Customer Journey Mapping in 6 Steps


The Milkymap tool has been based on a Customer Journey Mapping 6 step methodology developed by Danny Peters. Danny has been working in the field of Customer Experience Management for over 20 years and has become one of the most respected Customer Experience specialists in The Netherlands. He has been using this methodology in his consultancy, Conexperience, with evident success and has translated his methodology into the Milkymap platform, where he hopes to reach millions, get everyone mapping and of course to ultimately raise the bar for the entire Customer Experience field.

Customer Journey Mapping aids in making a blueprint in order to determine the pain points, moments of magic and touchpoints that may need improvement in the customer experience. There are two major phases in a project of this type. 1. Build the Customer Journey Map and 2. Improve the customer experience based on the Customer Journey map. In this article, we hope to be able to give you further insight on phase 1 and the methodology on which Milkymap has been based.

Building a Customer Journey Map gets easier with practice, so make sure to sharpen your Milkymap skills! If you follow the following 6 steps, we’re pretty sure you’ll get it right. We recommend you go out in the field to find customer data, you can do this by running customer interviews, doing a customer safari or organizing a workshop. You will get the best results when you use a multi-disciplinary team with at least a marketer, process expert, manager, customer service representative and one or more real clients. The following steps can be done within a two-hour time range. To facilitate this process, you can use Milkymap as a template in the Design mode during your workshop.

Customer Journey Visualized in Milkymap

Step 1 – scoping

When creating a Customer Journey Map, we start by determining the scope. It is always necessary to determine the purpose of the Map that you will be making, given that there are multiple Customer Journey Map types. With a clear scope in mind, you can focus on your approach which will also result in a better outcome. Take your time to determine this together with your team in order to increase individual commitment. Things to consider are: what customer processes are involved, personas, channels, stakeholders and of course the name of your Customer Journey Map.

Step 2 – episodes

In order to understand the journey of the customer, it is important to create an overview of the episodes. An episode is a chapter in the customer journey where the client experiences several interactions [touchpoints] with your company. Episodes happen in a sequential order with a logical development of the story.

Below we have given you a generic example of the episodes in a Customer Journey:
• Inform, buy, use
• Look for information, contact, fill in form, receive confirmation, use service, talk to a service representative
• Travel to store, look at products, try products, buy product, use product, repair product, buy new product
• Get info, sign contract, use service, pay bill
• Book trip, preparation, travel to airport, check in, board, fly, arrive
• No customer, becoming customer, being customer, stop being customer
• Get hired, train, perform, grow, leave
• I have a need, I buy, I use, I quit

Step 3 – touchpoints

Touchpoints are activities of the customer in a specific time [episode] and place [channel], which involves a human intention and has a direct or indirect relation with the organization. Every moment when a customer touches the brand, involves an experience which influences their opinion. It can be positive, neutral or negative.

Touchpoints are more specific than channels. For example, in the channel ‘shop’ the customer could have the following touchpoints:
• I read a brochure to get more information
• I talk to a service representative for more information
• I negotiate with a sales representative for a better offer
• I sign the contract to have the service
• I receive a bag with information before leaving the shop
• I leave the shop to go home

The most successful way to formulate these is to force yourself to think from a customer point of view and never add internal processes to your Customer Journey Map where a customer isn’t involved. The rule for creating touchpoints in a uniform way, is: I [verb] [channel] [reason]. Example: ‘I visit the website to look for the address’.

Step 4 – touchpoint overview validation

When all posts are hung on the wall, grouped by channel and by subject, it is important to do a cross-check by asking the following questions:

• Do you understand what is on the post?
• Does it start with “I”?
• Is the verb actively written (an activity)?
• Is there a channel?
• Was there a reason?
• Is there any overlap and can you delete it?
• What post-its are in another episode?
• What post-its are in multiple episodes? (make another post-it for it)

Make sure this step does not take longer than 30 minutes. There is a risk that discussions will arise about what is happening, and employees will try to justify it. That is less relevant now. It is all about everyone having heard the touchpoints and that the post-its have the correct order and structure. This helps for steps 5 and 6 and for subsequent stages. The group also experiences the complexity of the Customer Journey Map. Just let them swim in this phase. During the subsequent validation, there is also an option to add, modify or delete the touchpoints.

Step 5 – scenarios

In order to ensure a logical flow of your story, you need to choose a set of touchpoints that tells the most common journey, we call this a scenario. There can only be no more than one or two scenarios. A scenario is a story with a set of touchpoints that describe a customer journey over time. It’s a selection of the touchpoints and contains most of the episodes. A scenario can be presented to the management or to departments in the business. This is also called: storytelling. It keeps the people that are not involved in your project, away from the details from all the touchpoints.

Emotion wheel as displayed in Milkymap

Step 6 – emotions

The emotions on Milkymap have a scientific background and are inspired by Robert Plutchik, who described emotions in a really short and efficient way. He made a flower to show the link between them. It works really well to look at a touchpoint and choose the state which fits with it. The discussion and proof for an emotion pushes you to really understand and investigate the state of customers during a touchpoint. You can double check it with colleagues, real clients, the customer satisfaction scores or customer feedback. Remember, always validate!

Milkymap has been inspired by this 6 Step Methodology, which uses a customer centric approach and where insights are gathered by using empathy as a tool and placing employees in the shoes of the customer. By using this methodology, you will be able to identify bottlenecks in business processes and empower your employees to make smarter, better educated daily decisions so they can deliver better customer experiences and ultimately generate sustained business growth.

Happy Milkymapping!