Are your journey maps tuning into wall paper?


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Present your journey maps in an impactful manner that inspires change!

In this article, I will share a few thoughts on how to present journey maps to executives and teams so that they are motivated to take action for improvement.

Many companies struggle once they have defined and ideated to go into action and start implementing the changes that will differentiate them as a brand. There are many reasons for this but one of the prominents ones is that they see the journey map as the goal and end-state. The journey map may define the to-be ideal journey but it is only the starting point. The work really only starts when you have defined the journey.

What follows is the typical process that we witness in our clients programmes.

Messy maps on the wall

First the map is on the wall. As the teams work on it it becomes more alive but also a mess of post-it notes and pictures and letters and clippings. A paper explosion of legacy limitations and future innovation!

Create a war room that ignites emotion

In this part of the facilitation process it is very useful to create a war room where we represent exactly what the customer sees. To help you with motivation for change I recommend immersing people so they can “feel” the real experience and become aware of inconsistencies, and disconnected parts of the storyline. Walking a group of executives on a gallery walk through the war room and showing them what customers experience, can be very powerful and support the buy-in process. When they experience the physical and tangible impact of what the company provides, it can sometimes ignite an immediate mind shift. An “ah-ha” moment that will help you propel your change forward!

Transform mess into analytical sophistication

The map is then transformed from the wall into a more elegant and sophisticated map. Everything is neatly captured. Some of the awareness while capturing the map is that “we missed something”. It just happens that when you neaten up, you have the opportunity to again objectively run through the storyline. Usually we have a multi-person team working on the maps. One to capture the details and another to quality assure and one that plays the role of the customer. The biggest trap that improvements teams can fall into, is to get stuck in their process and system and not map the journey from the perspective of the customer.

The captured journey map usually becomes quite wide in terms of timeline and the number of moments in the map. The maps also do not print easily on the printer’s paper sizes that are commonly available.

Reduce the detail to an impactful message

At this point in the process your natural instinct might be to share the complex, detailed map with everyone out of pride and a sense of accomplishment. Don’t!

When faced with so much detail people get intimidated and overwhelmed.
Let me share with you a great recipe for presenting your journey maps so that you get buy-in for the next steps in your journey.

Why share the map?

So first evaluate why you want to share the map. Get clear on your objectives.
You may share it for a variety of reasons such as

Show the current state.
Show the opportunities.
Change the mindset of leaders and staff to take ownership of creating memorable experiences.
Motivate people into action to fix deficiencies in the existing experience.
Motivate for investment in the people activation part of the customer experience.
Create awareness of the employee experience that is key to creating memorable experiences for customers.
Train people on a different way of orchestrating the journey.

A step by step process for how to plan your presentation

So let me share with you a few tips on how we share the story in a way that ignited change.

Step 1: Who are you presenting your journey map to?

First ensure that you put yourself in the shoes of your audience.
Jot down what your assumptions are to the questions below.
What do your audience want to know?
What do they need to know?
What do you want them to do with the information?
What action would you like them to take after the presentation?

If you have the opportunity to ask your executive team the questions above, do so! Design your presentation around answering these questions. Leave no uncertainty and be direct in what action you would like them to take.

Step 2: Pictures are better than a thousand words

Create a visual-only graphic version of the map.
This allows people to immerse themselves into the story. Tell the story first so that they can associate the imagery with the story.
People will remember the story much longer than what they would an excel spreadsheet with lots of data.

Your aim is to enable people to tell the story on your behalf. Like creating a corporate fairytale of sorts where the customer and the leaders are the heroes of the story. Everyone loves a good drama.

Below is an example of a story that we created for a car manufacturer.

Step 3: Make the detail interesting

Next, take your audience through the detail of the newly designed experience using the journey with images.

Because journeys tell a story over time, there are usually many slides required to cover the detail and it can get repetitive and boring very quickly.
To counter the boring, we use Prezi extensively to give us the ability to pull in the map and then animate the discussion to move in and out of details in the map. This creates a much more interactive experience than trying to navigate on the detailed map.

We also overlay the map with multimedia like video and phone calls and letters and forms. You want your audience to really feel the experience and see the pain as well as the opportunity in what you are proposing as a future experience.

We do extensive co-design with customers and we video those sessions of customers building their ideal experiences in Lego. We use this video material as part of the presentation as the real voice of the customer showing us prototypes of what they want from the brand.

Step 4: Activating the experience

Although many people are typically involved in the design of the experience, when we work with large teams, let’s say a call centre of 1200 people, it is not possible for all of them to co-design the experience. But it is really important for them to get excited and feel inspired to deliver the new improved experience. Here we use the power of visuals, role play, improv and we create activation sessions where they can act out the journey as if it is stage play.


If you have a journey map that you want to activate, take people on a treasure hunt with you, to discover innovation like treasures… Once they discover them, they will be motivated to be part of the change.

Use images that are interesting and lure people in to understand the story and be able to tell the story.
For you to make an impact in the world of the customer and employees, the one dimensional map needs to come alive in the hearts and minds of people through the techniques I shared with you in this article.

I wish you all the best with creating journey maps with impact!

Chantel Botha
I'm Chantel Botha, the author of "The Customer Journey Mapping Field Guide" and the founder of BrandLove. I help business leaders to empower their teams to live their brand proudly. I am passionate about closing the gap between what a brand promises and delivers in reality. Employees are often the moment of truth in customers' experiences with a brand. Over the last 15 years, I have perfected the recipe to turn ordinary employees into Brand Warriors.


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