Well-crafted omnichannel experiences are key to meeting consumer needs and expectations; brands need to enable fast, simple transactions whenever and however customers want to interact. Nailing these interactions is a delicately balanced execution of brand, content, user experience, design, operations, and technology.

This is often a tall order due to the competing interests at play and, honestly, the siloed nature of how these groups typically work in most organizations. One of the key tenets of the design thinking methodologies we use as the foundation of how we work with clients is getting the right people in the room and providing a structured framework for working together towards a common goal.

We leverage customer journey maps as an output of our design thinking discovery workshops to align teams around a customer-centric vision. Ultimately, this leads to better understanding of how our clients’ customers interact with their brand.


Let’s back up a bit. What is a customer journey map? It’s a visual tool that maps touchpoints between brands and their customers along different phases of the experience across channels. Often our clients bring us in to help them define the customer journey as a way of breaking down silos internally and integrating the team across brand, marketing, operations, finance, technology, and customer service. The insights that are gained from bringing those diverse stakeholders into the room for design thinking workshops not only creates a great output but one that increases the understanding of their interactions with their customers.

The customer journey map is an output of a full day workshop in which a core team from Copious and a diverse set of client stakeholders gather in a room to move through a sequence of structured exercises. We start very high level and get increasingly granular by the end of the day. We leverage a great assortment of whiteboards, sticky notes, and movement to keep momentum and ideation flowing.


Although we’re in the digital space, truly understanding our clients’ customer journey requires taking a channel-less approach to looking at points of interaction. That means looking at all channels of interaction from site to email, in-person to retail and customer service.

Ultimately, consumers don’t care about channels anymore—they’re looking for a consistent brand experience wherever they are actually interacting with the brand.
It all starts with understanding where the business is going as a guiding light for ultimately mapping the customer journey. Next, we strive to understand what motivates our clients’ customers. Then we identify areas of the business that are working or not at a global level.

With that foundation, we can begin to map the customer journey. We start by validating phases of the customer journey that usually fall into four primary buckets: discovery/awareness, research, purchase, and ownership.

Then we capture and map the points of interaction, posting things up on the wall within phases of the customer journey. Both positive and negative elements are captured so we can understand where in the customer journey the brand is doing an incredibly good job—or, for whatever reason, less of a good job.

What starts to come to life are specific touchpoints (e.g. packaging, on-site cart page) and quotes from customers via folks on the customer service team. Combined with speaking to actual customers as a follow-up to the workshop, these quotes add a great deal of weight to what is on the map.

Ultimately, we get an entire wall filled with hundreds of post-it notes. By the end, a pattern starts emerging as to where the brand can make meaningful improvements.

Post-workshop, we digitize everything that was up on the wall for the customer journey map, using iconography and other visual mechanisms to create a cohesive visual map. The map can be read temporally from left to right, and represents an accurate picture of the current state.

We take this digitization of what we did in the room and start adding in our recommendations and opportunities, based on what we heard and saw across all channels.

Our clients use these maps to help make the case for initiatives internally. They’ve been used as a mechanism of onboarding executives, helping them understand how the brand works and can grow in the future.