In this blog post, we will talk all about tracking your customer’s journey. Read on to know the what, why, and how of tracking the customer journey.
By Subhadeep Bhattacharjee
28th April 2023
Do you take customer loyalty for granted? Think again, as a recent PWC study highlighted that 32% of customers turn their back on a brand they loved after a single bad experience. One bad experience is all it takes for a business to lose a third of its loyal customers! The question arises – how does a business stop this attrition? The answer lies in tracking and studying the customer journey and improving it.
It is easier said than done. Despite having access to various data and analytics tools, marketers struggle to track the customer journey and understand customer behavior effectively. The inability to create a customer journey strategy can result in missed customer engagement and retention opportunities. In this detailed write-up, we talk about the importance of customer journey tracking and how marketers can approach it.
Before further delving into tracking customer journeys, let us address the elephant in the room – what is a customer journey? It refers to the customer’s interaction with a business through various touchpoints – from initial awareness to post-purchase evaluation. It is the entire end-to-end experience a customer has with a brand or product, and it can include both online and offline interactions. In a competitive ecosystem, brands must map this journey to understand the customer’s experience across different touchpoints and identify improvement opportunities.
For example, a customer may have discovered your brand name and product on social media. Curious about the product, the customer may have watched a product video on YouTube. It may have triggered an interest in your product, and to validate the USPs, they may read blogs on the product and customer reviews. In the next step, the customer may buy the product in your store or a marketplace like Amazon. The customer finally receives the product and leaves a review at your store or on social media platforms. This entire process, from awareness to purchase and post-purchase evaluation, is called CUSTOMER JOURNEY.
Now that you know the customer journey, you must have strategies to track it. Customer journey tracking analyzes and understands the various interactions and touchpoints a customer has with your brand. It includes all the stages, from initial awareness to post-purchase evaluation. To establish an extensive perspective on your customer’s journey, you must collect a wide range of customer data, including their behavior and preferences at each stage. Using this data, you can improve the overall customer experience and increase customer satisfaction. Here are some of the important tools for your customer journey strategy
By analyzing website traffic data, you can track how customers find your site, what pages they visit, and how long they spend on each page. With this information you can optimize your website and content to engage with visitors actively and turn them into paying customers.
Social media has become the most fruitful engagement platform for businesses and their customers. You must track social media conversations and engagements to understand how customers talk about your brand, what they like and dislike, and what problems they may be experiencing. This information helps you streamline your social media strategies for higher engagement and responding to customer feedback.
By collecting customer feedback at various stages of their journey, you can gain valuable insights into improving the customer experience. For example, you can initiate a survey once a customer purchases your product to know how satisfied they are with the product and their overall buying experience. It also establishes your reputation as a brand that cares for its customers post-purchase.
Tracking customer service interactions, such as phone calls or chat conversations, can help you identify common problems and pain points that customers may be experiencing. This information can help improve customer service processes and provide better support to customers in the future.
In an era where customers have a wide choice of products and services, tracking journeys and improving experience has become a market differentiator. In a tech-savvy world where businesses interact with customers using different touchpoints, customer journey tracking allows them to understand their customer’s path from awareness to purchase and beyond. It gives you a comprehensive view of the customer experience and intelligence on improving them.
Airbnb is a good case story of how it uses customer journey tracking to gain insights and improve its customer offering. By analyzing data from multiple touchpoints, such as website clicks, bookings, and reviews, Airbnb can identify areas to improve customer experience, such as simplifying the search process or providing more personalized recommendations. The brand has improved the overall customer experience and increased customer loyalty by implementing an effective customer journey-tracking strategy.
We have already covered the importance of tracking customer journeys. Let’s shift our attention to the tangible benefits of tracking the customer journey and why you need a well-conceived customer journey strategy –
Peter Drucker, the father of modern business management, said, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him or her and sells itself.” Since the dawn of the 21st century and the widespread use of the Internet, we are seeing fast-changing customer aspirations. When you track your customer’s journey, you have a finger on the pulse of your customers. You can better understand customer behavior and preferences by tracking the customer journey. It lets you tailor your products, services, and marketing efforts to meet customer needs better.
