person looking at customer experience insights

Why is journey mapping important? (CJM tutorial part 2)

October 1, 2020

In this article we explain the purpose of customer journey mapping and the value you can create by applying it in your organization. We also list several reasons, why and when it makes sense to start journey mapping - maybe some of them apply to your situation. 

Let’s get started right away! This article is structured as follows:

Intro: Video about the value of journey mapping

This short video is a good summary of the importance of journey maps, how they can be used in your organization and what value they provide:

If you want to dive deeper into the topic, continue with reading the rest of the article. 

Reasons to start journey mapping

So you have heard about journey mapping but you are still not sure why to use it in a company? We want to help you with that. In general, customer journey maps allow you to improve your business by better understanding your customers’ perspective.

There are several possible reasons to start mapping your customers’ experience:

  • You want to improve the status quo
  • Pain points are popping up and you want to identify and understand the reasons 
  • Customer satisfaction scores or other KPIs are declining and you want to understand the reasons for it
  • You want to put the focus on customers instead of processes

Often organizations know that something is going on by looking at certain KPIs or by getting complaints. However, the challenge lies in understanding the reasons for the bad KPIs or declining scores.

This is where journey mapping comes into play: Let’s take a scenario where your company has been experiencing a significant drop off in the number of customers. Mapping out your customer’s experience can help you understand the small and big moments that influence this experience and can help you get at the nature of the problem. It might for example be something connected to the user interface or to the support staff. In any case, journey mapping can help you identify and communicate these problems. Once you have tracked the pain points, you might be able to unveil potential room for innovation.

Organizational benefits of journey mapping

Customer journey maps can help you illustrate the overall experience a customer has with a service, a physical or digital product, or even a brand.

A journey map can help you and your team in different ways when it comes to improving and optimizing your customer experience.

The benefits of customer journey mapping at a glance:

Customer journeys help you to understand your customer’s perspective and therefore provide you with valuable insights.
Customer journeys help you to understand your customer’s perspective and therefore provide you with valuable insights.

So what exactly do we mean with that?

Zoom out

First, journey mapping can help you zoom out. It helps you get outside of your organization’s perspective and look at your organization or product from multiple points of view. You can create a journey map from the perspective of your customers, employees or external stakeholders. 

Regardless of the perspective, taking a moment to zoom out can help you actually understand the problem you’re trying to solve.

⇨ Tip for starters: As a little hint, you can start with a high-level journey map illustrating the end to end customer experience. From there identify problems and opportunities and create detailed journey maps for each of these.

Understand why

Secondly, journey maps help you understand why. Often organizations know when something is going on through metrics. However they have a hard time figuring out why. 

Using a customer journey map can help you identify and understand the pain points within the customers’ experience journey. 

Identify opportunities

Third, it’s not just about identifying the problem, but identifying moments of opportunity and intervention. For example with a current state journey map you can discover and communicate aspects that might be going wrong in a customer experience. That being said, it can also help you discover larger market opportunities.

Create new solutions

Fourth, it can help you to co-create new solutions. With a future state journey map you can illustrate new ideas and concepts and then communicate them or test them with others.

Bring together teams

Fifth, journey maps help bring teams and organizations together around a problem and create a common understanding. A journey map can refine your corporate communication by aligning different departments or perspectives within a company. 

Journey maps can even be used across organizations as they help to give a common focus to a challenge or problem. It might help to create a universal goal for all departments, so every employee can grasp the overall aim and work towards it.

Backing up a journey map with additional data and research findings makes it trustworthy and easier to base decisions on the insights. Find more information on how to research your customers’ experience on our blog:

Link to Customer experience research: You will learn what customer experience research is, why it is important, how to conduct is and some methods you can use.
Check out this article if you want to learn more about customer experience research!

Business impact of customer journey mapping

Now from a business perspective customer journey mapping is also useful for four different reasons. 

1. Journey mapping gives you a competitive advantage 

The process of journey mapping offers you a competitive advantage: Your employees need to discuss your customers' experiences, empathize with their needs and therefore improve the service. 

This already is important, but in the future this will be the determining factor why customers prefer your product over all the others. In the year 2019 81% of companies expected to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience (Gartner 2017).

2. Journey mapping can increase your revenue

A consistently positive customer experience will increase revenues for your company because of customer loyalty and word-of-mouth. In 2018, experience-driven businesses grew revenue 1.4 times faster and increased their customer lifetime value 1.6x more than other companies (Forrester, 2018).

3. Customers influence each other

The method of customer journey mapping lets you know how your customer's experience is. Some very powerful knowledge when it comes to improving your service. Customers trust word-of-mouth much more than ads or commercials. 

According to Temkin (2018) customers who had a very good experience are 3.5x more likely to rebuy and 5x more likely to recommend the service or product to friends and relatives than if they had a very poor experience.

4. Higher willingness to pay

Not only do people expect good customer service, they are willing to pay for it. 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience (Oracle, 2011). 

And last but not least: Happy customers make happy employees, and so on.

→ If you want to continue learning about customer journey maps, we invite you to check out the next chapter of this tutorial. In the third chapter we will provide you with a step by step explanation on how to create a customer journey map and how to analyze the information.

Link to Chapter 3: CJM How to create a customer journey map? You will learn how to create a journey map and how to analyze the customer journey.

And now, what's next?

More about customer journey mapping

This article is the second chapter of a whole tutorial about customer journey mapping. The tutorial is structured in different chapters, where we provide you with the most important information about journey maps and how to work with them. Check out the other chapters as well:

CJM Basics: What is customer journey mapping?
CJM Purpose: Why is customer journey mapping important?
CJM How-to: How to create a customer journey map?
CJM examples: Helpful examples from various industries.

Feeling ready for getting your hands dirty?

Start creating your own journey maps with Smaply! The tool will guide you through the process of journey map creation. Besides that you can also create personas and stakeholder maps to back up your work.

It's free, forever.

Create journey maps with Smaply!