Best Practices on Customer Journey Mapping

February 2, 2016 Josh Webber

Determining the customer journey is the first step in establishing a customer success strategy. It essentially maps out the ideal path to attain recurring value for your customer so that your organization gets recurring revenue.

A customer journey process is incredibly important because it allows you to track, measure, and monitor customers throughout their entire lifecycle with your product. Throughout the journey, measuring your customer’s health allows you to take proactive measures when required to ensure successful delivery of your business value. 

Here are the five key steps to help you easily chart your customer journey:

  1. Define the customer lifecycle stages

  2. Identify milestones and events that require attention at each stage

  3. Monitor health scores and alerts

  4. Define key customer success engagement plans for each stage

  5. Implement a feedback loop, using signal analysis


1. Define The Customer Lifecycle Stages
Understanding which stage customers are in will help determine how successful your customers are. Typically, companies have the following three stages:

Stage 1: Onboarding

Onboarding starts after someone has purchased the product and before they have seen their first value. Ensure a smooth start to your customer’s journey by using the right support and resources from your company to implement and deploy your solution. Onboarding ends when the customer first begins seeing the business impact and value of using your solution.

Stage 2: Established

Ideally, at this stage your product and the value it delivers is already integral to the customer’s success. However, constant monitoring is required to make sure the customer stays on track. Ongoing milestones are based on establishing goals around product usage and adoption, increased user engagement, user growth, and advocacy.

Stage 3: Pre-Renewal

It is particularly important for your customer success team to address any outstanding issues that may cause a negative experience for the customer. Renewals can also be a good time for upsell or add-on sales to accounts that are in good health, so monitoring positive behavior is also essential. 

2. Identify Milestones And Events That Require Attention At Each Stage
Highlighting key milestones such as usage of key features will show whether or not your customer is seeing value at each stage. Each milestone helps determine how long it should take for a customer to accomplish this.

It is important to track any key events (positive or negative) that may need your team’s attention. Using active, real-time monitoring to notify your Customer Success team about these actions enables them to proactively monitor customers and manage them appropriately.

3. Monitor Health Scores and Alerts
After determining the milestones and events that must be tracked, you are now ready to build a customer health score for each stage. The health score tells you whether an account is happy, at risk or somewhere in the middle. Monitoring this health score over a period of time will inform you where the customer is and why their status has changed. In addition, alerts can be set up to notify you of changes in account status so you can resolve any issues as soon as they occur.

4. Define Key Customer Success Engagement Plans For Each Stage
Customized your Customer Success Engagement Plans and defined programs to help your team target the right set of users and move them to the next stage in their journey. These plans can be as simple as a phone call or more complex including automated email campaigns and in-person training.

5. Implement A Feedback Loop, Using Signal Analysis
Implementing technology to help you measure, map, and track your customer’s journey allows you to drill-down into each milestone and verify, through data, that you are looking at the right metrics.

Once you’ve established your customer journey it is important to revisit it regularly with any data you have collected to ensure that it evolves along with your customers. 


About Totango:
Totango is the leader in customer success management. The company helps SaaS and subscription businesses take a data-driven approach to reducing churn, driving customer adoption and advocacy, and maximizing lifetime revenue. 

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