Best customer journey map templates

Customer journey maps allows marketing and sales teams to review and supercharge their customer strategy. Learn how to do it with these inspirational examples.

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Written and reviewed by:
Helena Young

Every business needs a customer journey map (CJM). Writing one is essentially a way to step into the shoes of your target audience so you can understand how they experience your business, from onboarding to post-purchase evaluation.

The exact course your customers will chart depends on unique factors, like sector or location. Whatever direction they do go in, all customer maps start with the same goals in mind: locate buyer pain points, inform decisions, and craft a positive user experience from start to finish.

It is worth noting there are some rules that all CJMs must abide by: they should follow the five stages of a customer journey; be shaped by extensive user research; and should also focus on a specific target, rather than a general desire for customers to be happier.

In the below guide, we’ll set you on the right path by explaining the key stages of customer mapping – with examples. We’ll also highlight the top CJM templates, helping you choose the one that steers you and your customers toward the best possible outcome.

What is a customer journey map?

Customer journey maps are essentially a visual storyline of every interaction a customer has with a service, brand, or product.

Many companies are motivated to build customer journey maps in the hopes of improving user experience and marketing ROI. According to a 2022 report, 94% of businesses think that a CJM helps them to keep up with market demand.

CJMs are especially important ahead of a customer strategy change. Whether choosing a new product to sell, or deciding on a website redesign, it is crucial that firms explore the impact any new directions will have on meeting customer needs

Theoretically, any industry that works directly with a client or customer should have a CJM. While there might be a map owner who is in charge of designing the plan, every team member should regularly view an up-to-date CJM to esnure they have a proper understanding of the customer lifecycle and how it works.

What are the key components of a customer journey map?

4 components of a customer journey map

There are four main components that make up the basic foundation of a customer journey. They are:

  • Touchpoints
  • Actions
  • Pain points
  • Customer sentiments

Think of your customer interactions like a road trip they take with the business. Along the way, they’ll stop off at different touchpoints. For example, they might click on an online ad to travel to your website.

If the customer arrives at your business with a specific intention, they will take action, such as by purchasing your product. Here, they could encounter a pain point, like if they are unable to use the payment method they prefer.

Throughout, the user will experience changing customer sentiments. Perhaps they will feel excited about your product, and then frustrated by the pain point. Understanding these emotions is a key part of creating a successful customer map.

The five stages of a customer journey

Every version of a CJM should usually consist of five stages. In each stage, the four components we discussed earlier will come into play.

Below, we offer a rundown of what each stage entails and where the components might appear. To make it clear what occurs at each waypoint, we’ll use the example of an online store, Kate’s Bakes.

Stage 1: Awareness

The consumer becomes familiar with the Kate’s Bakes brand. This phase is where all the hard work of your marketing team comes into effect, as the individual will come to recognise your logo or name via touchpoints like Google search, word of mouth, or social media.

Stage 2: Consideration

The consumer weighs up Kate’s Bakes product offering. During this phase, they might research the brand to see how it differs from rivals and decide whether they should take action. Big ticket items might take weeks to deliberate while smaller items could take minutes.

Stage 3: Purchase

The customer chooses to make a purchase. It’s important to make this stage as stress-free as possible. If they encounter a pain point here, such as being forced to set up an account with Kate’s Bakes, they might end up returning to the consideration phase.

Stage 4: Post-Purchase

As part of the post-purchase customer experience, firms should keep in touch with current customers. For example, Kate’s Bakes might offer the customer an exclusive discount on its brownies to maintain the relationship and increase the likelihood of a repeat purchase.

Stage 5: Advocacy

The final stage is the hardest to reach. In the advocacy stage, the customer will go on to recommend Kate’s Bakes to others, such as by posting a review. Companies can encourage this phase by rewarding advocates, incentivising them to give the brand a shout out.

Five stages of a customer journey

How to create a customer journey map

Now that you know the five stages that typically make up the customer journey and the key ingredients used to build the map, it’s time to create your CJM. Here’s how to create one in five steps:

1. Define your objectives

The success of any project is measured by how well you achieved your targets. As a first step, it is important to write down the objective of the customer mapping process and how you will reach it. Consider using a RACI chart template to plan this out.

For example, if you are an IT support firm, you might decide you want to halve the time it takes to resolve a customer complaint or issue.

2. Identify customer personas and segments

Customer personas (also known as buyer personas or user personas) can be helpful to focus your customer journey map on the specific type of person you are optimising for. You might already have from designing a marketing plan.

Make sure you flesh out your persona by collecting real-life testimonials from existing or potential customers. Conduct interviews or email a survey to discern who your customer is and how you might better serve them.

Using our example of the IT support firm, a user persona might look like this: they are someone with very little IT knowledge who finds calling the help desk stressful. They feel intimidated because they fear they may have done something wrong.

3. Define touchpoints and channels

Customer touchpoints is the section you have the most control over. Use the findings from your customer research to plot out where your touchpoints should be.

Your chosen touchpoints should accurately reflect your customer journey. Instagram might be a good choice for a photography business to showcase its images, whereas a Facebook business account is a sensible option for a local contractor wanting to advertise their services.

Think about any pain points expressed by your audience. For example, our IT support business knows its customers feel too intimidated to report an issue. It might be best for the business to offer an informal support channel, like WhatsApp, instead of email.

