Customer Journey Visualization: How to Perform It + 3 Tools to Try

Customer Journey Visualization: How to Perform It + 3 Tools to Try cover

Want to conduct customer journey visualization but not sure what’s the best way to do it?

This article shows you a step-by-step process for collecting customer data and creating easy-to-understand visual maps.


  • A customer journey map represents the steps users take when interacting with your brand. Understanding these steps and the motivations behind them enables you to support customers in succeeding with your tool.
  • Customer journey visualization is the process of taking information from the customer journey map and representing it in a visually compelling way.

Benefits of customer journey mapping:

Key components to include when mapping the customer’s journey:

Stages included in the buyer journey

Step-by-step guide for visualizing the customer journey:

  1. Identify your buyer persona.
  2. Segment your users with an in-app welcome survey.
  3. Identify key journey stages with path analysis.
  4. Spot customer touchpoints with heatmaps and session recordings.
  5. Find features that increase customer engagement and retention.
  6. Collect user feedback to tap into customer emotions.
  7. Visualize the journey with a customer journey map template.

Best practices to use when creating customer journey maps:

Three journey mapping tools to improve the customer experience:

  1. Userpilot – Best data analysis tool to track user journeys.
  2. Miro – Best tool for customer journey map templates.
  3. UXPressia – Best for UX research into the customer’s journey.

Ready to create a customer journey visualization? Book a demo now to start collecting data with Userpilot.

Try Userpilot and Take Your Customer Experience to the Next Level

What is a customer journey map?

A customer journey map is a visual representation that illustrates the steps your customers go through when engaging with your brand. It also outlines their motivations, actions, and pain points at every stage.

The main purpose of a customer journey map is to provide a clear picture of all customer interactions with your business, from their initial contact to long-term retention.

What is customer journey visualization?

Customer journey visualization is the process of taking information from the customer journey map and representing it in a visually compelling way.

This helps understand complex customer interactions through diagrams, charts, or other graphical formats so all stakeholders can quickly glance through and grasp the emotions, needs, and goals at each customer touchpoint.

Benefits of customer journey mapping

A customer journey map that clearly outlines user activity at each journey stage has tons of benefits, including the following:

  • Create targeted marketing campaigns: Journey maps reveal what motivates customers at different points—their needs, questions, and pain points. This lets you tailor messaging and offers to be most relevant where potential customers are in the buyer’s journey.
  • Build data-driven product roadmaps: A customer journey map helps you understand which features move users to the next stage of the customer journey. This allows you to optimize your roadmaps and make product improvements based on real user needs.
  • Enhance user experience: Positive customer experience is an easy way to stand out in a competitive landscape. The data from customer mapping enables you to deliver an improved user experience.
  • Improve free trial to paid conversion: Understanding the journey from a free trial to a paid subscription helps identify the critical moments and factors influencing a customer’s decision to upgrade. This helps improve your trial conversion funnel and win more users.
  • Increase loyalty and revenue growth: Customer journey mapping also enhances post-purchase experiences to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. This allows you to take actions that foster stronger relationships, encourage repeat business, and generate more opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.

What’s included in a customer journey map?

Customer journey maps can vary in complexity and detail but typically include the following key components:

  • Customer journey stages: The major phases your customer goes through (e.g., awareness, consideration, activation, adoption, renewal).
  • User emotions: How the customer feels at each stage—excited, frustrated, satisfied, etc. Understanding emotions adds depth to your customer journey visualization.
  • User actions: What the customer does at each stage (e.g., visits the website, books a demo, engages with key activation features during onboarding, and so on).
  • Proposed solution: Ideas for improving specific areas of the customer journey and addressing pain points.

Stages included in a customer journey

Each customer journey stage represents a unique mindset and set of objectives that, when understood, will help funnel users smoothly till they become paying and loyal users. Let’s go over the key journey stages:

  • Awareness stage: The potential customer becomes aware of a problem or need and begins seeking general information, not necessarily focused on your product.
  • Consideration stage: In this second stage of the buyer’s journey, potential customers begin actively researching for potential solutions. Using channels like friends, search engines, and social media, they compare different products, assessing features, benefits, and pricing to determine what best meets their needs.
  • Decision stage: After their research, the customer makes a decision by booking a demo call, signing up for your free version, or going straight for the paid plan.
  • Activation stage: The new user experiences your product’s core value for the first time and sees reasons to continue engaging.
  • Adoption stage: After successful activation, the user incorporates your product into their workflow and continues using it regularly.
  • Renewal stage: This is where the customer decides to renew their accounts to increase the ROI of using your product.
  • Expansion stage: Here, the customer purchases add-ons, upgrades their accounts, or increases their usage. This signifies trust in your company and the value it provides.
  • Loyalty stage: The loyalty stage is the holy grail of the SaaS customer journey. Customers in this stage not only expand and repeatedly renew their accounts but also advocate for you through word of mouth or social media.
Customer journey stages.

Step-by-step guide for visualizing the customer journey

Customer journey visualization involves several steps, each contributing to a comprehensive view of the customer’s path from initial engagement to loyalty. Here’s how to approach it:

1. Identify your customer persona

The first step is to define the persona you wish to visualize—note that the customer journey will be slightly different for each of your customer personas because they have varying needs and goals.

Once you’ve decided on the persona to visualize, the next step is to list what you already know about them. This includes their pain points, goals, jobs to be done, and any relevant information you wish to add.

Here’s a template you can use:

User persona example.

2. Segment your users with an in-app welcome survey

Use a welcome survey to collect important data about new users. Keep the survey short and focus on asking questions about their company size, the end user’s role in the company, and their main use cases.

How is this important to the customer journey mapping process?

