How to increase your revenue through a customer journey map | Part 1

Thirteen years ago my uncle and I slid open the doors after months of planning, construction, battles over said construction (not done properly). The business was finally launched and we were excited to see what would happen. We didn’t really know a ton about the business world then – however, we inadvertently had planned out a customer journey map in our heads. Granted it was in our heads and not written down, but later I’d look back and realize that we’d had one in place all along.

For those of you who don’t know what a customer journey map is let me give you a quick brief.

The CJM is the visual representation of everything your customer goes through from the first contact until they’re your biggest fans. This can help you plan out your interactions and foresee problems or gaps in your service and avoid them before they appear.

At the end of this little mini-series, I’ll be sharing a template for making your own customer journey map. If you don’t want to wait – the back of a napkin will do just as well. Great things have been developed there.

Customer Journey | Step 1-Your Store

Whether you’re a butcher, a baker, or a candlestick maker you probably have a storefront of some sort. If you’re a traveling service – i.e. we come to you, then this very first step doesn’t apply to you and next week we’ll touch on First Contact which will be more appropriate. This is probably still helpful information so it might help you to read on.

Explore Your Store

Look around your store the next time you walk in or close down for the night. Do the best you can to pretend you haven’t been spending ungodly amounts of time there. What do you see?

The state of your store is really going to be the first stop in your customer’s journey. What will they see? It’s easy to get so wrapped up in so many other necessary items that we forget the basics of our space. I’ll give an example.

When we opened the carwash quick lube combo, before we even opened the doors we had an idea for the standards of our shop. My uncle had spent a lot of time looking around at various shops around the area and across the country while doing business research. He knew that he didn’t want to have the stereotypical dirty shop. Before the first team member spoke to a customer he knew that he wanted the outside of the building to look clean, to be landscaped and put together. When customers drove into the bay, he wanted it to feel like you could almost eat off the floor and he didn’t want his team to be covered in grease or oil and greeting customers.

The next step was figuring out the implementation. Here’s a list of things we came up with that we did every day, throughout the day.

  • Checked outside for trash from highway
  • Mopped bay floors frequently
  • Immediately clean any spills
  • Waiting area should be cleaned immediately if someone tracked in dirt/mud/grease etc
  • Bathrooms should be spotless
  • Mop pit floors to ensure team members didn’t track anything upstairs

These are just part of the list that we focus on every day.

Your Business Space Matters

Revenue is built on customers. Cash is fact, and cash comes from customers and what customers believe about your business is important. Their beliefs can easily be shifted, even subconsciously by taking into account what your customers love and hate.

 Ask Why

The next time a customer tells you they love your store; or your service, ask them why? The fact that they love you is a great ego booster and helps us make it through the days when Murphy’s Law is in full effect, but the reality is that we only obtain actionable data through knowing the “why”.

When you know the why – maybe they love the speed in which you deliver, maybe your food has a cult following, maybe it’s the how clean your store is?

In our case, express oil changes are notorious for selling people items they don’t need – especially to women. They’re also notoriously dirty, and somewhat smelly.

We wanted to tackle these head on. We keep things as clean as possible considering the work. We don’t have commission-based workers to avoid our workers feeling like they need to sell items people don’t need. We also have clear menu items that people can choose from and take the time to explain the options in detail and keep detailed records of previous services and only discuss manufacturers recommended services at the time they’re recommended. We also try very hard to finish vehicles in 10-15 minutes or less. These things combine to make our customers comfortable and our overall experience as enjoyable as possible.

We know these are some of the things our customers love because we ask why when they say they love us. Or hate us.

Sometimes your worst days and worst feedback can be the most instructive days. We don’t like those days when something goes wrong – human error etc. However, the reasons that people don’t like the service can be enlightening as to why others also may be avoiding your service.

It’s easy to get emotional and write off people who get upset over what we see as a small thing as business owners or managers, but great profit gains can be had if you see a pattern that is causing a problem for customers or potential customers and solving that problem.


Start Creating The Customer Journey

The 2012 Slideshare from Beyond has some dated information at this point, but it’s still a great read and has, in particular, the image below that has a great overview of how the flow of the customer journey works. Don’t worry if you don’t understand all the terms etc. The general idea is powerful enough and we’ll cover the terms later.


So, to get started, you’re going to want to think about every step your customer goes through to

  1. Find You
  2. Learn About You
  3. Interact With You
  4. Experience Your Service/Product
  5. Post Product Experience

These are all simple ideas that can be fleshed out pretty far. For instance, interacting with you – how are your employees trained to greet customers? How are mothers with young children treated? How easy, difficult are you to get ahold of ? Do you explain your service product well enough up front so there are fewer questions and less chance for confusion?

Write these down on a piece of paper. Focus on your store. We’ll go through this entire process more in depth in part 2 and start looking at how understanding how people act along the journey can help you further increase revenues.


Don’t forget to email me at if you have specific topics you want to ask questions about and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter!


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