The Complete Guide to Creating an Effective Customer Journey Map (2023)

By: Nate Fineberg
March 20, 2023
The Complete Guide to Creating an Effective Customer Journey Map (2023)

According to the data, optimizing your customer journey will help you to.

  • 18X faster average sales cycles
  • 10X improvement in customer service costs
  • 5X greater revenue from customer referrals

In this hyper-competitive market, everything matters, especially the user experience. In fact, consumers are willing to pay more for a superior experience.

Customer Experience

And that’s what a proper customer journey map will help you achieve!

In this guide, you’ll discover our top strategies that helped our customers achieve these exceptional results. We’ll also share a few hands-on secrets to help you gain a competitive edge.

What Is a Customer Journey?

A customer journey is the whole interaction of a customer with your business. It starts with a stranger discovering your business and ends with a purchase or post-purchase behavior.

There is no such thing as a universal customer journey – it’s different for each business.

Why Is Customer Journey Important?

A customer journey is important because it can make or break a sale. If you have the proper touchpoints in place, you can experience a massive increase in revenue.

If done correctly, it can also help you achieve a 54% greater return on marketing investment.

Here are some of the biggest benefits of a high-converting customer journey.

#1: More Sales

The biggest benefit of optimizing your customer journey is an increase in sales.

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. If you map out your customer journey well, you can see where the friction points are and what to do to fix the issues.

This can help you resolve any problems and increase the likelihood of a sale.

Also, a properly optimized customer journey is hyper-personalized to a lead in every stage of the sales cycle.


This makes your leads feel special, increasing the chances of conversion. 

#2: Exceptional Experience

The best businesses are the ones that provide the best customer experience.

In fact, customers care about their experience so much that they are willing to spend more on companies that provide a better experience.

You definitely want your customers to refer your product to their colleagues or partners, right?

…and providing the best possible experience is a way to achieve that.

Customer Journey Phases

A customer journey is divided into multiple phases each lead goes through.

It starts with a customer being in the awareness phase, where they discover your company and products, and ends with a purchase or post-purchase action.

Custom Journey

Here are the five customer journey phases to optimize.

#1: Awareness

You have a problem and need a solution, so you start Googling.

You have no idea how to solve your problem; you just know you need to solve it. You do your research and read a bunch of blog posts online.

Img Google Search

This stage is mostly about providing potential customers with educational content. 

These are:

  • Blog posts
  • Tutorials
  • Videos

You’re trying to provide information – not sell your products. If you try selling at this stage, you’ll not succeed since leads have no idea what your product is or why to choose it.

The Goal: Provide the answer and let them know you exist.

#2: Consideration

You’ve learned about different solutions to your problem. Now you just need to pick one – the solution that suits you the most.

Crm Software

This is a stage where a potential customer tries to choose between you and your competitor’s solution. 

You can help prospects decide to choose your product by offering them:

  • FAQ section
  • Customer reviews
  • Free trials and demos

Also, ensure your unique selling proposition is clear and a potential customer understands it.

Unique Selling Proposition

After all, this is your biggest separator and will probably decide whether a customer will choose your product or competitor’s alternative.

The Goal: Answer customers’ questions, present USP, and show superiority.

#3: Purchase

You are ready to order, but the price you’ll need to pay is high. Fortunately, you get a limited coupon, buy the product, and start using it to the fullest.

15% Discount

This stage is critical since it’s where the sales are made.

It’s vital that there are no problems and that the whole customer experience is intuitive. A hard-to-navigate buying process may send a customer back to the consideration stage.

Aside from optimizing user experience, you should also: 

  • Add urgency
  • Offer coupons
  • Restate benefits

Re-assuring a potential customer to make a purchase is vital for your profitability.

The goal: Create an intuitive buying process and close a deal.

#4: Retention Stage

You have a few problems with a product now and then, but the customer service is perfect and helps you with everything.

You are very happy and have decided to stay and keep using the product.