The data from your welcome survey helps segment users based on their needs, preferences, and initial impressions, allowing you to create more detailed and personalized customer journeys.

Welcome survey built with Userpilot.

3. Identify key journey stages with path analysis

Define the goal(s) for each customer journey (e.g., activation of XYZ feature). Then, implement path analysis to find all the paths users take to achieve that goal. Filter through the noise to identify the shortest path and highlight all the stages involved.

For example, a path analysis can help you identify which features drive adoption by monitoring users’ journey from signing up to becoming paying customers.

You can track all the pages they visit or the events they conduct to understand key conversion drivers.

Path analysis report generated with Userpilot.

4. Spot customer touchpoints with heatmaps and session recordings

Heatmaps provide a visual representation of user actions on your website or app in terms of UI clicks and hovers so you can identify high-engagement areas.

Session recordings perform a similar function but are even more insightful as they provide video recordings of user clicks, scrolls, zoom-ins, and other mouse movements.

Combining these two customer analytics lets you identify the key touchpoints at each user journey stage.

A heatmap generated with Userpilot.

5. Find features that drive engagement and retention

Use trend analysis to find popular features at every journey stage. This report highlights features that are visited most often in a given period so you can gain insights into key user problems and what solutions work best for them.

Trend analysis report in Userpilot.

You can pair your trends report with cohorts analysis to find which features drive retention and loyalty.

These highly-used features likely fulfill a core need, address a significant pain point, or provide exceptional value. Identifying them helps you map out the moments of delight in the customer journey.

Cohort analysis with Userpilot.

6. Collect user feedback to tap into customer emotions

Feedback surveys help you hear from the horse’s mouth. By asking the right questions, you can identify customer pain points and motivations at each journey stage.

For this survey, you want to prioritize open-ended questions over close-ended ones so users can freely express themselves.

For example, asking a question like “What are the top challenges your company is facing?” allows the respondents to think and provide detailed feedback.

Customer feedback surveys created with Userpilot.

7. Visualize the journey with a customer journey map template

With all the data and insights you collected from the previous steps, it’s time to visualize it. Use a customer journey map template to consolidate the customer data you’ve collected.

Examples of what to include:

Here’s a customer journey map template from Miro you can use:

Miro’s customer journey visualization template.

Best practices to use when creating customer journey maps

Follow these best practices to ensure your customer journey map is clear, actionable, and remains relevant over time.

Keep the visual representation simple

Your visualization should have just enough data for all stakeholders to understand user motivations. The map will lose its impact as a quick reference tool if it’s too cluttered or complex.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t use product jargon.
  • Use illustrations to make it easy to visualize user feelings/emotions.
  • Limit the detail level and attach summaries of each journey.

Use consistent symbols and colors

You’ll likely be working on multiple customer journeys across different user personas.

It’s easy to mix things up, so develop a visual key to represent different journey stages, touchpoints, emotions, and pain points.

Iterate and continually update your journey maps

Customer needs and preferences keep changing over time, so update the visualization based on new insights regularly.

Aim to conduct periodic data analytics to keep tabs on changes in the customer experience and track user behavior.

3 journey mapping tools to improve the customer experience

Below are three of the best customer journey mapping tools and what they help you accomplish.

1. Userpilot – Best data analysis tool to track user journeys

Userpilot is a product growth tool with powerful customer behavior analytics.

The platform lets you visualize customer journeys and create in-app experiences to improve your customer experience.

Relevant features:

  • Funnel analysis: Visualize how users progress through each customer journey stage. The funnel analysis report shows friction points and areas where users move smoothly.
Funnel analysis report generated with Userpilot.
  • Analytics reports: Dig into customer behavior data and uncover insights to facilitate better customer journey visualization with trend reports, cohort analysis, user paths, and heatmap analysis.
  • Analytics dashboards: View all key data points from a single location with the analytics dashboard. There are different dashboards to choose from such as the product usage and core feature engagement dashboards. You can also build custom dashboards.
Product usage dashboard.
  • Feature usage reports: Tag any feature of your choice and track all user interactions associated with it without having to involve your dev team.
  • In-app surveys: From simple quantitative surveys to more in-depth, open-ended questions, Userpilot has several survey templates to make feedback collection easy.

2. Miro – Best tool for customer journey map templates

Miro is an online collaborative whiteboarding platform that enables teams to work more effectively, from brainstorming with digital sticky notes to planning and managing agile workflows.

Features that help with customer journey visualization include:

  • Collaborative online whiteboards: Create and share customer journey maps in a visual and interactive environment. The workspace is flexible, allowing you to freely arrange text, shapes, and images to fit your visualization needs.
  • Templates and frameworks: Access pre-built templates, including customer journey maps, to quickly start projects.
  • Integration: Seamlessly integrate with tools such as Slack, Asana, and Google Drive to enhance team collaboration.
Using Miro to create a customer journey map.

3. UXPressia – Best for UX research into the customer’s journey

UXPressia is a specialized platform dedicated to customer experience management, offering tools for customer journey mapping, persona creation, and impact mapping.

Here’s how it helps with customer journey visualization:

  • Templates for customer journey mapping: Access a variety of industry-specific templates and customer journey mapping examples to streamline your mapping process with a user-friendly interface.
  • Persona creation: Create personas by incorporating demographics, needs, and pain points to better understand the customer experience.
  • Impact mapping: Identify and visualize the impact of different touchpoints on the customer’s experience and satisfaction.
Buyer journey map created with UXPressia.


By visualizing the steps users take to become loyal customers, you’ll spot ways to optimize your product and convert more customers.

Ready to begin? Book a Userpilot demo to access behavior analytics and user feedback for effective customer journey visualization.

Try Userpilot and Take Your Customer Experience to the Next Level

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