Understanding customer journeys is vital to building a great customer experience

Posted by Emma Rudeck

July 31, 2015

understanding_customer_journeysWhen it comes to evaluating and analysing how your customers feel about their experience, you’re probably focusing on all the different touchpoints your customers have with your organisation. 

 These touchpoints provide a way for you to categorise and measure all the individual moments when your customer interacts with you.

But there is a danger in focusing on satisfying customers just at an individual touchpoint, without taking into consideration the full context of their whole journey. Customers aren’t viewing their experience with you as a series of disconnected, individual events. Instead, they have multiple experiences, across many different touchpoints that connect together to form their whole customer journey and their overall perception of you as a brand.

Understanding key customer journeys is a real challenge for many organisations.


Often, responsibility for different parts of the customer journey sits with different, siloed parts of the business. Coordinating the necessary insight to map out the whole customer journey is difficult. But it’s important to get right. Customers can be satisfied with many or even all of the touchpoints they have with an organisation and still be dissatisfied with the overall journey.

Here’s a simple example of how this disconnect could impact customer experience.

Imagine a salesperson, whose main focus is on closing new business. They’re on the phone with a potential new customer and close a deal. The salesperson is happy because they’ve done their job. The customer is happy because they’ve got the product/service they’re looking for.

However, 5 minutes after finishing on the phone, the customer realises that they don’t know what the next steps are going to be. The salesperson didn’t communicate this information as part of the call. So the customer now has to contact customer support to find out, which is inconvenient for them.

The customer actually has a very positive experience with customer support and receives all the answers that they need. They know now exactly what to expect next.

In this case, the customer had great conversations with both sales and customer service, but the disconnect between the two departments led them to be less that satisfied with the journey as a whole.

Without properly mapping out the key customer journey, the organisation will fail to identify the issue.  


The salespeople have little visibility on what happens after their interaction with the customer finishes, so they never realise the simple switch they could make to improve the whole journey for the customer.

Sales will rarely, if ever, get the feedback that if they included information on next steps as part of their process, it would cut inbound calls to customer support, reduce customer confusion and, most importantly, improve the customer’s perspective on their whole journey. But, picture what a difference this could make to the organisation as a whole.

Identifying your key customer journeys is not about neglecting the experience of your customer at the level of an individual touchpoint. Instead, it’s about considering the impact of that moment in the context of their whole journey with you and understanding the broader reasons behind customer behaviour.

This type of transformation is not easy. In fact, it could take years to perfect. But the rewards are compelling: increased revenue, lower costs and higher customer satisfaction,

Topics: Customer Experience, customer journey

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