plotted journey map hanging on a brick wall

How to facilitate a Customer Journey Mapping Workshop

December 6, 2018

In the competitive landscape of modern business, understanding your customers' experiences is paramount. One powerful tool that can help you achieve this understanding is a Customer Journey Mapping Workshop. This dynamic process has emerged as a game-changer, enabling businesses to gain invaluable insights into their customers' interactions, pain points, and preferences. In this article, we delve into the benefits of a Customer Journey Mapping Workshop and see how a facilitator can help make workshops more efficient and enjoyable. 


What is a Customer Journey Mapping Workshop?

A Customer Journey Mapping Workshop is a collaborative session where cross-functional teams come together to visualize and analyze the end-to-end journey that customers undertake when interacting with a brand. This workshop creates a comprehensive depiction of every touchpoint a customer has with your business – from initial awareness to post-purchase support.

Customer journey workshops are great for teams to wrap their heads around a certain topic, think out of the box and come up with creative ideas – or just share their concerns about some solutions.

Whenever you participate in a customer journey workshop: this is a safe space. It's about being honest, straight forward collaboration. Enjoy the process.

Whenever you facilitate a customer journey workshop: create this safe space. Promote honesty and collaboration. And keep the creative process targeted to the ultimate goal.

By the way, a customer journey workshop is a design thinking workshop with a very specific focus – the customer journey. However there are also other types of workshops in design thinking, e.g. stakeholder mapping or persona workshops.

Learn more about design thinking workshops

Benefits of a Customer Journey Mapping Workshop

A customer journey workshop comes with manifold benefits – not only the output is beneficial, but also the process of going through the workshop helps businesses significantly on multiple levels:

  1. Enhanced customer understanding: By comprehending the customer's perspective at each touchpoint, businesses can tailor their strategies to address specific needs and preferences. This heightened understanding can result in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  2. Pinpoint pain points: The workshop helps identify pain points and bottlenecks in the customer journey. Whether it's a confusing checkout process or slow response times, recognizing these issues allows you to rectify them promptly, leading to improved customer experiences.
  3. Cross-functional collaboration: Customer Journey Mapping Workshops involve various teams – marketing, sales, customer service, and more. This collaboration encourages a holistic approach, fostering better communication and alignment among different departments.
  4. Innovation catalyst: Insights gained from these workshops can spark innovation by revealing opportunities for new products, services, or features that cater to unmet customer needs.
  5. Data-driven decision making: Customer Journey Mapping is rooted in data and real customer experiences. This empowers businesses to make informed decisions based on actual interactions, rather than assumptions.
  6. Consistent omni-channel experiences: In today's omnichannel journey landscape, maintaining a consistent experience across various touchpoints is crucial. Mapping workshops help in ensuring that your brand's essence remains intact, regardless of the platform.

Why does a workshop need a facilitator?

workshop facilitator plays a crucial role in ensuring that a workshop is productive, efficient, and achieves its intended objectives. They create a conducive environment for collaboration, learning, and problem-solving, making the experience more valuable for participants.

To be more concrete, a workshop needs a facilitator for several key reasons:

  1. Structure: Facilitators define goals and keep the workshop on track.
  2. Neutrality: They remain unbiased, manage conflicts, and maintain objectivity.
  3. Participation: Facilitators ensure all attendees actively engage.
  4. Time Management: They manage time efficiently to cover all activities.
  5. Problem Solving: Facilitators address issues and guide decisions.
  6. Communication: They promote effective communication and clarify ideas.
  7. Expertise: Facilitators may bring subject matter knowledge.
  8. Creativity: They introduce creative thinking and innovative techniques.
  9. Focus: Facilitators keep discussions aligned with goals.
  10. Evaluation: They provide post-workshop feedback for improvement.

How to facilitate a customer journey mapping workshop

A workshop facilitator brings significant value to the table by guiding and orchestrating the workshop process to ensure its success. Their role extends beyond simply managing the logistics; they play a pivotal role in maximizing the effectiveness of the workshop and achieving its intended outcomes. A neutral perspective, structured approach, and skillful communication enhance engagement, ensuring productive outcomes.

The following slide deck cover the basics of facilitation as well as how to facilitate the development of personas and journey maps.

It’s about the Why of facilitation and key concepts, and also goes through the most important topics to cover in a journey mapping workshop.

Finally, it includes exercises you can take or use during your own workshops.

Workshop RoX2017 Customer Journey Mapping from USECON

What are good tools for a customer journey workshop?

There are numerous tools out there that enable you to create digital journey maps. In general, we an split them into two different categories.

Pen and paper workshops

You can start with pen-and-paper journey templates to quickly have your first drafts ready. Depending on the focus of your workshop, there are manifold other paper templates that you can use additionally: online you will find free templates for personas, stakeholder maps, empathy maps, service blueprints... Choose wisely though! Filling in a pen and paper template might seem easy, however it always takes time to explain the concept, to discuss it, fill it in, present the results and discuss them again.

For a pen-and-paper workshop, people usually add a few things to their toolkit: a classic item are sticky notes. Also, once you get into prototyping you might also like to have cardboard, scissors, rubber bands, rulers or glue at hand.

Digital workshop tools

Digital workshop tools are great for geographically dispersed teams, or to continue a pen-and-paper workshop in a digital environment after having finished the first draft.

Again, there are manifold journey workshop tools out there that all have their pros and cons. We have collected the best digital journey mapping tools in this article, so you have an easier choice.

Tools that help to implement workshop results

Once you have your first draft of your customer journey map, it will be necessary to keep working on it, implement first changes and track results.

Obviously we can recommend you to use a journey management tool like Smaply to do so, however if you're already using a classic project management tool like Asana or Monday – they're okay for the beginning as well.


In conclusion, Customer Journey Mapping Workshops are a strategic imperative for businesses aiming to elevate their customer experiences.

By uncovering pain points, enhancing collaboration, and facilitating data-driven decision-making, these workshops pave the way for improved customer satisfaction, loyalty, and business growth.

Our simple guide will help you facilitate your own workshop.


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