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What kind of questions should you ask yourself when building your client journey map?

The client journey map (CJM), or client experience path (CEP), is a visual representation of a client’s path through your nonprofit program, i.e., recruitment, engagement, enrollment, onboarding, service delivery, and close out. It helps programs better understand their clients and identify opportunities to improve various client-related activities.  

A well-designed CJM provides valuable insights into the engagement behavior of potential and current clients. This information can then be used to develop strategies, processes, and systems to increase client success rates. In this article, I’ll share some key questions to ask yourself when creating your own CJM.

1. What’s the goal?
The first question to ask yourself is what do you want to achieve with your client journey map? Do you want to increase program enrollment? Improve customer service? Increase retention rates? Whatever your goals are, make sure they’re clear before moving forward.

2. Who am I trying to reach?
Next, identify who exactly you’re targeting. Are you focused on potential clients, current clients, or both? Knowing who you’re trying to reach helps you understand how to best communicate with and serve them.

3. What does my client need?
If you are focused on new clients, they may not know exactly what they want yet. However, if you are focused on existing clients, you should already have an idea of their goals and desires. You can use these questions to guide you in developing a plan for how you will approach each phase of the client journey.

4. How do I help them achieve their goal?
Once you understand what your client wants, it’s time to figure out how you can best help them get there. There are many ways to accomplish this, but the most effective ones involve education. By educating clients about their options and giving them information about your services and the best ways to engage with you and your team, you can help them make informed decisions.

5. Who else is involved?
Who else is involved in your client’s success? Is there anyone in addition to the program team who will interact with the client along their journey? Make sure you consider these individuals while mapping out each phase of the client journey.

6. Where do I start? (Client-focused)
Where do you start when planning the client journey? Do you begin at the beginning, or do you work backward? Once again, asking “where do I start?” will give you insight into where you think your client’s problems lie. For example, if you believe that your client’s biggest problem is lack of knowledge, then you would start off by educating them about their options.

7. When do I finish? (Client-focused)
What happens after your client reaches their goal? Are you going to continue providing service until they no longer need it? Or, will you end your relationship once they reach their desired outcome? Asking “when do I finish?” will help you decide whether or not you want to continue serving your current client base, and in what capacity.

8. Where am I now? (Program-focused)
What is the state of your program right now? Are you happy with where you are today? Have you been able to identify any problems or opportunities that could help you improve things? Knowing where to focus your efforts helps you make smarter decisions about how to best serve your clients.

9. Where would I ideally like to be? (Program-focused)
Where do you want your program and the clients to be in 6 months? A year? Or 5 years down the road?

10. What steps need to happen between here and there? (Program-focused)
Think about the actions you’d take if you were going to move from where you currently are to where you want to be. What should you be doing now to get ready?

“Customer experience encompasses every aspect of a company’s offering—the quality of customer care, of course, but also advertising, packaging, product and service features, ease of use, and reliability. Yet few of the people responsible for those things have given sustained thought to how their separate decisions shape customer experience.”

— Christopher Meyer and Andre Schwager

10 Questions to Ask Yourself When Building a Client Journey Map

Dec 6, 2022

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