On the Right Track: Six Common Failures to Avoid in Customer Journey Mapping

March 2, 20208min

Not too long ago the customer journey was fairly simple to track and evaluate.

There were a limited number of channels for customers to browse or make purchases via. Nowadays, the utilisation of smart tools that make the customer’s journey easier, coupled with the fact that purchasing is no longer a one-size-fits-all experience, means more and more retailers are waking up to the need to up their customer journey mapping game.

Limitations of traditional analytics tools

Developing a core understanding of the people who matter most to your business is at the root of delivering remarkable Customer Experience, so user experience (UX) analytics is perhaps the most important technology for all retail brands to adopt, if they have not done so already, as it identifies why visitors behave in the way that they do.

To the point: Common errors can often render customer journey maps ineffective

Being able to not only identify where visitors are struggling on your site but why is essential, so using traditional web analytics tools like Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics to answer this question is like using a fork to eat soup.

While retailers may already have traditional analytics like Google and Adobe and a testing or personalisation tool in place, these systems are limited and simply not built for purpose in today’s environment. They may still be collecting information about clicks, bounces, and site exits, but they do not capture the UX insights needed to determine where your visitors are having issues, what pages they respond to most and why they are leaving/staying.

Rather than trying to run before they can walk, retailers should use UX analytics to gather all of the valuable actionable insights they can about their consumers’ experiences in order to make profitable changes to website layout, content, and images, etc.

Exploring personalisation, or at least customisation, without having a robust and in-depth overview of visitor behaviour is ineffective, which is why UX analytics is such a fast-growing marketplace in the retail technology sector. Thanks to real-time analytics that do not require a specialist to decipher, plus ease of use and simplicity of the data available, UX analytics is a good tool for customer journey mapping but there are still other common errors that can often render customer journey maps ineffective.

Here are six common errors that can make customer journey mapping fail:

1. Collaboration

Get your team and anyone who needs to know the results involved, so they are invested enough to ensure they implement customer-focused actions based on their insights too.

The customer journey includes interactions with many different areas and teams, so a joined-up approach means your customer journey map will include data and insights from all areas of the business.

2. Customers

Don’t forget to involve your customers.

It is them who will provide a depth of understanding. Different customers will have different journeys, so trying to reflect all of your customer segments in a single, generalised map could mean you miss important insights, and fail to make valuable customer experience improvements.

Try not to map every customer and every journey at once. Instead, focus on one at a time, done right, to put your insights into action successfully.

3. Data

While there are website behaviour tools that offer a vast sum of information, that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the customer journey data available.

In addition to knowing how your customers journeyed across your website and the number of clicks they made on a hero product, it’s useful to go beyond that initial website data to also understand what they were trying to do that your site didn’t let them do and how frustrated that made them.

4. Guesswork

Don’t use assumptions to build your map rather than research and don’t structure your map according to your own brand’s internal process priorities, such as sales, only.

You’re after an insightful depiction of your customer’s journey, not your brand’s sales capabilities. No-one knows more about your customers than those customers themselves, so open up to what they’re trying to tell you, even if it differs from what you were expecting/planning for.

5. Touchpoints

Customer journey maps investigate every point of contact between a customer and your brand, so don’t forget to include touchpoints such as post-purchase engagement, which could cause damage if overlooked.

6. Completion

Customer journey maps are only as good as the actions they inform and the results their development and deployment drive, so don’t think of the map as being done.

It is now time to start making the changes needed, which is where the real work begins. Even when you think your customer journey map is complete, you’re still not done. Remember to allocate the time needed to make the changes.


Duncan Keene

Duncan Keene

Duncan has over 10 years experience within software start-ups. One of the initial team at Maxymiser (now part of Oracle Group) Duncan has worked closely with some of the world’s leading ecommerce teams, helping them solve their digital challenges. Duncan currently leads UK operations at ContentSquare, a user experience analytics and optimization platform that helps businesses understand how and why users are interacting with their app, mobile and website. Duncan is equally comfortable discussing UX analytics as he is discussing the fortunes of his beloved (and much maligned) Wolves FC.




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