What Distinguishes a Customer Journey Map?

By Jeff Sauro

The customer journey is a natural extension of the marketing funnel and shares many of the same components and goals. Both attempt to map the process a customer goes through with a product or service. Here are four main areas that differentiate a customer journey map from a marketing or sales funnel:

  • More detail: A journey map is like Google Earth: You can go from a 30,000 foot view to get high-level insights but still zoom into the street-level view to understand the micro-interactions in each stage. The typical sales funnel focuses more on the macro view (say above 10,000 feet) and leaves the micro interactions to separate departments.

  • Focus on touchpoints: The moments of friction or delight where companies can differentiate themselves are hallmarks of the journey map and aren’t typically addressed by the sales funnel. Touchpoints happen well before, during, and after a sale and across media.

  • More emphasis on post -purchase behavior: There isn’t much direct selling going on when a customer is using most products, yet long-term usage, usability, and experience impacts a user’s intent to repurchase and recommend the product to his or her networks. Journey maps provide this detail to identify opportunities for improvement.

  • Not just for the sales and marketing teams: The customer journey may be one of the only documents that shows an organization how a customer interacts with it from beginning to end. Typically the marketing and sales teams are only the ones that care about converting leads into sales, while the product team is primarily concerned with fixing problems and adding new features.

    The customer journey map should, and can, act as a unifying document for disparate departments with different goals.