Two weeks to two minutes: the new journey mapping process

    Time to map journey

    It typically takes two weeks to map one journey. We figured out a better way.

    Most of the time, creating quality journey maps is a time-consuming process. 

    According to a Nielsen Norman Group survey, mapping one journey takes, on average, 73.8 hours to complete. That’s two full weeks of working hours. 

    How is that time spent? The typical steps of journey mapping include:

    1. Getting buy-in and securing resources for the mapping project (those two weeks aren’t cheap)

    2. Identifying existing solutions and gathering internal data on the problem they’re trying to solve

    3. Conducting external customer research, including interviews, surveys, and user testing

    4. Synthesizing insights gathered from customer research

    5. Creating the journey map

    Survey respondents said that the majority of their time is spent doing customer research and analyzing that data (steps 3-4). Those two steps alone amounted to 40 hours of work on average, or a full, 5-day week. 

    AI can’t talk to your customers for you, but it can automate insight synthesis and mapping. Journey AI can make sense of vast amounts of customer research and create a functioning journey map in just minutes, not weeks. What’s more is that those journeys are rich with context, and the data is more accurate and less biased because it’s coming directly from the voice of the customer. 

    The key to delivering successful customer experiences is to spend the bulk of your time working directly with and for customers, creating solutions for them and testing them out. When you spend most of your team’s resources on manual tasks, such as cleaning and analyzing data, updating stakeholders, and getting everyone on the same page, you’re wasting potential value for customers. 

    Designing innovative customer experiences is worthwhile and rewarding for everyone. An AI-assisted journey map supports you with neatly organized, unbiased, up-to-date information sourced directly from the customers you serve. 

    Anyone can get started with AI journey mapping right away, and in this article we’ll walk through the process, step by step.

    What purposes do journey maps serve? 

    Why spend the time to create a journey map in the first place? Journey maps serve a variety of purposes across an organization. With a journey map you can:

    • Place products, features, services, and interactions into a customer lifecycle context

    • Learn how your business operates from the customer’s point of view

    • Reveal gaps in your product or service offerings

    • Unlock opportunities to cross-sell, upsell, or re-engage customers

    • Discover key moments to build loyalty and delight returning customers

    Journey maps are beneficial to almost every department within an organization. For example, they help UX designers plan interactions, product managers think of new features, engineers locate performance issues, service managers improve services, and marketers tell compelling stories. 

    The essential components of a journey map

    In product terms, think of your first journey map as an MVP (minimum viable product). It contains all the basic journey elements required to function:

    • The person or persona taking the journey

    • Journey stages and steps

    • Insights and opportunities for development

    • Qualitative data (such as CSAT scores and customer commentary)

    • Progress of journey-based initiatives against business OKRs

    With this information, you can understand what your users are asking for, what you’ve built so far, if you’ve made any progress, and what you might want to work on next.

    What a complete journey map looks like

    A complete journey map is an organized and accurate picture of the customer lifecycle as it relates to a particular experience.

    This example is for the everyday customer journey of buying groceries at the supermarket:

    Basic Journey Template

    How Journey AI saves you time

    Journey AI speeds up the mapping process by extracting insights from your customer research and designing visually appealing, data-rich journey maps in minutes. 


    In particular, its algorithm parses your text-based customer research and synthesizes it into its most valuable takeaways. Using qualitative data gathered from customer interviews, reviews, and surveys, Journey AI will show you exactly where your customers need new solutions or service improvements.

    By streamlining the arduous task of insight analysis and map creation, it frees up your time to engage directly with customers, craft bespoke solutions, and nurture meaningful connections.

    If you’re a CX leader, product manager, or service designer trying to encourage or expand journey usage throughout your organization, Journey AI can be the key selling point for widespread adoption. It lowers the barrier to entry and allows anyone to create a journey without investing weeks or months. 

    Other ways to save time on Journey Mapping

    When working well, journey maps are a key component of customer-centric operations. But they won’t be effective if you can’t create and use them efficiently. 

    Our first piece of advice is to always keep all journey info in one place. You can use TheyDo to store your customer research, synthesize it, map it manually or with AI, plan out roadmaps and action steps, and share insights with your team. You can also create multiple journeys and journey frameworks for more complex service offerings. 

    Secondly, you can reduce double work through centralizing journey work. Maybe your Design team is working with journeys completely independently from your CX team. This is a costly problem to have, not just because it wastes resources, but because it can lead to different solutions for different customers. 

    (Our recent article on customer-centric collaboration between CX and UX contains more tips on consolidating journey work). 

    Templates can also be huge time-savers when it comes to journey mapping. Check out our template library for journey outlines and examples made for specific use cases and industries.

    Work fast and slow to solve customer needs

    Unfortunately, inefficient processes bog down the journey mapping process and drive teams far away from their most important job: solving customer needs.

    Journey AI is an innovative solution to help you break through those bottlenecks, while also giving you a single place to store your journeys, update them, and share them with every department of your organization. 

    With the operational side sorted, you can spend more time building relationships, listening to customers, and discovering new ways to delight people with your products and services.