4 Steps to Start Customer and Product Journey Mapping


You know your brand inside out, but you also know it from the inside out. Your customers, on the other hand, have an outside-in relationship.  


For invaluable insights, experience your product from a buyer’s point of view with a customer and product journey map. Traditional customer journey mapping is a visualization technique that examines all the touchpoints, or interactions, between a customer and an organization, from first awareness to purchase decision and ongoing brand loyalty.


At iQor, we encourage our clients to add product journey mapping to better understand how customers interact and use their PRODUCT or SERVICE. As more products are IoT-enabled or have some digital component, there is more data than ever available to understand the “product experience.”


Combining customer and product journey mapping provides an intimate glimpse of customer needs, hopes, goals, expectations for your product or service, as well as their pain points—the bumps in the road that slow the trip down and cause frustration. Armed with fresh empathy after the journey, you’ll be better able to deliver a consistent, compelling experience across sales and communications channels.

There are different kinds of journey maps, and no two are exactly the same. Some read like simple timelines; others are very detailed and complex. The basic steps below will help you get started. Follow the links at the end of the post for more information, examples and tips.


1. Picture your customer.

Before you can plan any trip, you have to know who is traveling. To capture common attitudes, needs, expectations, emotions and thoughts, marketers create personas, or representative fictionalized characters.

You can collect the knowledge to craft personas using survey results, qualitative and quantitative research, comments about returns, interviews, complaint calls, social media, reviews and any other available data. If you don’t have enough information, start the ball rolling to obtain it with e-mail questionnaires, surveys and interviews. Analyze product usage data to understand how features are used, misused or not used at all.


2. List all the places where customers interact with your brand and your products.

Brainstorming with other internal stakeholders, make a list of all the possible places your customers can intersect with the company, from initial awareness through purchase to post- sales product support or additional purchase. Include all the channels where these interactions can take place, such as website, app, email, phone or store. Follow that process by listing out all scenarios and settings where your product or service is used. Identify gaps in your initial expectations.


3. Arrange on a time line.

Arrange the touchpoints in a logical time progression—weeks, days, months or stages, depending on how your business works. Experts stress that your time line does not have to be a standard left to right arrangement. Use a circle or a pyramid or any graphic device that works for your organization and goals.

4. Fill in the blanks—with feeling.

Now fill in the touchpoints with details from your research, capturing positive and negative experiences. The emotional state of your customer at every stage is extremely important, so listen to voice data from your call center and read unedited questionnaire responses. To build true engagement, you need to know how a customer feels, not just the actions he or she takes.


At iQor, we have found that combining Customer and Product Journey Maps a useful tool to provide visibility to everyone – including the CEO and executives – about the customer experience throughout the entire life cycle of your product – helping to develop a roadmap for further game-changing product or service innovations.


Learn more:

Act-on: Don’t Let Prospects Get Lost: Create a Customer Journey Map

Clarabridge: Customer Journey Map Template

Hubspot: How to Create Personas

Hard Yards: Using Product Journey Maps to Plan Your Product MVP