customer journey map, services marketing, buyer decision process, segments, personas
Overview: In this task, students use the free customer journey map (CJM) Excel template to develop CJM’s for different personas. This exercise is helpful for deepening students’ understanding of the customer journey, the buyer decision process, and target markets and personas. It is also an ideal tool for student assignments and reports.
Teaching Level: Intermediate/advanced – students need to be familiar with customer journeys, the buyer decision process, brand touchpoints, and brand personas.
The Excel template is very easy-to-use, so even if your students are Excel-beginners, they will be able to produce a detailed customer journey map quite quickly and easily. You may choose to show your students the how-to-use instructional video at the bottom of this page.
Please note that students will need access to Excel or other suitable spreadsheet software.
No Excel? If your students do not have access to Excel, you could show them the instructional video for this template – which will give them a good sense of the structure of customer journey maps – and then they could develop a CJM using post-it notes and/or flip charts.
Approximate Timing: The various tasks will probably run around 45-90 minutes, depending on task/s chosen and the number of groups reporting back to class. Probably allow 10-15 minutes for students to become familiar with the template before proceeding to the group activity.
Download the Journey Map Excel Template
- Download the free template here… customer-journey-map-maker
Download the PDF student information guide
- Student worksheet: Creating Customer Journey Maps
Suggested Student Exercises
There are multiple variations to use with the CJM template.
Initially, individual students should familiarize themselves with using the customer journey map template. Once they are confident in producing maps, they should work on a group task.
- As a simple starting exercise, groups can construct a considered and thought-out (and possibly researched) customer journey map for a specific brand persona. Therefore, just constructing a map to get started can be a worthwhile student exercise.
- It would be a good idea for different groups of students to construct a customer journey map using different brand personas, and then comparing how the customer journeys vary for each of these personas – and to discuss why this would be the case?
- Of course, one of the key outputs of the customer journey map is to identify things that we do well, and opportunities for the firm to review, and removing obstacles and barriers to the customer. This would mean that once the map/s has been constructed, students will consider “how to improve” on what we do.
- A further variation of a journey map in-class exercise would be to connect the various brand touchpoints and interactions to the marketing mix elements – would this brand touchpoint be part of promotion, process, place, people, and so on?
What is Customer Journey Mapping?
Let’s start with outlining what is a customer journey. A customer journey is how the consumer, who starts off a non-customer of a brand, progresses and interacts with the brand, retailers, information, and even competitors, to finally become a customer.
In summary, a customer will progress from a state of non-awareness of the brand, to hopefully becoming a loyal customer, and perhaps even an advocate of the brand.
Customer journey mapping is a visual technique designed to show the customer journey; that is, the key steps taken and sources of information accessed by the consumer. A customer journey map should include all brand touchpoints (exposures and interactions) whether or not they are communicated by the brand.
Why use Customer Journey Maps?
Customer journey mapping is an effective visual method for understanding:
- the key steps in buying decision process
- differences in behavior across market segments = by using different brand personas
- the most important promotion, process, and people marketing mix elements = brand touchpoints
- how to increase customer satisfaction loyalty and retention
- how to increase new customer acquisition
- improving and streamlining the consumer’s purchase experience
Download the Journey Map Excel Template
This exercise you will using automated customer journey map maker, which is an Excel template. Your instructor will provide a copy of the template to you, or can find it at: marketingstudyguide.com/free-customer-journey-map-template/
What the Map Looks Like
When you download the customer journey mapping Excel template, you will start with a blank map, as shown here:
And this is an example of a customer journey map that has been populated using the template…
How the Template Works
The journey mapping maker is designed to be as simple as possible. It works with a series of drop-down menus and you will work through various worksheets across the various phases of the consumer decision process. Here is the worksheets menu at the bottom of the template that you should follow in sequence:
Here is an example of one of the input screens. As you can see, there are instructions and steps along the way…
How-to-use CJM Template = VIDEO
- Evaluation Phase of Decision Process
- How to Develop a Segment Profile
- The Value of Brand Persona Names