Customer Experience

Chapter 3: Define your Customer Journey

Feb 1, 2021

7 mins read

Manisha Khandelwal


In the third episode of the Experience talk: Voice of Customer and Employee, Tanuj Diwan, Head of Product and Nandkishor Tripathi aka NK, Global Head of Customer Experience and Success at SurveySensum are talking about one of the most important aspects of the VOC program – How to define your Customer Journey?

So, let’s jump right into it!

Click here to listen to this insightful conversation on Spotify!

What is Customer Journey Mapping?

Customer Journey Map allows you to see how the customer felt about your product or service throughout the journey!

It is a visual representation of customers and their behavior at all touch-points across the customer journey. It focuses on the macro level and can go to the micro-level depending on the customer journey path you want to capture.

Customer Journey differs for each customer persona that is why understanding your customer is of utmost importance. Because every customer persona has different psychographics, emotions, and needs.

So, sometimes focusing on all personas can be a challenge. Pick the persona with the highest net worth and focus on it.

And if you understand the customer persona you are interacting with, you need to capture its customer journey from point A to point B. For example, a teenage boy visiting Walmart to buy PS4 has a completely different journey from the mother of two buying cereal in Walmart. It is not a linear process. You need to understand their emotions, desires, perceptions, and their expectations from your brand.

Importance of Customer Journey Mapping

  1. Brings alignment across the departments
  2. Gives you an overview of the entire customer journey lifecycle
  3. Reveals the gaps between channels and the departments
  4. Identifies the moment of truth, or say the emotional gap
  5. Prioritizes improvement initiatives
That’s how the customer journey mapping helps the brands, specifically the decision-makers to take the action on what needs to be done to delight the customer!

Customer Journey Mapping – The Proactive Approach

Taking action from the feedback is the reactive approach. How?

The feedback you gather in a VOC program, you listen to it and take action accordingly. YOu are reacting to whatever data is captured. That’s a reactive approach!

On the other hand, Customer Journey Mapping is a proactive approach. 

Instead of waiting for customer feedback, you know what is happening at every touchpoint throughout the customer journey. It also,

  • brings all your teams onto a single platform
  • makes them think on the same level – the outside-in approach
  • builds customer-centricity across the organization.
  • brings innovation into your thought process.
  • helps you set and prioritize your roadmap plan
  • reduces the churn as your actions are directly impacted by the customers’ feelings.

It gives you a realistic idea.

So, you won’t be focusing on reducing the churn, instead, you prevent it from happening in the first place!

Setting goals while Customer Journey Mapping

Defining the goal is the most important thing. Because once you define where you want to reach and what exactly is the outcome that you want, your entire focus, activity, and task are dedicated towards that!

Remarkable insights were given by deBBie Akwara on setting goals! 

She talks about Voice of the Business. 

Now, what is Voice of the Business you may ask! 

Every business has a voice. It could be ‘We need more customers, we need more business, we are losing money.’ The companies are always looking for something. So, you need to find the problem, goals, objectives, visions, and mission. Your responsibility as the CX is to focus on the problem and the goals. Because only by resolving the problem you can achieve your goals.

When you are setting your goals while Customer Journey Mapping, divide them into:

  1. Short term goals
  2. Long term goals

Setting short term goals 

  • help you track your progress and identify your mistakes
  • show everyone how important VOC it
  • early wins motivate you to take the next step
  • understand the moment of truth
  • build an approach to think outside-in

On the other hand, long term goals

  • gives direction to your VOC program
  • help you create milestones
  • help you plan an efficient VOC program
  • build customer-centricity across the organization

It helps your teams to understand what their customers want first and carry out their activities accordingly.

Who all should be involved in the customer journey mapping exercise?

The Customer Journey Mapping exercise doesn’t aim to build something, to add a new feature, or to deploy something. It revolves around the customers. It pushes the participants to ask themselves

  • How does my customer feel about it? 
  • How was their journey? 
  • Were they able to accomplish things during their journey? 
  • Was it enjoyable? 

It aims to bring all the participants into the customers’ shoes and think from their perspective. That’s an outside-in approach.  

So, anyone directly or indirectly talking to the customers should be involved.

  • All the people who are actually making decisions that drive the actions that customers perceive or receive.
  • Support team (they are in direct touch with the customers)
  • Product team (they need to know their customer to improve their product)
  • And the POCs of each department to bring everyone on the same page.

Who else do you think should be involved?

What about the customers? 

Should you involve customers in the Customer Journey Mapping exercise?

Having a customer in your customer journey mapping exercise adds value to it. Having a customer right there and then tells you what they require, what they expect, and what they like. 

Also, it helps to align all the stakeholders to focus on one goal and bring both the front-end and back-end teams on the same ground. Some of the brands nowadays have started to bring their ambassadors to be a part of the Customer Journey Mapping exercise. 

But the point to note here is – Do not add the customers in the first level of mapping as it would overwhelm them! 

Indeed add them post the design is verified. They can validate your outcomes. Also, only add the customers who are your brand partners and close to the business.

While having a customer or say customer chair is the thumb rule, it’s not mandatory! (It’s a mindset that needs to be aligned with all participants.)

How to create a Customer Persona?

Don’t focus on researching about the customers to create personas. 

The right way to identify your customer persona is to the direct source! – The customers!

Create a list of 10-15 questions to understand everything you need to know about them. Here are some of the questions you can start with. 

  1. Ask them about their goals
  2. What keeps them awake at night?
  3. What motivates them?
  4. What does a day in their job look like?
  5. What does a successful outcome look like?

This will not only help you define your persona better but will also make your brand’s message better. This will help you understand what they actually need and what you can do to provide them that. 

Click here to know how to create Customer Personas in detail.

Bonus Question: Does the Customer Journey Map contribute to improving the overall experience?

The most important part of the Customer Journey Mapping is aligning your organization on the same goal. 


Imagine, if everybody is selling the boat in the same direction, how much the effort of every individual could increase the speed of it!

Similarly, bringing alignment in the organization and clarity/thought on what exactly needs to be achieved and how enhances the overall experience of the customer. 

Also, it really helps in setting realistic expectations for the customer and then also helps you in finding ways to exceed that expectation. 

At last, how to create a Customer Journey Map?

Here are the 6 steps to create a Customer Journey Map.

steps to create a Customer Journey Map.

To map your Customer Journey click here to watch the workshop!

That’s all for the third episode!

In the next episode ‘Chapter 4: Workshop to Customer Journey Mapping’, we are running a Customer Journey Mapping workshop. 

Click here to listen on Spotify!

Click here to listen on Youtube!

Stay Tuned! ?

Manisha Khandelwal

Senior Content Marketer at SurveySensum

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