Break down the customer journey
  • Updated on 07 Apr 2020
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Break down the customer journey

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About this experiment

Note that you will need to be a bit creative if your idea involves something that does not exist yet. You may need to test several aspects of different products to get a complete picture. The benefit is that you'll be able to start today.


Experiment: Customer Journey

Type of experiment: Explorative, qualitative


  • Get an in depth view of the problem from a customer perspective
  • Understand where in the life of the customer you can make a difference
  • Dangers:

Can be a bit of work to get right

Use this experiment to: Do a deep dive in the world of your target customers. Find out when and how they experience the problem, and what the best moments are to improve their life.

Time and resources required to set up: You need a big sheet of paper and time to do customer interviews

Evidence level: Pretty good, if you’re basing your customer journey off of customer interviews.

Method: Have 1-on-1 interviews with customers to map out their personal journey on paper, then combine your findings into one big journey to find patterns.

Prototype: Interview questions

Step by Step

Step 1. What are you going to explore?
Come up with a number of questions about the customer journey of you customers. What are the key moments? When do they experience the problem? What happens before? And after? It can help to map out what you think the journey is, so that you can see how the real examples differ. You want to know what the customer is trying to achieve when they run into the problem. If you are testing risky assumptions, also create a solid hypothesis.

Step 2. Line up interviews
Look for test subjects that have actually been in the situation you’re trying to learn about. Schedule 1 on 1 interviews.

Step 3. Run interviews
Together with the subject map out their journey. Ask your test subject what they were trying to achieve in the moment you’re interested in. Let them describe the situation. That is your first point on the journey. Next, work your way back in time. Ask them what happened before that moment. How did they end up there? Add new moments on the timeline, and ask the test subject to describe them. What did they do? What did they see? What decisions did they make? How did they feel?

When you’ve gone back in time to a moment that seems to become less relevant, go back to the key moment and move forward in time. What happened afterwards? Again, add new moments.

When you’ve got a feeling that you have a good picture, go over it once more with the test subject and check if it’s all there.

Step 4. Combine results
When you have a good number of results, try to put everything together. Are the timelines similar? Or are there different possible journeys? Do you see patterns? Is this journey different than you thought? What are the moments where it is the easiest to make an impact?

Keep your combined journey together on the wall or in the cloud using e.g. Miro, so that you can keep refining it and use it in the future.

Customers will interact with your company in 2 main moments: when they are trying to find a solution to a specific problem, when they are actually solving the problem. If you can understand a typical customer "journey" during those two moments, you will be better set up to both find and sell to, and then build a superior solution for your future customer.

Using a template can help you and your team write down your assumptions (hypotheses!) about a typical customer journey and start to testing these assumptions, to be able to get to a better customer-centric solution.

Resource 📄
Download a customer journey map template here

Journey Map

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