Customer Journey Mapping Software Review

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With the rise and rise of interest in Customer Journey Mapping there has been a commensurate rise in software applications to document, manage and print the resulting maps.

In this post I review a wide range of software tools that can be used to document the maps you create and make a suggestion on which to select for your needs.

Note: If you notice any software that should be on this list but is not, please leave a comment to let me know and I’ll add it.

I am not going to review the many marketing automation systems that provide a way to view the sales journey. This post is focused on User Experience (UX) and Customer Experience (CX) journey mapping tools.

This is a long post so, in no particular order, here is the table of contents:

Microsoft PowerPoint Review

powerpointYes it’s a bit old school but PowerPoint can be a very effective tool for documenting customer journey maps.

Price

Included for most businesses that use the MS Office suite of products.

Pros

  • Familiar tool: This is a very common tool for business users, so the learning curve is basically non-existent.
  • No additional cost: If you have the MS Office suite of products then you probably already have it so there is no additional software to purchase
  • Very flexible: The flexibility of shapes, layouts and linking elements is very large and they are easy to format in terms of colours and sizes.
  • Limited collaboration features: In later versions of PowerPoint users can work on a presentation/map at the same time.
  • Document portability: It is relatively easy to export/import data to/from the software so you’re not stuck in the one platform.

Cons

  • Not built for mapping: PowerPoint is not really designed as a process or mapping tool and so many of the tasks you will perform often, e.g. linking shapes, don’t have short cuts.
  • Too flexible: The extreme flexibility means that different people will format maps in different ways and this can detract from the consistent view you might want. Also the flexibility means staff may spend too much time on getting formats consistent.
  • Hard to print large format: Getting page sizes correct can be difficult and there is no easy way to create large scale (think several feet or metres across) documents formatted and printed.



Microsoft Visio Review

visio

This is a general purpose process mapping and software design tool developed by Microsoft. It’s been around for many years and is quite mature.

Price

Approximately: AUD450 or USD300

Pros

  • Low training requirement: Visio is like PowerPoint but with a process design straight-jacket. The interface is very familiar and relatively easy to learn.
  • Process design focused: Because it is a process design tool many repetitive tasks, like joining shapes, have default actions so it’s quick and easy to document your map.
  • Standard symbols: It has a range of standard symbols and forms from which you can select. Many have built in behaviours that make it easy to create maps.
  • Limited flexibility: While there are many formatting options, the straight-jacket limits the infinite freedom of PowerPoint and it is quicker and easier for users to get to a finished document that looks good and is consistent with others.
  • Easy document printing: Visio is designed to print large documents easily and will, by default, let you create any sized map you like. Then when you go to print your map Visio simply splits it up into a jigsaw of printed pages that you can join to create your map in large scale.
  • Document portability: It is relatively easy to export/import data to/from the software so you’re not stuck in the one platform.

Cons

  • Added cost: As a specialist piece of software you will probably not have a copy on everyone’s desktop. While it’s not especially expensive when you start rolling it out to multiple desktops the price can mount up.
  • Static maps: Visio was never designed for multi user sharing and editing of documents so documents can become centred on just one person, reducing the ability to share the map across the organisation.
  • Difficult collaboration: Visio stores maps as files and while you can share the files, merging changes from different users is not automated.

Canvanizer Review

Canvanizer is a general purpose business documenting tool that started out focusing on the Business Model Canvas.

The Business Model Canvas was made famous by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur in their book Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers

Canvanizser also has a range of other documents it can produce, including Customer Experience Canvases and Service Design Canvases.

canvanizer

Price

Free, at the moment.

Pros

  • Price: as far as I can tell this is a free service
  • Simple: setting up a new canvas is easy (1 click) and it’s quite easy to use.
  • Easy to use: Adding elements and moving them around is drag and drop
  • Sharing is easy: you can share editable and read only links to the canvas

Cons

  • Fixed format: the format of the canvas is fixed with specific areas and terms. If you don’t like the way the map is laid out there is nothing you can do to change it.
  • Printing is not great: while it’s easy to share the map electronically, printing it out to post on the wall relies on your browser’s printing functions and so is quite limited.
  • Text only: each of the elements is fixed format and text only so you can’t add pictures or diagrams to the map.

smaply Review

Initiated by Marc Stickdorn and, Klaus Schwarzenberger who wrote This is Service Design Thinking, smaply is an cloud service to map customer journeys and service designs.

smaply

Price

Starting at 25EUR per month for one user. Additional users for 10EUR per month

Pros

  • “How To” documentation included: A nice step by step process with specific stages for Persona descriptions, stakeholder maps and other journey map elements help lead you through the design process.
  • Looks good: Nice visualisation features make it easy to review your maps.
  • Export to PDF: There is the ability to export the maps to high resolution PDF files for printing on posters and other large format printers.
  • Multiple views: Different views of the data allow you to view your content as touch-point journeys, swim lane views, emotional journey’s, etc.
  • Easy to share: Simple ability to share maps between people electronically, as a cloud service it’s easy to provide other people the ability to view and edit the maps.

