What is Customer Journey Analytics?
Customer Journey Analytics is the critical analysis of customer journeys over time. This incorporates the identification of significant journeys, visualization of journey dynamics, and provision of ‘recommended actions’.
The capability provides a live view that spans all conceivable touchpoints, draws on all available context, and considers every customer’s end-to end experience. Replacing the (somewhat binary) appraisal of a single campaign or service journey, genuine customer journey analysis is an automated (ideally, AI-powered) process that considers multiple journeys at once to deliver real-time, actionable, and genuinely omnichannel journey insight from every unique customer. Customer journey analytics drives effective journey orchestration: by understanding and tackling dynamics impacting customer experience, we create deeper customer engagement at scale and build business fortunes.
Customer Journey Orchestration and Journey Analytics
Before delving into Customer Journey Analytics, it’s important to understand the purpose of Journey Orchestration. Customer Journey Orchestration is the art of understanding and enabling every customer’s end-to-end experience – across all journeys, touchpoints, and time – to deliver long-term engagement. The world has shifted away from ‘dictated’ journeys (the basis of legacy techniques such as Customer Journey Mapping). This is why Journey Orchestration allows brands to be driven by customer intent, as opposed to campaign metrics alone. It delivers value with every interaction and improve customer experiences: across marketing, service, or commerce channels – and data silos. And by improving engagement at scale, Journey Orchestration contributes significant and wide-ranging benefits to the business. For customer journey orchestration platforms such as Thunderhead’s ONE Engagement Hub, Customer Journey Analytics represents the brains driving Journey Orchestration.
The role of customer journey analysis software
Done right, journey analytics will ultimately serve to create a positive brand experience meeting every customer’s evolving intent while fulfilling organizational goals. At its core is the ability to digest reams of complex customer data, visualize live (or historic) journey flows and explain context in a way that is digestible, intuitive, and actionable. This provides powerful insight to a business in real time, including customer journey ‘hotspots’: points of success, to be developed; or failure, to be fixed.
Clear visualizations can speak much more clearly to the wider business, particularly to those uninitiated (or uninterested) in the complexities of data. Since ease of use (accessibility) is key to organizational adoption, a good customer journey analytics solution will be easy to use, avoiding a reliance on teams of data scientists.
Through a user-friendly interface (Thunderhead ONE uses an Engagement Query Language), a Journey Analytics software will allow users to ask questions and interrogate journeys. Considering both long-term (historic, spanning all time) and current (live, including latest action) context, the intelligence from customer journey analytics can drive business planning, solve meaningful questions such as:
● How are customers interacting with marketing, sales, customer services – and trackable products?
● Which channels are most effective in serving customers, considering cost-to-serve and customer satisfaction (e.g. NPS)?
● Where are the weak links in our purchase funnels?
● How can we create a more customer-led journey to shorten the self-service experience?
● How can we improve our cross-channel service experience?
● Which activities are making the most significant contribution to reducing churn?
● What are the differences between customers arriving from our paid media channels?
With a live account of customer activity and behavior across every business unit and touchpoint, customer journey analytics represents a new source of customer-led insight, delivering significantly more value than is feasible through ‘traditional’ analytics.
Customer Journey Analysis Drives Business
Thanks in part to the rapid digitization of purchase and service channels – which contribute to the ease of switching – businesses across sectors have seen increased competition and reduced loyalty. Brand experience becomes the differentiator and is more important than ever for attracting, retaining and growing the customer base. So, it follows that understanding the experience (and needs) of every single customer – over time and in the moment – is a business-critical capability.
Journey data and Customer Journey Intelligence will identify crucial marketing insight. For example, the pain points in acquisition paths; the reality behind an onboarding experience; or pinpointing the specific influences that disproportionately drive customer churn. Equally, considering customer service journeys, omnichannel analysis identifies which digital touchpoints are failing customers’ needs – and pushing them to a (costly) contact center.
The AI analytics creating journey-based audiences upends traditional targeting models, treating customers as individuals with purpose, rather than targets to be squeezed. This provides brands with the ability to select customers and converse at just the right moment, based on meeting customer intent and supporting engagement at scale. Being able to usefully identify customers, surface relevant context and interpret their real-time intent drastically improves campaign success for existing customers – but the cross-channel insight in turn helps to refine media strategies.
At scale, the ability to create and act on live customer insight improves marketing ROI and reduces operational costs over the long term. Equally, Customer Journey Analysis creates new opportunities for growth.
ONE Engagement Hub provides world-class omnichannel analytics
Thunderhead’s ONE Engagement Hub monitors all customer events, building up a real-time picture of each individual as they interact with a brand to create actionable insights. Unconnected, seemingly unrelated events are converted into a standardized set of data, making analysis (and instant visualization) a practical reality across the entire customer lifecycle. And because the platform connects all customer-facing channels (spanning an organization’s web sites, mobile apps, call center, email – and even offline channels such as dealership or store), it can then present connected, standardized intelligence to drive truly data-driven decisioning.
AI-powered Journey Visualization
Using the intuitive interface and without any background in data or analytics, the visualization layer built into ONE empowers users with formidable analytics tools to investigate and report back to the business – without any heavy lifting. The ONE Customer Journey analytics Platform provides the ability to zoom in to explore the micro, when an individual customer interacts, to the macro: examining trends across the entire base. Interactive visuals mean users can reorder – or delve deeper into – journey flows by simply dragging and dropping in the application. In the race for insight, this means sales, service or marketing teams can get the answers they need in a fraction of the time.
A suite of advanced AI journey functionality via ThunderBay has also been developed within the ONE Engagement Hub. This helps to identify significant trends that are virtually impossible to recognize with the naked eye. For example, key events leading to customer experience bottlenecks in different channels. Moment of truth analysis will highlight the critical moments within customer journeys that drive momentum towards a particular goal. And when considering larger populations, Common Path analysis quickly uncovers journey patterns hidden among millions of journey flows.
Getting moving with Customer Journey Analytics
Thunderhead ONE is simple to use – and easy to deploy. With myriad technical integrations, its customer journey analytics solution can connect a seemingly complex ecosystem and deliver customer journey analysis in a matter of weeks.
Journey analysis provides the ‘source of truth’ to help brands understand their customer’s experience at scale – including the barriers and opportunities for deeper engagement. Delivered in a highly digestible, visual form, this insight provides confidence in decisions over where to invest resources for the good of customers – and the business.