4. Explore your map to determine customer goals at each stage

Collaborate with team members and stakeholders to create your CJM using the above data and touchpoints. Use a template to customise your design so you can instantly visualise the different actions and emotions of buyers or users.

Once you have a well-developed map, you can begin looking for gaps or potential pain points for customers. Travel along each step in the journey to imagine how a customer might feel at each point, and where their needs might not be met.

Present your findings to the entire company to identify areas for improvement, and come up with a suggested roadmap for implementing them. For example, if our IT support firm decides to migrate to WhatsApp Business, it will need a contingency and adoption plan.

5. Build your new, improved customer journey map

Take the learnings from the previous four steps and jump straight into designing the version of a CJM you’d like to see.

Arrange the pipeline to construct a smooth, streamlined journey that will keep customers satisfied well into the post-purchase and advocacy phases.

Best customer journey mapping templates

To create a comprehensive, easy-to-understand map of your customer interactions, it’s a good idea to use a ready-made template to get you started.

We recommend using free project management software to plan and implement your customer journey strategy.

The best project management systems provide auto-populated templates, which will help you avoid wasting time drawing up charts and tables.

Below, we’ve listed some inspirational examples of CJM templates to help you get started. All are available for free, or free with a trial:

1. Customer Service template from ClickUp

ClickUp’s generous feature allowances means the app can be used to design every stage of the mapping process. Users can brainstorm touchpoints and customer personas using the ClickUp whiteboard view, and invite collaborators to share feedback.

The free Gantt chart template shows the customer journey as a timeline, while the Table view (shown below) lets you create a spreadsheet of customer feedback.

Customer journey map template by ClickUp

We think the above Customer Service template, which is free to download, is best for SMEs in service-based industries, such as online sellers dealing with big-ticket items.

During testing, any relevant information about a customer case that we wanted to capture was easily added into the sheet using ClickUp’s “Custom Fields” tool. We could also allocate tasks or clients to different team members, helping to speed up delivery by better managing resources.

The only drawback with ClickUp Free is that users only get 10 free automations per month to work with. This could slow the time taken to resolve issues. Once all 10 uses have been used, you won’t be able to automatically move customers along the funnel.

2. Customer Onboarding template from monday.com 

monday.com is another multi-use workflow tool that provides a wide array of dashboard views and data tools for plotting out your CJM.

In our full review of the monday.com platform, we acknowledged the app as being the best work tool for its famously customisable templates. Users get an attractive, colour-coded view of the customer pipeline, making it easy to spot (literal) red flags signalling a pain point.

We recommend the Customer Onboarding template from monday.com. It is designed to mark the entire client onboarding process from first meeting through to client training, which is an excellent blueprint for B2B companies.

Customer journey map template by monday.com

During our testing, we found it easy to add other members of the team so they could view and edit the dashboard. This will ensure a smooth transition for when sales reps hand the client over to account managers.

Unfortunately, the Customer Onboarding template is only available with a 14-day free trial of monday.com. You'll have to purchase the lowest-tiered plan, monday.com Basic for access after a fortnight.

Nonetheless, the longevity of monday. com’s offering means it will still prove valuable for your firm’s customer strategy long after your CJM has been executed.

3. Sales Pipeline template from Asana

We recommend the Sales Pipeline template from Asana to sales teams. Similar to ClickUp and monday.com, Asana allows users to view the sales pipeline template in a List, Board, Calendar, or Timeline View. Below, you can see the list format (because Asana is based in North America, it displays pricing information in US$).

Sales pipeline template by Asana

Available to download for free with the Asana freemium plan, this template is not as interactive as monday.com. We also found its preset columns weren’t as simple to edit as monday.com’s. However, Asana’s most valuable feature is its automations tool, Asana Rules.

Users can easily add Rules to automatically reassign tasks or update custom fields when certain triggers happen. For example, we used Rules to automatically remind us to send a follow-up email if we hadn’t received a reply from a potential customer by a certain date.

Verdict

Customer journey mapping provides a chance for the business owner to see things from the buyer’s point of view. It is a must-follow method for businesses seeking to enhance their customer experience and generate new leads.

The findings you gather will offer valuable insights into brand interactions, pain points, and opportunities for how you might bolster your relationship with your customers.

Today’s consumer expectations have become more demanding and, with the market growing increasingly competitive, crafting a streamlined and focused customer journey is the best way to outpace your competitors and deliver a satisfied customer.

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Customer journey FAQs
  • What is the difference between a customer journey map and a user journey map?
    Simply put, a customer journey map considers both online and offline interactions between brand and buyer, while a user journey map only considers online buyers. It is because of this that the customer journey tends to be more complex and multistage.
  • How often should a customer journey map be updated?
    A good rule of thumb is to update your customer journey map at least every six months. Any less than this, and you risk missing a decline in customer numbers until it’s too late to prevent. Any more, and you’ll likely be making too many big strategic changes too quickly.
  • Can customer journey maps be used for both B2B and B2C businesses?
    Yes. B2B companies should design a customer journey map. However, it’s a good idea to use a different format for the B2B journey. These maps are often more complex than that of a B2C because the consideration and purchasing phases tend to be much longer.
  • Are there any tools available for creating customer journey maps?
    We recommend project management software as the best way to map out your customer journey. The best systems provide a visual breakdown of your entire customer pipeline, so you can track the entire customer lifecycle. It will also come with built-in analytics and metrics features, enabling a data-led approach to improving the customer experience.
Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.

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