Conexperience | 6 steps to build a Customer Journey Map
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6 steps to build a Customer Journey Map

29 Dec 6 steps to build a Customer Journey Map

The method Customer Journey Mapping is winning popularity. That is not strange, because it is a highly effective and simple way of visualizing the experience of the customer. And customers are getting more and more important nowadays. It helps to determine e.g. the pain points, the moments of magic and to choose touchpoints to improve or leave them the way they are. There are two major phases. 1. Build the Customer Journey Map and 2. Improve the customer experience based on the Customer Journey map. In this blog we will talk about phase 1, which contains 6 steps. In one of the next blogs we will talk about phase 2.

Building a Customer Journey Map gets easier if you do it often, so practice a lot with your existing data from powerpoint, visio, excel or photoshop. You can also go out in the field and find customer information. The easiest way is to look for examples within your organization or on the internet. There are lots of them, see e.g. here:

You will get the best result when you use a multi disciplinary team with at least a marketer, process expert, manager, customer service representative and a real client. The following steps can be done within 2 hours, but it needs practice. For help with this, contact me.


Step 1 – Scoping

Step 1 – Scoping

We start by determining the scope when we create a Customer Journey Map. There is not just one Customer Journey Map type, that is why it is always necessary to determine the purpose of the Map that will be made. Taking this as starting point, the approach can differ and also the outcome of the workshop. Take your time to determine the scope, together with the client. In addition, if working with a team, you should do this again with the group in order to guarantee the desired outcome and increase individual commitment. Things to determine during the scoping are: what customer processes are involved, personas, channels, stakeholders and the name of the Customer `journey Map.


Step 2 – Episodes

In order to understand the journey of the customer, it’s important to create an overview of the episodes. These are silo’s with touchpoints, which cover the major chapters of the Customer Journey defined.

An episode is like a chapter in a book. There is a logical summary of every step. Examples are:

  • Inform, buy, use
  • Look for information, contact, fill in form, receive confirmation, use service, talk to service rep, end service
  • Travel to store, look at products, try products, buy product, use product, repair product, buy new product
  • Get info, sign contract, use service, pay bill
  • Book trip, preparation, travel to airport, check in, board, fly, arrive
  • No customer, becoming customer, being customer, stop being customer
  • Get hired, train, perform, grow, leave
  • I have a need, I buy, I use, I quit


Step 3 – Touchpoints

Touchpoints are all the moments when a customer touches the brand and/or organization. This can be direct and indirect. In these moments the customer has an experience which always influences his opinion about the brand/organization. It can be positive, neutral or negative.

Touchpoints are more specific than channels. E.g. in the channel ‘shop’ the customer can have the following touchpoints:

  • I read a brochure to get more information
  • I talk to a service representative for more information
  • I negotiate with a sales representative for a better offer
  • I sign the contract to have the service
  • I receive a bag with information before leaving the shop
  • I leave the shop to go home

As you can see, I formulate all the touchpoints the same way. The reason is that you force yourself to think from a customer point of view, and you never will add internal processes to your Customer Journey Map where a customer isn’t involved. My rule for creating touchpoints in a uniform way, is: I [verb] [channel] [reason]. Example: I visit the website to look for the address.


Step 4 – Touchpoint Overview Validation

Step 4 – Touchpoint Overview Validation

When all posts are hung on the wall, grouped by channel and by subject, it is important to do the following:


  • Do you understand what’s on the post?
  • Does this start with “I”?
  • Is the verb actively written (an activity)?
  • Is there a channel?
  • Was there a reason?
  • Where is overlap and can you delete it?
  • What post-its are in another episode?
  • What post-its are in multiple episodes? (make another post-it for it)


Make sure this step does not take longer than 30 minutes. There is a risk that discussions will arise about what is happening now, for example, which letter is sent at what time. That is less relevant now, as it is too detailed. It’s all about everyone having heard the touchpoints and there is order and structure in the post-its. This helps for steps 5 and 6 and for subsequent effects. The group also experiences the complexity of the Customer Journey Map. Just let them swim in this phase. During the subsequent validation, there is also an option to add, modify or delete the touchpoints.


Step 5 – Scenarios

For choosing a logical flow of your story, you need to choose from all the touchpoints a set of touchpoints that tells the most common journey, I call this a scenario. This can only be one or two scenarios, not more. A scenario is a story with a set of touchpoints which describes a Customer Journey over time. It’s a selection of the touchpoints and contains most of the episodes. A scenario can be presented to the management or to departments in the business. This is also called: storytelling. It keeps the people that are not involved in your project, away from the details from all the touchpoints.

Step 6 – Emotions

Robert Plutchik described emotions in a really short and efficient way. He made a flower of emotions, to show the link between those emotions. It works really well in a workshop to look at a touchpoint and choose the emotion which fits with this touchpoint. The discussion and proof for an emotion per touchpoint pushes you to really understand and investigate the emotions of customers during a touchpoint. You can double check it with colleagues, real clients, the customer satisfaction scores or customer feedback. Always validate!

See here the emotions:


Danny Peters is Customer Experience consultant at Conexperience, specialized in Customer Journey Mapping and Customer Experience Management. He works mostly for large companies in Customer Experience projects.

Danny Peters