Customer Journey Mapping – A Q&A with 3radical CEO, Michael D. Fisher

/ 11 August 2022

We sat down with Michael D. Fisher, CEO at 3radical to discuss how a successful customer experience must include written and behavioral feedback as part of an effective customer journey mapping process

3r: Why would teams want to create a customer journey map?

MDF: Journey maps help brands think critically about how customers make decisions around their specific products and/or services. They challenge an organization to discover how prospects enter the decision-making process, what values they consider as they evaluate options, where and how they research to inform their decision, how their openness to learning and enjoyment change throughout the process, and how to identify when someone is at or near a decision point. This knowledge helps brands understand how, where, and when to communicate most effectively with their prospects and how best to design their user experiences, from paid marketing to owned channels (website, apps, stores, etc), to provide the right tools to help chaperone them toward a desired outcome. It certainly doesn’t end at first purchase. Ultimately, mapping how a new customer interfaces with your brand assets and communications from purchase through delivery and product ownership can illuminate where the most crucial points of experience are for the customer, and where the best points in the journey are to differentiate your brand from competitors to ensure loyalty and lifetime value are achieved.

3r: What are some of the important elements to include in a customer
journey map?

MDF: The customer journey is never linear; so brands should consider all of the potential progressions and regressions that exist throughout the journey. Customer journeys are not exact. Instead, they represent possibilities so brands can react accordingly. And that reaction is key because it’s all about actually being able to activate on what a customer journey tells your organization — if you put dollars and research into understanding what message, and in what channel, would garner the best reaction from your ideal customer in a specific phase of their decision journey, but you can’t really identify that an individual is at that point in the journey to actually deliver that message at the right time, then your work is done mostly in vain. Customer journeys are fluid because decision making processes, values, and impulsivity vary widely between individuals, even within previously defined customer segments. This means it’s nearly impossible to model or predict how every individual is going to act, or to successfully apply one set of rules that everyone will respond well to. In turn, brands should not be afraid to solicit feedback and provide adaptive choice to customers throughout their journey. It allows brands to really know, not assume, where a customer/prospect is and meet them where they are. The result will be better outcomes because customers/prospects will feel listened to, not talked at, and their needs will be more efficiently met.

3r: Could you give an example of a specific customer journey map project you have been involved with, what was involved in creating it and how it helped?

MDF: At 3radical, we worked on a journey mapping exercise for a company that runs flexible alternative education schools/programs in several US states. Our client had done an excellent job of understanding the potential history, challenges, values, and ‘language’ around how prospective students and parents would approach their schools’ value propositions. Their mapping allowed the organization to develop lots of highly relevant content that would resonate well with their prospective audiences. The issue was, the content was buried and our client had a difficult time surfacing it effectively because their journey mapping didn’t consider how they’d identify who was on their website and what was most important to them in their alternative education consideration. They left it up to the prospective student or parent to find what was relevant to them, or to fill out a lead form to talk to someone live. This level of commitment was enough of a barrier to produce high bounce rates and much of their excellent content went unseen. We took a magnifying glass to their full ‘student’ journey to focus on that specific point when new prospects come to their website. Since our client already knew all possible specific considerations, their prospects might have when choosing a school, and had the right content to back each consideration up with why their programs were best, we went on to develop a ‘mini journey map’ to help chaperone them to the right content at that moment. We built a journey via our proprietary website mechanics to let the prospects tell our client whether they are a student or parent of a student. We also asked them where they are at in the decisioning process and what was most important to their school choice decision. We then surfaced content to match those responses in real-time. Finally, we gave the prospect choices on how to interact moving forward with our client (inquire now, speak with us by phone, keep me updated via email, not for me (and why), and developed journey touchpoints via email to enable our client to keep updated on their progress toward a decision. The response rates were phenomenal, content was utilized more than ever, email and live communications were more relevant to what the client learned about the prospect, and more leads came to a yes or no decision point than ever (including lift in enrollments).

3r: What do you believe are some of the best practices for getting the most out of customer
journey map projects?


  1. Customer journeys map all the possibilities so brands can be as responsive as possible to their prospects/customers.  But not all content, tools, or messages work for all people so don’t get caught inundating your prospects/customers with everything just because you have it. Find points in your journey(s) to check-in, verify, and listen to what’s important to your audience so you can surface what the customer/prospect needs at that moment.
  2. Get all the relevant departments involved early so each department knows how all other departments contribute and what constraints they work under. If consumer insights develop prospect/customer personas with differing decisioning journeys, they should be aware of the constraints their paid marketing team has in identifying and targeting those personas. If they understand the constraints in advance, they can consider their personas against what’s actually available to target those customer types. If they don’t do this, the segment personas they come back to the organization with might be unidentifiable & untargetable in real terms.
  3. Dwight Eisenhower said, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable”.  Journey maps help with planning, so brands can have the channels, content, and knowledge to react on the fly. Rarely, if ever, do customers actually follow your journeys as mapped. You shouldn’t expect them to, so find ways to react to your prospects/customers, not just act on what your journey map says ‘should be’ the next.
3r: Can you give us an example of a client journey mapping?

MDF: We worked on a journey mapping exercise for a company that runs flexible alternative education schools/programs in several U.S. states. The educational firm started by evaluating and discussing the potential history, challenges, values, and language around how prospective students and parents would approach their schools’ value propositions. This allowed them to develop highly relevant content that would resonate well with their prospective audiences. But much of this was never seen by prospects.

A deeper dive focused on the specific point when new prospects came to their website. The educational firm already knew all a prospect’s considerations when choosing a school. They also had the right content to back each consideration up with why a particular program was best. So, they developed a ‘mini journey map’ to help chaperone them to the right content at that moment. This process identified the need to capture information about whether a prospect was a student or a student’s parent, where they were in the decision process, and what was most important to them. This information helped personalize content to match those responses in real-time.

The result was that more of the content was seen and better targeted, leading to a significant life in enrollment. This improved customer journey also improved feedback. More leads came to a specific yes or no decision (rather than bouncing) and provided feedback about why.

Our website uses cookies to help us to understand how you use it. By continuing to use our website you consent to our use of such cookies. For more information please read our privacy policy.