How to Explore Your Customer Journey

Journey analytics is the key way that businesses understand the customer experience they deliver. This is because journey analytics allows business leaders to look at a holistic view of the metrics that matter. Businesses cannot actively create better experiences for their customers if they don’t identify journey and experience trends.

There are two main approaches when you explore your customer journey. These are journey measurement and journey discovery. Together, they are the science of collecting and measuring data, and a key a technique for identifying how customers flow from one experience to the next.

To build the best possible experience for your customers, you will need to do both. Wherever you start, exploring the customer journey is a crucial step to business success.

Journey Measurement

One of the core challenges for journey measurement is the problem of data. In the past, the challenge was sometimes not having enough data to make decisions. Not so today. Businesses have more data than ever when it comes to customer behavior, but they don’t have good ways to measure the data to explore their customer journey.

Businesses struggle to understand how to derive the most value from their analysis. This is because they lack a framework for measurement, built to help decision makers understand the customer journey. Without such a holistic framework it’s difficult to form a complete picture of the customer experience a company offers.

What should a journey measurement framework include? It starts by clearly defining journey steps. These steps represent only the important transitions in the customer experience, not simply every interaction. The result of building these journey steps will be a renewed focus on key transition points in the customer journey. These steps will be different from every business and should be built around when behaviors or expectations change for your customers.

For example, in eCommerce, someone visiting a website may be a journey step, but every page they visit may not be. Entering a specific search term, adding an item to the cart or completing a purchase may be other examples of journey steps. Once you’ve identified what those most important transition points are, your business can focus on measuring them. This greatly reduces the noise in your data, and lets you focus on the signal. Your business will benefit by measuring these more impactful metrics.

Even more impactful?

The journey step framework you build here will be useful in all future journey management projects.

Journey Discovery

Customers often behave in ways that we don’t expect, or even in ways that they might not expect. Thinking about these interactions as a series of events, or of journey steps, paints the picture of paths and flows through your customer experience. It is crucial to identify the best paths, especially for cross- channel journeys.

The process of identifying those journeys is called journey discovery. Journey discovery allows businesses to examine current-state journeys and identify areas for improvement, by highlighting where experiences go right or wrong. This may seem similar to journey mapping, but where journey mapping is a strategic, qualitative process, journey discovery is a quantitative one. They work best hand in hand.

The process of journey discovery allows you to build better experiences. Take, for example, an airline that uses emails, their website, and mobile app to keep in touch with customers. They want to improve the experience for those who have already booked a flight. This airline may have updated their mobile app when there was a gate change and sent an email as well.

After the journey discovery process, the business may have found that users who saw the gate change on their app had a much lower likelihood of issuing a complaint or rating their experience poorly. The airline might decide that now they will include a link to their app in their emails informing customers of gate changes or delays. But they will only find out whether or not that has the desired effect by measuring.

At your business, the strategies you implement may be very different. No matter what specific strategies you use, it is only by discovering what is or is not working with your customer journey, you can take steps to improve.

Journey Analytics is The Start, Not the End of Journey Management

When you set out to analyze your customer journey, you are beginning to identify and hone in on what matters to your customers. Are you just getting started on the journey process? Are you well into a project and that it isn’t delivering results as expected? Either way, exploring your customer journey will help provide clarity and greater certainty.

If you want to see the latest trends in customer journey analytics, check out the recent Spark MATRIX™ report where CSG secured a Technology Leaders position.