Business Bot Chat

This stage is about retaining customers and making them satisfied with your product. Most businesses don’t pay too much attention to this step because they are after more sales.

But data shows that acquiring customers is a lot more expensive than retaining them.


Therefore make sure to retain your customer by:

  • Starting a customer loyalty program
  • Continually improving your products
  • Providing excellent customer service

Most of the time, if you don’t mess something up, your customers will stay with your business.

The goal: Retain customers and improve customer loyalty.

#5: Advocacy

You are super-satisfied with the product now, especially since it was improved. And you get offered a 10% commission for every new customer you bring to the company.

You can’t wait to tell your friends and family about the product and make money.

This stage is about leveraging existing customers to help you get more sales. It can be done by using many different ways like:

  • Providing social proof
  • Offering commissions
  • Sharing by word of mouth

If you can perfect this stage, you’ll start to exponentially grow and smash your business goals.

The goal: Get more reviews, spread positive word of mouth, and increase sales.

What Is a Customer Journey Mapping?

A customer journey map is a visual representation of the customer’s experience with a company.

It provides additional information that the customer journey does not provide, such as the needs of customers at each stage and factors that directly and indirectly affect their behavior.

Types of Customer Journey Maps

These are three most common types of customer journey maps. Each of them provides unique benefits and is suitable for different purposes.

Current State

Current state customer journey maps visualize the actions, thoughts, and emotions of your customers at each stage of the customer journey.

If you know what’s going on inside the head of customers, you can provide an ultra-specific experience.

And greatly enhance your sales.

Day in the Life

This type of customer journey maps shifts focus away from your business.

It’s taking a closer look at the actions, thoughts, and emotions of your customers in their daily activities, whether or not that includes your company.  

These customer journey maps are awesome for figuring out pain points in your customers’ lives.

(they can also help you with exploring new market strategies.)

Future State

These customer journey maps are great for predicting the future behavior of customers and preparing for it. 

They represent the actions, thoughts, and emotions your customers will experience in future interactions with your company.

They can help you set better business goals, so you’ll have a more realistic chance to achieve them.

How to Create an Effective Customer Journey Map

You are about to discover our hands-on secrets to making a killer customer journey that sells like crazy.

In fact, we’re going to cover steps that led to:

  • 333% Increase in sales opportunities through chat
  • 181% Increase in sales opportunities through calls

Let’s get started.

#1: Analyze Your Current State

You need to define your baseline and find out how well your current customer journey performs.

There are three things you need to find out:

  1. What is great. Your customers love this about your customer journey.
  2. What is okay. These are the things that work but could be improved.
  3. What are the problems. The issues that cause your customers headaches.

Analyze every touchpoint on your website and answer these questions.

There are two tools we’re going to use that can help you discover answers to these questions – feedback forms and heatmaps.

Feedback Form

Feedback forms are extremely useful for finding out how your customers feel about your product and the experience you provide.

Their purpose is to reveal the customer’s level of satisfaction.

Feedback Form

You have to be proactive because most customers won’t complain.


Therefore be sure to proactively ask customers for feedback, what they like, and what they would change about the customer journey.


Heatmaps are most commonly used to show user behavior on specific pages of your website. They are essential in detecting what does or doesn’t work.

They can help you find out more about:

  • Where your customers click
  • What elements get the most attention 

In essence, they can help you discover how users navigate through your website, what caught their attention, and where they click.

…which can give you valuable insight into what needs to be fixed or what to keep.

You can take advantage of both approaches by using the customer journey analytics solutions we cover later in the post.

#2: Pick a Template

Starting a customer journey map from scratch may seem scary.

Fortunately, we have prepared a customer journey template that will help you make the whole process of mapping your customer journey easier and faster.

(and less scary too!)

Here is the ultimate customer journey map template.

Journey Template

Every customer journey map we’ve seen is not complete – there is always something missing.

Which makes them difficult to use or useless.

Unlike other templates, ours features everything you need to create a killer customer journey map. It will save you time and help you get things done faster.

