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A guide to customer journey analytics

Last updated

8 May 2023

Reviewed by

Eliz Ayaydin

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In today's digitally-driven world, understanding your customers' journey is more important than ever. Unfortunately, around 83% of businesses don't know their customers' pain points. 

Therefore, there's a growing need for sophisticated analytics that can help companies improve the customer experience. This is where customer journey analytics comes in.

Customer journey analytics is a powerful tool that gives your business a comprehensive view of the customer experience—from before the initial point of contact to the final purchase. 

Your business can gain insights into customer behavior, preferences, and pain points by analyzing data from various touchpoints along the customer journey. You can then use these insights to optimize marketing campaigns, improve customer service, and ultimately drive revenue growth.

What is customer journey analytics?

Customer journey analytics is the process of understanding the interactions between customers and a business across various touchpoints. By outlining each point of contact a consumer has with your company, you can better understand their path to completing an activity like signing up for your service or buying your product. 

Common components of customer journey maps include:

  • The stages of the journey

  • Demographic information and behavioral traits

  • Touchpoints and key moments of interaction

  • The customer's goals, needs, and expectations at each touchpoint

  • Pain points across the journey

  • The points in the journey that can make or break the customer's experience

  • The channels or platforms the customer uses to interact with the business

  • Customer actions

  • Business actions addressing customer needs

  • Opportunities for the business to improve the customer experience

  • Customer sentiment (emotion or satisfaction) at points in the journey

  • Metrics (e.g., satisfaction scores)

Customer journey analytics is essential for businesses that want to understand their customers' needs and preferences and provide them with a personalized and seamless experience.

Customer journey analytics vs. customer journey mapping

Journey analytics and journey mapping are related but distinct concepts. Customer journey mapping is the process of visually representing the customer's end-to-end experience with a business, from the first interaction to the final purchase and beyond. It typically involves creating a diagram or flowchart that shows the different touchpoints along the customer journey stages.

On the other hand, customer journey analytics involves collecting and analyzing data on customer behavior and interactions across various touchpoints to gain insights into the customer experience. It involves using tools like data visualization and machine learning to identify patterns and trends in customer behavior.

Customer journey mapping provides a high-level overview of the customer journey. Customer journey analytics, on the other hand, provides detailed insights that you can use to optimize specific touchpoints and improve the overall customer experience. 

Both approaches are important for understanding and improving the customer journey. Businesses can combine them to create a holistic view of the customer experience. For example, a customer journey map can serve as a starting point for identifying which touchpoints a business needs to dive deeper into with customer journey analytics.

Benefits of customer journey analytics

Customer journey analytics provides businesses with various benefits that can help them improve the customer experience, build loyalty, and drive revenue growth. With these benefits, you’ll find that:

Your brand becomes more customer-centric

Customer journey analytics allows you to deeply understand your customer's behavior, preferences, and pain points throughout their experience with the business. These insights enable you to tailor your marketing efforts and provide a personalized experience that meets their needs. 

A McKinsey survey found that 71% of consumers expect organizations to provide personalized interactions. So, by putting the customer at the center of your business and customizing their experience, you build loyalty, increase customer satisfaction, and ultimately drive revenue growth.

Your company becomes more cohesive

Mapping your customer journey involves collecting data from various departments and touchpoints across your business. This process requires collaboration and communication between departments, which can lead to a more unified approach to the customer experience. 

By breaking down silos and sharing information, you can create a seamless customer journey that improves customer satisfaction and increases retention. A unified approach to the customer journey also helps to eliminate duplicate efforts and reduce costs, making your business more efficient and effective. 

Once you have a journey map that is the single source of truth for the customer’s experience, you can then share it across the entire organization.

You can monitor issues in real time

You can quickly identify and address pain points and customer service issues by tracking customer behavior across touchpoints. This proactive approach to problem-solving enables you to improve the customer experience and prevent negative feedback from spreading on social media or review sites. 

Research shows that 86% of loyal customers will leave you after two to three bad experiences. So, you can greatly increase customer satisfaction and loyalty by addressing issues as they happen.

