Land maps exist to record the actual terrain... not an idealized view of the terrain- the REAL terrain that you will have to traverse- like it or not.
With this real-world understanding of the terrain you can plot the most effective path through it.
[Of course, if you fail to identify a cliff or a river on the map, the path you plot may lead to tragedy.]
Customer Journey Maps do the same thing- for the path your customers take.
There are three situations where you need a Customer Journey Map:
Maximizing Existing Product Performance
- Here you have a product that is already in the market.
- A Customer Journey Map can define all the interaction and communication touch-points you have with customers to understand the tripping points and where you can improve.
Planning a New Product
- Here, you want to understand the ins & outs of the customer's world, so the product you design and sell can best meet their needs in the ways they need it to.
- This type of Journey Map plots the workflow and experiences of potential customers, to clarify what problems need solving, and what's in their neighborhood.
Launching a Product
- Here, you already have a product that you believe solves customer problems and you are getting ready to launch it.
- This kind of Journey Map can help you to define the key communication/interaction touch-points so you can plan how you'll influence prospects toward a purchase.
Creating a Journey Map is much easier if you:
A. Start with a proven, core template then modify it as needed to suit your purpose.
B. Start by holding a Journey Mapping workshop with you and your extended team.