4 Myths About Customer Journey Analytics, and How to Push Past Them

Customer experience professionals are constantly faced with a myriad of acronyms and questionable descriptions, which might explain why some have found the term “customer journey analytics” confusing. As a remedy, here we examine some key myths and misunderstandings around customer journey analytics (CJA) and, in explaining why they’re wrong, shed light on why CJA is such a vital part of any customer experience management arsenal. This isn’t an exhaustive list; instead, we’ve aimed to debunk some of the more common misconceptions while also describing how businesses can benefit from customer journey analytics. 

Myth No. 1: CJA technology is as simple as “plug and play”—it gives you an instant view of data without any further input, leading to tangible results.

Reality: Some products do offer out-of-the-box analytics, but to unearth specific issues in the customer journey, businesses must be prepared to put in the leg work.Customer journey analysis requires the identification of the processes, people, and technologies involved. To get this information, companies should use a consultant to gather information by talking to the user groups of specific journeys the business wants to map. The point is that this journey should consist of touch points not just from a consumer perspective but from all back-office and IT processes. This is why businesses should not focus on a data-first approach. Instead, they should put in place the right processes to enable them to get the insight they’re looking for. Organizations must agree on the processes for making changes to the customer journey, from start to finish, before taking the first step and augmenting this plan with data.

Myth No. 2 (closely related to No. 1): The only requirement for improving a customer journey is data.

Reality: In reality, many businesses fail to decide what they want to achieve and set out on improving their customer journeys without having a destination in mind, quickly leading to confused goals and ineffective results. Although data and analysis are critical and should not be underestimated, the most important element is to ascertain exactly what the business wants to achieve. Organizations must take a step back and put plans in place at the beginning of the process that will create a road map to their goals. The key is to decide what they want to achieve or what the business thinks is “broken” before rushing to improve or fix any identified elements.

Myth No. 3: Automation and artificial intelligence are so well developed that CJA tools can learn, auto-correct, and modify parameters based on collected data—companies no longer need to make changes themselves.

Reality: Although this is an attractive idea, to date, no tools in isolation can automate the improvement of customer journeys by themselves. Increasingly, systems do exist that can self-learn and make suggestions for changes, but these can’t work independently. Businesses will still be faced with situations where they must make the analytical models unlearn, relearn, improve, etc., based on the outcomes they’re presented with. Unfortunately, what might look like a perfect fit in one model may not be one in six months’ time. Whether this is due to changes in business operations, product behavior, or customer segments, this isn’t a process that can be totally automated—though it might be in the future.

Myth No. 4: It’s not even clear that improving the customer journey has any tangible impact on the business.

Reality: Though businesses need to realize that customer experience is an ongoing process that can be difficult to measure, good customer experience leads to higher revenue growth, which is one metric every business must pay attention to. According to Forrester, organizations that provide a better customer experience are the ones that grow their revenues most successfully. This is why businesses should be measuring the effect of an improved customer journey on changes in revenue and customer satisfaction—to make sure they’re heading in the right direction.

Clearly, CJA is not an easy task, but having the right team, tools, and processes in place will help businesses glean accurate insights that can make a huge difference to the organization. Used in the right way, customer journey analytics can prove to be a pivotal instrument in improving the customer experience and, more importantly, the bottom line. To do so, though, organizations must ensure they’re committing the right resources to the job.

Sriram Sampath is vice president of the platform development division at Servion Global Solutions.

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