Customer Journey Mapping: Where to Begin

Customer Journey Mapping: Where to Begin


It is important to understand that a customer journey, at its core, is a process. It may seem limited from the customers point of view, but it is a process, nevertheless. In this series, we are going to discuss how to understand, catalog, and capture the overall customer journey and relate it back to your internal business architecture. This includes processes, resources, and systems that are required to make that journey happen successfully. Of course, a successful journey is not always the best experience. By aligning internal business architecture with the customers journey, we are now in the best position to identify improvements that will simultaneously benefit the customer and be a strategic fit for the overall business. So where do we start?

#1 – Identify and Catalog the Journey(s)

To begin we will engage the stakeholder community to identify potential Experiences. Each experience may have multiple journeys that will be mapped and captured in the platform. A few examples of an Experience may include:

  • customer buys a new car
  • a new home
  • new mortgage
  • opens a new account
  • requests a new service
  • requests to close an account
  • move/transfer service

Once the Experiences have been identified, we can begin to Map out the journey(s) from the customer point of view. This may include identifying and capturing the “moments” or distinct interactions a customer may have throughout the journey. These moments may include the trigger event that caused them to begin looking for a product or service, all the way through to obtaining and using the product and any support they received afterward. For example, a prospect looking to purchase a software product might go through:

  1. Trigger
  2. Research
  3. Web Demo
  4. Custom Demo & Sales Advisement
  5. References
  6. Offer
  7. Order
  8. Implementation
  9. Training / Support

customer journey map Figure 1 Customer Journey Map Now that our journeys are identified and mapped, we are ready to move on to the next step, creating the relationships to our business architecture.  

Part 2 Connecting the Business Architecture

  Now that our journeys are identified and mapped, we are ready to move on to the next step, creating the relationships to our business architecture.

2. Connect the dots between your customer experience and business architecture.

Remember — a Customer Journey is merely a process that focuses on the customer’s point of view. If we have a process-centric platform, we can now identify and relate the internal processes to support that journey.

Close collaboration between your stakeholders, business analysts, and Business Process Management (BPM) team is required here.

  • Helpful Hint: Workshops and collaboration with your customers/stakeholders are key to breaking down the moments in your overall journey.

BPM and Process Knowledge Management platforms can really help here. The iGrafx platform provides a variety of Business Objects to help organizations track relationships. These include:

  • Customer Experience
  • Internal Process
  • Resources
  • Systems
  • Regulatory or Operational Risk
  • Mitigating Controls
  • Corporate Strategy


Without them, our journeys are nothing more than pretty pictures on a wall. There’s no real way to visualize their requirements or how they truly flow. In addition, making or suggesting experience improvements are best guesses rather than rooted in actual data.

Customer Journey with related Business Architecture

Figure 1 Customer Journey with related Business Architecture

With our processes now aligned we can look at how to effectively monitor and measure Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This ensures we are meeting both our internal and external expectations.

Journey Moment with connected Business Architecture

Figure 2 Journey Moment with connected Business Architecture  

Part 3 What and How to Measure

Now that we have a catalog of customer experiences and a set of journeys defined, having specific measurements will provide visibility of pain points in the customer journey. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) connected to the customer journey and the supporting processes helps to establishes a baseline for tracking improvements and proving results and ROI later.  To do this, we will need to identify what you currently measure and what may be useful.  Now askdoes my customer agree that those are the important metrics?

  • Note: According to a recent report 82% of brands think they are delivering a quality customer experience. However, only 10% of customers agree that brands meet their experience expectations.

customer journey metrics Create key performance indicators (KPIs) for these measurements and begin capturing data to establish your baseline metric.

  • Helpful Hint: You may utilize technologies such as process mining to help extract these data points as well as possibly identify systems, resources, or activities not previously identified when performing your mapping exercise.

These KPIs will also help identify process deficiencies that may be impacting overall customer experience, which brings us to the next step. Focusing on Process Improvement.  

Part 4 Process Improvement

You now have clear data points that identify specific pain points and bottlenecks within your internal processes. These will be the target of our improvement projects, both Process Improvement and Experience or Journey Improvement. In this article we will start with Process Improvement.

Focus on Process Improvement

To do this you may decide to use a variety of different methodologies. These may include:

  • Six Sigma
  • Lean Manufacturing
  • Lean Six Sigma
  • Theory of Constraints
  • TQM
  • ISO

Regardless of what you choose, they all share the philosophy that processes can almost always be improved, and the assumption of measurements and data will be key to that improvement. This will mean that all require you to have something to baseline against which means you need to capture and define your processes and understand their current behavior. This was touched on in Part 3 of this series.

Having completed step 2, you also you will now understand the relationships between the customers journey and your internal business processes, systems and resources required to support them. This will help you to grasp the full impact of any proposed change to your business process or the underlying architecture. Additionally, with iGrafx, you can identify gaps in risk, compliance, and ownership. See which journeys are directly aligned to the overall corporate strategy.

Mapping the customer journey helps bring prioritization and visibility your process improvement. It also helps with transformation efforts.  

Part 5 Improve the Experience

To improve the customer experience, we need to first understand the actual expectations of the customer vs how they actually interact with our organization. To improve the experience, we must also have a clear understanding of the internal structure required to support that experience. It is only then that we can make recommendations for process improvements OR technological solutions to support your Digital Transformation objectives such as Chat Bots, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Process Automation, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), etc.

  • Helpful Hint:
    • Rules before Tools. Implement technologies to support your process and improve experience. Never adjust the process to fit the limitation of the technology.

Congratulations!  You just completed A customer experience project.  However, as with any transformation journey it is important to remember that it is in fact a journey. Customer expectations are always changing. What was innovative today, is standard service tomorrow. When it comes to your overall Transformation journey, a process centric approach based on customer experience is the only way to improve our capability for success. Over these past weeks we have discussed how to think about and improve customer experience by breaking it down in 4 steps. Here are some key take-aways from the series.

Key Takeaways

  • Pick a project that is easy to implement (limited scope)
    • High Impact / Low Risk or Complexity
  • Pick a project for which you will get good interaction with stakeholders
    • Stakeholders understand their processes and the customers’ expectations
  • Pick a project where you either already have or can get quality data or metrics
    • If you do not have a baseline you will not have any way to prove ROI or experience improvements
  • Pick a project where the supporting processes are, or can be, clearly documented
    • This will help you in uncovering pain points, and then measuring improvements once the customer journey has been mapped and individual moments have been improved.
  • Pick a project which will solve a problem which brings strategic value to the business
    • Remember, Rules before Tools. Understanding the processes, systems and resources supporting the customers experience, provides visibility on where and which process improvement methodologies or technology to apply.
  • Pick a project – which can be a „success story“ for your BPM team.
    • If your team can use customer journey mapping and continuous process improvement methodologies to effectively provide value to the business and your customers, you will have the foundation for further adoption, as wells as executive justification to fund future projects.


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