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A business model for assessing the current performance of marketing and sales processes.

In 1987 Jan Carlzon, the CEO of Scandinavian Airlines wrote a book called Moments Of Truth. It told the story of how Carlzon turned around the ailing airline SAS. He did this by focusing on all the small interventions (and big ones) that affected customers' views of the airline and addressing these to make sure that the moments of truth never let the company down. Over the next 10 years, various marketers picked up the concept of moments of truth and linked them into stages of the sales process, so developing the customer journey. Articles using the term "customer journey mapping" began appearing around 2010. Since then there has been an explosion in the use of the tool and it would be very hard to say who the original inventor was.

A customer journey map is made up of a spine (the major stages that the customer goes through in the life cycle with the supplier) and all the moments of truth during each of these stages. At the point of developing the spine, there are some questions that should be asked:

  • What are customers doing at this stage?

  • What would motivate a customer to move to the next stage?

  • What are customers’ concerns and uncertainties at this stage? What barriers might prevent them moving to the next stage?

  • What would alleviate these barriers, concerns and uncertainties?

  • What effort is required by the customer or potential customer in moving to the next stage?

The skill of customer journey mapping is to identify the most important ones that influence people on the journey.  This could be achieved within a company by a cross functional team representing different departments. Customer interviews are always useful, of course. In workshop fashion the team would debate and agree on all the points of the journey and where the company is strong and weak.

There is no fixed template for the customer journey map.  They can be turned into infographics in poster form (as per the example below) for sharing around the company and alerting everyone as to what makes exceptional customer experiences.

Customer Journey Map.png

A critical part of customer journey mapping is defining the spine of the customer journey - the columns that in the above map start with Awareness and end with User Experience. There are usually half a dozen or so of these major "chapters" of customer interventions. They nearly always begin with AWARENESS. The final chapter is often RETURN - ie the moments of truth for a lost customer that has returned to your company.


For each stage on the spine of the journey list all the interactions (touchpoints) between the customer and the company. Now go through every touchpoint and mark them according to:

  • Which are essential

  • Which are performed really well from the customers’ points of view

  • Which are pain points for the customer

  • Which touchpoints customers would be prepared to pay for.


This will prioritize actions that are required to improve your customers' experiences and build your customer base.

When you have your journey map validated, make it look pretty and share it!  It is a great device for involving everyone and making your company more customer orientated. 

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