A far less used tool, more important than the Customer Journey, for tourism marketing.

Listen to it like a podcast!

You are no doubt familiar with the idea of mapping a Customer Journey.

In tourism or a tourism business, it usually goes something like this;

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Research
  • Booking
  • Experience
  • Advocacy/Sharing

As business owners and organisation leaders, it is your role to move users/visitors/audience through this journey.

Although I 100% condone the use of this process to improve your marketing decisions, there is another tool I want to introduce you to, far less used, which I would argue should be used before the Customer Journey.

It’s a Customer Experience Map.

I really dislike marketing terms being overused.

Here’s the short of what it actually is.

It’s a way to visually represent the process a customer goes through when they interact with your product or experience.

Why I think it’s more important, or at the very least, should be done before the Customer Journey, is;

  • ┬áIt is easier to intuitively understand and do for yourself; any inexperienced operator could DIY this one.
  • To produce an effective Customer Journey document, you need to understand audiences, marketing, triggers, and tools, which is well beyond many operators.
  • Making your product or experience remarkable can fix many of the things you’ll be trying to do, improve or fix, through a Customer Journey.

What does the Customer Experience Map look like?

Here’s an example of one. Something very tangible we can all understand; purchasing a coffee at Starbucks!

What you are aiming to do with the Customer Experience Map is to identify what would represent a good, bad or average experience at each step of the customer experience.

Your job is to brainstorm what would make each step better (a great experience).

Say you’re in line at Starbucks. How can that be a better experience than the average coffee shop?

The benchmark (average) experience might be getting served.

A great experience might be background music you actually like, served in under 60 seconds, a smile, plenty of personal space, etc.

The key to this is getting really creative at each step (almost to a ridculous level).

Why do you need to do it?

Airbnb does this. They ask themselves, what would it take to be a 6, 7, 8 or 9-star experience. Brian Chesky (the Founder) jokes – ‘a 9 would be the Beatles turning up to play for you as you arrive.’

If you shoot for a 6 or 7 at each step, the worst you’ll do is land at a 5-star experience.

If it’s one or the other – choose the Customer Experience Map.

Focus on getting your product or service remarkable. An experience people talk about.

If you do, your customers will become your marketing department and the old-style Customer Journey will look after itself.





'An Absolute Must-Do'; the Book.

A concise framework to build a tourism business that people love, pay more for, and rave about.