Visualize Like a Pro. Top Customer Journey Mapping Tools

Masha Panchenko

Whether you are building a new product, developing extra features, or finding ways to improve your retention rates, a customer journey map is a great tool. As a design agency, we know well how valuable can be an insight from a customer journey map that is based on good research.

Creating a customer journey map requires previous research, analysis, interviews. After that you are left with loads of information that is hard to present to the team. Here you can see the best tools that can help you visualize the map and make it a pretty picture that you would really enjoy analyzing.

Customer Journey Map (CJM). Why Does It Matter?

Through the customer journey map, you can truly empathize with your users. It shows not only how people interact with the product, but also what they feel and desire. The graph shows clearly the moments of truth that make you lose or acquire clients.

Before you start working on a customer journey map, think of a concrete problem that you want to address. Make sure to include real customers in the process, do not rely on your team to provide all the information about clients’ feelings, desires, and actions.

Once you’ve gathered the information, you start thinking of a way to visualize it. The tools are various: we’ll start with the most basic ones and go on with the software created exclusively for customer journey maps visualization.

Building Customer Journey Map Using Tools That Are at Hand

Craft Tools

Let’s say that you plan a workshop with your team and customers to create a customer journey map. You expect to end up with a beautiful color scheme, where everything is crystal clear. There are plenty of tools for that, as you will see below. However, when you are working live with a group of people who are probably unfamiliar with those tools, a good old whiteboard and stickers can be your best choice.

Start building the stages of the journey during live sessions using hand-made materials. You can use this template to structure your ideas. Later, when the content is ready, you can make a pretty digital version to work with in the future.

Computer Programs

The customer journey map does not always have to be that huge graph with illustrations and icons. You can build a cjm using just Excel: if you are more of a text person than an illustration person, that would work just fine. Here is a simple customer journey map by Nielsen Norman Group, made in spreadsheets.

customer journey map made in Excel
Image Credit: Nielsen Norman Group

You can create a customer journey map in (almost) any visual editor that you know: Adobe Illustrator, XD, Figma, Sketch, etc. There are some free customer journey templates that give you a prepared set of elements to fill in with your data. Check out this template for Adobe XD.

customer journey map
Image credit: Bometon lucas on behance.net


You can also try free customer journey map templates for Sketch. And if you want to go really fancy, use this interactive template for Figma. The clickable elements allow you to fit in lots of data and metrics, including numerous personas and integrating user flows. 

interactive customer journey map made in Figma
Image credit: Adrian Balkwill

Customer Journey Map Software. Web Apps

There is a bunch of software made specifically for creating customer journey maps. They allow you to use pre-made templates, visual elements to get a result that looks put-together without thinking too much of design. We’ll give you a brief overview of the most popular and useful customer journey map tools, both paid and free.

UXpressia

With UXPressia you can build customer journey maps, personas, and impact maps. You can choose one of many templates for any type of product – from coffee stores to online banking. Also, a separate template for employee journey maps is worth notice: remember that employee experience directly influences the customer experience. The app has a high rank on review websites and got the Best Value award from Capterra among Customer Journey Mapping Tools Software (2020).

customer journey map template by UXPressia
Mobile App CJM template. Image credit: UXPressia

UXPressia offers a free version with limited functionality and a paid one for $24 a month. The paid version allows many team members to work on the project at a time.

Smaply

With Smaply, you can create a customer journey map from scratch or use one of the templates based on different types of cjms: service blueprint, communication journey, empathy journey map, and comparison between different personas. The interface is clean and minimalist. The template is black and white and basic, so adding the right colors and visual effects is up to you.

customer journey map template by Smaply
Image Credit: Smaply

Smaply is another cloud-based tool. Other than visualizing customer journey maps, you can create personas, and stakeholders maps. The price is $25/month, and a free trial is available.

Custellence

The distinct feature of Custellence is that it emphasizes the use of the customer journey map as a change plan. You can mark right away what needs to be removed or created: great feature to remind you that cjm is about finding weak points and improving, not just visualization of data.

The templates are very detailed and each is tailored for a specific kind of business. Take a look at this template for customer journey map of retail: numerous lines, and each of them has a few sub-lanes to make your map as detailed as possible.

customer journey map template by Custellence
Image credit: Custellence

This is a web app and the price is higher than the competitors’. The free version allows you to make only one map without exporting it. Paid plans start at $30/month.

Miro

Miro is a very versatile tool, suitable not only for customer journey maps, but also for agile, retrospectives, mood boards, and many more. Miro is a digital whiteboard.

The website offers various templates for different uses. They are rather basic (like an actual whiteboard), but the service gives lots of possibilities for customizing. In our agency, we use Miro often for visualizing customer journey maps, as it has a perfect balance of the default instruments and the flexibility of their use.

customer journey map made in Miro
Image credit: Miro

The software is cloud-based. If you would use it only for customer journey maps, the free version with 3 boards would probably be enough. If you decide to use it for other projects, it is only $10/month and has many integration options.

Take a look at this template to see what your cjm may look like in Miro.

Visio

Visio is a diagram-building tool by Microsoft. Paid options start at $5 per month (only web app) and go up to $15 per month (web and desktop app). The service is built on Microsoft cloud, and the desktop version is not available for Mac.

Apart from customer journey maps, Visio is great for flowcharts, Gantt charts, and all sorts of diagrams. See this template for Visio.

customer journey map template by Visio
Image credit: creately.com

Gliffy

Like Visio, Gliffy is suitable for workflows and diagrams as well as customer journey maps. The templates are rather basic and to make a detailed cjm, you have to add parameters and metrics on your own.

customer journey map by Gliffy
Image credit: Gliffy

The paid version is $7.99 per month (cheaper if you purchase it for a team). The free version allows only a limited amount of graphs. Also note that the documents created in the free version are public, so if you need privacy, opt for another version.

Comparison Table

UXPressia Smaply Custellence Miro Visio Gliffy
Templates quality 5 3 5 4 4 4
Usability 5 4 5 5 4 4
Additional functions (over cjm) 4 4 4 5 5 5
Web/desktop web web web web both web
Price high high high low average low
Free version available yes trial yes yes no yes

Collecting Feedback Software

A simple customer journey map is built based on research and interviews with users. However, if you want to go further with collecting data, test the insights of your cjm, and see how the changes work, you may need special software that helps collecting and analyzing feedback.

In this article, we focus on the tools for visualization, but if you are serious about improving customer experience, check out Clarabridge and CXsuite.

To Sum Up

There are a bunch of tools for visualization of customer journey maps, apart from the few ones listed in this article. Some of those you already have at hand. Some you’ve used numerous times before with different objectives. We have collected some good examples of customer journey maps so you can see which one works best for your type of business.

Experts in customer journey mapping claim that the pretty picture is not the main focus, rather it is the process that drives changes. However, a nice visualization is always a plus.

Now that you know more about your customers, learn how to make them happier with these 6 strategies for customer success.

Read more about SaaS design