What Is The Difference Between Customer Journey and Experience Maps + When To Use Them

Customer Journey Mapping and Customer Experience Mapping. If you have anything to do with marketing, I’m sure you have heard of these two terms.

People often use them interchangeable and don’t realize that they are different concepts.

This creates inaccuracy and confusion while also putting many businesses behind in their marketing game.

Luckily, you are here and you have this article, so you don’t have to be put behind. We will look deeper into what each term means, how they are different, and where to use which one.

What is Customer Journey Mapping?

Customer Journey Mapping is the entire path a customer takes in order to make a single purchase through the marketing and onboarding process. It is a visualization of every step taken since the start of the customer’s interaction with the business, until after the sale has been made.

A customer could see a social media ad of your products, click on it for more information, and decide to buy the product. Later they could call customer services to get assistance on how to install the product.

Every action and interaction that happens in this example, would be a part of that customer’s journey map.

The biggest difference between a journey map and an experience map is that Customer Journey Maps are about only a single product or service offered by your business. Yes, it includes every single interaction a customer makes with your business, but only related to a particular product.

customer journey example

When to use Customer Journey Mapping

Marketers often feel the need to look back on what their customers experience and what their interactions with the business look like. They do this for many reasons, but if the purpose is to mainly focus on a single issue or goal, then Customer Journey Mapping is necessary.

Because they are related to only a single product or service, you would use journey maps when you have specific goals in your mind or when you know that there is a problem in a specific area.

Customer Journey Mapping is an easier and faster tool to help you reach your goals and find solutions to your problems if you know what you’re looking for. They are already specific and focused, so you will not lose any time trying to direct it to your interest.

But again, this only works if you know where to look.

And if you don’t, Customer Experience Mapping might give you the answer.

What is Customer Experience Mapping?

Customer Experience Mapping is an all-inclusive visualization of any type of interaction a customer have had with your business. Unlike Customer Journey Maps, it is not limited to any specific product or service.

Mapping the customer experience means tracking every possible touchpoint the customer makes with your company —whether they make a single purchase, or multiple purchases, or none at all.

Since an experience map is more holistic, it is more related to human behavior. It looks into the thoughts and actions of a customer at every stage of the buying cycle. This results in providing a deeper analysis than a journey map.

A Customer Experience Map could include a journey map, but also takes into consideration other interactions the customer might have had with your business other than that particular product or service.

Shortly, experience maps are generally more thorough and detailed than journey maps. They record every touchpoint made with a customer persona, and end up creating an all-encompassing map that will help you get a wide picture from your customers’ point of view.

customer experience mapping

When to use Customer Experience Mapping

Customer Experience Maps are to be used in situations that are the opposite of the ones in need of a journey map. They are for times when you know that you have a problem,but you don’t exactly know where in your marketing or customer acquisition and retention process it is.

Say that you have a good amount of traffic to your website and to your landing pages, but at some point most of those prospects fail to convert.

You know you have something in your website that is repelling many leads, but you don’t know what it is or where it is.

A Customer Experience Map can show you the certain points where those leads decide against converting and leave your website.

This way you will pinpoint the source of the problem and work to solve it.

To sum it up…

Both of these mapping methods are used to track customer interactions with your brand. While Customer Journey Maps are only tracking the touchpoint related to the sale of a single product or service, Customer Experience Maps track every single touchpoint a customer has with the business.

Both of the maps can help you find solutions to issues you have in your marketing process and sales-cycle. A journey map will be more useful if you know where the problem is since it is more focused already. In contrast, an experience map will be more beneficial if you need to spot the problem first thanks to its more inclusive form.

These customer maps will help you step into your customers’ shoes and have a better understanding of them. However they are meant to be updated. You cannot map the customer journey or experience once and keep using the same map.

If you choose the right map type for your business and keep it updated, they will be really helpful to you while perfecting your marketing strategies.