What is a Customer Journey, what is it good for and when can I use it?

in Swedish

If you are a professional working in Customer Experience, Digitalization, business transformation, service design, product development or CRM, you are probably well familiar with the term Customer Journey. But why is the Customer Journey important, and how can you use it to achieve success in your organization?

What is a Customer Journey, what is it good for and when can I use it? Photo by Andre Benz

The Customer Journey is the foundation of great customer experiences

Today, many companies like to call themselves Customer centric. And most organizations have realized that in order to get new customers and to keep existing ones, they need to succeed with their customer experiences. Customer centricity is, in other word, quite profitable.

But how do you succeed with your customer experiences? And how can you use the Customer Journey as a model for understanding the customers and finding solutions for problems, as well as enable the implementation of changes?

The Customer Journey Map

To create a successful customer experience, it is essential to 1) collect as many relevant and true customer insights as possible, about how the customer experiences the products and services of your organization, and 2) implement those insights to the customer- and service touchpoints. Customer Journey Map is an invaluable tool for collecting and organizing insights, finding problem areas and to explore possibilities and solutions. When you understand what the customer experiences and how he/she feels and thinks, it becomes much easier to understand why you need to make changes - which gives you a good basis for making decisions and to carry them through.

A medical customer journey map

The Customer Journey Map looks like a flattened out subway map. The first customer events and activities are placed on the left side and the last ones on the right side. Every station represents an activity, for example waiting for an answer, or trying to figure out what´s relevant for me. Connected to each activity point, the customer need is described. To summarize, The Customer Journey Map visualizes and describes the customer’s life events and activities before, during and after the use of a certain service. It can describe the journey throughout the entire service, or a specific part of a service.

When can I use The Customer Journey Map?

The Customer Journey Map enables you and your team to gather around the customer experience and used well, it will help you to move from insights to actions. There are many uses for it, and here are a few of the most common:

Insight – use the Customer Journey Map to collect insights and to get an overview of how the customer experiences your product or service. What works well and what doesn´t work?

Innovation – use the Customer Journey Map as a starting-point for innovation. How can we better fulfil the customer need in a certain phase or situation?

Prioritizing – use the Customer Journey Map as a starting-point for prioritizing efforts. Where are the biggest possibilities or the challenges in the service?

Realization – use the Customer Journey Map as a starting-point for implementation. What changes do we have make on the inside of the organization, to be able to deliver the desired customer experience?

What are the benefits of using the Customer Journey Map?

It starts from the customer’s journey – which means you change your focus, from the organizational channels (or processes) to the customers´ reality and perspective.

From relieving symptoms to solving problems – Everything that the customers go through will be visible, and you can put your efforts into solving the cause of the problems instead of the consequences.

A shared view of the reality of the customer – The Customer Journey Map will enable the different departments of the organization to share the same picture and starting-point. This way the map serves as a compass for all activities that the organization needs to do together.

Breaking down silos – It can help you get a hold of the issues that can only be solved by cooperation across functions. The Customer Journey Map can enable departments to cooperate and to pull together toward a shared goal.

Customer Journey Mapping: What Customer Journeys to start with?

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. What Customer Journeys should we begin with? How should we prioritize? Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Start with an area where customer experience has an effect on important KPI:s
  • Begin where a result that reach the customer can be achieved, and effects on internal KPI:s
  • Start within an area where you have the mandate to influence
  • Start small scoped, instead of starting with the most important, the most critical or the most comprehensive area.
  • Simply start anywhere, and show results rather than arguing with colleagues.

Would you like to know more about how to create successful customer journeys?

Read our practical guide on How to create a successful customer journey.

Get inspired by our customers and how they do it: How to use the Customer Journey to drive change in the energy sector.