Cons

  • Fixed format: all of the programmed mapping tools suffer from this issue of not being 100% free format – mind you this is also a pro in that you have less choices to make and can focus on the mapping task rather than the formatting and layout options.
  • End of agreement data access: As with any SaaS tool set you need to consider what will happen to intellectual property you have developed if you decide to cease using the tool. Can it be easily transferred to other systems?

Touchpoint Dashboard Review

Touchpoint Dashboard is a combined mapping and reporting system that allows you to draw a customer journey map and then overlay data from the business on the map elements.

[Update 19 October 2015] Touchpoint Dashboard has now been acquired by Strativity — a customer experience consultancy.

touchpointdashboard

Price

Starting at USD74 per month for 1 user and 3 projects, growing to USD625 for 5 users and with the availability of corporate editions.

Pros

  • Integrate business data: Touchpoint Dashboard can to show live business data on the map. This approach changes the map from being a simple document to a living report.
  • View the maps in different ways: You can enter the data in one way and then view in another. So after the map has been created it can be viewed via a few different lenses including by company area and emotion, journey step stage with emotional value and stage by company channel.
  • Sharing: Sharing is done by interactive story board, allowing people to review, comment and contribute to the map.
  • PDF output: Output to PDF is supported allowing you to print the map large scale.
  • Multi-media: Adding various type of media is supported: allowing you to, for instance, link a video of a customer interaction to add detail to the touch-point.

Cons

  • Fixed Format: again in this approach the map layout is relatively fixed. If you like the way the map is laid out that’s fine, but if you don’t you will have to fit into it’s approach.
  • Cost: the costs for the service are not high but they are ongoing and per user based.
  • End of agreement data access: As with any SaaS tool set you need to consider what will happen to intellectual property you have developed if you decide to cease using the tool. Can it be easily transferred to other systems?

UXPRESSIA Review

UXPRESSIA looks to be developed by a small team and is an easy to use tool.

Using a simple two dimensional grid (much like Excel) users can add rows sections (User Goals, Process, Experience, etc) and columns (stages in the process) to the map.

uxpressia

Price

USD9 per person per month

Pros

  • Journey Mapping help: Lots of on-line help about the customer journey mapping process itself.
  • Easy to learn: Looks good and the learning curve is quite shallow
  • PDF Export: Export to PNG or PDF for large scale printing.

Cons

  • Not much depth to the tool: While this is easy to use and the sections are flexible, it does not appear to have any additional depth beyond being an easy to use documentation tool. It would be as simple to use MS Word or Excel to document the customer journey and have the sophisticated editing tools that come with those packages.

Visual Paradigm Review

Visual Paradigm has its roots in software design and data models.



In many ways software requirements collection and design processes are very similar to customer journey mapping. Both require features such as user (customer) requirements collection, process flow design, task management, etc.

So while this tool has been designed for software development it can be used very effectively for customer journey mapping. Plus it is currently sitting at version 12 so the software has a long history and a deep functionality set.

visualparadigm

Price

Starting at USD5 per month per user but the USD35 per month version would be needed for customer journey mapping.

Pros

  • Collaborative modelling: in the software industry is it common for several software developers to write code on the same program in parallel. This sounds like a recipe for disaster but the industry has developed processes to allow this to happen safely. Visual Paradigm has these processes built deeply into the product. The benefit for customer journey mapping is that it allows several people to work on the process independently and then merge their ideas quickly and effectively.
  • Deep functionality in service and process design: The process and service designer elements of the system are very flexible. For instance the Business Modelling feature includes a built in RACI responsibility matrix
  • Integrated task management: Tasks that arise from the process can be handed off to a task management module with project management abilities.

Cons

  • Steep learning curve: this is a sophisticated product focused on the software development industry. It is flexible enough to be used in customer journey mapping but it will take time to develop an effective approach and train staff in its use. The features are very relevant but many of the terms used for those features will be unfamiliar to non-software developers in the organisation.
  • Cost: the costs for the service are not high but they are ongoing and per user based.

UX360 Review

According to the developers, “UX360 is a single platform for creating and sharing all of your UX and CX assets, with a direct link to the underlying research data.”

This tool seems to be focused on UX and software design rather than general CX mapping.

Persona_Journey_Map_527x296

Price

USD500 per month for 3 authors, going to USD2,500 per month for 10 Authors plus a one time setup fee of $2,500.

Pros

  • Integrated application: The tool allows you to create and link a range of data sources within the same tool.
  • Different views: Containing specific views and tools for storing research, building personas, mapping processes and task assignment, it provides an integrated solution to the customer journey mapping process.
  • Easy sharing: Sharing is browser based so it should be simple and easy to access in many places.

