practical?
  • Is it viable?
  • Is it desirable?
  • Will it help differentiate your company from the competition?

Then, test and tweak the solution to optimize the customer journey.

5. Develop a Measurement Framework

Use all the information you have gathered to decide on a suitable framework to measure success. Questions to help you decide include:

  • What are you measuring?
  • Who are you measuring?
  • At what point in the journey are you measuring this?
  • What applicable metrics exist and how do they fit with your questions?
  • What KPIs are you using to measure the customer journey?

How Can You Use Data for Customer Journey Mapping?

Accurate data gives you an accurate picture of how customers act. You can use this information to optimize your processes and enhance customer experiences. 

Your business must leverage multiple data sources to get a holistic view of consumer behavior. To maximize the customer journey mapping experience, leverage deeper insights using both solicited and unsolicited data to enrich the process.

1. Use Requested Data to Understand Verbalized Actions

Consumer feedback your organization has already gathered or is currently gathering, such as through surveys like Net Promoter Score (NPS), provides a simple start to the customer mapping process. You can also ask for customer feedback through social channels. Asking for consumer volunteers allows you to begin translating valuable, accessible data into actionable customization preferences almost immediately. It also can quickly identify friction points, as unhappy customers are often eager to voice their complaints. 

Solicited information helps you understand the customer’s point of view without making assumptions about their actions. Of course, consumers may not share everything with you. Just as some may be looking to air grievances, others may identify positive interactions with your business but forget to mention vital information that you could have used to boost CX. 

Solicited feedback is helpful, with a few limitations. When asking customers for feedback, remember:

  • It’s about timing: It’s ideal to get feedback when an interaction is fresh in a consumer’s mind. That said, knowing when to ask for feedback can be tricky if you don’t know all the possible journey routes consumers may take.
  • It’s an overview: The consumer will give feedback on the experience they had at the time you sent the survey, addressing that specific encounter and touchpoint. You won’t get details about the customer journey as a whole.
  • It’s partial: You are taking your customers’  word regarding what they plan to do. What they actually do may be different. Solicited feedback only gives you a slice of the truth.
  • It’s limited: You must consider the sample size. If you are trying to investigate a specialized customer journey, you may have few consumers willing to share feedback. The limited scope may not provide the insights you need to optimize the customer experience.
  • It’s a glimpse: Direct feedback is a snapshot of one area. Your systems gather and analyze customer data, but may not combine this information with solicited feedback. When uncombined, responses only provide a segment of the overall picture. 


2. Use Unprompted Data to Understand Non-Verbalized Actions

Unsolicited or unprompted data includes any actions and behaviors consumers don’t tell you about. Unsolicited data provides valuable contextual information that your systems collect, like purchase or browsing history. You can gather the data from various sources:

  • Your website
  • Social channels
  • Third-party sites
  • Customer calls
  • Chat transcripts
  • Frontline staff feedback
  • Operational sources

Although unsolicited data is nuanced, it can offer deeper insights into customer journeys and CX. Gathering data from multiple sources and touchpoints showcases details consumers often omit or forget to share with you during prompted feedback requests. 

By leveraging the power of natural language understanding (NLU) that detects sentiment, intent and effort while offering 100% real-time feedback gathering, you can get significant insights into customer behavior. 

Unprompted data is:

  • Automated, which means you benefit from a perfect response rate that better reflects your consumer’s thoughts and feelings at each step of the journey.
  • Not limited by sample size or response rates. With zero limitations, you can establish an accurate customer journey map rich with valuable insights. 

What Software Do You Need To Improve Customer Journeys?

You need sophisticated software to maximize the customer journey mapping process, anticipate customers’ needs, increase retention rates and enhance overall CX. Look for specialized software that has two capabilities: customer journey analytics and customer journey orchestration.

Customer journey analytics and customer journey orchestration are at the heart of proactive customer experience. 

1. Customer Journey Analytics

Customer journey analytics tracks and measures every interaction with your brand, across every channel (e.g., website, email or SMS) and device (e.g., laptop, tablet or smartphone) the customer uses. Journey analytics helps you understand customers’ needs, interests and behavior at each point in the brand interaction (from discovery through purchase, post-purchase and retention). This allows you to personalize the customer experience based on who customers are and what they need at any given moment. 

2. Customer Journey Orchestration

Customer journey orchestration is another vital element of your customer journey program. Customer journey orchestration refers to using real-time data at the individual customer level to analyze current behavior, predict future behavior, and adjust the journey in the moment to help customers achieve their desired outcome.

CSG’s customer journey orchestration solutions allow you to seamlessly execute customer journeys. The software connects your databases and customer-facing systems to deliver personalized, omnichannel experiences for your customers.

How Will CSG Customer Journey Mapping Help Your Business?

CSG Xponent helps your business understand and uniquely leverage customer journeys. Xponent combines a customer data platform with customer journey analytics and journey orchestration to guide customers to the next best action. This award-winning solution goes beyond creating and replicating a series of interactions. It provides context and automates custom experiences that consumers only get from innovative brands. CSG Xponent provides:

  • Quick launches: Our prebuilt journeys will streamline the mapping process and get you started sooner.
  • Real-time interactions: Xponent builds brand loyalty and advocacy by delivering highly personalized interactions in real time.

Enhanced optimization: With CSG, you can identify where customers drop off or convert, optimizing CX across journeys, increasing loyalty and bolstering sales.

Leverage the Power of CSG to Create Customer Journey Maps

CSG has helped thousands of organizations provide exceptional experiences for their consumers. We leverage over four decades of expertise to precisely evaluate your customer journey performance and offer actionable strategies that enhance journey mapping and prioritize your consumers.

Create a customer journey map today

Speak to a CSG expert today to see how customer journey mapping can boost your company’s CX.

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CSG Insights Team