Digital puts the customer at the center of business: this is a fundamental fact in our world today. However, often it’s treated simply as a slogan—without treating it as a truly operational paradigm shift. 

Therefore, let’s start by getting very specific.
What does it mean to put the customer at the center? First of all, it’s about knowing who your customer is; their characteristics, preferences, and needs. Consequently, it’s about adapting your proposals (from communication, to marketing, to your products) by anticipating their possible desires. 

So, how does this happen?
Through the Customer Journey. That is, the path of touch points and interactions between a company and a customer that leads all the way to the goal. Usually this is the purchase of a product or service; but there are also (very important) goals related to retention, loyalty, advocacy (thus the very image and reputation of your brand). With digital, Customer Journeys are anything but linear. In fact, they wind through a large number of touch points. And that’s not all: they nearly always cross multiple channels, devices, and platforms. 

Let’s look at a very practical example: we’re in a sporting goods store and we see a pair of running shoes that we find interesting. We start by just looking at them. Until a few years ago we would just try on the shoes, look in the mirror, and take a few steps to see how they feel. Today, however, we might do some research on our smartphone to quickly scan reviews and compare prices.
Back home, at a more leisurely pace, we might read more in-depth reviews on specialized forums. Then, we might check out the brand’s Instagram page. From there, we might end up on their online shop to explore a wider range of colors, for example. Finally, we finish the purchase with a digital payment and maybe even leave a review.

In short, today’s path is much more complex, but one that guarantees us a more satisfactory purchase. The good news for companies is that, despite this complexity, this whole set of choices is traceable. 

However, it’s a matter of learning how to design precise, in-depth, functional Customer Journey Maps.
We’ll show you how to do it in this post. To begin, we’ll highlight the 5 main steps through which a typical Customer Journey is developed. 


How the way companies communicate is changing


The 5 Steps of the Customer Journey 

The ultimate goal of any Customer Journey Map is to improve the Customer Experience. To understand how customers “naturally” move, to make sure that they’re in the right place, at the right time, with the right proposition.
So, the first step is to analyze the different steps of the typical Customer Journey. And every marketer knows these classic five steps very well. Here they are.


This is the initial stage of the Customer Journey. It’s where the potential customer is becoming aware that he or she has a problem or need. To go back to the shoes example: I want to start running but I don’t have the right shoes. So I started doing some research. At this stage, brands’ best strategies are aimed at informational and educational aspects. An example? A video explaining the importance of choosing the right type of shoe to improve performance and avoid any physical pains or other issues.


After gaining awareness, it’s time to choose among different products or services, comparing them and choosing the one that seems best for us. This is the consideration stage. It’s a decisive stage where a huge number of factors come into play. The brand’s notoriety, its reputation, the ability to rely on the right testimonials on the right platforms, the effectiveness of your marketing strategies in general. In short, the goal is to make the customer understand that your shoe is the right one for them.

Conversion (or Decision)

And here we come to the moment when the customer decides to conclude the purchase, whether in a physical store or a digital shop. Here, you will want to keep this statistic in mind: in 2023, the average shopping cart abandonment rate in an online shop is 70.19% (source: baymard.coom). So: you have to pay close attention to this stage, which, in a Customer Journey Map, is the one that is very close to the goal. In fact, many abandonments occur right here.


This is the decisive phase where Customer Satisfaction comes into play. Watch out for this data (source: Zendesk CX Trends 2022): 81% of people say that dealing with good Customer Service makes them more likely to make other purchases with the same company. 


If the first goal of a Customer Service is retention, the most ambitious outcome is loyalty. To put it simply: having loyal customers who can turn into extremely effective testimonials of your brand or products. To return to our initial example: not only customers who continue to buy our shoes but who talk about them with friends or on social media, and who perhaps even give them positive ratings on specialized platforms.
This is a moment after the purchase but one that is decisive in triggering other purchases. A good Customer Journey Map must be able to keep track of these stages as well.

Customer Journey Map – 3 types  

A Customer Journey Map is a visual, clearly readable representation of the totality of customers’ interactions with the company.
Don’t forget: you have to build the map from the customer’s point of view.
Now, before moving on to the best practices for designing a Customer Journey Map, let’s quickly look at the 3 most popular types. 

  1. Current State Template: the most widely used type, which aims to represent what your customers do, how they interact, and how they feel during these interactions. 
  2. Future State Template: here, the focus shifts entirely to predictive aspects. This is useful for figuring out how customers may react when faced with new products, services, or experiences.
  3. Day in the Life Template: this model is similar to Current State, but with a broader perspective. This includes customer interactions with your own company, as well as those with competitors in the same industry and/or geographic area.


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Customer Journey Map – 6 best practices  

Designing Customer Journey Maps is essential; but, as we have emphasized many times, you have to do it in the most effective and functional way.
In this regard, here are the 6 must-have best practices:

Set clear goals.

This first point is basic. There is no unambiguous and functional Customer Journey Map in general or in abstract. It all depends on your scope and operational goals. So, start by setting very precise goals.

Collect leads in omnichannel mode.

Here is another point that is absolutely central. A Customer Journey Map is useful if (and only if) you are able to track all interactions across different channels: from physical (where possible) to the full range of digital channels. You’ll want to take into account all types of devices and all possible platforms where customers may come into contact with your company.

Segment and personalize.

Of course, not all customer audiences act the same. The real challenge of ensuring an effective Customer Journey Map lies in the ability to collect data that is increasingly surgical and targeted in order to divide the target audience into consistent clusters with homogeneous characteristics. Clusters that can be made increasingly specific until they coincide with individual people. All, of course, in an automated way.

Better integrate CRM and CCM systems.

You can’t design an effective Customer Journey Map without reliable, deep, and always-up-to-date data. This explains the absolute need for companies to better integrate their Customer Relationship Management and Customer Communication Management systems. This integration is an invaluable goldmine of new, increasingly in-depth, and increasingly functional information.
The solutions offered by Doxee go precisely in this direction: from CRM to CCM. All in a perfectly digitized and integrated way, with a huge focus on personalization.

Addressing customers directly

Keeping track of all customer interactions is imperative. It’s also extremely important to address them directly, to talk to them without intermediaries. So, develop and distribute specially designed surveys and questionnaires. Be careful: avoid complex questions that may leave too much room for generic interpretations.

Pay attention to the context.

Here we come to the last of our points. This is an intuitive aspect, but one that we often risk losing sight of.
Your Customer Journey Maps must be continuously updated, taking into account everything in the ecosystem (not only economic, but also social) within which your company operates. If you don’t, you risk having an outdated view of your audience.

The bottom line is this: in today’s market there is nothing more important than customer experience. Learning to keep track of it broadly and closely is essential. The final step is always to take action, to adapt your processes based on this valuable wealth of information.