Every product or service has a sell-by date. From Coke to IBM and Nestle to Honda, businesses have seen their highest-selling products die a slow death. Customers are aspirational, constantly looking for products and services that improve their lives and make it easier than the previous generation. It is important to identify problems and address the pain points. Customer journey tracking lets you identify pain points and areas for improvement in the customer journey. It offers you actionable insights into improving the customer experience. It can result in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Customer retention is the foundation for business growth. Businesses that fail to retain their customers (ask Nokia or Kodak) find themselves in the pages of history. If your business fails to retain customers, you will start experiencing diminishing returns. By analyzing the customer journey, you can identify the key touch points most important in retaining customers. By improving these touchpoints, you can increase customer retention and reduce churn. The result is a strong platform that powers your growth.
Aligning marketing and sales strategy is vital for business growth. It improves your ROI and lets you focus on your strengths instead of adopting a cookie-cutter approach to marketing. By analyzing the customer journey, you can identify which marketing and sales strategies are most effective at different stages in the customer’s buying journey. For instance, if social media contributes more sales and inquiries, you must allocate more marketing budget to social media marketing instead of distributing an equal budget to all marketing channels.
For most businesses, especially service providers and ecommerce, upselling and cross-selling are important for surviving the cut-throat competition. You need an effective customer journey strategy that leverages the best upselling and cross-selling opportunities. You can identify opportunities to upsell or cross-sell products or services when you track the customer journey. It increases your revenue and profitability without the need for additional resources and a budget for marketing.
Last but not the least, modern businesses are data-driven. All your decisions must be backed by data and current trends in the market. Making decisions based on gut or assumptions is passé. You can make more informed decisions by tracking the customer journey and collecting data on customer behavior. It will help you avoid costly mistakes and use resources effectively. For example, if an automobile model fails to impress customers in a particular geography, it would be better to pull it out instead of trying to ride its success in other regions.
We have covered the importance of tracking customer journeys and their benefits. Now it’s time to put your customer journey strategy into action. It involves several key steps that can help you gain valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences. Let us look at the steps you must implement to track your customer journey and turn customer data into actionable insights that power your brand’s growth.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula to a customer journey strategy. The first step in tracking your customer journey is to define the stages your customers go through when interacting with your business. It typically includes awareness, consideration, purchase, and post-purchase evaluation. These stages will vary depending on your business model and the type of marketing strategy you adopt. For example, if your business has a digital-only marketing approach, you need a different approach from a brand that operates out of digital and physical stores.
Once you have defined your customer journey stages, you must identify the touchpoints where customers interact with your business. These touchpoints may include your website, social media channels, email marketing campaigns, customer service interactions, physical stores, offline advertising, and more. Dig deep into your past customer data, as it will offer you a better insight into your touchpoints and their importance during a customer’s buying journey.
You must collect data at each touchpoint to track your customer journey effectively. Depending on your business and how you engage with the customer, you must gather all your data sources to get an accurate picture. Your data must be precise and accurate, as customer journey tracking success rests on the data quality.
The choice of a customer journey tracking tool is important. There are many customer journey tracking tools available in the market, each with its strengths and capabilities. You can try tools like Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, Salesforce CRM, etc. However, no single tool can offer you the complete picture, and you need to choose them based on your needs.
Once you have collected customer data, you must analyze it to gain insights into customer behavior and preferences. Identify the broad trends in customer engagement and compare them to past data. This will help you understand the shift in customer aspiration and serve them better. It can help you identify pain points, areas for improvement, and opportunities to optimize your marketing and sales strategies.
Data analytics offers you actionable insights on your strengths and weaknesses. Take action to improve the customer experience based on the results of your analysis. From tweaking your website or marketing campaign to training your customer service team and adjusting your product or service offering, don’t shy away from hard decisions that can improve your competitive edge.
Customer journey tracking isn’t a one-time gig; it’s a process you must rinse and repeat. Monitor the effectiveness of your customer journey tracking efforts and make adjustments as needed. It will help you stay ahead of the competition and deliver a superior customer experience.
Tracking the customer journey is crucial to understanding customer behavior and providing personalized experiences. By collecting and analyzing data at various touchpoints, you can gain insights into customer preferences and pain points, which can help improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. As most businesses shift marketing to digital channels, tracking customer journeys has become easier and more accessible. As customer expectations evolve, your organization will gain a competitive edge by investing in tracking and optimizing the customer journey.
Tracking customer journeys is challenging and requires your marketing team to spend quality time implementing customer journey strategies and choosing the right tools. DiGGrowth can help and offer you actionable insights into your customers by tracking and analyzing their buying journey. For more info, feel free to write to us at email@example.com and we’ll get right back to you!
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