#2: Set Clear Objectives

You need to set goals you’re trying to reach with your customer journey mapping.

To do that, ask yourself these questions:

  • What goals am I directing this map towards? 
  • Who is it specifically about? 
  • What experience is it based upon?

After you find an objective, you need to dissect it into smaller actionable steps you can take.

After that, you need to find a way to measure your goals – so you know when you will achieve them. The easiest way to do this is to put a set of KPIs in place.

That way, you have metrics you can measure and see whether you’re moving in the right direction.

#3: Create Personas

You must know your customers like the back of your hand, so you can deliver a perfect experience. You can easily achieve this by creating buyer personas.

These will help you namely with:

  • Reaching the right audience
  • Creating better products
  • Tailor user experience

Also, it will save you a lot of time and make your work more efficient. 

Helping you get ahead faster since you’ll know precisely what works for potential customers. 

You can create a target persona directly on the customer journey map template we provided you in the previous section. If you’re not sure who your target persona is, take a look at data from your past marketing campaigns. 

Or analyze your current customer base.


If you’re just starting, you can get this info from competitors or by leveraging market research tools.

#4: List Out All Touchpoints

Begin by listing out all touchpoints in your customer journey. You should already have a list of your touchpoints from the first step.

Now you should think about whether you don’t need to add or remove some.

You can easily spot that if customers:

  • Don’t convert as they should
  • Don’t progress to other touchpoints

Of course, this does not necessarily mean you have to add a touchpoint to your customer journey.

But if a customer has to make a huge leap from one touchpoint to another or they don’t progress to certain customer journey phases, something’s wrong.

Here are a few things to list with each touchpoint that can help you uncover these issues.

Customer Action

List your customers’ actions throughout their interaction with your brand.

This can be customer actions like:

  • Google search
  • Clicking on email
  • Buying a product

Each stage has different actions a customer needs to take.

It’s important to recognize when customers are expected to take too many actions to progress.

Too Many Funnels

Reducing the number of steps customers need to take is risky but pays off in higher conversion rates.

Customer Emotions

“Benefits tell, emotions sell.”

Each decision a customer makes on your website is because of emotions. And customers’ emotions will change depending on which part of their journey they’re at.

You need to establish whether your customers are:

  • Angry
  • Frustrated
  • Disappointed
  • Hopeless

And provide them with an experience aligned with these emotions, so they are prompted to act and move to the next stages.

Looking at the pain points of each stage can help you uncover how your customers feel.

Since a pain point is usually the emotional driver of your customer’s actions.

Customer Pain Points

Figure out what stops your customers from taking action.

The most common issue for most customers is cost. If your product were for free, they would start using it immediately. But since it’s not, they are not sure what to do.

Highlighting these potential obstacles in your customer journey can help you mitigate them.

For instance, you could offer a 30-day free trial, three-tier pricing with budget-friendly options, or discount your products.

#5: Resources Evaluation

Your customer journey map touches every aspect of your business.

From strategies for onboarding new customers to developing trust and running loyalty programs. The worst thing you can do is don’t plan out your resources.

… and run out of them in the middle of optimizing your customer journey.

So plan out your resources well and figure out an estimate of the costs you’ll need to spend. These can include fees for investing in new tools or hiring external consultants.

Template Resources

It can also help you see how you invest your resources and uncover places to help you save money. 

#6: Test Customer Journey

You’ve created a customer journey map and put it into action – and that’s where most businesses stop. But that’s far from optimal…

What if your customer journey map does not stick with the audience?

Or there are some critical errors you’ve overlooked.

The next step is to analyze your customer journey and see whether everything works as expected. We’re going to use three approaches for that:

  • You take a customer journey
  • Split testing old and new journey
  • Market research tool

Let’s dive in.

You Take Customer Journey

This approach is self-explanatory.

You start as a complete stranger, try to find your company, and move through each touchpoint to determine whether everything works as it should.

Ideally, you’d have a friend do that since you’re all-knowing about your product.

