Beginner's Guide to Understanding the Anatomy of a High Performing Customer Journey Map

Beginner's Guide to Understanding the Anatomy of a High Performing Customer Journey Map

This is the second article in our series on Customer Journey Maps. In Part 1, we looked at why every business needs Customer Journey Maps and how they can be used to help businesses see through the eyes of their customers, develop empathy and take an outside-in approach.

Now we look at how to build a Customer Journey Map that's designed to inform the business on how to address customer needs.

Customer Journey Maps (CJM) are a powerful tool for understanding customers. They use design and graphics to tell the entire story of your customer's experience with your organisation. They are a visual representation of the actions, thoughts and feelings of a customer through this journey. They invoke viewer empathy and help the organisation understand what it's like to walk in the customer's shoes.

The customer's story, told from their perspective, is a powerful tool for engaging business departments within an organisation that may be disengaged or disinterested in change programs. They can be used to create alignment and encourage collaboration across the whole organisation as it works towards a plan of attack for customer experience improvement.

What are the goals of a Customer Journey Map?

When creating a Customer Journey Map, it's important to articulate the goals it needs to fulfil. Many organisations have accumulated a great deal of customer research, particularly statistics-based, (quantitative) research, which identifies problems along the customer journey. The task our clients struggle with is prioritising these problems. Which part of the customer journey should the organisation concentrate on solving first?

7 ways Customer Journey Mapping can help you prioritise customer needs

A well-designed Customer Journey Map provides guidance for the creation of a roadmap for change. This roadmap addresses the various customer touchpoints and is the key to helping organisations reap the financial benefits of providing customers with amazing customer experience. This could be seen as increased customer satisfaction via positive Net Promotor Score (NPS) results, increases in sales, reduced churn, reduced costs of servicing customers and happier, more fulfilled staff.

What are the Elements of a Customer Journey Map?

Customer Journey Maps have three main elements: a perspective, an experience and findings and insights.

The Perspective

The perspective of the journey map is the person for whom this journey is designed for (persona/actor) and the goal they're trying to achieve. For example, it could be a bank customer being on-boarded for their new credit card. In our experience, we've found taking the journey of a typical customer and mapping this process allows coverage of 70-80% of issues across a number of personas. Alternatively, a Customer Journey Map can be broken down by persona. This will help you understand the similarities and differences across different persona journeys. You can use these findings to prioritise high-value personas.

The Experience

The specific experience being mapped. This is the core of the journey and catalogues every customer action, thought and emotional experience. To make it feel real and increase customer empathy, it should contain verbatims (direct comments from customers), videos and images gathered from the research.

The Findings and Insights

This is the part of the Customer Journey Map used to transform insight into profits. What key learnings and insights has your research uncovered? Based on these, what are the opportunities to move ahead with? What significant pain points were discovered? Which insights can now be put to practical use so internal teams can begin to meet customer needs?

What makes customer journey mapping examples successful?

After undergoing some customer journey map research, we have determined what makes a customer journey map successful. We have summarised our findings into 6 points.

Qualitative Research

Adding deep qualitative research like surveys, interviews and observations to your existing research will fill in the gaps existing (quantitative) research won't cover. It may also validate areas where the results of quantitative research are not clear. Different types of research work together to increase the quality of insights.


The power of customer stories gathered in building the Customer Journey Map cut through organisational noise and clarify which actions are needed. When the voice of the customer is expressed loudly (and actively listened to), the path to change becomes far clearer.


Collaborating with stakeholders within the organisation will help develop a direction for customer experience. It will also establish engagement across the business for the key task: improving the customer journey.

The right design

Customer Journey Maps should be designed to communicate with their intended audience. They should be simple and functional, not overly complex or full of tricks.


Understanding the key moments of truth and areas of opportunity that appear along the journey makes it simpler to prioritise exactly what customers value. Attention and resources can be focused in the direction of priorities, maximising return on investment.

Assessment of responsibility

Use the Customer Journey Map to assign ownership of customer experience to everyone within your organisation. Use it to illustrate, illuminate and educate your people so they can work towards creating an amazing experience for your customers.

Customer Journey Maps are a wonderful tool for those wanting to create a customer journey that delights every buyer.

In Part 3, we will cover the problems that Customer Journey Mapping help solve.

In the meantime if you have any questions about Customer Journey Mapping or would like to find out how you can get one for your organisation, email to receive more detailed information and pricing.

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