By Swati Sahai
Customer journey analytics is a whole new approach to analytics that involves having a journey-based mindset and being customer-obsessed. How you deploy customer journey analytics organizationally—and not just the software you choose—will make all the difference for achieving long-term success.
In this two-part blog series, my intention has been to help you create a successful customer journey analytics implementation plan. Whether you are a potential journey analytics user, a champion trying to introduce it in your organization or a CMO/CXO about to sponsor a journey analytics project, this blog series is for you.
In Part 1, I laid the groundwork for a successful implementation by defining the scope, building a team, setting goals, creating a data integration plan, identifying key use cases and building organizational readiness for journey analytics.
After laying a strong foundation for success, you’re ready to move forward to Step 7 and begin the deployment stage.
7. Pick the Right Customer Journey Analytics Platform For Your Organization
Now it’s time to invest in a good customer journey analytics platform that will meet all your needs and be the right fit for your organization.
But if you’ve spent some time evaluating the different options available in the market, you would have likely come to the conclusion that customer journey analytics is not a monolithic approach designed to address a single problem. Instead there are a variety of problems that can be solved with customer journey analytics. Therefore, even the best platforms do not include identical sets of capabilities, nor do they prioritize those capabilities in the same way.
So how do you pick a platform in such a scenario?
The key to making a good choice is to clearly understand and prioritize your business needs and then use them as a basis for determining the best customer journey analytics platform for you.
Here’s a cheatsheet to help you prioritize the customer journey analytics capabilities that are aligned with your particular business needs:
[Handpicked related content: How to Pick the Best Customer Journey Platform for Your Needs]
Decide Whether to do a Pilot
Some large companies, depending on budget and scope, prefer a phased implementation that starts with a paid pilot or proof of concept. Running a paid pilot helps ensure that the project is properly resourced and prioritized by your internal team, including your stakeholders. By implementing customer journey analytics at a smaller scale first, it provides a large enterprise with an opportunity to identify any implementation or organizational challenges early, before moving on to enterprise-wide adoption.
By documenting the lessons learnt during the pilot, ironing out hiccups on a smaller spectrum and testing out the effectiveness of your planned process, you can make more effective decisions about resources.
However, this is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The decision to conduct a paid pilot depends upon your company size, project scope, internal processes and governance.
8. Develop Journey-Based Insights
Whether you’ve decided to do a Pilot or jump right into a more comprehensive implementation, a critical first step is to ensure your users have the confidence to use the customer journey analytics platform on their own to perform meaningful analyses and identify opportunities for improvement.
This is the time to dive into the most important use cases you had identified as a team in Step 5 of this implementation plan. [How to Successfully Implement Customer Journey Analytics – Part 1]
Discover Real Customer Journeys
All the hard work that you have done up until this point is now ready to start bearing fruit. You have chosen the customer journey analytics platform and integrated customer data from different sources, your users are trained and ready to go—it is now time to start discovering real customer journeys.
You could, for example, begin by testing journey hypotheses that you have previously built, perhaps as an outcome of a journey mapping process conducted by your customer experience team.
Sophisticated customer journey analytics platforms with highly visual interfaces can help you discover real journeys in minutes, simply by dragging and dropping relevant ‘customer events’ on to a journey canvas. This creates highly accurate visualizations of high-impact, micro- and macro-level customer journeys without any data science or coding expertise.
Top Telecom Provider Rapidly Quantifies ROI with Pointillist
A large, top 5 U.S. telecom provider made a major investment in customer outreach, the likes of which they had not done before. They quickly reached a critical point where they needed to quantify the Return on Investment in order to decide whether to expand, contract or stop further investment in the customer outreach. They needed sophisticated analytical features in a short time and hence employed the Pointillist customer journey analytics platform.
Pointillist integrated customer data rapidly and easily into the platform—onboarding 4 billion events (or data points) across 8 enterprise datasets in 2 weeks, 4 calls and 14 emails.
Within a few days of data integration the customer experience team was able to uncover customer journeys on their own, without the assistance of data scientists or IT team.
Pointillist enabled the telecom company to quantify the returns from the customer outreach investment, both in terms of ticket resolution rates and NPS scores. Using Pointillist, they determined that due to the new customer outreach program, NPS scores had gone up by 5 points and there was a significant boost in ticket resolution rates.
