Aatir Abdul Rauf


Aatir Abdul Rauf


Sep 26, 2022


Q: "How can a customer journey map (CJM) help me as a Product Manager?"

CJMs help Product Managers visualize the customer journey as a "human experience" as opposed to a mere software flow or "set of screens". That real-world usage perspective can highlight product gaps, shortcomings & inefficiencies that aren't highlighted elsewhere.

I used to think it was a fluff artefact to serve as visual eye-candy. But during a planning workshop at Bayt, I realized how transformative it can be, especially when you're re-designing your application from the ground up.

What is it?

A CJM is a visualization (typically swimlane diagram of flow chart) that helps organizations understand how a customer goes from scratch to achieving a certain goal.

Why not just use a wireframe?

Because in a CJM, both online & offline milestones are captured.

For example, a property buyer's interaction with a real estate portal will include touchpoints like:

  • Find an ad on Facebook.
  • View property ad in detail.
  • Read online blogs for neighborhood reviews.
  • Talk to a property agency, set a time.
  • Visit the location. Take pictures.
  • Consult with friends & family.
  • Negotiate with agency & purchase.

Also, apart from user actions, a CJM will also capture intended emotions (what should the user feel) & pain points in taking a desired step.

How do you make a CJM?

A customer journey map

You could plot your existing experience by picking up a persona & interviewing users on how they found your site & inquiring about what actions they carried out. A Mixpanel funnel might also assist in plotting this.

You could then amend the CJM (reduce steps, simplify etc.) and reflect that back into the product.

See more: How to make a Customer Journey Map

How does it help?

CJMs are like movie scripts. It allows the entire team to converge & agree on the holistic experience they are looking to create.

Just like the sound, video, costume & camera crews on a movie production desire to know their role in a movie scene, a Product Manager can democratize the CJM & have each layer within speak to a different team.


  • The sequence of steps serves as a functional footprint for development.
  • The customer pain points help product teams to architect solutions & user education flows.
  • The emotional layer help guide design & content teams craft the right visuals & messaging.
  • The mixture of offline & online touchpoints helps customer support plan better.

In the workshop I attended, the CJM not only helped us identify key activities (e.g. nurture campaigns, data moderation etc.) but also the additional personnel we needed to hire to execute them. This directly translated to requisitions for HR.

A CJM can help you also pave the ideal path for a new customer persona you might be targeting, mark out weak links that might contribute to churn & identify soft areas that customer support might need to beef up.

In short, a CJM is a great CX tool to view your product from a customer-first mentality.

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