Incorporating Customer and User Experience Data into Holistic Journey Maps

Customer journey mapping can and should serve both User Experience (UX) and Customer Experience (CX) practitioners and managers.

As Forrester Analyst Leah Buley demonstrated in the Forrester Report “Bridging the CX/UX Divide” (April 2015), CX and UX practitioners and managers use different methods to understand and improve a company’s user or customer experience. CX experts focus on CX metrics, and research methods including Net Promoter and often Voice of the Customer. UX practitioners execute and focus on research methods including generative contextual inquiry and usability testing of customer facing user interfaces.

Though their methods differ, both CX and UX professionals should require the use of journey mapping for success in determining the ideal customer experience. Buley elaborates that CX practitioners and managers typically execute journey maps. While EffectiveUI often works with UX groups to execute journey maps, these tools are most valuable if both teams build customer experience journey maps and both teams maintain them as living tools.

Customer journey maps reflect the experience of a customer across time for (1) multiple touch points and (2) the holistic experience. The touch points are the individual points of contact with a brand and may include a phone call to learn more about a product. As Alex Rawson, Ewan Duncan and Conor Jones point out in their Harvard Business Review article, “The Truth About Customer Experience,” the holistic experience includes the overall perception of the brand experience and the factors contributing to that perception. For example, a customer may have a fine customer experience during a phone call, but may holistically reflect upon the experience negatively because they would have preferred to have avoided the call by receiving necessary information from a website.

To craft a customer journey map that serves both CX and UX professionals and supplies the basis to provide one brand experience to the customer, the research findings from CX and UX must come together.

I recommend bringing key data points together across touch points to represent the holistic experience that can serve CX and UX within organizations and, most importantly, drive improvements across a unified experience. While there are many steps involved in providing a combined view of the customer and user experience, the following steps are key:

  • Conduct in-person, in-context ethnographic research with each customer group. This research should focus on understanding their holistic experience and experience across digital and non-digital touch points.
  • Craft a set of personas that connect to the marketing segmentation. For example, if a segment is “Price Focused” insurance buyers, indicate which of the personas fall into the “Price Focused” insurance buyer segment. This will help make the customer journey maps for each persona as relevant as possible to the organization.
  • Conduct Voice of the Customer research and segment the data based on key persona attributes.
  • Review usability findings from recent studies for user experiences (web and mobile) that customers currently engage with.
  • Pull and include analytics data relevant to each customer-facing user interface. While it’s not (usually) possible to segment this data by persona, analytics provide valuable information about what’s not working on a website or application. For example, are there significant drop off rates on product pages?

There are also other relevant data points to include in the journey map, depending on the organization’s research.

The next step is showing the relevant data points at each touch point from all data sources for each persona. Here you must leverage the ethnographic data as the source for the story and context of engagement with key touch points throughout the journey. Net Promoter data and other findings from the ethnographic research can be used to indicate the persona’s holistic experience as well as brand feedback.

This combined UX and CX journey map provides an organization the basis for complete understanding of the one brand experience that their customers experience.

About the Author

As the director of customer insight at EffectiveUI, Julia Barrett identifies the best ways to uncover the key insights to inform design and leads the team to execute on those methods. With an arsenal of experience and methods, from usability testing to contextual inquiry, she helps discover simple solutions that have a big impact for users and businesses. She also facilitates data synthesis and client collaboration for a cohesive process of co-creation.

Julia is passionate about how customer insight can effectively inform design and address clients’ key goals and gaps in their understanding of customers.

Julia received a Bachelor of Science degree in cognitive science and human computer interaction from the University of California at San Diego.

About EffectiveUI

This article first appeared on the EffectiveUI blog.

EffectiveUI is the go-to UX partner for high-technology companies, including industry leaders within aerospace and aviation, biotech and healthcare, consumer and industrial electronics, defense, energy, financial services, software and telecom. In making technology more useful, useable and desirable, we help our clients reinvent significant aspects of their business? — ?from the experience they provide to customers, to the tools used to streamline operations, to the products brought to market. We work collaboratively with clients to solve complex business problems and drive transformation through four tightly integrated areas of expertise: user research and insight, digital strategy, UX design and UI development and integration. Learn more at