With this insight, the telecom provider was able expand the application of messaging and continue its investment in the outreach program.
Track Key Metrics in Real-time and Over Time
At this stage, go back and look at the business metrics you had targeted for impact at the time of setting goal. Make sure your journey discovery process has covered those key metrics and you have started tracking those key metrics and KPIs in real time in your journey analytics platform.
This will provide a quantitative link between customer behavior and hard metrics like revenue, profitability, churn, acquisition rate, etc. that measure the health of your business and the performance of your teams.
Create interactive dashboards within the journey analytics platform to present these insights on key metrics to stakeholders and executives on a regular basis.
9.Use Customer Journey Analytics to Drive Actions
Next, look for opportunities to make your insights actionable. Here are three ways to do it:
Using the important customer journeys you have created in your customer journey analytics platform, look for places to employ journey orchestration to automate real-time interactions, drive desirable outcomes that will impact your KPIs.
By embedding triggers at any point along the customer journey, you can automatically initiate next-best actions in real time across all of your customer touchpoints. For example, a bank can automate sending an acknowledgement email when a customer successfully deposits a check through a mobile app (a defined point in the customer journey), from within the customer journey analytics platform. This journey orchestration is made possible through a seamless integration of the customer’s journey across the mobile app and email platform.
Using journey analytics data, you can deliver real-time personalized engagement, which improve customer experiences by incorporating each customer’s individual preferences, as well as their recent interactions with your company. Examples include using customer journey data to personalize website content in real-time and dynamically populating contents of an upsell email based on customer activity data generated through journey analytics.
Customer journey analytics is a powerful tool that enables you not only to discover and analyze real customer journeys, but also to improve them.
Journey optimization is a closed loop approach that combines journey discovery with journey orchestration. AI and machine learning are often employed to more rapidly evaluate alternatives and choose a method of interacting with each customer that maximizes the speed and probability that they will achieve a specific goal, based on their own unique journey.
Journey optimization can be achieved by employing a test-and-learn approach that explores all of the contributing factors—touchpoints, people, training, process, communication, metrics, and technology—that can lead to opportunities to improve the journey. One advantage of journey optimization is that it enables you to validate (or invalidate) ideas faster and more accurately.
10. Measure Success
It is now time to revisit Step 3, Setting Goals and Measuring Success. Evaluate your progress to date against each of your success categories—Team, Project and Business.
Have the key members of your team started to derive the value from customer journey analytics? Remember though that this is a start, and the objective should be to begin seeing results.
Evaluate whether the project deployment time met the original estimate or exceeded it. (Pat yourself on the back if you managed to deploy before time!) In case of a delay, spend some time determining the reasons.
Take feedback from users and their managers on the effectiveness of the training given on the customer journey analytics platform, once the users have become accustomed to using it. Establish metrics for measuring the success of the training.
The impact of customer journey analytics on quantitative business metrics is really powerful. Measuring this impact is also made easy by the platform. Make sure you build dashboards and track these KPIs regularly to measure how the implementation of insights generated by journey analytics is moving the needle on financial, customer and operational metrics.
11. Elevate, Scale and Promote Your Customer Journey Analytics Program
Include New Data Sources
Adding new data from different sources lets companies expand the depth and breadth of their analyses. For instance, you can connect data from sources like surveys, social media, web chat, and products to better understand journeys and life events, segment customer behaviors, and gain in-depth strategic insights.
Spread the Word About Your Successes
At the end of a successfuli implementation, it is important to talk and educate others about its success. This will bring visibility, support, and hopefully more budget. Remember to lead with quantifiable results and insights as your audience really cares about impact.
Build a Roadmap for Future Improvements
Stimulate discussion on the next round of marketing or CX improvements by building a Journey Atlas that shows all your key customer journeys. Make your journey atlas available throughout your organization and regularly refine it by adding new customer journeys and updating existing ones.
With these detailed steps in hand, you now have the framework to plan, organize and start implementing customer journey analytics within your organization. Be armed with knowledge, be prepared and set yourself and your organization up for success with customer journey analytics.