Track every step of your customers' journeys

For most companies, there is no shortage of tools and services available to track customer experience.

There are plenty of options for creating custom customer surveys, an ever increasing number of platforms tracking social media brand engagement, and many services for recording the behavior of digital customers while on ads, websites or apps.

And yet, many companies still cannot figure out how to use all of those tools to improve the bottom line — although no one denies customer experience measurement can give their company a competitive advantage.

To get the most out of your customer experience data, you need to make sure you’re developing a strategy with the follow five steps in mind.

Track the Entire Customer Journey

Does your CX strategy measure the entire customer journey, from landing on your website to making a purchase, and everything in-between? Chances are it doesn’t.

Most businesses have a firm grasp on the customer journey — from the very first interaction to making a sale. What isn’t as prevalent is measuring every step of that journey and extracting data from it.

Some might believe that tracking some parts of the journey is useless, because it isn’t immediately clear how to use the data being collected. Others, however, might think their strategy is tracking the whole journey with just a few tools.

For instance, prompting customers with a survey about their experience is nice, but only if you ask the right questions. It also only gives you a piece of the journey.

Tracking behavior using a video playback tool while on a web or mobile platform is helpful, and has the added benefit of providing a more accurate account of the experience from start to finish.

But you need both tools — and others to get the full picture. Measuring the entire journey is essential to understanding the behavior of customers.

customer journey

Include All the Data

If you've got data coming from multiple tools that measures the entire customer experience that's a great first step. But understanding the differences of each data source to adequately factor it into all your decision-making can be challenging to say the least.

Too often, that leads companies to leave out portions of the data that are easily understood to the entire team, or looking at each data set separately and then drawing conclusions (aka, haphazard guessing).

When assembling a strategy to make sense of the customer experience data, you’ll need to include survey results, sales data, shopping behavioral data, social media comments, app store comments and data from brand advertising, to name a few.

Know Where You Stand

All the customer experience data in the world can only take you so far. You may have very satisfied customers, but that doesn’t mean it will automatically translate into higher revenue.

No, to get a proper idea on how to both keep customers happy and maintain healthy sales growth requires comparing your company’s efforts to that of competitors. Chances are, your team is already doing this without involving any data at all — and that’s a mistake.

That said, when assessing your customer experience data, you’ll want to identify a set of benchmark measurements that can give you an idea of where your company stands in relation to all the others.

Being able to determine a set of benchmarks your company can use to measure itself against other direct competitors is extremely valuable.

Start by Defining the Priority

So let’s say you’re already tracking the entire customer journey, using all the available data, and have some decent benchmarks allowing you to see where your company stands in relation to the rest of the market.

This data has been extremely valuable in identifying a large handful of areas needed to improve the customer experience, and in turn, the bottom line. Now comes the really challenging part.

Which line item do you pick first to start improving? The answer to that is difficult to determine, but probably the most important aspect of your strategy.

If all the social media comments indicate that the desktop version of your company’s online retail store is awful, the most likely reaction would be to give it an overhaul.

At the same time, survey results from your customers show that people are mostly satisfied with the call center support provided — leading you to believe you’re doing OK in this area and should probably focus resources on improving areas that are much less satisfactory. Improving both of these parts of the experience will make your customers happy, but improvements to the call center have a much greater impact on sales growth.

The point is, where you start matters a lot.

Eliminate Guesswork

An educated guess is not something you ever want to have to make when a decision could cost your company millions of dollars.

Determining a scientific method when measuring customer experience can provide you with hard data to support your decisions.

That includes being able to both identify and properly prioritize where you’re spending resources to improve the satisfaction of your customers.

The last thing you want to do is start guessing (or second-guessing) your decisions because you inappropriately ranked areas of improvement and aren’t able to hit your monthly numbers.

The more useful question is how one might go about doing this, which would involve leveraging new technologies that specialize in making sense of customer experience data.

Doing so will benefit not only your strategy, but also the ease at which you’re able to confidently make decisions for improvements that may otherwise see push back from others on your team.

When you have a scientific methodology working to determine the outcomes of your actions, it’s much harder to deny the right direction to move.

To recap:

  1. Measure the entire journey
  2. Include all data sources
  3. Know where you stand
  4. Know where to start
  5. Use a proven methodology to give certainty to your CX improvements

Title image by David Marcu