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measure customer experience

How to measure Customer Journey

This is a super-comprehensive guide on how to measure the Customer Journey as a whole, by phases, and by specific touchpoints.

By measuring the Customer Journey, you can get actionable insights into your customers’ motives, emotions, and behavior. This can reveal areas where customers may be dropping off or facing friction, allowing you to then use that knowledge and improve your Customer Experience.

The Customer Journey can be analyzed in a variety of ways, including measuring the entire journey as a whole or breaking it down into individual stages and touchpoints.

What is the difference between Customer Journey and Customer Experience?

The Customer Journey is the process a customer goes through when engaging with a brand to purchase its product or service. It covers the specific progression of the customer across every touchpoint, starting from when they first discover the brand (awareness stage), to the final purchase and turning into a brand advocate.

Consumer Experience, on the other hand, refers to a customer’s overall impression of a brand based on interactions throughout the customer journey, including aspects such as product quality, customer service, and any other factors that influence their opinion.

The Customer Journey plays a great part in the overall Customer Experience. CX is, however, more holistic and includes a wider range of factors than just the Customer Journey.

What gets measured, gets done.

Why measure Customer Journey?

Measuring the Customer Journey will help you understand how you are seen by your customers. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a great way to track and measure CX, but understanding WHICH ones to measure, WHEN measurements should be taken, and HOW to interpret the results can be tricky.

To start measuring your Customer Journey, you need a plan. You could measure the journey as a whole, measure the stages of the journey, or measure individual touchpoints. 

But first, it would be helpful to have a Customer Journey map. This map will identify all the journey phases and touchpoints for a more straightforward measurement.

What is a Customer Journey Map?

A Customer Journey Map is a visual storyline of the Customer Journey. It depicts the individual touchpoints and steps a customer goes through while engaging with a brand ‒ from customers’ initial awareness of the product or service to post-purchase review. 

Its purpose is to help businesses better understand the customer experience, identify pain points and areas for improvement, and align business goals with customer requirements and expectations.

How to measure the Customer Journey as a whole

Measuring the customer journey means measuring customer success during all phases and via all journey touchpoints. The essential metrics for overall success are:

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): Measures customer loyalty and advocacy, or how many of your customers are likely to recommend your products/services to a friend. This is usually done on a scale of 1 to 10. It can help you understand how the overall experience works in the journey, including customer sentiment towards products, pricing, onboarding, retail experience, marketing, touchpoints, brand, and customer service.
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): Determines how satisfied your customers are with your products/services and the customer experience you provide. This measures how happy or unhappy they are with an overall product/service or specific features (for example, returning a product).
  • Customer Effort Score (CES): Measures the effort customers require to achieve what they want, including placing an order, getting a question answered, resolving an issue, or returning a product. Usually, the higher the customer effort, the lower the customer loyalty.
Happy customer, texting while in front of a laptop

How to measure Customer Journey by phases

Measuring customer journey phases means measuring each stage your customers will go into when becoming part of your journey.

There are 5 most common customer journey phases (for both SaaS and B2B).

1st phase: Awareness/Evaluation
2nd phase: Consideration/Onboarding
3rd phase: Purchase/Adoption
4th phase: Retention/Renewal
5th phase: Loyalty/Advocacy

Colleagues discussing Customer Experience metrics, pointing at a chart displayed on a laptop in front of them.

1st phase: Awareness or Evaluation

Are your customers aware of your brand, products/services, and features?

The essential metrics to measure in this phase are:

  • Share of Voice (SOV) in the market: Measures your brand’s market share compared to your competitors. SOV measures your brand’s visibility and how much you control the conversation within your industry.
  • Website visits/website users: Measures the number of visits or users created on your website over time.

    2nd phase: Consideration or Onboarding

    Are customers looking for your brand when they want to buy the type of product/service you offer?

    The essential metrics to measure in this phase are:

    • Organic keyword traffic: Measures the volume of a keyword used in search engines to attract free website traffic over time.
    • Direct website traffic: Measures the volume of visitors that arrive at your website directly, without first clicking on a link on another website.
    • Monthly Active Users (MAU): Measures how many users actively engage with your product or service over a specific time. In this case, the number of active users in a month.
    • Store visits (if physical store available): Provides the number of people who have visited your physical store over time.

    3rd phase: Purchase or Adoption

    Are customers completing their purchases once they begin the purchasing process?

    The essential metrics to measure in this phase are:

    • Abandoned cart rate: Determines the total number of completed purchases divided by the number of carts created.
    • Store visits vs. Purchases (if physical store available): Measures how many people have visited your store and purchased a product/service you are selling.

    4th phase: Retention or Renewal

    Do your customers return to your brand for a second purchase after the initial one?

    The essential metrics to measure in this phase are:

    • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): Determines ​​the total value of a customer to a company throughout their relationship.
    • Customer Retention Rate: ​​Measures the number of customers who return to your business or continue to pay for your product/services after a certain period.
    • Customer Churn Rate: Measures how many customers have left your company over time or are no longer paying for your product/services.
    • Customer service ticket volume: Measures the number of tickets customers submit over a period of time.
    • The number of return visitors: Measures the number of customers that return for a possible second or third purchase after their initial one or after they have visited your store within a determined time frame.

    5th phase: Loyalty or Advocacy

    How likely is it for your customers to recommend your brand after shopping with you?

    The essential metrics to measure in this phase are:

    • Customer Referral Rate: Measures how many people refer and recommend your brand to their friends or colleagues. It is the ratio between referred purchases and total purchases.
    • Net Promoter Score (NPS): Measures the likelihood of your customers recommending your product/service to others.
    • Sentiment via social listening: Measures what is being said about your brand on social networks and if it is negative, positive, or neutral.
    A paper with charts on measuring Customer Experience

    How to measure Customer Journey specific touchpoints

    Measuring specific Customer Journey touchpoints means defining all possible touchpoints (how customers act with your brand) and setting specific measures to see how each touchpoint performs.

    Here are some examples:

    Example #1: Digital touchpoint metrics (in case of an online store or web-based service placement):

    • Chat/call/ticket volume: Measures the number of chats, calls, or tickets received over a certain time period. This shows precisely how many of your customers need help.
    • First contact resolution: Measures how many of your customers resolved their problems in a single interaction.
    • Average resolution time: Measures how long it takes to resolve a customer’s problem, on average.
    • Average response time: Measures how long it takes for the customer experience rep (CXR) to respond to a customer query.
    • The number of tickets reopened: Measures the number of tickets reopened over a specific period because the customer was dissatisfied with the initial support and must return for the correct solution.
    • Average handle time (AHT): measures the total amount of time spent in conversation with each customer by each contact center agent – including hold time and time spent completing forms or other tasks as a result of the conversation – and the length of the conversation itself.
    • Customer satisfaction survey: Determines how satisfied your customers are with your customer support, services, or products.
    • Frequency of up-sells & cross-sells: The number and frequency of up-sells/cross-sells made.

    Example #2: Physical touchpoint metrics (in the case of a retail store):

    • Store visits vs. number of purchases
    • Total order value/cart size
    • Overall sales in retail
    • The number of queries for the staff
    • Overall cross-sell & up-sell

    6 simple yet powerful strategies to improve customer retention

    Can you remember the last time you re-engaged with your customers and tried to win them back?

    These strategies will do exactly that and more.

    Drawing a conclusion

    Measuring your customer experience is more than necessary. It’s crucial. There are so many factors to consider and so many metrics to follow. Those metrics will tell you different aspects of your customer’s journey with your brand.