The Point: Why This Article Matters

  • Insights and actionable data. Customer journey analytics require interdepartmental communication and collaboration to be effective. Insights will often impact multiple departments within a business, so it's crucial that teams work together to understand and act on these insights.
  • Update often. It's important to regularly update and maintain your customer journey map. A dynamic approach to the customer journey map means problems can addressed in a timely manner to optimize marketing and sales efforts and increase customer satisfaction.

By analyzing the right customer journey analytics, businesses can identify pain points and areas for improvement, as well as optimize their marketing and sales efforts.

It’s crucial to use analytics to understand the customer journey in terms of contingencies, said Kashif Naqshbandi, Tenth Revolution Group CMO. “Because analytics are so powerful, it’s easy to focus solely on idealizing the customer journey," Naqshbandi said. "Examining the other pathways that customers can take to ensure that the content is useful to them is a route to expanding the utility of your site and service, and therefore its appeal."

Analytics also helps tie together the different aspects of the business, Naqshbandi said. “The insights you gain from customer journey analytics will necessitate interdepartmental communication and collaboration more often than you might expect. Clear analytics mean greater transparency in terms of what’s working and isn’t, which means that a sales team can see how their work functions in the context of the efforts of the marketing team and vice versa.”

Below are some of the basics of customer journey analytics and how companies can use them to their benefit:

The Key Customer Journey Map Elements

First, understand the key elements of customer journey maps, said Arv Natarajan, GroupBy director of product:

  • Entry point — Monitoring how customers enter your website is critical to identifying which channels successfully drive traffic and which are not performing well, Natarajan said. “Knowing what led the customer to a website or into a store — i.e., email, PPC, Google, SEO, social media, etc. — helps the merchandising team know where to prioritize funds to drive more traffic. The goal is to fully understand how to attribute customer success and how to improve on that.”
  • Path to products — Once a customer is on your website, knowing where in their journey they add a product to their basket is essential, Natarajan explained. Did they find a product via search or browsing the website? Knowing the answer will allow merchandizers to focus on opportunities to improve specific elements of the shopping experience. Consumers browsing a site will typically see more rich and engaging content on a category page to bring the online experience closer to shopping in a store, while someone running a direct search for a product will see a condensed page due to their intent to purchase being stronger.
  • Cross-sell and upsell — Cross-selling and upselling are vital to maximizing revenue for B2B and B2C organizations, Natarajan pointed out. “Monitoring performance is critical to knowing where retailers should insert up-sale products in the journey. These are often found on the product pages, allowing consumers to 'complete the look' or at checkout showing complementary products, such as pillows to match the bedding in their cart.”

Related Article: How to Make the Customer Journey More Data Driven

Have a Dynamic Customer Journey Map

According to Naqshbandi, a crucial aspect of customer journey analytics is to regularly update the customer journey map and avoid neglecting its evolution. "A central aspect of customer journey analytics is treating your customer journey map as a live document,” Naqshbandi said. “Neglecting to continue evolving your map via regular analysis is a mistake. An annual review is too infrequent — leaving pain points that long to address means missing potential conversions along the way.”

Learning Opportunities

Consider These Customer Journey Metrics

When we think about the customer journey, it’s easy to diagram and overcomplicate, said Kevin Shively, Rebrandly senior vice president of marketing. “There are many metrics we track, but there are three that stand above the rest,” he said.

Here they are: 

  • Time-to-value (TTV): This helps contextualize how quickly customers find value from a product, according to Shively. “This is measured differently depending on the product, but once you know the core indicators of your customers finding value, you can build programs that guide each customer to a similar state, and speed up TTV. If a customer is able to drive value quicker, satisfaction, retention and expansion are all more likely.”
  • Customer satisfaction: This is a qualitative metric often captured with Net Promoter Score (NPS) or customer satisfaction score (CSAT), enabling companies to keep a pulse on and improve CX, Shively said. “Like time-to-value, when we identify the key themes within our high and low satisfaction segments, we’re able to prioritize our efforts across every area of the business.”
  • Customer retention: This is a metric that has both a direct, bottom-line reporting function as a core component of overall revenue, and a signal into the value a company has demonstrated value to a specific customer or group of customers, Shively said. “There are other components and KPIs, but when measuring success, it’s hard to create a customer journey map without these three core elements.”

Related Article: Using Customer Journey Maps and Jobs to Be Done for a Better Customer Experience

Final Thoughts on Customer Journey Analytics Basics

Analyzing customer journeys is essential to uncover ways to drive better satisfaction, improve path to purchase and drive revenues and profits.

But in order to analyze the customer journeys, you need to know the basics of what to look for as well as the metrics that will have the biggest impact on your business.