There are a ton of benefits to measuring and visually mapping your customer’s journey including pinpointing crucial moments in the decision-making process, reducing friction, increasing lifetime value and making your budget stretch further. But despite the vast number of benefits, leaders sometimes avoid mapping and visualizing customer journeys as it can seem like a confusing and abstract task.
Truth is, companies make this more complex than it needs to be. In reality, it involves a series of logical steps based on collecting and visualizing relevant data. We went over those steps in our recent webinar in partnership with Tableau and The Information Lab. If you missed the live webinar, don’t sweat, you can watch the on-demand recording here.
The webinar agenda was jam-packed, which meant we didn’t get through all the audience questions, so we decided to put this webinar Q&A blog together to both recap on the questions answered and also fill in the blanks for the one we didn’t get around to.
Read on to hear the answers to your customer journey mapping and visualization question marks.
[Webinar Q&A Round-Up] How to Map & Visualise your Customer Journey
Q: What are the most important touchpoints to monitor in the journey?
A - Angela Wiesenmueller: There are a few touchpoints that are particularly relevant regardless of whether you're a B2B or B2C company.
Starting with the awareness stage, I would say website traffic. Also, depending on how much you work with PR and social media, it's relevant to look at reach and impressions to see how well you're doing at getting in front of your target audience.
While brand reputation metrics are important throughout the entire customer journey, their significance increases during the consideration stage. Monitoring what people are saying about you on social media, and whether it’s positive or negative, is vital if you want to understand the perception around your brand and how you can influence it.
Moving onto the purchase stage, this is when it's critical to analyze lead generation. Here, I'm talking about looking at how many leads you’re producing throughout the funnel. At the top of the funnel, this could be how many new people are entering your marketing database, in the middle of the funnel it could be how many leads are you sending to sales, then, after purchase, looking at how much revenue you’ve generated per program.
When it comes to customer experience, churn data is valuable, as well as how many referrals you’re getting.
Q: Who in my company should be involved in visualizing the customer journey?
A - Carl Allchin: Tableau is one of those tools that can be used by everybody and different departments. Hopefully, you could see from the demo, I was dragging and dropping items around and therefore didn't need the ability to code. This useability opens the door to anybody that wants to work with data to answer their specific questions.
Everyone has their expertise that should just be powered more by data. I don’t think there is a typical role per se, it’s more obvious that somebody with an analytics title would use Tableau, but actually, I think the real power comes in when anybody can get their hands on this kind of tool.
A - Boris Busov: I think that’s a great answer. Just to add on to that, there’s kind of a misconception that Tableau is just for analysts. But actually, when you take a look at the dashboards that are most commonly created and the departments using them, the most common dashboards are not created by analysts but rather by sales reps.
A – Perri Robinson: That’s great to hear because when different departments are using the tools and have access to the same dashboards, suddenly the attribution that marketing and PR are having on leads and the bottom line becomes very evident to all.
Q: What are the best publications to follow customer journey trends?
A – Perri Robinson: My go-to publications for customer journey trends are Gartner, The Drum, Campaign, Marketing Week and Matt Navarra's social media newsletter 'Geek Out'. Don’t forget to follow influencers in your field too, sometimes they’re just as knowledgeable as publications.
Q: How do you think the customer journey has changed off the back of Covid-19?
A - Angela Wiesenmueller: We're experiencing a lot of change right now and this change varies quite drastically from industry to industry so it's difficult to pinpoint just a few changes. I think it's important to note that change isn't brought about just off the back of the pandemic. Change is constantly happening, only the pandemic sped things up.
It's important to map your customer journey and buyer personas in order to gain an understanding of your target group and how it's changing based on external factors. Ask questions like: "Is it the pandemic that's changing certain consumer behavior or are there other influences that could potentially change how people research/make decisions?" Once you understand who you're selling to then you're able to adapt your marketing and communication strategy overall to really reach your target audience.
Q: I’m yet to create an audience persona, what is the most effective way of identifying the possible pain points of your customers?
A – Perri Robinson: There are a few ways of conducting audience research, like focus groups and surveys, but there’s also data that’s readily available online for you to look at. For example, you can analyze the behavioral path of your website visitors and see where they’re dropping off and bouncing. If there tends to be a lot of drop-offs on one certain page, then it tells you there’s a glitch in the journey. You can also look at search data, for example, what keywords in Adwords are getting the most traction? What phrases are people Googling? What’s converting? The campaigns that are converting best are a good indication of you answering their needs.
There are also tools like Meltwater Audience that can tell you the personality traits and pain points of your audience, which goes hand in hand with social listening as well. People tend to shout louder when they’re disgruntled compared to when they’re happy, so social media is full of people complaining more so than advocating, which makes it a really good starting point to look at when it comes to what challenges your customer might have.
Q: How do I create the customer journey model for my real estate brokerage business? / Do you have a version for the public sector/development community?
A – Perri Robinson: The customer journey stages and metrics you should be measuring are the same regardless of your industry, the only thing that’s different is the importance and relevance of certain touchpoints. For example, influencer marketing is more widely used for B2C brands, and webinars are more likely used for B2B companies. The best thing to do is analyze the key touchpoints below and then decide which are most used by your current/ ideal customer then prioritize those.
Q: We get some feedback on our app that's deployed on app stores. Feedback is sometimes not a true reflection of our core users and skews the perception of our brand. How do we exclude this sort of noise/ irrelevant data (typically coming from users who haven't yet understood our product or service offerings)?
A – Perri Robinson: It’s best practice not to remove negative feedback and reviews. Although it can be damaging to your brand, removing it can make your company seem untrustworthy. In fact, 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad ones.
Negative feedback should be addressed and not taken down. If people don’t truly understand your product or service, this is a warning sign that your value proposition and communications need attention. Use this as an opportunity to reach out to people that have left negative reviews and educate them - negative feedback gives you a chance to showcase your customer experience commitment and turn unhappy customers into loyal ones.
Q: Gathering data from various customer touchpoints is clear but how and where do we store the data before treatment and use for analytics?
A – Perri Robinson: The data is often stored in disparate tools, for example, Google Adwords, Google Analytics, Meltwater, HubSpot, Marketo, etc. The average marketing team uses 12 different tools which make connecting the dots between them complex. This is why many professionals turn to business intelligence tools like Tableau. In order to retrieve the data from each tool, APIs are often used to extract and then fed the data into the business intelligence tool which then acts as a singular hub for all the company data.
Q: How does one get access to using Tableau? Is it a freely available tool?
A - Boris Busov: Tableau is not freely available – getting a license is organization-specific, you can find out more about getting a license here.
Q: Other than the customer journey, what other dashboards do marketers typically create in Tableau?
A - Boris Busov: The possibilities for content creation are endless. A good place to start for marketing dashboards is Tableau for Marketing on Tableau Public – it’s a list of dashboards that folks internally at Tableau use to track marketing KPIs, trends, etc. You can explore and even download the dashboards.
Q: What happens if a tool doesn’t have an API, how is the data input into Tableau?
A - Boris Busov: There’s a wide a variety of ways data can come into Tableau, APIs are just one way. Most commonly people will connect to a database or connect to a flat-file – have a look at Tableau’s supported data connectors for more information.
Q: Was the webinar recorded?
A – Perri Robinson: It was indeed. You can find the recording here! If you’d like the slides too, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to learn more about mapping and visualizing your customer journey, fill out the form below and we'll be in touch.