They can give you much better ideas and ways to further improve.

Split Testing

A/B testing or split testing allows you to run multiple variations of the same customer journey to see which one sticks with your audience more.

Ab Testing

You can use split testing and run both customer journeys (the old one and a new one) at the same time.

That will give you a much better understanding of which one is better.

Or whether you should change something.

Market Research Tool

The previous approach might have uncovered something you didn’t expect.

For instance, let’s say your new strategy generated a lot more leads ’till the consideration stage, but almost none of them bought your product.

But why did it happen?

Market research tools can give you the answers you’re looking for.

You can create interactive polls or directly ask your target audience why they did not convert and what was their biggest concern.

You create a poll that can look like this.


Select your target audience.

Target Audience

And you’ll run it and wait for the answers, make the necessary improvements, and fix the problem. If you prefer to use something other than tons of tools, use heat maps or feedback forms mentioned in the first step.

#7: Always Optimize

The process of optimizing your customer journey always continues.

There is no such thing as the perfect customer journey – you need to constantly find a way to improve it. Or else you risk being beaten by competitors.

Or not achieving your fullest potential like most businesses…

Understanding Customer Journey

Another reason to constantly review your customer journey is that the market changes over time. There are new trends and customer behaviors, and you should adjust to them.

Most companies haven’t given this any thought…


And then, they wonder why they achieve a massive drop in sales, number of customers, and revenue.

This wraps up the process of customer journey mapping.

The only thing left is to put it all together and start working on making your customer journey exceptional.

Customer Journey Analytics Tools 

Customer journey analytics tools are valuable solutions to have in your arsenal.

They allow you to monitor the digital path your customers take to buy from you – the whole customer journey.

You can analyze behavior, monitor trends, and so much more.

Journey Tools

Here are some of our favorite tools.

  • Insider
  • Contentsquare
  • Glassbox

Give them a shot and leverage their functionality to take your customer journey to the next level.


Customer journey mapping is crucial to making the most out of your business.

It will help you deliver a top-notch customer experience, remove friction points, and close more customers faster.

(you’ll have the edge over most competitors too.)

Now is the best time to implement this knowledge and transform your business.

Not sure how to start?

Or want a professional agency to take care of your customer journey and sales?

Reach out to us, and we’ll take care of your business instantly.

Our experts will fix all problems with your customer journey, optimize it for your customers, and help you generate massive revenue.

Written by:
Nate Fineberg
Nate Fineberg is the owner, president and CEO of Group6 Interactive. With a long history in the creative space as a high performing web developer, he has decades of enterprise level industry experience. Before starting Group6 Interactive, Nate worked as a web developer at IDEA, a Houston Texas based creative agency before moving on to SONY, located in San Diego California, as a senior Web Developer.
Have a project in mind? Let’s get started...
Get a Quote — It’s FREE

Related articles

The 5 BEST Review & Reputation Management Agencies in 2023

The 5 BEST Review & Reputation Management Agencies in 2023

Online review and reputation management agencies can help your company repair and build a positive brand image. Whether you’re a small local business or a large enterprise, having a positive online reputation is crucial to growing your business.  In fact, 88% of consumers will trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.  Source: Wyzowl High […]
May 11, 2023
Complete Guide To Lead Generation 2023

The Complete Guide to Lead Generation in 2023

You’re about to discover how to leverage proven lead generation strategies to get: To top it all off, we’ll also share some of our secret tips to help you stand out from your competitors and steal their leads. You’ll get real-time examples, and actionable steps backed up by data. That way, you can apply what […]
April 11, 2023
Boost Your Business with Facebook Ads

How to Boost Your Business with Facebook Ads

Compared to many other online marketing tools and strategies, paid Facebook ads are incredibly budget-friendly and offer a great return on your investment. Whether you’re just getting started with digital marketing, or consider yourself an online marketing pro, using Facebook ads can boost your business, drive traffic to your website, and grow your audience. Here’s […]
February 21, 2023