Customer Journey Mapping


“This is Service Design Thinking” [1] describes Customer Journey Mapping as providing …

a vivid but structured visualisation of a service user’s experience. The touchpoints where users interact with the service are often used in order to construct a “journey” – an engaging story based upon their experience. This story details their service interactions and accompanying emotions in a highly accessible manner.

At The Research Locker, we use Customer Journey Mapping to visualise and help clients understand the Customer Experience. In doing so, we identify critical touchpoints within the customer journey, e.g. where too much effort was required on the customer’s part.


• Where customer ‘pain points’ (and customer ‘gains’) exist within the end-to-end journey/experience;
• Where opportunities might lie to reduce Customer Effort and improve the Customer Experience; and
• How processes and procedures can be re-designed to increase Company Effort and ensure future Customer Experience is more effortless and encourages customer retention & repeat custom.


As well as measuring Rational and Emotional elements within the ‘as is’ customer complaint journey, we also capture the Emotion experienced and Effort exerted at each interaction and how this influences the intentional future behaviours of the customer, e.g. likelihood to remain, buy additional products, recommend to family & friends, etc.


Step 1:
We use research to capture what the current customer journey looks like


• Constructing a customer journey map involves defining the various interactions which take place between the customer and your organisation by generating complainant insights.
• Once touchpoints / interactions have been identified, they can be connected together in a visual representation of the end-to-end customer experience during a complaint resolution period.
• We use both qualitative & quantitative research methodologies to map the current customer journey from the customer perspective, identifying critical touchpoints where customer expectations are not being met as well as opportunities for improvement.
• Creating customer journey maps to reflect actual customer segments are a great way to create empathy with complainants within your business. We can also create segment personas if they don’t already exist within your organisation.
• We would also advocate overlaying the customer journey with your internal process map(s) so as to understand how well customer expectations and organisation capability align and compliment one another.
• Our objective at this stage is to provide client organisations with a fresh, up-to-date view of the customer complaint experience and highlight where customer ‘pain points’ exist.

Step 2
We help you re-design the customer journey to create a new, aspirational map


• Because the quantitative research ‘data’ has already helped establish where customer ‘pain points’ lie and what drives them, we can now work with you to ideate what a better journey might look more detail – through collating and analysing customer verbatim of where service interactions fell down and what customers suggest could be done to improve

• We understand how customers can see ‘unnecessary’ obstacles in their path when it comes to raising and resolving complaints, so we help you conceptualise how to remove such impediments and, as a result, reduce customer effort.

• Our objective at this stage is to help clients understand and create a target state for the customer complaint journey, i.e. a ‘vision’ for your organisation to work towards, enhancing the customer experience and improving customer loyalty along the way.


The Research Locker believes Customer Journey Maps are a critical tool for organisations looking to manage and improve their complaint handling performance and deliver a positive customer experience – they visualise the end-to-end complaint journey from the customer perspective, identify what currently works well and what touchpoints or interactions might benefit from improvement.



We also believe that relying on assumptions or ‘gut instinct’ is not always a reliable measure when it comes to understanding the customer experience during a complaint resolution period – that’s why we advocate the use of research to not only map the customer experience and highlight opportunities for improvement, but also as an opportunity to test internal hypotheses and ensure any improvement investment is deployed in the correct area so as to achieve maximum impact.


[1] “This is Service Design Thinking”, Marc Stickdorn & Jason Schneider, BIS Publishers, 2012.