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How to Create a B2B Customer Journey Map and Automate it

Sushmitha Malali April 05 2022

While spontaneous journey plans are always the best, the same is not applicable for customer journeys. However, customer journeys are curated to ensure higher conversion rates, improve customer experience and more. 

Customers are important assets for a company. Without customers, no company can exist. Customers who have positive experiences are more likely to recommend your company or brand to others. 

If you want to attract and retain customers, the most effective way is to use customer journey mapping. Let’s dive in to see what customer journey maps are and how to leverage them.  

What is a customer journey map?

A customer journey map is the visual representation of a customer’s journey with your business. They provide insight into the needs and pain points of prospective customers which directly impacts their actions (motivate/inhibit it). This in turn equips your business to boost customer experience to ensure higher conversion rates and customer retention. 

A customer journey map contains touch points, any actions a customer might take, and other moments of truth. They are a timeline of events spanning from a customer’s first interaction with your brand (like visiting your webpage or scheduling a demo) to their final purchase decision. 

Why is customer journey map important?

The customer journey seems to be fairly straightforward—a customer finds a product or service they want to buy and then buys it, thereby completing the process. 

In reality, however, the customer journey is much more intricate and complex than it looks and is very distinct to the experiences each customer has with your brand. 

Therefore, the best way to understand a customer’s journey is by directly asking them. While on this journey, a customer experiences a wide variety of interactions with your brand’s product or service. 

It is vital to understand the process and consequences of customer interactions and plan accordingly. The best way to do this is by visualizing this elaborate journey into a diagram. This can then be leveraged by you and your team members as a resource. 

The key is to start by designing the customer journey map. However, before you start, let’s understand what the customer journey mapping process is. 

What is the customer journey mapping process?

Customer journey mapping is the process with which a visual representation of a customer journey map is established. It includes all the experiences a customer has with your brand and combines the insights into a visual map. 

Customer journeys are never linear. They do not start from point A and end at point B. Rather, they take a circuitous path. This makes it very difficult to accurately visualize it. 

Often, businesses use different methods to visualize the journey each customer takes. It can range from written notes to Excel spreadsheets to infographics to automating the entire process. 

What’s present in a customer journey map?


  1. Buying Process: This includes the milestones that a customer encounters on their customer journey. Start by identifying the path you intend for a customer to take to complete an action.

  2. Customer Actions: This element of the customer journey map contains the details on what action a customer takes to meet an objective.
    For example: If a customer is seeking to understand your product or service, then they would navigate your website to find a resource that would explain it for them. A customer can access this kind of information by inputting their details such as name, job title, email address etc. 

  3. Emotions: Behind every customer action is an emotion and a problem they are trying to solve. It could be happiness, relief, worry or joy. If the process to complete a customer action is complicated or time consuming, a lot of emotions can be felt at every stage. Ensuring that emotions (positive or negative) are added to your customer journey map can be beneficial for your brand.

  4. Pain Points: As mentioned above, tracking emotions can be beneficial. If negative emotions are identified then it is indicative of pain points a customer encounters. Documenting pain points can help you understand what stage they are encountered in and analyze the reason for the same. 

  5. Solution: This is the final component of your customer journey map. It contains potential methods to refine your buying process and enhance positive emotions.

How to create a customer journey map?


#1 Set clear goals for your map

Before creating your customer journey map, ask yourself why you are making one. What goals are you trying to achieve with the map? Who is it made for? What experience does a customer have? 

#2 Create buyer personas 


To set better goals, you need to establish your buyer personas. They act as reminders and redirect your customer journey map towards them. 

#3 Analyze your personas

While defining them is great, you still need more clarity. Start by researching them via questionnaires. The best way to get customer feedback is by asking customers who have either interacted with your company or are interested in buying your product or service. For example, you can ask questions like: 

  1. How did you come across our website?

  2. Where did you hear about our company?

  3. What problems are you trying to solve? Or what pain points do you want to address?

  4. Have you purchased a product or service with us before?

  5. On a scale of 1 to 10 how satisfied were you with our customer service?

  6. On a scale of 1 to 10 how easy was it to navigate through our website?

#4 Identify your target personas

Now that you have your buyer personas defined, it is time to narrow down on which buyer personas (one or two) to target for your product or service. Avoid grouping too many buyer personas into one journey map as it won’t accurately reflect their experiences. 

If you are creating a customer journey map for the first time, then pick your most common type of buyer persona. Next, visualize the route they would take to complete an action with your company for the first time. Finally, do not worry about buyer personas you have eliminated. You can always come back and create new maps for them. 

#5 Identify all touchpoints


Touchpoints are instances in your customer journey maps where your company comes into direct contact with prospective and existing customers. 

For example: booking a demo, downloading a resource on your website, interacting with a display ad, reading a review, and more. 

Based on your buyer persona and your research, you can identify all the touchpoints a customer might encounter when taking an action or interacting with your brand. They also provide valuable insights. 

For example: If they are using very few touchpoints, it could mean that they are leaving your website. Or if they are using too many touchpoints, it could mean that your website is complicated and is taking them longer to navigate. 

Use touchpoints to identify how you can make customer experience better.

#6 Organize your resources

Customer journey maps influence every part of your brand. For this you need to have your resources squared away (both existing and ones you’ll need) to improve customer experiences. 

For example: Your customer journey map identifies gaps in your customer service. After research, you identify that your customer service team does not have the tools to fill this gap. Now you can direct some of your budget to invest in tools that will help your customer team to improve customer experience.  

#7 Test run your customer journey

Now that you have designed the map, it doesn't mean that you stop here. You need to test run your customer journey. Start by analyzing results like how many people are landing on your page and completing an action, or how many people landing on your website are turning away from your website before making a purchase. 

Taking a look at these insights can help you identify what customer needs are not being met. 

#8 Meet unmet needs 

The last step is to make the necessary changes your research showed. Address the gaps your test run discovered and streamline your customer journey further. 

Final Thoughts

In the words of the Bard, “Journeys end in lovers’ meeting, Every wise man's son doth know.” Paraphrasing this for customer journeys,  they end when the customer meets a product or service they love. 

As your brand continues to evolve, so will your customer experience. Understanding your customer’s experience with your brand is the best way to captivate your customers at each stage of their journey. Customer journey maps should continuously be updated and improved to ensure optimal customer experience. Use customer journey maps to develop personalized customer narratives to accelerate customer experience in the right direction and ensure more conversions.