We completed another energetic customer journey mapping workshop recently. So many of my clients want to utilize this process to convert volumes of research or institutional knowledge into a concise, yet visually compelling story that benefits their business.

Once the journey map is created, stakeholders across many levels of an organization can easily understand customers’ pain points.  

You might think it seems simple to document the customer’s steps through the company’s process. But it’s not. Following are the top three mistakes companies make when trying to map a customer’s journey.

Unclear Persona  

When you can’t clearly define the customer you’re targeting, you won’t get the level of detail needed to help you correct the customer’s pain point.Go as deep as you can to define the persona.

For example, does the persona prefer a phone call over email to communicate with your organization? This small detail can make a big difference in your ability to meet that person’s needs and successfully address any issues they may experience.

Undefined Journey Beginning and Ending Points

Before jumping into the customer’s journey, you should clearly establish a beginning and ending point for this journey.

Most of my clients choose to map a certain point of interaction with their client versus mapping the customer’s full lifecycle. This more targeted approach will identify many short-term tactical areas for improvements, such as behavioral changes and process changes, and long-term opportunities for change, such as technology enhancements. 

An example of a clearly defined point in a customer’s journey could be limited to the account-opening process versus the full journey of product selection.

not your journey

In this example, in order to focus on the first transaction conducted with the product following the account opening, we would exclude the marketing material received before the customer selected the product and the related product-selection decision-making process. Mapping this specific customer journey allows us to identify opportunities to interact with the customer in the first 30, 60 and 90 days from account opening. These milestones are some of the most critical interactions to build customer loyalty.

Not Thinking Like the Customer 

It‘s hard to think like the customer because no one thinks more like the customer than the actual customer! The challenge here is you may find yourself thinking about all the internal processes required to meet the customer’s needs or of all the system limitations within your organization. But you need to realize, none of this matters to the customer. They simply want their request fulfilled or their problem solved

The customer journey mapping process is an extremely valuable visualization tool. 

It brings customer needs and emotions to light by guiding stakeholders through the entire series of interactions a customer has with your company, and helps you to pinpoint areas for improvement.


About Jacqueline M. Vose

Jacqueline Vose joined Greenwich Associates in 2013. She is responsible for developing the strategic direction for the Customer Experience business through product development and client engagement. Formerly, Jackie was Head of U.S. Customer... view more

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