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Keywords: Diagramming, Business Diagram, Business analysis, Customer Journey, User Journey

Customer Journey Map

The Customer Journey map (also known as User Journey or Buyer Journey) is a visual representation of a customer's path or complete sum of experiences, via touchpoints, a customer goes through when interacting with a company and its brand. The model assumes that the customer rarely makes decisions spontaneously, but rather gets in touch with a brand, a product, or service at different points in the journey.  This also provides the opportunities to analyze user behavior and gain insight into potential pains and gains that the common customer may experience, which in turn allows businesses to optimize the customer experience and direct them towards a purchase decision. Organizations across the world know that delivering a good customer experience leads to competitive advantage, lower costs, and higher profits. The customer journey is divided into five phases, which is refered to the AIDA model. 

Generic sample of a Customer Journey map source: for Confluence

Elements of a Customer Journey Map

The customer journey mapping is the process of creating a customer journey map, a visual story of a customer's interaction with a brand. There are several formats and templates available, thus it can be quite confusing. However, it is possible to create a customer journey (such as the one above) using diagramming tools such as app, a software tool sponsored by Seibert Media. Nevertheless, there are four main elements that make the basis of a customer journey map (it may be called differently depending on the creator - as shown in the example template above).

Four Main Elements of a Customer Journey Map

  • Customer Lifecycle: Located at the top of the customer journey map, this describes the stages of the journey. The customer journey is divided into four phases derived from the AIDA model: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. 
  • Customer Activities & Situations: This is located just below the customer lifecycle, this includes the actions or activities that a customer is going through.
  • Customer Needs: This is located below the customer activities and describes the needs or thoughts of your customer in each phase of the customer lifecycle. This is subjective to each customer. The use of different personas can be useful to get an understanding of how different types of customers might feel going through the journey. 
  • Customer Experience: This includes how customers how satisfied or dissatisfied a customer feels throughout the journey. 

There are several other elements that are available to add to the customer journey, which makes it a very versatile tool. Other elements that should be considered include: a timeline, emotions being felt by customers, touchpoints, and channels -where the interactions are taking place (website, social media, marketing and sales team, etc). 

AIDA Model

The AIDA model is a hierarchical of effect models or hierarchical models, which is a linear model that builds on the assumption that consumers move in a sequential stages from cognitive to behavioral. Moving from stage to stage, the total number of customers diminishes. This phenomenon is referred to as the sales funnel. Several hierarchical models have expanded the basic AIDA model. Some of these models include post purchase stage, however, they all still follow the basic sequence of "cognitive to behavior" affect.

  • Step 1: Awareness/Attention this step usually contains the largest amount of prospective customers, who are aware of a product's existence through content marketing, social media campaign, or other avenues. 
  • Step 2: Interest at this stage, the number of prospect customers decreases, but the possibility of sales increases. The customers express interest in the product and generally inquire for more information. 
  • Step 3: Desire/Decision the customers want the product or brand.
  • Step 4: Action all the previous stages funnel down into the final step. At this point customers take action towards purchasing the product. 

History of the Customer Journey

The exact origins of the customer journey is unclear, but it seems to have its roots in the 1980s from the Moment of truth (MOT) in marketing, which is the moment when a consumer interacts with a brand, product, or service, and forms an opinion about it. It wasn't until the early 2000s with the concept of Service Design Thinking (SDT) did the customer journey become popular to the general public.    

How to Conduct a Customer Journey

In general there are four common scenarios when one decides to create a customer journey map. First, it is a tool to build shared understanding, since different stakeholders have different perspectives of reality. Second, it is a tool to capture user research data in a coherent way. Third, it is a tool to guide user research. Lastly, it is a tool to lead to insightful decisions about investments, decision-making, etc. since the customer journey helps to understand how and where the customer impacts your business the most and vice versa.

  1. Review goals for the product or service 
  2. Gather research (customer interviews, contextual inquiry, web analytics, etc.)
  3. Generate a list of touchpoints and where they occur
  4. Conduct an Empathy map (Persona) 
  5. Brainstorm (use mindmaps as a template, available on
  6. Create an Affinity Diagram to organize ideas and cohesion (create on
  7. Visualize the Customer Journey using template

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This content was last updated on 04/21/2021.

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