The Steps of a Customer’s Journey

By Jeff Sauro

Part of Customer Analytics For Dummies Cheat Sheet

A customer journey map is a visualization of the phases a customer goes through when engaging with a product or service. Apply customer analytics, start with a specific customer segment, and then work from general to specific details:

  1. Pick a persona or segment.

    With customers segmented by demographics and behavior, you have many of the important pieces of the customer journey ready.

  2. Determine the stages.

    Construct a map around a sequence of events that happen in a timeline. This is usually awareness, consideration, preference, action, and loyalty.

  3. Define the steps.

    Construct a sequence of major steps the customer takes from awareness to post-purchase. The steps are more finely grained segments to describe the sequences through the journey.

  4. Identify the touchpoints.

    List the physical or digital interaction your customers experience during their relationship life cycle with your product or service: websites, salespeople, store, TV and radio advertisements, search engine results, direct mail, email, and social media.

  5. Identify customer questions at each stage.

    Ask your target customers what questions they have about the product or service. This helps craft branding messages, opportunities for product improvements, and the metrics you should collect to determine how well you’re addressing each stage.

  6. Find the pain points.

    At each stage (awareness, consideration, preference, action, and loyalty), understand where the customer, or prospective customer, encounters barriers or friction to making a purchase or repeat purchase.

  7. Define metrics for each stage.

    Look for metrics that are already being collected in your organization or by a third party, or collect them yourself.

  8. Identify who is accountable for each stage in the journey.

    Be sure someone is accountable to each stage, and ideally, each step. Different disciplines, from product development to marketing to usability, know their domains and metrics best.

  9. Uncover opportunities.

    Look at each of the pain points as an opportunity for innovation and improvement, and not just for damage control.

  10. Periodically validate.

    Plan on revisiting your journey map to see what information has changed and what needs to be updated.