Journey maps are still wildly popular, and for good reason: Done right, they can transform the customer experience (CX) your company delivers and even alter its culture. Although journey maps can be powerful tools for driving change, CX teams often struggle to get the most out of their mapping efforts, in part because the deliverables they present aren’t suited to them or the situation.

Journey maps must have a clear purpose!

Ask yourself:

  • Who is the journey map for? Example: Is it for executive reporting or for a CX design team that needs more detail?
  • How will the journey map be used? Example: Is it for executive buy-in; employee training; project prioritization? All of the above?

Untailored Journey Maps Are A Bad Fit For Any Occasion

Untailored maps provide too much information, the wrong information, or the correct information in a difficult-to-decipher format. That undermines maps’ power to illuminate and persuade — regardless of whether the CX team needs the map to help deepen customer understanding, break down silos, inject customer thinking into the design process, or train employees.

CX teams should approach each journey mapping project with a specific purpose in mind. Nevertheless, one project should result in a variety of outputs, each of which should be tailored to a different use case by speaking directly to a specific audience about specific goals.

A Journey Map Is A Means To An End

A journey map is not a pretty picture, it’s a decision-making tool. It is a means to an end and it needs to be fit for purpose! Common use cases that CX teams encounter are best served by different maps (i.e., that include different map elements or swim lanes and different levels of detail):

Build Your Journey Maps Like Lego, With Building Blocks

CX practitioners are often unsure of how to present the elements of their journey maps, like: metrics, emotion curves, ecosystem maps, multiple personas, illustrations, supplementary deliverables, and future-state maps. One size does not fit all.

CX professionals can make their journey maps more effective by considering the audience and use case to determine what information to include on each map. Nevertheless, there are many ways to show common journey mapping elements, and using the right visuals can make maps more informative, accessible, and persuasive.

Use The Seven Steps Of Highly Effective Journey Mapping To Drive Action From Your Maps

To unlock the power of journey maps as a transformational tool, CX professionals should follow seven essential steps. The steps fall into three change management phases:

  • Frame the journey mapping effort.
  • Create the journey map.
  • Ensure gains from journey mapping.


Seven steps of journey mapping graphic
Seven steps of journey mapping graphic

For Journey Mapping To Succeed, It’s Vital To:

  • Frame your approach by starting with a clear purpose and goal.
  • Pick the right building blocks to build tangible, actionable journey maps.
  • Identify connections across journeys in your journey atlas.
  • Ensure stakeholder buy in to drive action and show results.

Join me and my colleague, VP and research director Martin Gill, on July 16 as we discuss these best practices, share practical tips, and highlight case studies on how leading CX teams are setting themselves up for journey success, and examine how AI is elevating journey mapping tools into real-time, operational CX management platforms. Learn more and register.