Customer journey analysis: How to mind map your customers
By : Vinay Jain
Product Manager, Flytxt
What does a typical customer purchase journey look like? A customer sees your product, buys it then may repeat the purchase if they are satisfied with the outcome.
In reality, though, the journey is far more complex. It includes multiple phases, such as switching between multiple devices and hopping from one touch point to another before making the final purchase decision. As per Google’s research, the average consumer uses as many as three to five channels or devices in the course of completing a purchase.
Therefore, you may have to make multiple efforts to convince consumers to pick your brand and stick with it.
What is customer journey analytics?
The customer journey is a set of interactions a customer has with a brand to complete a task at hand. For example, the whole sequence of actions a customer follows while interacting with a telecom operator to activate a data plan is a journey. The process of tracking and analyzing these customer journeys over multiple channels and touch points with a data-driven approach is termed Customer Journey Analytics (CJA).
The tendency of customers to hop from one channel to another increases the risk of an incomplete purchase. Moreover, the customer might lose interest in one’s product or services along the way. In such scenarios, it would help marketers to have a unified view of omni-channel customer journey across touch points. This understanding can enable businesses to influence his buying behavior and deliver seamless customer engagement in real time.
Mapping Customer Journeys
By analyzing customer journey, brands can gain insights, such as the most popular choices the customers made, points at which they abandoned shopping, and high-effort journeys to churn probabilities. Using these critical insights, one can act towards improving customer lifetime value, inherently improving customer experience. Customer Journey Analytics further gives you an opportunity to not only get a macro-view of how the customers are traversing but also to drill down and analyze their journeys in detail.
Set goals for customer/segment
Before starting the process of analyzing the customer/segment journey, set a goal that you intend to achieve and decide on whether you want to focus on the entire lifecycle or only a segment of it. For example, do you wish to increase overall ARPU by 30% or increase data usage by 30%? This will determine the journey (sequence of customer events and interactions) to be tracked.
Identify touch points and events
Customer touch points such as website, offline stores, helpdesks, emails, telephone calls… etc. are the physical and digital interfaces through which customers interact with brands. Each interaction, both online and offline, results in an event. By identifying these touch points and events for the selected customer segment, you can better understand the customer journey.
Visualize the journey
Journey visualization enables businesses to picture customers traversing through different channels throughout their journey lifecycle.
This includes metrics of the dominant event over a channel, milestones achieved or any flags that occurred during the journey. This helps you gain insights such as channel effectiveness, unique conversions over the channel, milestones achieved for a percentage of the total customers,… etc. Visualization highlights the gaps between the expected path which the marketer hypothesized and the dominant path that was the actual experience a user had along the journey.
Insights derived from accessing customer journey patterns give an overall perspective of segment behavior over multiple channels and touch points such as their product/channel affinities. Marketers can make informed decisions to influence customer journeys to achieve stated goals.
In the world where the economy is making a shift from product-centric to experience-centric, businesses are increasingly thinking in terms of understanding customer behaviors better and enhancing their lifecycle journey.
CJA can help businesses boost customer acquisition, maximize customer lifetime value, increase ROI and grow revenue. By identifying the actual paths your customers take, as they engage with your brand across channels, Customer Journey Analytics enables you to focus on the highest impact journeys and deliver real-time, personalized customer engagement at scale.
According to Gartner, Artificial intelligence (AI) will also play a significant role in Customer Journey Analytics. Apart from deriving actionable insights from historical data using machine learning, AI can also predict likelihood of various customer events that can potentially impact lifecycle journeys, thereby helping marketers to take proactive measures to control these customer journeys for positive results.