Why Care About Customer Journey Analytics?

June 5, 2020
By Donna Fluss

DMG Consulting defines customer journey analytics (CJA) as an agile analytical platform that captures, aggregates, measures and evaluates the multidimensional experience of customers/prospects as they traverse the omnichannel touchpoints of an organization; provides the ability to reconstruct, analyze, and assess the end-to-end experience from the individual to the fully aggregated perspective to identify challenges in the cross-channel customer journey, as well as trends, roadblocks, bottlenecks, and opportunities.

Customer journey analytics provides a 360-degree view of customer relationships and contacts with organizations across all touchpoints, from origin to outcome, and evaluates the experience every step of the way, from the customer perspective. This includes activities with the branch or store, back office, website, social media, contact center (interactive voice response (IVR), intelligent virtual agent (IVA), web self-service, live agent, phone, email, chat, short message service (SMS), video, etc.), as well as all actions initiated by customers or employees on customers’ behalf.

CJA solutions are intended to give companies a method for tracking, capturing, analyzing, and evaluating how their customers feel throughout their journeys and to understand how their behavior or patterns of behavior change over time and/or relative to each experience. CJA solutions identify high-level servicing trends and opportunities, and they should also enable companies to understand their customers on an individual basis, helping to deliver consistent, frictionless, and personalized omnichannel experiences.

Customer journey mapping is not CJA, but instead might be a component of larger CJA solutions, providing a dynamic visual representation of the touchpoints that prospects or customers traverse when interacting with organizations, from the first touch through the most recent one.

Unlike customer journey mapping initiatives that provide a one-dimensional, single-point-in-time snapshot of the channels and activities experienced by customers, CJA solutions take it much further. CJA solutions address structured and unstructured feedback from all customer-facing applications and combine it with data from transactional systems to understand how to improve the customer journey. This means consolidating information from all of the data warehouses and marts, customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, sales systems, marketing applications, contact center solutions (recording, quality assurance, speech analytics, text analytics, desktop analytics, surveying/enterprise feedback management), customer repositories, e-commerce and web activities, point-of-sale activities, inventory and supply chain data, business intelligence analyses, and a great deal more.

Interaction analytics (IA), which is a combination of speech and text analytics, is an essential input into the CJA process, as it is designed to capture and convert spoken and written conversations into structured data for analysis. (IA solutions have recently begun to effectively evaluate customer sentiment and emotion, which provide a better context and appreciation of what their words mean.) The next phase is to use this information to identify the actions required by every customer-facing department, and possibly each employee, to improve and enhance the customer experience and relationship. This process must be performed on an ongoing basis to keep up with changing customer expectations, which is why CJA solutions are a must and make a greater contribution on an ongoing basis than customer journey mapping.

A well-designed CJA solution rapidly collects and mines vast volumes of data and searches for patterns, trends, and correlations to interpret and present the information so the output becomes actionable. These solutions uncover what users did and did not know to look for and help to quantify the significance and impact of any issues. Feature-rich CJA applications help enterprises optimize customer journeys by identifying where and why organizations are making it difficult for customers to conduct business, so they can fix the problems. This can help companies build effective strategies that engage customers cost-effectively throughout their lifecycles. Customer journey analytics solutions can also identify when customers take certain actions and alert companies about changes in the customer profile, preferences, or behavior as a result of an event.