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  • Daniel Ling

What's All This Buzz About Customer Journey Map?

Updated: Feb 13, 2023

A Customer Journey Map (CJM) is a method of documenting and visualising experiences a customer has with a particular product or service - touchpoints!

Understandably, it is used to a great extent in service design.

CJM is made up of 3 important components- who's our customer?, what's the steps for him to get their jobs done?, what's their job to be done?


A CJM is a useful tool in creating empathy for your customers, as it helps you identify the blissful and stressful moments a customer has when interacting with your product/service. Customers do not segment a product/service the way an organisation does. Customers navigate between devices, sectors and channels seamlessly and will use your product on their mobile phone, then in person or may call in then pick up their order in person.

Example of a CJM - journey of a coffee drinker at Starbucks

Therefore a CJM can also be a powerful tool in encouraging collaboration between departments and individuals that have been traditionally working in silo.

Collaboration is key in the building of CJM

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Although a CJM takes into account what a customer profile does, it is neither an activity map nor a persona. It is not only a detailed record of what a customer does does but includes notes on the thoughts and feelings of a customer throughout their product/service interaction. Keep in mind not to dwell too much into the background story of the user (and run the risk of presenting a persona) but to describe the emotions and actions of the customer at each touchpoint.

A basic CJM should fill in details on what a customer does, what a customer thinks, how a customer feels and the backend operations required for each product/ service-customer interaction at each touchpoint. This also includes the "pain points" and "issues" at various touchpoints flagged out ("lightning symbols" or "exclamation marks") for everyone in the project team to consider. Though there is no industry-standard on how a CJM should be presented, it is a good practice to populate your CJM with as much details (touchpoints, photos, emotions, pain points) as possible.

"Lightning marks" are added to various touchpoints to highlight pain points and issues.


Some companies hire mystery shoppers while some role-play as customers themselves. We, however, recommend combining both! Go through the experience on your own (especially if you are not the product/service owner), or take on the good old way of following your customer, snapping lots of photos and documenting their experience. Otherwise, you can always interview customers to recall the experience based on the journey.

Project teams go through their "journey" with various establishments to understand issues and pain points.

All in all, a CJM will help identify gaps, pain points and opportunities in the overall customer experience and focus teams on a specific area instead of wasting time and resources in whole product/service overhaul.


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I will be adding more articles on Design Thinking throughout the year. Articles of Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test will be added periodically to give my readers a broader insights to Design Thinking.

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About the Author

Daniel Ling has more than 10 years of Design Thinking experience and has moulded himself to be a “designer in a business suit”- strong in the Design Thinking process and yet relevant to the financial and business industry- across OCBC, DBS, NTUC Income and Lazada. He trained close to 500 professionals in the area of Design Thinking, Innovation and Strategy. He authored the Complete Design Thinking Guide for Successful Professionals and the book is sold worldwide via Amazon, iTunes, Ingram, Lulu and Kinokuniya.

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