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You’ve overcome objections to journey mapping, gathered the necessary resources, and organized a team to tackle the project.  Now what?  It’s time to begin mapping, but don’t fall victim to these 5 pitfalls:

1) Lack of scope.  When you start a mapping project you should have a specific journey in mind.  Mapping the customer’s entire journey from awareness through renewal will produce a high-level map, which may drive customer empathy, but it won’t lead to actionable results.  A good example of a map with smaller scope would be a new feature request journey of a current customer and to further refine it by persona, such as a product manager making a new feature request.  What are the steps in this journey?  Do they start by having a pain point?  Do they reach out to support once they identify a pain or do they reach out to customer success?  What are the backend processes that happens once those requests are made and how does your organization inform the customer that they’ve been heard and their request is being prioritized?  As you can see, the questions can be endless, so the more tailored your map is the deeper you can dive into a particular journey and improve it.

2) Not setting goals up front.  Once you’ve defined the scope you shouldn’t proceed until you have buy-in on the goals of this mapping project.  Without concrete goals, you’ll be left with a beautiful yet purposeless map.  Setting objectives and subsequently the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you will use to measure success will help define ownership and provide a framework for prioritization.

3) Leaving customers out of the process.  Customers need to be deeply intertwined throughout the mapping process.  You may choose to use your internal knowledge as a starting framework, but Project Planningwithout talking to customers you are left with an inside-out view instead of an outside-in view.  A customer journey map should explore what it’s like to walk a mile in your customer’s shoes, not what it’s like to observe someone walk a mile.

4) Having a “final” version.  A customer journey map is never complete.  You may have finished “Version 1.0” identifying the customer pain points and delights at each touchpoint along a particular journey, but the journey will change when your company grows, departments merge, and new products are released.  As with your company, the map too, must evolve to meet the challenges and expectations of your customers in a proactive rather than reactive way.

5) No Ownership.  As with every other project, maps (and the elements within) must have clear ownership.  What parts of the experience can you improve in a measurable way and who should own those changes?  Prioritization should be decided as a team, but the key to success is assigning ownership.  Nebulous ownership causes lack of prioritization within everyone’s queue, which ultimately leads to a failed initiative.  Don’t invest in customer journey mapping if your colleagues are unwilling to invest their time in your customers.Team Coordination


In summary, stay focused when mapping your customer experience and avoid the temptation to map for the sake of mapping rather than tackling a specific problem.  Incorporate feedback from customers to ensure you’re targeting the right areas.  Make sure you have a committed team, ownership of tasks, and KPIs to show experience improvement.  Remember, the success of your first mapping project will play a large role in your company’s experience revolution.