Customer Analytics Part IV: Journey Mapping

Now that you’ve learned where to look for customer data, thought about how to put that data in context, and ensured that your data is set up for comparison and visualization, let’s explore an actionable analysis of all that data—the customer journey map.

What is a Customer Journey Map?

A customer journey map plots the steps and touchpoints that lead a customer to using your product or service. It’s a visualization that shows the flow from the customer finding your product through the steps the customer takes to learn more, to purchase or to abandon their interaction.

The goal of a journey map is to unmask the hidden stumbling blocks that prevent an interested consumer from converting into a customer and to see what parts of their interaction run most smoothly. Looking at your company from the perspective of your customer gives you a larger picture of how your various departments are interacting and supporting your company’s goals.

Framing the Journey: How to Set Up Your Customer Journey Map

1.  Do you want to explore the whole journey or narrow your focus on a specific channel? You first need to determine if you are trying to get a broad picture, or if you want to understand, for example, how well your website is working.

⋅  Broad journey analysis—The big picture view of all of your customer touchpoints will start before the customer has ever interacted with you and will continue after she uses your product to consider referrals and repeat purchasing. This is a complex analysis with a large number of touchpoints, but it gives you the opportunity to understand how each part of your company is working toward your goals.

⋅  Specific journey—Narrowing your focus will let you dive more deeply into understanding your main channels of interaction, such as your website. In this case, you will gather detailed data on how a customer navigates the particular channel, when he needs to switch channels, or if the channel is often abandoned.

2.  How will you focus on a customer’s perspective? You next need to decide from which customer’s point of view you will map a customer journey. Then, build a persona that allows you to explore—maybe it is based on your highest value customers or you might focus on first time conversions.

3.  What information about the customer will you track?

⋅  Motivations—What is the customer looking for at a particular time in their journey? What are their goals? You want to make sure your company is engaging and giving a customer the tools she needs to meet her goal at each touchpoint.

⋅  Experience—What are the options for the customer at each touchpoint? Consider the tools you provide to a customer, and also any external options available, such as Google or competitor websites.

⋅  Itemize the links you have provided in emails, the search options on your website, the customer support options on- and offline; map out exactly what is available to your customer at each stage of interaction.

⋅  Customer thoughts and feelings—How happy is the customer with what your company has provided at each stage of her interaction?

Think about a customers’ general feelings: e.g. will they be feeling overwhelmed because they researching a complicated product? Then use your data to figure out how they feel about the service they are receiving from your company at each particular touchpoint: e.g., are you helping to alleviate the stress that makes their research overwhelming?

4.  Bring in the data—Once you’ve set up your framework and mapped the company’s services at each touchpoint (email ads and links, website tools, customer service on- and offline), look to your analytics.

Look at engagement rates and abandonment rates, and qualitative feedback including customer inquiries and survey responses, at each of the stages you identified to uncover those hidden problem areas that prevent customer satisfaction.

Journey mapping is not a simple analysis; but it is one of the best ways to combine knowledge from all of your customer data. Take a look at some example journey maps and begin planning to capture the right data to complete the picture of your customer’s journey.

Customer Analytics Part III: Using & Managing Your Data, A Checklist

Today we continue our Customer Analytics discussion with a quick checklist for your customer data analysis.

Three Steps to Customer Data Analysis

1.  Identify the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that you will track and make sure you are capturing the relevant data.

This step is a combination of the knowledge from Parts I and II of our Customer Analytics discussion. With the wide ranging types of data that can be captured and the many comparison options to put the data in context, it is important to identify the key indicators of health and growth for your company.

This means looking at your company’s goals to decide which data sets and trends are most important to track. There are so many ways to track customer engagement that you can end up spreading your resources thin by trying to gather everything. Instead, prioritize the most relevant data and make sure you have the tools to get what you want.

Avoid ending up with a mass of random numbers by having a clear plan and a manageable list of benchmarks.

2.  Integrate your customer data into a single comparison tool and convert data into comparable units.

The next step is putting all your data together. If you are using different analytics tools to keep track of email engagements, A/B tests or survey results, you need a centralized repository that can blend your data. This means thinking through software integrations; do you have CRM software that will integrate all your analytics and how will you add external data?

Centralized data also needs to be standardized for comparison. You will want a central analytics tool that will let you transform data into standard units, allowing you to gauge and compare customer engagement and satisfaction from purchases as well as customer service calls. Pulling real-time comparisons requires software that allows you to set a standardization plan.

3.  Create a dashboard that lets you visualize your analysis.

Once your system is set up to load and compare all your data, you need a plan for converting the raw numbers into an easy-to-read format.

⋅  Use charts & graphs in conjunction with in-depth reports. Set up real-time-updating trend visualization in your analytics software. Use charts and graphs that reflect your core KPIs (hopefully a manageable number) and promote instant comprehension of your data. Also make in-depth reports on the underlying data easy to generate, so that you can easily dive deeper when you see changes.

⋅  Set up alerts for important comparison points and benchmarks. Identifying the small number of benchmarks that require the most awareness additionally helps narrow your focus. Setting alerts based on these benchmarks will give you the best chance to respond rapidly.

Now that we have mapped the steps for analyzing data, we’ll look more closely at how to conduct some of the relevant comparisons. Come back to the blog as we continue to unpack customer data.