Customer Journey Mining: using event data to rethink the customer journey

Nowadays customers are more informed, use different channels to interact in different stages of their customer journey to the company they are doing business with. Customers undoubtly own their own “Journey” as they interact sometimes briefly via the available channels. To track them down we need to learn their behavior and predict and identify the sometimes brief moments of interaction. Process Mining can help you with that. Events rule Customer Journeys and Process Mining makes sense of events. Learning about the Customer Journey helps to understand the Customer better and identify business moments.

Customer Journey Analytics

Customers when buying a product or service typically go through the stages as depicted below.
During these stages Customers or prospects might use different channels to interact. For Journey Analytics one challenge would be to determine the relevance of each contact moment and with that to determine which of the Touchpoints to take in scope for Customer Journey Analytics. Normally that is done in a structured brainstorm session with different stakeholders in a company.
Customer Journey Analytics, goes through the following steps:

  1. Gathering: Identify and collect data from different channels
  2. Connecting: Connect data from different sources through customer identifiers
  3. Visualizing: Study journeys, get behavioral insights, identify bottle-necks and high friction zones

  4. Acting: Real time recommendations, tune offerings, optimize processes.

Optimal customer journeys result in greater Customer Lifetime Value, increased revenues and higher profitability. However, in order to optimize it effectively, we first need to understand the customer’s journey.

Why is it difficult to track the customer journey?

When we aim to track the entire customer journey, we need different types of data to create a customer’s profile. Understanding a customer from all touchpoints, requires us to look at customer’s transactional data, demographic data, behavioral data, other forms of structured or unstructured data which sometimes is fragmented and/or isolated. There is no shortage of customer data coming from various sources such as data from social media, data from a company’s own systems or database, surveys, third party sources and data from other online activities. The challenge now is to collect all this data across the diverse touchpoints in order to track the entire customer journey.
Another challenge is to map the entire customer journey to create a visual representation of this journey to be able to take meaningful decisions based on the insights. Customer journey mapping can help to tell the story of your customer’s experience at different stages. It can also help understand more complex customer journeys easily and make wise business choices.

How can analytics help map the customer journey?

With dispersed data sources, analytics can help deliver more in dept insights. Analyzing lots of detailed data has become possible due to the digital transformation in the past few years which was not possible before. While there is a bulk of data and information available, there are still white spots while tracking the entire path of the customer journey. This is where analytics comes into play. Analytics can play a vital role in helping companies better understand each customer and enhance the overall customer journey accordingly. In return, prospects and customers are able to get personalized information (and discounts) according to their interests instead of irrelevant spam – a win-win situation. Due to the always changing customer mindset and the journey getting more complicated over time, we should use advanced methods like Process Mining to better understand behavior patterns.

Why Process Mining?

Process Mining is a process management technique supported by software which visualize processes based on event logs, which are stored in company systems and databases. With this visualization, analysis can more easily be performed, which was cumbersome, ineffective and subjective before.
There are different types of data about the customer like transactions data, behavioral data, geographical data etc. which can help an organization understand the customer through different touchpoints. This technique helps understand that data at a granular level and can help trace the entire customer journey.
There are three types of use cases in customer journey mapping using Process Mining:

  1. Discovery – This technique takes online and offline data and produces a visual process model.
  2. Conformance – here, each instance of the customer journey is mapped to the predefined ‘golden journey’ and checked for deviations per customer or group of customers.
  3. Improvement –  By spotting inefficiencies and comparing with best practices, processes can be improved, which helps to improve the customer journey

For a website, Process Mining can help trace the entire customer path and give insights on which pages are better influencing the customer, which pages are the customers liking, at which pages are the customers dropping off, etc.

But also how long and how often certain pages are visited, in which order. It will also show you where the customers are on their journey, which will help companies take a more informed decision about how to overcome these challenges and provide real- time, instantaneous assistance to the customers.
Used correctly, Process Mining will be able to deliver deep-dive insights and a more granular understanding of the entire customer journey. It will help target the customer at the right time, with the relevant information, thereby delivering a superior, customized customer experience.
In summary Process Mining in this context helps to

  • Understand the Customer better
  • Control drop out of (potential) customers
  • Improve the Customer Journey and the supporting Processes
  • Find new opportunities

To learn more about process mining and how this can help to analyze the customer journey, get in touch with our team.

Eric Hellemons
Call: +31 6 18 84 61 98

Enno Kroesen
Call: +31 6 38 78 79 57

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