You can view direct and indirect feedback in one place

Direct feedback, such as surveys and customer service interactions, provides valuable insights into customer preferences and pain points. Indirect feedback, such as social media mentions and reviews, can also provide valuable insights into the customer experience. 

By analyzing both types of feedback, you can gain a more comprehensive view of the customer experience. This helps you make data-driven decisions that improve the customer journey.

How to use customer journey analytics

To use customer journey analytics effectively, businesses must follow a structured process involving three key steps.

1. Map your customer journeys and collect info

The first step in using customer journey analytics is to map your customer journeys and identify the various touchpoints where customers interact with your business. This could include your website, social media channels, email marketing, and customer service channels. Once you have mapped out these touchpoints, you need to collect and aggregate data from each one. 

2. Analyze your customer data and behavior

Once you’ve collected and aggregated your data, the next step is to analyze it to gain insights into customer behavior and preferences. This could involve using data visualization tools to identify patterns and trends and machine learning algorithms to identify correlations and anomalies in the data. 

By analyzing your customer behavior and data, you can identify areas where you could improve the customer experience and develop data-led strategies to address these issues.

3. Take action based on data-driven insights

The final step in using customer journey analytics is to take action based on the insights you’ve gained from your data analysis. This could involve: 

  • Making changes to your website or marketing campaigns

  • Improving your customer service processes

  • Implementing new tools and technologies to improve the customer experience 

By taking action informed by data-led insights, you can make targeted improvements to the different stages of the customer journey in order to drive increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

An example of using customer journey analytics

Here's an example of how a clothing store could use customer journey analytics to improve its business:

The journey

The clothing store maps out the customer journey, which looks like this:

  • The customer becomes aware of the store through online ads, social media, or word-of-mouth

  • The customer then visits the boutique's website and browses available products

  • Next, the customer adds items to their cart and proceeds to checkout

  • The customer either completes the purchase or abandons their cart

Analysis

Through customer feedback and website analytics, the store identifies that customers frequently abandon their online shopping carts during checkout. Using customer journey analytics tools, the store analyzes the data to determine the cause and impact of the cart abandonment issue. 

They find the checkout process too complicated, with too many form fields and a lack of transparency around shipping and return policies. They also find that customers aren’t receiving enough reassurance that their personal and payment information is secure.

Resulting action

The store simplifies the checkout process by reducing the number of form fields and offering a guest checkout option. They also provide more detailed information about their shipping and return policies and add trust signals such as secure payment badges and customer testimonials. 

They implement these changes and track the impact on customer behavior, finding that the cart abandonment rate decreases significantly.

The challenges with customer journey analytics

Customer journey analytics has become an important tool for businesses to understand and optimize customer interactions across various touchpoints. However, organizations must overcome several unique challenges to use this tool effectively. 

Here are four of these challenges:

Data silos

Many organizations have data silos, which are isolated data repositories that aren’t easily accessible or shareable. This makes it difficult to get a complete picture of the customer journey, as data is scattered across different systems and departments.

Lack of standardization

Customer journey data may come from various sources and be recorded in different formats, making it difficult to standardize the data and draw meaningful insights. This can potentially lead to data inconsistencies, errors, and duplication.

Limited data quality

Customer journey data may be incomplete, inaccurate, or outdated, which can impact the accuracy and reliability of the insights derived from the data. This can lead to incorrect assumptions about customer behavior and preferences. 

To avoid this, use up-to-date customer research to build personas that inform the journeys. Also, acknowledge the moments in the customer journey that occur outside of the existing touchpoints.

Difficulty in attribution

With multiple touchpoints and channels, it can be difficult to attribute specific actions or behaviors to a particular customer. This can make it challenging to identify which touchpoints are most effective in driving conversions or building customer loyalty.

Customer journey analytics is a powerful tool, but organizations must overcome these challenges to unlock their full potential.

Conclusion

With the rise of digital channels and the increasing importance of customer experience, customer journey analytics is more important than ever. With the right tools and strategies, customer journey analytics can help you stay ahead of the competition and create a seamless, personalized customer experience. 

Whether you're a small clothing store or a large multinational corporation, implementing customer journey analytics should be an essential part of your business strategy.

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