Customer Journey – Not for Start-Ups!

Summary: When you are about to launch your new product, you should have mapped your Customer Journey. If done well, you create positive interactions with your customers, which is ultimately your ticket to increase customer retention! (5 minutes read, audience: beginners to Customer Experience & Success)

Have you ever been to New Zealand? If yes, you might have tried Hokey Pokey which is a flavour of ice cream in New Zealand, consisting of plain vanilla ice cream with small, solid lumps of honeycomb toffee! And as far as I know, you get it only in New Zealand.

Maybe I felt a bit “Hokey pokey-ish” while listening to some conversations of start-ups recently. Why? Because they hardly spoke about Customer Journey Mapping or Customer Experience & Success!

Does this mean that Journey Mapping or Customer Success is just too exotic for start-ups, too far away from their agenda? Like Hokey Pokey is too exotic for the rest of the world?

Before we start, let’s align our understanding:

A start-up’s first focus is to offer a solution to a problem and aim to improve their MVP based on feedback from early-adopter customers.

So point taken, Customer Journey Mapping for services does not necessarily pop up in the early days of a start-up.

But when is the right time to start looking at

Customer Journey Mapping?

Your moment of truth

… comes when you are officially launching your product. You are going beyond your first early adopter customers; you are dreaming of bold expansion plans, you are ready to conquer the market! In other words: You are entering the “scaling phase”!

Have you heard about service teams constantly being in firefighting mode? They spend their time tackling issues, which is soooo reactive, what a waste of time and resources! You don’t want to end up in firefighting mode!

Being good at firefighting is not cool – it is a sign of lacking a good

Customer Journey Map – killing business growth eventually!

Ideas for your Customer Journey Maps

So, which services should your Customer Journey Map for customer services address? Some ideas:

  • How are you running the onboarding process? How do you measure customer satisfaction?
  • What are your pro-active steps to hear about any problems before they become issues?
  • Which are the delight-moments for your customers?
  • How do you keep connected to your customers, what are your nurturing points?
  • Which value will you provide for your customer at every interaction point?

Map your customer journey before you launch your product!

Create your first Customer Journey Map!

Step 1: Take your customer’s perspective, ignore your internal processes!

Step 2: Now switch sides, and take your internal perspective on these processes!

>> Take only (!) your customer’s perspective …

… and ignore your internal processes at this step!

  1. Walk through the entire process, from ‘trigger event’ to ‘delivery’
  2. Be thorough, provide details, add metrics
  3. Find interactions to wow your customer, create delight moments
  4. Try to challenge the process, try to break the process, find possible points of frustration
  5. Decide who of your team is accountable for which interaction point

Some examples:

  1. What happens next after the customer has subscribed to your services?
  2. A “Welcome email” is sent to the customer within one hour
  3. If the subscription is $1,000 or more the CEO will call the new customer
  4. The customer needs help but cannot figure out how to contact your support
  5. The Services Team is accountable for the entire onboarding process, and the Support Team is responsible for the (sub-) process of setting-up a new account



>> Now switch sides, look at your internal processes

  • Execute the same steps as above
  • Try to find friction points in your internal processes
  • Identify and remove any manual tasks if possible

Your take home message

A Customer Journey Map is a unique tool describing the interaction of your customer with your products and services.

A journey map will help you to build a great customer experience which is ultimately your ticket to gain customer loyalty, increase ‘stickiness’ and consequently customer retention!