Improve Customer Experience by Journey Mapping using Mind Maps

If you are in business, you know how vital your customers are to your business success. Learn how to map your customer journeys with mind maps to improve your customer experience and benefit your business.

We live in the age of the customer. Now, power has shifted from institutions and organizations toward customers who currently have higher expectations than ever. This era of the customer represents the next business imperatives, with customer experience as the differentiator and an opportunity for companies and organizations to embrace the customers and anchor their strategy around customers to fuel their growth. 

Understanding Customer Experience (CX)

In his famous quote on customer experience, Steve Jobs gives insight into his often-repeated view on the order of building a business and the role of customer experience:

“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.”

Steve Jobs

Customer experience, often called CX, is defined as, “The perception that customers have of an organization – one that is formed based on interactions across all touchpoints, people, and technology over time.” (Customer Experience Professionals Association, CXPA)

Customer experience is all around us. At Starbucks, coffee is a commodity, and the Starbucks experience is what we’re buying. Amazon is known for its smooth buying experience, and Trader Joe’s provides a unique grocery experience. Look around; you’ll see countless examples of companies differentiating from competitors on the customer experience they provide. As McKinsey explains, elevating customer experience excellence is the next normal.

What is Journey Mapping?

CX management is a set of practices that an organization employs to meet (or exceed) customers’ expectations (CXPA). Customer journey mapping, or journey mapping for short, is one of the tools that organizations most often use to understand the customer experience better and improve it. 

A journey map is a visual representation, from the customer’s perspective, of every interaction that customers encounter with a company. It illustrates a customer’s expectations, experiences, and reflections as the customer interacts with a company over time, across multiple stages, touchpoints, and channels. Journey maps are more than just visual tools. Their value-added is in the journey mapping process itself, which facilitates understanding of customer experiences and subsequent redesign of those experiences. 

See an example below of this coffee shop visit journey map (UXPressia).

Why use Journey Maps for Customer Experience (CX)?

To improve the experience of your customers, first, you need to understand the journeys your customers take. Journey maps help companies figure out which touchpoints are value-creating and which are value-eroding. Across industries, overall journey experience is a far better predictor of customer satisfaction and business outcomes than satisfaction around a single touchpoint. By better understanding the steps and stages involved in customers’ journeys, and managing entire customer journeys, companies can improve the customer experience and create a competitive advantage over competitors. 

How to Journey Map?

Although every company and customer is different, and journey maps take various forms, the underlying components of journey maps consistently make them useful across companies. Above all, the most crucial point to keep in mind is to do the journey mapping from the customer’s perspective and capture the customer’s voice.

Key questions to guide you through the journey mapping process:

Purpose & Scope

What are the objectives of your journey map? How far do you want to zoom in/out on the journey? Where will the journey start and where will it end?

Persona

Who are your customers? How can you gain a deeper understanding of your customers from demographic data and customer interviews? How can you group them into personas? To begin, start with no more than three personas. 

Data

How will you gather customer and customer journey data (e.g., interviews and surveys)?

Scenario & Stages

What journeys will you map? What stages make up their journeys (typically pre-service, service, and post-service)? 

Touch Points

First, ask: what actions do your customers take? Give each touchpoint a title and description summarizing the activity or interaction. Then, what is your customer trying to do? Describe the touchpoints in the way a customer would. With that in mind, what visuals can you add to tell the story better and bring the journey to life (also known as a storyboard)?

Channels of Communication

Journeys are often multitouch and multichannel. To understand the journey, ask, for example, what channels are customers using to interact (e.g., in-person and website)?

Experiences

What are customer experiences? And importantly, how are they different from their expectations? What are they thinking? Add additional information to describe the customer’s experience including qualitative and quantitative data.

Emotions

How do they feel (typically on a 3-point or 5-point scale)? Moreover, which moments have the highest emotional intensity?

Insights

What are the pain points? What are the moments that matter (make or break moment)? Which moments of truth should you prioritize? How are your people, tools, systems, and processes contributing to the customer experience (service blueprint analysis)? To follow up on the results of these questions, how can you further research the issues you’ve identified?

Action

What are the opportunities and ideas for making CX improvements? What does an improved customer experience look like? How do things need to change? What’s next? Follow through on customer insights and take action. How will you measure and track how effectively you’re meeting customer’s needs? Set key performance indicators (KPIs) to track your progress.


Revisit the coffee shop journey map example above to see how these journey mapping steps are incorporated into the map.

How to Journey Map with Mind Maps?

Journey maps are useful because they visually illustrate the experience a customer has with a service, product, or company over the customer journey. The best way to create a journey map is with a visual, flexible, and collaborative journey mapping software. 

Journey maps can also be created with mind mapping software, such as MindMeister. And, with MindMeister, teams can create a journey map together, share it internally and externally, present it to stakeholders, and change it based on customer feedback and collaborators. 

Journey mapping steps with mind maps:

  1. Begin with the title of the journey map as the central topic. Add purpose, scope, persona, and data collection information in the notes.
  2. Create journey stages as subtopics to the central topic.
  3. Add touchpoints as subtopics to journey stages. Give them a descriptive title. In the notes, describe each touchpoint. Add a channel of communication as an icon. Add a storyboard image.
  4. To each touchpoint, add three subtopics: experience, insight, and action. For each experience subtopic, describe the experience in the notes and add an emotion icon. 
  5. Format for additional visual impact.

Here are a couple templates to get you started:

Journey Map Template

Restaurant Journey Map:

Get Started with Journey Mapping

Customer journey maps will help you improve your business by better understanding your customers. By mapping the customer journeys, with journey mapping applications or MindMeister, you’ll be able to identify what’s working well and what’s not. Then, you can take action on pain points. Importantly, journey maps will provide you with insight to improve your customers’ experience, ultimately leading to better business outcomes.

Additional Resources for Customer Experience (CX)

Helpful resources on journey mapping:

Helpful resources on mind mapping:

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