Customer Journey Analysis helps a company see its products or services through its customers’ eyes. A customer’s journey is the sum of all experiences he or she has while interacting with a company or brand. That journey can be mapped and then analyzed in its full context, providing insight that companies can then use to design products and services that help customers achieve their objectives as effectively and efficiently as possible.
How a customer’s journey plays out across channels—searching online, talking to a contact center agent, visiting a store, buying online—is valuable data that can be challenging to stitch together, but it is especially important to grasp. Sophisticated research helps companies understand their customers’ actual experience in a variety of settings and links that to business results, such as a customer’s likelihood of becoming a Net Promoter® of the company or rates of product purchase.
Today, Customer Journey Analysis draws insights from large quantities of historical customer and operations data (Big Data), an approach that is especially helpful when identifying complex patterns in customer journeys. Increasingly, this analysis is designed to be predictive. The ultimate goal is to use real-time data to take actions that immediately improve each customer’s experience. A similar analysis of employee experiences can help improve service level.
Usage and satisfaction among survey respondents
What Customer Journey Analysis does:
- Analyzes all steps and aspects of customer interactions
- Combines data about each interaction with information about the impact on customer satisfaction, loyalty and business economics
- Connects performance metrics previously held by separate business units to illuminate how a customer experiences a service from start to finish
- Better interprets data from a customer’s experience by connecting pieces to each other and to customers’ perceptions of value
- Illuminates where there is waste in the journey—waste of customers’ time and of company resources—especially across distribution channels, revealing opportunities to reduce the cost of serving customers while also improving the customer experience
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Companies use Customer Journey Analysis to:
- Understand customers’ goals and what leaves them satisfied or frustrated
- Identify gaps between what a business thinks it is delivering and what a customer actually experiences
- Improve customer relationships with the company
- Enable mangers to run their businesses around customer episodes (namely, interactions such as paying a bill or researching a purchase) rather than around internal organizational silos (such as managing the help desk or accounts payable)
- Gain insights into which sequence of events leads a customer to a positive result or an unsatisfactory one
- Reduce customer complaints and turnover rates
- Define successful performance
- Increase performance first by doing well what customers value most and then by linking each step of the experience in order to make it feel seamless and easy to navigate
- Cut costs by decreasing waste, cycle times and time to market
Management Tools & Trends
Five key trends emerged from Bain's survey of 1,268 managers.
Net Promoter®, Net Promoter System®, Net Promoter Score® and NPS® are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.
Bradley, Katrina, and Richard Hatherall. “Mastering the Episodes that Count with Customers.” Bain.com, June 30, 2015.
du Toit, Gerard, Rob Markey, Jeff Melton, and Frédéric Debruyne. “Running the Business through Your Customer’s Eyes.” Bain.com, February 9, 2017.
Lichaw, Donna. The User’s Journey: Storymapping Products That People Love. Rosenfelt Media, 2016.
Patton, Jeff. User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product. O’Reilly Media, 2014.
Richardson, Adam. “Using Customer Journey Maps to Improve Customer Experience.” Harvard Business Review, November 15, 2010.
Webb, Nicolas J. What Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint. AMACOM, 2016.