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Maybe you’ve heard the term “customer journey analytics” before and aren’t exactly sure what it means. Or maybe you have a solid understanding of the concept but don’t know how it can help your business. 

Fear not! The CX Lead is here to guide you through the ins and outs of customer journey analytics. 

So What Exactly Is Customer Journey Analytics?

The customer journey analytic process is all about using data to examine a customer’s behavior at different points in their journey with your brand. 

By analyzing data from across multiple channels, customer journey analytics provides insights that will help a company improve its customer experience management and ultimately the customer experience. 

As a better customer experience equals improved customer loyalty and increased revenue, it’s important that every marketer and eCommerce manager understands, and has the tools, to improve it.

The customer data that’s collected is stored in a data warehouse that is specifically designed to support business intelligence activities. 

Over time, the data collected can be used in predictive analytics. This means the customer analytics data gathered can be used in algorithms that put out “predictive scores,” which help the company to assess things such as the loyalty of future customers. 

Why Should A Company Use Customer Journey Analytics?

Customer journey analytics is used by customer experience teams, business intelligence teams, marketing teams, and customer service and support teams. 

The data gathered from tools like heatmaps and session replays helps companies understand the root causes of customer behavior, increase loyalty, improve customer self-help tools and care programs, and create a more personalized customer experience at every touchpoint.

Eighty-nine percent of companies recognize that customer experience (sometimes abbreviated CX, or ICX) is a key factor in customer retention. It makes sense: when customers have a better experience, they’re more likely to complete orders and become loyal to a brand. 

“What’s wrong with the old way of doing things?” you may ask. Well, you wouldn’t be reading this article if you weren’t curious about how using customer journey analytics can help with customer retention and drive growth for your company. Read on to find out how your business might be making a costly mistake by not using analytics.

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Surveys don’t tell the whole story

Surveys are viewed as a tried-and-true way for businesses to get customer feedback and execute customer journey mapping

Unfortunately, that view is flawed. Only 9 percent of people take the time to answer long surveys thoughtfully, according to CustomerThermometer. Additionally, “survey fatigue” is a real thing, and since happy customers tend to not provide feedback, most of the customer feedback a company gets will be negative—a concept known as negative response bias. 

Negative responses give a business insight into what it’s doing wrong—but not what it’s doing right. However, both are important to improving the customer experience and decreasing customer turnover, or churn.

If a company doesn’t get feedback on a new site feature, for example, it might think that the feature was unsuccessful. Customer experience analytics would provide the data to determine how that feature influenced customer behavior and what that would mean for future buyers.

You may be using the wrong social media platform.

How well do you know your audience? 

Customer journey analytics helps businesses determine factors, such as age, gender, education level, and interests, and predict customer behavior. It doesn’t matter how big your advertising budget is if you’re targeting the wrong crowd or using a blanket ad campaign.

It’s worth taking the time to research the demographics for each social media platform. While Facebook is the largest social media platform, customers aged eighteen to twenty-four tend to prefer Instagram or TikTok. Knowing your customer demographics is essential to promoting customer engagement in your target audience and will save your company a lot of money.

Ignoring customer experience can be costly.

Investing in new customers is five to twenty-five times more expensive than retaining existing customers, so providing an outstanding customer experience is key.

Some companies make the mistake of looking only at touchpoints to gauge interaction and determine customer satisfaction. By simply focusing on things like whether a customer signed up for emails, businesses can’t get a clear view of the customer experience. Why did a return customer abandon their cart without placing an order? What customer expectations were not being met?

Meeting—and exceeding—customer expectations requires an understanding of the customer experience as a whole. Customers can bring expectations with them. And sometimes, customers develop an expectation early in their journey that just isn’t met. To understand just where things went wrong, businesses need to examine the customer journey over time. Working backward using journey management, you can find out the root cause of a negative customer experience.

Customer journey analytics uses data to identify any trouble spots that might exist within a customer interaction. Maybe the customer had a question and was frustrated with canned responses from a bot. Or maybe there was an issue with a coupon code. Whatever it is, customer journey analytics will help you get to the bottom of the issue—whether or not the customer took part in a survey asking about their experience.

How can a company make the most of customer journey analytics?

There are a few steps businesses should take to get the maximum value from customer data in order to improve customer satisfaction down the road. 

Start with a customer journey map

Customer journey analytics begins with a diagram or customer journey map, that’s a visualization of the process a potential buyer goes through. 

The customer journey map contains data that helps a business understand how a typical customer, or persona, interacts with a brand by analyzing the user experience of shopping. It shows customer interaction through channels and across touchpoints.

While customer journey maps are a great starting point, customer journey analytics operates on a larger scale, gathering data on interactions from each customer. Customer journey maps are more of a snapshot, whereas customer journey analytics shows you the journey over time.

Examine the customer journey, stage by stage

There are three main stages of a customer journey: acquisition, activation, and adoption. 

Being aware of these stages will help businesses with customer retention. Each stage includes touchpoints that are used to analyze customer interaction across the customer journey.

In acquisition, a prospective customer discovers the company. They may do this through paid advertisements, web searches, reviews on other sites, or word of mouth from friends or colleagues. Touchpoints for the acquisitions stage include clicking on links from other sites, reading blog posts, and viewing demos for products or services.

In activation, the prospect is now a customer. The activation stage begins with a customer selecting a product and ends with them completing an order and paying. This is also the stage when a customer starts to develop an opinion about the business. Touchpoints for the activation stage include creating an account, signing up for emails, and placing an order.

In adoption, the customer has incorporated a business’s product into their daily life. The longer the customer remains with the business, the less likely they are to stop using the product. Smart businesses will personalize product offerings to encourage repeat purchasing and take customer feedback into account. Touchpoints for the adoption stage include inviting friends and family to use a product, submitting support tickets if help is needed, and upgrading to higher tiers of service.

Optimize your customer journey touchpoints

In the customer journey mapping process, once you have data for the stages of the customer journey, you can examine each touchpoint to identify where customer expectations were not met—also known as pain points.

Find the pain point and work backward to determine what led to the problem. This can help to identify unnecessary touchpoints that can be cut out to improve customer engagement and smoothen the customer experience.

You can spend hours, days, or weeks gathering this customer data manually, or you could save yourself time and trouble by using a customer journey analytics solution. It can help you effortlessly balance promotional content with post-purchase content, for example, not only drawing in customers but making them feel valued.

Businesswire predicts the customer journey analytics market will grow by at least 18 percent from 2021 to 2027 as companies continuously work on improving the customer experience.

Because of this growing demand, there are a wealth of software analytics tools available to help businesses make sense of the customer journey.

Google Analytics is a website analytics tool that includes a customer journey mapping tool for marketing purposes. The service uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide insights into the customer journey. Some of the analytics tools it offers are data visualization and monitoring tools, custom reports for advertising, and email-based sharing and communication. Clever Social provides a guide on how to use Google Analytics to track the customer journey.

Some other popular predictive analytics services are SAP Analytics Cloud, IBM SPSS Statistics, and Oracle DataScience.


So now you know what customer journey analytics is and how to integrate it into your company’s continued growth. 

Hopefully, this guide has inspired you, and you’re ready to make customer journey analytics work for your business!

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Related read: Best Heatmap Software for Websites and Apps

By Hannah Clark

Hannah Clark is the Editor of The CX Lead. After serving over 12 years working in front-line customer experience for major brands, Hannah pivoted to a career in digital publishing and media production. Having gained a holistic view of the challenges and intricacies of delivering exceptional experiences, Hannah aims to help CX practitioners 'level up' their skills by amplifying the voices of today's thought leaders in the space.