When developing and marketing a digital product, knowing how your customers interact with your brand is essential. That’s why approximately 63 percent of marketers rely on customer journey maps.

A customer journey map essentially lays out how an individual initiates, cultivates, and maintains a relationship with a brand. It covers the milestones along a person’s journey with a brand, from first interaction, to engagement, to complete loyalty.

A customer experience management strategy is so important today because the customer has more power than ever. Thanks to online reviews and social media, “word-of-mouth” advertising – the ones from the people who already use your products and services –  are the ones that will matter the most. Current consumers are also  the ones most likely to introduce it to others. You need to understand why they engaged with your brand in the first place, and what you can do to ensure other potential customers have the same experience.

What Goes Into an Intelligent Customer Experience?

To develop a digital customer journey map, you need to include certain crucial elements. They include the following:

  • Personas: Identifying the types of people who become customers of your brand allows you to more easily map out their journey. By assessing customer behavior, you can determine what types of people engage with your brand most often, as well as why they do.
  • Touchpoints: Touchpoints are the various significant interactions customers have with your brand; these should include substantial details. A touchpoint isn’t simply “customer learns product exists,” it’s “customer learns product exists after seeing ad on Facebook,” for example.
  • Actions: You want customers to take certain key actions during their journey with your brand, whether that be downloading an app, buying a product, or sharing your information on social media. Creating a clear list of actions you want users to take keeps goals clear and concise .
  • Barriers: There’s no guarantee that all customers who interact with your brand will remain engaged with it, or become loyal followers of your brand. List potential barriers that may prevent a person from becoming a loyal customer. That way, you can strategize the best ways to overcome these barriers.

customer journey map

To better understand what a final customer experience strategy should include, review this example from Forrester, which include essential elements like

You should also consider how others formulate their intelligent customer experience. The following case studies demonstrate how major brands have already used this method to better serve their customers.


Working with YML, Staples developed an intelligent mobile experience for customers.

Understanding the persona of a Staples customer was key. People who shop with this brand seek efficient, practical solutions. They need useful products to accomplish their daily tasks. This understanding drove the customer experience strategy.

The result? Using lean UX, Staples and YML released a a friction-free mobile shopping product that combines intuitive UX and UI so customers can make purchases quickly and easily.


It can be difficult to develop a digital customer journey map when your business serves various customer personas. Although L’Oreal’s SalonCentric brand only serves licensed cosmetologists, that category covers a wide range of potential customers.

Knowing this, Y Media Labs focused on defining customer personas early in the product development phase. This made it easier to create an app that consistently generates business for the company.

The Bottom Line of Customer Experience Management

The more you understand what’s important to your customers, the more equipped you are to serve them. That’s what makes customer journey mapping important. You need to know who you’re working for when you create a product and let that direct your customer experience strategy.

Whether it’s an app, website, or virtual reality experience, the product is much more likely to be successful if you kept the customer in mind throughout the development process.