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  1. What is Customer Journey Mapping?
  2. What is a Customer Journey Map?
  3. Benefits of Customer Journey Mapping
  4. Buyer Journey Map Vs. Customer Journey Map
  5. Customer Journey Phases
  6. How to Create a Customer Journey Map

What Is Customer Journey Mapping?

Customer journey mapping involves creating a visual representation of a customer’s interaction with a product or solution. It is used by businesses to understand and visually represent the interactions customers have with them across different points of contact (referred to as touchpoints). It offers insights into the needs and wants of customers or potential customers as they attempt to solve a problem or satisfy a need or want.

What is a Customer Journey Map?

A customer journey map is the result of the customer journey mapping process. It’s a diagram showing the phases a consumer passes when interacting with a company, product, or service. It often describes the customer’s experiences, emotions, wants, and pain points at each phase, allowing organizations to understand their customers better and improve their experience.

Customer journey maps are often generated by teams like marketing, customer support, and product development that interact with customers. These teams pool feedback and data from consumer surveys, interviews, web analytics, and other sources to develop this map, ensuring it appropriately represents the real-world experiences of consumers interacting with their products. Smaller organizations that may not have cross-functional customer-facing teams can use similar data gathered to build the map.

Data collection is a critical part of the customer mapping process. Since this map will be used across the organization for strategic and tactical decision-making, it must contain reliable and accurate information. Data ensures that the map accurately reflects real-world experiences rather than people’s assumptions or perceptions. With data-driven customer mapping, businesses can identify opportunities for innovation and optimization throughout the customer journey, enhancing the overall customer experience and their competitive advantage.

Benefits of Customer Journey Mapping:

Identify Areas of Improvement:

Customer journey mapping helps businesses understand their customer’s entire experience from initial product awareness to post-purchase support. This can help companies identify areas of improvement at the various touchpoints.

Unify Customer Experience:

Businesses interact with customers through various touchpoints or channels, such as social media, websites, mobile apps, and physical stores. Customer journey mapping helps align these channels to create a consistent experience across these touchpoints For example, an airline company can make a customer journey map to assess the experience of their travellers. By mapping out each touchpoint in the travel process; that is, online booking, check-in, boarding, in-flight service, and baggage claim, the airline company can identify opportunities to improve service delivery at each stage. This alignment enhances the overall travel experience for the customer.

Promote a Customer-First Mindset:

Customer journey mapping can promote a customer-first mentality, where decisions are based on customer needs and preferences rather than internal processes or assumptions about what customers want. The impact of business decisions on customers is put into a lot of consideration.

Buyer Journey Map Vs. Customer Journey Map:

Both terms (i.e. buyers and customers) are often used interchangeably in commerce. However, deciding whether to create a buyer’s journey map or a customer journey map depends on the objective of the exercise. Customers typically refer to people or businesses who have purchased products and have an ongoing relationship with the seller. Whereas, a buyer is in the process of making a purchase. Whether buyer or customer, the emphasis is on the will and ability to purchase a product at a given price.

Customer Journey Phases

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Decision
  4. Retention
  5. Loyalty


This initial phase marks the pivotal moment when individuals recognize the existence of a problem. They then explore their problem or need, seeking potential solutions. Today, much of this exploration is done online using web searches, or social media applications like Instagram.

During the awareness stage, prospective customers discover different solutions or brands. Therefore, it is important for businesses looking to leverage this phase to establish authority or credibility by offering valuable information about the pain points your prospects seek to solve. Also, produce search-engined optimized content so that it can be found online.

How IKEA Leverages the Awareness Stage:

IKEA is an excellent example of a company that effectively exploits the awareness stage of the customer journey by inspiring prospects through creative room designs. IKEA strategically displays beautifully designed spaces like living rooms and home offices furnished with IKEA products on their website and in-store. They do this to highlight their products’ versatility and aesthetic appeal while inspiring potential customers looking to update their living spaces.

Consideration Stage:

Individuals in the Consideration stage of the customer journey have progressed beyond identifying their wants and are actively assessing potential solutions. They will also compare the available product options weighing each’s pros and cons, while checking for recommendations from others.


They gather information regarding the potential solutions. This research typically involves reading reviews or comparing product features. They may also check for alternative solutions, sometimes pivoting to a different product or service type.

Evaluate Options:

They then evaluate the options available based on the price, quality, functionality, brand reputation, or preferences.

Seek Recommendation:

They may also seek recommendations from family, friends, or social media influencers.

How Business Can Leverage the Consideration Stage in the Customer Journey:

Provide Social Proof:

Social proof like testimonials, reviews, and case studies from satisfied customers can demonstrate the benefits of your products or services and help potential customers decide on buying them.

Allow People to Test-Drive Your Product:

Offer free trials, samples, or demos to allow consumers to test your product before making a purchase decision. This can reduce their concerns and increase their confidence in their choice.


At this stage, the customer has decided to buy a product. However, they can also change their minds before finalizing the purchase and this can be due to several reasons:

New information:

The buyer may find negative information about the vendor or discover additional features offered by a competitor.

Price changes:

If the vendor raises prices unexpectedly or a competitor offers a better deal, the buyer may reconsider their decision based on price.

Poor Customer Experience Leading to Purchase:

The buyer might switch vendors due to unmet expectations leading to the purchase. This can be due to poor communication, delays, poor customer service, or a poorly designed check-out process in the case of online shopping.

Unexpected events:

External factors such as economic changes, changes in the buyer’s circumstances, or unforeseen events may prompt the buyer to reassess their decision.

Trust issues:

If the buyer loses trust in the vendor due to perceived dishonesty, lack of transparency, or ethical concerns, they may seek alternative options.

Sudden Shift in the Buyer’s Priorities:

Shifts in the buyer’s needs, priorities, or goals may prompt them to reevaluate their decision and seek a vendor that better aligns with their current requirements.


The Retention stage focuses on maintaining and nurturing relationships with customers post-purchase. This phase plays a critical role in fostering loyalty, encouraging repeat business, and improving the lifetime value of customers.

Provide Support:

Businesses should provide ongoing support to address any post-purchase questions, concerns, or issues that customers may have. This support can be customer service support, providing troubleshooting guides, or other self-service resources.

Rewarding Loyalty:

Businesses should recognize and incentivize repeat purchases to encourage patronage and build loyalty.

Solicit Feedback:

Businesses should also seek feedback from customers to understand their experiences, preferences, and areas for improvement.


Customers are highly engaged and deeply attached to a brand by this stage. They make repeat purchases and become brand champions or advocates, freely promoting the brand.

Some key characteristics of the Loyalty stage include:

Repeat Purchases:

Loyal customers consistently choose the same brand over others whenever they need to buy the product again.

Brand Advocacy:

They become advocates, spreading positive word-of-mouth and influencing others to choose the brand or product.

Emotional Connection:

Loyal customers have a deep emotional connection to the brand built over several great customer transactions.

How to Create a Customer Journey Map

Build a User Persona

Go out and talk to your customers. Your user journey map must represent the behaviours and thoughts of your target market.

List out the stages of the customer journey:

Awareness, consideration, decision, retention and loyalty

List All The Touchpoints

Each phase has potential touchpoints, so list the potential touchpoints for each phase

Describe the Customer’s Emotions and Actions

Describe the emotions they experience at each phase and the actions taken.

Describe their Pain Points and Corresponding Opportunities

Identify opportunities to address their pain points at each stage.

Brainstorm KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and Improvement Projects.

Your map can also contain information about improvement initiatives to enhance of the customer experience at each phase and measurable performance indicators.