Is Your Journey Map More Than Just A Pretty Picture?

Mapping with Touchpoint Dashboard vs. Office Tools

Customer experience professionals have shared these gripes about their experiences using Excel, Visio, PowerPoint, Post-It Notes and other tools to design customer journey maps:

“I’m not sure how to get started — what’s the layout supposed to look like?  Maps are too hard to update and take too much time to make!  The maps I’ve seen are confusing and hard to read.  The map only represents a snapshot in time.  It’s not dynamic and it lacks details to form and justify action plans.” 

Can you relate?  We’d like to hear your thoughts, but we’d like to share our two cents first.

Please note that our intent here is not to bash Office tools and other mapping methods; they certainly have their strong points and are perfect for many brainstorming workshops, project management, value stream mapping, process flow initiatives and graphics-intense presentations.  However, we believe (and the feedback we hear from other industry professionals) is that Office software is not the best choice for ongoing customer journey mapping initiatives.  Especially when it comes to organizing, managing and visualizing your touchpoints and collaborating with others.

Touchpoint Dashboard has a better mapping solution.  It is more than just a process flow and/or drawing tool.  Our purpose-built customer journey mapping platform is designed to bring your customer experience to life.  It can compliment and, in many cases, completely replace the other software programs you use to manage your customer experience!

Check out the table below to compare the tool differences.  Click here to view a sample map created in Touchpoint Dashboard.

Remember:  On the surface, a map in and of itself is just a map – a pretty picture illustrating how your customers interact with your business.  It’s what you put into the map and ultimately get out of it that can truly drive change for your organization.  That’s how Touchpoint Dashboard is different.

A Journey Mapping Comparison – Touchpoint Dashboard & Office Tools


Touchpoint Dashboard Mapping Platform

Visio, Excel, PowerPoint

Automation & Collaboration

  • Provides a user-friendly, web-based platform.
  • Securely log-in anytime from anywhere.
  • Enables multiple users to simultaneously contribute to the map design, view it being built, make comments, and/or access the findings and results.
  • Must have the software installed on your computer to use it.
  • No easy method for multiple stakeholders to collaborate during map creation.
Ease-of-Use & Efficiency
  • Streamlined and simple.  If you’re not a process flow pro or design wizard, don’t worry! Touchpoint Dashboard is designed for both beginners and experts and is very streamlined & easy to use.
  • Start a fresh design or use one of our industry-specific templates.
  • Entering your touchpoint & customer data is quick & easy.  A map is auto-generated for you.
  • No more tedious, manual drawings and re-designs! As you gather new data & enter it into the system, the map automatically updates to reflect your changes.  (It’s such a pain when you have to update something in the middle of a flowchart!)
  • Customer feedback & organizational changes happen in real-time, now your map project can be designed & updated in real-time too.
  • Good luck if don’t have a background in value stream mapping and a firm understanding of how to graphically depict a process flow!
  • Map design with Visio, Excel & PowerPoint can be overwhelming & confusing.  It involves manual design & is time-intensive.
  • It doesn’t allow for real-time customer data capture.  These maps offer a snapshot in time & that’s it!  Whenever new data is available, you need to manually re-draw your map.
  • Visio & Excel have a lot of unique features, but you won’t need most of them to create a journey map.  Plus, these tools aren’t designed for data visualization.
Data Capture and Analysis
  • Entering data is easy, & you can attach files & images to each touchpoint represented on your map.  The result is a detailed 3-D view of your holistic customer journey.
  • Touchpoint Dashboard tells a story about each touchpoint on your map.  It provides a clear picture of where customers experience pain, when it occurs, who is most impacted and how it affects your bottom line.
  • Simply click on a touchpoint to open it & see supporting evidence & direct customer feedback about a specific experience.
  • No more flipping back & forth between your map & your supporting documents.  With Touchpoint Dashboard, all the info is all in the same place!
  • These maps are one-dimensional & linear.  They can’t merge your customer data into your map.
  • There isn’t room on the map canvas to accommodate all the details and “evidence” associated with the customer journey.
  • You typically have to flip back-and-forth between your map & dozens of other documents to pick out trends & points of need.
Data Sharing
  • Touchpoint Dashboard maps are designed for sharing & collaboration — the most successful business transformation projects are those where info is shared with everyone.  Touchpoint Dashboard makes this easy to do.
  • Easily create customized views of information for different stakeholders (executives, managers, associates).
  • Whether you want a high-level, executive report or something that outlines the nitty-gritty details, Touchpoint Dashboard’s unique “dashboard views” & reports provide the info that’s most relevant to your audience in an easy-to-share format.
  • Allow other stakeholders to comment on the map and add to its design


  • Map sharing and interpretation is tricky. If you’re not part of the team who built the map, you probably won’t be able to decipher what all of the shapes, figures and key codes represent.
  • These maps may look pretty, but they lack the data & “evidence” you need to easily call out key findings that are relevant to specific stakeholders within your organization.
  • You need to create other supporting documents to build your case for change, flush out the action items & determine next steps.
Customer Experience Measurement & Change Management
  • Touchpoint Dashboard brings your map and customer journey to life in a 3-D format.
  • It tells a story about each touchpoint & can also help you assess which touchpoints are costing you most in terms of loyalty, retention and profitability.
  • Generate insightful reports & export them as .csv files.  Import these files into your project management system.
  • Delivers intelligence needed to create a prioritized action plan for transforming your business & delivering the ultimate customer experience.
  • One-dimensional in nature. You can’t dive into the details to see what a customer experiences from their perspective.
  • No clear way to see which touchpoints are the most critical to your success & why.
  • Office maps offer a snapshot in time & give a pretty picture of process flows & what the journey looks like today.
  • There’s no easy way to update your map & pulling actionable insights out of it is not an easy task — it’s not designed for an ongoing mapping or change management initiative.

So now that we’ve shared our two cents, we’d like to hear about your mapping experiences using Excel, Visio, PowerPoint and other tools.

We admit that we’re biased, but when you compare them with Touchpoint Dashboard for customer journey map design and touchpoint analysis, measurement and management, Touchpoint Dashboard outperforms every time.  We invite you to try it for yourself for free for 15 days.


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