top of page

Cruising the problem area

(Customer journey map2).png



30-60 minutes

  • Customer journey template, or an A3/A4 size or bigger sheet of paper or a whiteboard

  • Pens of different colours

  • Sticky notes

Learning material4.png

What is this tool and what is its purpose and benefit?


A customer journey map is a visual map that identifies and details every step and each action in a customer’s experience with a service/organisation demonstrating how customers use the service. It details how a customer interacts with the service including the process touchpoints when the customer interacts with the organisation (such as visiting its website), physical evidence (such as an app), the servicescape (such as  the organisation’s premises), the customer’s service experience, and the pains and gains of the customer at each stage of the service. It can include interaction, for instance face-to-face or virtually, in social media, or on the phone . All these actions and processes are visualised which helps to reveal the relationship between the customer and the service/company.


A customer journey map can ultimately be used to instruct a company on how to deliver a service, but first, at this point of the service design process, it can be used to identify different issues, opportunities, and problems in the service delivery to identify the root cause.


Steps how to use this tool in practice


The same steps apply when working individually, in pairs or in a group. Tasks can be divided when using it in pairs or a group.


Choose a service or a service idea and go first through the service process from your side as a service provider. Download the template and write the name of the service on it. Break down the service on the template phase by phase with its main phases and steps. You can add sticky notes on your infographic. It is important to do this first to avoid being influenced by customers’ opinions because you will need this information later. Instead of a template, you can use a big sheet or paper or a whiteboard.


Interview people who consume the service or use the product. Ask them how they use it, what are the steps to using it, and what are their experiences of using it. The questions should be as simple as: ‘Please describe how and when you use the product. Please also describe your experience during the process. What worked, what did not, what would be good to have?’ Write down their answers of how customers use the service from the beginning to end, and their experiences using it. This will develop into an overview of how customers use the service and how they experience it. You can add some demographic data of interviewees if you regard it useful. This information from the customers/users will be your main tool during the next steps.


Take or download an empty template for the service usage. Write its name on the top of the template. Analyse the customers’ answers by visualising them on the template according to the service usage phases.


Break the service into main phases and steps based on the customers’ answers. Write their answers on sticky notes that you can move around. For instance, booking a time online, going to the reception, waiting room, doctor’s appointment, picking up the prescription from the pharmacy, and a follow-up meeting.


Break these phases and steps down into as small steps as possible and identify the action areas. You can use different colour sticky notes or pens for this to differentiate them from the main steps. Add also anything unexpected that comes out from the responses.


Add the customer experiences for each step. For experiences you can simply use smiley faces, happy, neutral and unhappy. Calculate the experience of each step and add the average on the map positioning the happier experiences higher than the average ones, and the unhappiest the lowest. You can draw a line from one experience moment to another.


Look at the customer journey map and organise it until you are happy.


Highlight the main findings that help you to indicate the issue or problem to tackle.


Now compare it to your map and highlight again, with a different colour, the main findings that help you to indicate the issue or problem to tackle.

Tips and hints for using this tool

  • Alternatively you may also skip creating the map from your perspective and just focus on the customers.

  • As a complementary activity, you can also use observation to spot customers’ habits and experiences using the service (or product). 

Additional reference link:

Customer Journey Map by Interaction Design Foundation

Other tools of this phase

Experience the service first-hand.

(Service safari).png

A visual overview diagram of opportunities.

Opportunity mind map.png

Studying the existing challenge area.

Media and trend study3.png

Listening to existing customers and analysing this feedback.

Analysing customer feedback.png

A design brief presents a snapshot overview of vital aspects of a project.

Design brief.png
bottom of page