Friday 7 May 2021

Customer journeys

Customer journey maps also referred to a user journey maps are a visual representation of the steps and experiences which a customer traverses while interacting with a product or service. It provides a holistic representation of the customer's experience: 

  • Lifecycle: the stages which the user passes through when traversing the journey 
  • Situations & Activities: are moments without a specific task, which influence a decision:
  • Needs: What the user/customer is aiming to accomplish
  • Touch points: Interaction points (web, phone, etc) between the user and the product or service.
  • Interactions: specific actions or tasks that the user performs at each stage
  • Emotions: how they feel throughout the interactions
  • Pains: Challenges or issues the user may face during their journey.
  • Gains: Benefits or moments of "delight" 


These are the high level stage which the user moves through, these are generally unique to each context, they can however be broken down into the following three most basic steps:

  • Before: Awareness, Research
  • During: Comparison, purchase, use
  • After: Retention

These are just some examples, these lifecycle stages will vary from client to client and project to project, but in essence will generally fall into the Before, During and after groupings.

Situations & Activities

Situations & activities are outside of the product or service you are mapping, they are contextual specific actions or incidents that the user interacts with which influence the user, this could be something like a word of mouth conversation, or reading a review.

The important thing to note, is that these are outside your direct control, these "situations & activities" are influenced by reputation more than anything else.


The needs simply refer to what the user/customer wants, what they want to learn, what they want to accomplish, what they want to buy, this is the aim of the particular stage.


The emotions deal with how the person "feels" at each stage of their journey, this could be sad, happy, frustrated, disappointed, ecstatic, this range can be as wide as the range of human emotions; however you may just want to narrow it down to 3 to 5 emotions.

Touch points

Touch points are the physical entry points to your system, how is the user/customer interacting with your service.


Are the physical actions which your customer does,


The pain points are the aspects of the customer journey which failed to meet the customers expectation, these should be vied not as failures, but as opportunities for the team to improve the customer journey and hence, increase sales, decrease churn, leading to higher profits


These are points within the customer journey which proved to be "Delightful" things which the client enjoyed, these should preserved and used as insight into the user's expectations

The take away

The user journey represents the user's experience across various stages of their engagement with the product or service. The purpose of creating a user journey map is to gain a better understanding of the user's experience in order to identify opportunities for improvement. 

The above is entirely contrived, the stages (columns), and the aspects (rows) may vary a little or drastically, the important thing before constructing a Customer journey map is to ensure that you are capturing the right aspects at the right stages. Also bare in mind that different customers will most likely leverage different journeys, it is very likely that you may have a different journey per persona.