Cons

  • Steep learning curve: As with any sophisticated software tool you will need a change management process to set this up properly in your business.
  • Price: At the highest pricing level of any software reviewed this is a strictly Enterprise solution.
  • End of agreement data access: As with any SaaS tool set you need to consider what will happen to intellectual property you have developed if you decide to cease using the tool. Can it be easily transferred to other systems?

suitecx Review

According to the developers:

suitecx® allows users to make fact based decisions and process improvements that are grounded in the customer experience. Customer-centric diagnostics, touch inventories, experience maps, data-driven personae and customer storytelling and precision marketing are all components of this groundbreaking software.

This tool is an integrated CX mapping tool with substantial functionality. It also comes in two versions: a comprehensive tool (suitecx) and a “buy by the unit” tool called Primer Products.

It also includes some marketing roadmap features.

suitecx

Price

Pricing for the suitecx product USD15,000 p.a. per module (visualizecx, diagnosticcx, precisioncx) for 3 users. Each unit of the Primer Products is USD50 per month per user.

Pros

  • Integrated application: The tool allows you to create and link a range of data sources within the same tool.
  • Comprehensive: Certainly this tool appears to provide a very comprehensive range of functions and views of the data – story maps, process flows, grid view, virtual sticky notes, roll-up views, survey data integration, prioritisation, road-maps, contact strategy, campaign planning
  • Easy sharing: Sharing is browser based so it should be simple and easy to access in many places.

Cons

  • Still in development: While the full tool envisages a substantial range of features, several of them appear to not yet be launched (collaboratecx, processcx, campaigncx) As with any sophisticated software tool you will need a change management process to set this up properly in your business.
  • Price: Pricing is at the top of the market.
  • Just released: with the first releases of the product being in last 2014 this software is early in the development cycle so care needs to be taken.
  • End of agreement data access: As with any SaaS tool set you need to consider what will happen to intellectual property you have developed if you decide to cease using the tool. Can it be easily transferred to other systems?

JOURNIFICA Review

According to the developers:

Journifica™ is mapping and survey-based software that facilitates the exploration of customer journeys, patient journeys and learner journeys. It could also be used to validate business processes.

Combining the mapping and customer survey tools, this is a narrowly focused tool that has been developed by a consultancy in the customer experience space. As such they offer the tool and can provide consulting support as well.

Some of the content on the website is missing (the”Tour” section) and there is precious little extra content on the site so it’s not clear how complete this tool is or exactly what capabilities it has.

Price

$399USD per journey/process map (“journey”). You get: Mapping tool set, respondent management tool set, reporting tools

+$39USD per named (in system) survey respondent

mcorp.cx Review

mcorp.cx is another consulting organisation that has launched journey mapping SaaS software along with training and facilitation.

While the site has a range of descriptions of the software it does not show it or give any detail on how it works. Notably, while it is called “Touchpoint Mapping” it is described as a “customer experience research and analytics platform” so it appears to be more of a reporting tool than an integrated customer journey mapping tool.

Price

USD2,500 per month for 5 users, USD4,500 per month for 10 uses, unspecified corporate pricing.

The Right Customer Journey Mapping Software For You

Of course, there is no one right solution for all organisations.

Personally I’m generally inclined to steer away from software developed by consulting organisations. While they have a good understanding of what is needed, software development is a specialist skill. And as their “first love” is consulting it will always pull management focus and resources away from software development.

Having said that here are a few suggestions on which software to look at based on the size of organisation and how long you have been mapping processes.

Enterprise

If you are a large organisation, with many staff, all working together on customer journey mapping then these tools offer the level of features you will probably be looking for:

  • UX360
  • Visual Paradigm
  • suitecx


They are large scale with very full feature sets that allow you to not only map your customer journey but manage the process of improving it.

However, these tools require a substantial investment in process design so they are expensive both in term of software fees and organisational time to implement.

Small to Mid-Tier

For small to mid-tier organisations, unless you are a software development company, you will not need to power of the Enterprise solutions.

So, if you’re just starting on the customer journey map journey (pun intended) then you should probably start with:

  • Microsoft Visio

I say that because it does not have many restraints and you will be able to build the map that works best for your needs. You can quite quickly build some real maps, experiment with what works for your organisation and gain experience.

After you have some experience though, the need to share maps with the rest of the organisation and make them a living document will become more important. At this point you may want to move over to one of the SaaS platforms. Of those options the following two have a good set of functionality and is where I would start:

  • smaply
  • Touchpoint Dashboard

Of course, much like customer feedback, creating the map is the easy part of the process. Software can help you document the map. But you need to share it, use it as a living document and drive continuous improvement in the business to generate value.

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