Market Daily

Mapping the Customer’s Journey

Written by Sachin Bhate, Director of Marketing & Innovation — Proxima 360

If the past two years have taught us anything, it is that understanding your business’s customers is vital to its continued success and longevity. Being able to identify customer demographics is no longer enough. In order to truly understand customers, businesses need to be able to identify their needs, wants, and problems at each point in their journey. This allows businesses to not only gain a better understanding of who their customers are, but why they choose to do business with their company over a competitor.

In being able to establish quantitative and qualitative metrics for each step of the customer’s journey, businesses can transmute those insights into effective strategies and internal initiatives. Creating a map of the customer journey can not only help businesses visualize those insights and key data points, but also deliver clearer information regarding their customer retention and/or attrition rates, allowing them to make the best decisions for both the company and its customers.

In this article, I want to help businesses understand what a customer journey map should look like, how it works, and how it adds value to them and their customers alike.

What a customer journey map is and how to start one

Putting it simply, a customer journey map is a visual representation of each interaction a customer has with your business, its brand, and the products or services it offers. The purpose of creating this map is to place yourself in the shoes and mind of the customer, in order to better know what experiences are adding value, which ones are not, and which could stand to be improved.

A customer journey map allows you — as a business owner, leader, or manager — to physically see each separate touchpoint a customer has with your business or brand. From the first time a customer hears about or sees your business advertised to them, to their direct interactions with its website and products or services, and into their interaction(s) with your customer support teams, a customer journey map showcases all of this.

Just as no two businesses are exactly alike, neither are two customer journeys (or their maps). Rather than trying to create a map that aligns with all types of customers your business has, start by creating one that best aligns with those who your business needs to focus on retaining most. The process of creating this map typically adheres to the following process:

Step 1: Identify the customer persona

A customer persona is an average representation of the type of customer your company does business with. The persona consists of factors including the customer’s age, geographic location, job role, and other information found through market research. Placing yourself in the shoes of this customer persona allows you to get a better understanding of why that type of customer does business with your company and its offerings.

Step 2: Identify which data points to measure

Now that you have the customer’s persona outlined, the next step is to decide which data points from that type of customer you want to measure in order to meet your business’s goals. This is where your customer journey map will become customizable not just to your business or its products/services, but also to its customers. For instance, perhaps you want to more closely measure data from each step of the customer journey after a sale is made to better understand your product success, or pre-sale data to learn how you can attract and retain a larger amount of new customers. All of this information is customizable and should evolve over time to better meet the needs of your business and align them to those of your customers.

Step 3: Organize the map using different stages (i.e., touchpoints)

With the customer persona and data metrics now identified, the final step in creating a customer journey map is to organize it into different stages. These stages are used to identify each separate touchpoint (i.e., interaction) a customer has with your business, its products/services, and/or its support team throughout their journey. It’s worth noting that you should be stringent with the touchpoints you include, as attempting to include all of them can quickly inundate your internal data. Instead, try forming a unique touchpoint for each stage of the customer journey based upon their needs (outlined from the above Step 1).

How customer journey maps improve CX and overall value

By visualizing what your customers experience with your business or brand, you can more clearly understand the pain points that might occur at each different touchpoint in real-time. The purpose of this is two-fold; firstly, to better connect with your customers on a more personal level, and secondly to improve your company’s overall quality of CX.

Imagine a time when you were unable to have a product you ordered arrive on time, or in which you were unable to get in contact with a business or brand’s customer support team on an issue you had after making a purchase. Now, think of how that experience left you feeling dissatisfied. That is precisely the same feeling mapping your customers’ journey is working to alleviate through prioritizing your business’s CX.

Mapping the customer journey is a process not only meant for improving a business or brand’s credibility, profitability, or sales volumes. Rather, it is a practice in the art of empathy. Studies have shown that businesses who better understand their customers and approach them with empathy at touchpoints in their journey when their needs are highest tend to be more profitable and successful than their competitors. By creating a customer journey map that fits both your business’s goals and those of your customers, your company will be able to improve its CX quality, and thus, customer retention rates over time, leading to a stronger business overall.


Proxima360 is the retail consulting division of Dotcom Team LLC, offering services nationwide for 21 years across the retail information technology ecosystem. Proxima360 is focused on creating end to end solutions that optimizes the retail operational landscape. They get the Retail ERP and POS implementations or enhancements right the first time even when others may have failed. Key focus areas of Proxima360 are – ERP Solutions for Retail, Machine Learning for Finance, Digital Transformation and Supply Chain Optimization, and POS systems. Proxima360 understands that every business has different needs, as well as different operating budgets, and they specialize in delivering a solution for each business’s unique need.

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