Customer Journey Tracking: How to Use Data to Understand Customers

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What turns a window shopper into a buyer, and fan of the brand? These are the insights performance marketers need to create more personalized customer experiences.

Customer journey tracking is one way you can gain this knowledge, and learn more about your customers, their browsing habits, and their online behavior.

It’s a powerful tool. Tracking and managing customer journeys results is crucial for sales.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to track customer journeys and adopt best practices when incorporating them into your marketing efforts.

Key Takeaways

  • Tracking customer journeys allows you to understand and optimize the way your customers interact with your business, increasing marketing ROI.
  • Good customer journey tracking can accelerate the sales cycle and increase customer retention overall.
  • It can be difficult to find reliable data for complex customer journeys, and there is no ‘one’ customer journey- every customer is different.
  • To streamline the buyer journey, you should identify customer touchpoints, map possible journeys based on real data, and gather customer feedback.
  • From there, you can optimize your customer journey and reap the rewards of customer journey analytics.

Why should you track customer journeys?

Facebook to email subscriber customer journey
Tracking customer journeys provides insights into your customers that might otherwise remain hidden. This helps you to optimize your efforts as a marketer and encourages greater returns on your marketing investments.

From improving customer relationships to maximizing company sales, it’s worth tracking a customer’s journey from start to finish. In addition to key insights, you’ll be equipped to identify critical touchpoints that influence customer conversions.

Other benefits to customer journey tracking include:

Creating a better experience for the customer

As a business, there’s nothing better than creating a positive customer experience, whether it’s for repeat customers or newly converted leads.

Marketers are able to use the insights garnered through customer journey tracking to elevate a customer’s experience and exceed the expectations of customers with every new interaction.

For example, when creating content for your site’s blog, you may want to expand upon some of your most popular products or services and how to use them effectively. That way, once they make a purchase, they have the knowledge required to use it to the fullest. This may also be helpful for prospective customers who are looking for added context before making a purchasing decision.

Personalizing your products and services

Customer journey tracking helps you figure out, through mapping, which products or services customers are engaging with and which ones they’re not.

Using this data, your business can adapt and personalize its products and services to make them more attractive to the customers shopping on your site.

Accelerating sales cycles

By shortening the length of time it takes for your customers to move through the buyer funnel, you’ll accelerate the sales cycle and can potentially make more sales over a shorter period of time.

Using customer journey tracking, you’ll gain knowledge of what makes your customers tick and, more importantly, what makes them spend money. These insights can and drive your business forward.

Identifying pinch points and problem areas

Problem areas and pinch points interrupt the customer journey and slow down the sales cycle. While these interruptions are often unavoidable, customer journey tracking helps you keep an eye out for them and stay in control.

Examples of pinch points could be the appearance of unexpected fees at checkout, or a customer discovering that a product doesn’t have a feature that they need.

Experienced social marketer Aaron Agius notes the impact of these disruptions: “Get to know what roadblocks stop your customer from taking their desired action. Highlighting these potential obstacles in your customer journey can help you mitigate them. For example, you could provide an FAQ page that answers common questions about shipping costs.”

With customer journey mapping in place, you can easily identify and address pinch points.

Increasing customer retention

While acquiring new leads is essential, retaining them is just as important. This helps you to grow brand loyalty and scale up your business.

Customer journey maps help you identify where your website is meeting customer needs, and you can implement any lessons learned to improve the customer experience.

Start your free trial of Funnelytics Performance

Unleash the full potential of Funnelytics with a free 14-day trial and get access to the platform that will help you plan, measure and optimize your customer journeys.

The challenges of customer journey tracking

But before implementing customer journey tracking, it’s important to understand the challenges that may come up and how to overcome them.

The customer’s journey has become complicated and lengthy

Customer journeys aren’t as straightforward as they used to be. With more social media platforms out there, you have more entry points to account for.

Plus, there’s the ever-increasing range of digital devices your customers are using. It makes for a more lengthy and complicated purchase funnel, with added touchpoints along the way.

This can make customer journey tracking more challenging to implement. Thankfully, customer journey mapping provides a way to see the pathways that customers are traveling along, how they are navigating through the channels, and the customer touchpoints they are making.

You can use customer journey analytics to simplify long and complicated customer journeys and use data to build better customer experiences.

Extracting data manually is time-consuming

Traditional methods of customer data collection such as surveys, chatbots, and purchase histories often leave valuable data siloed away and difficult to access.

Customer journey mapping software like Funnelytics collates data from multiple sources and saves your team time and labor you’d otherwise spend extracting data manually.

Not all customers follow the same journey

Creating multiple customer personas helps you to distinguish the various types of people who engage with your brand.

Trying to map every buyer persona to a single customer journey is complicated—and misleading.

Every buyer persona will have a different buying pattern and their own pinch points. Added to that, they have different emotions and motivations that influence their path toward a purchase.

When utilizing customer journey mapping tools, you need to prepare to design maps that target every buyer persona your brand has.

With a standalone customer journey map for each user, you can create targeted content planning and personalized strategies that help level up the customer experience.

How to track customer journeys (and streamline the buying process)

Hopefully, by now, you understand the importance of customer journey mapping tools and how they contribute to converting leads into customers. But how do you track customer journeys effectively, while also streamlining the buying process?

There are a number of steps you should take as a marketer to successfully map, track, and monitor your customer’s journey.

1. Set your marketing goals

Establishing marketing goals gives your whole team a deeper understanding of what these customer journey-mapping tools are trying to achieve.

With no goals in place, you’re likely to be navigating this task with no direction and that’ll hinder the effectiveness of the software you use.

If you don’t make time to define your marketing goals up front, things may become confusing down the line, and you could risk wasting time and money.

To set marketing goals effectively, you should:

  • Define each goal
  • Allocate resources
  • Set customer journey KPIs
  • Establish a clear timeline

2. Identify your customer touchpoints

With so many potential sources, it can be tricky to figure out where customers are starting out. But, with the right customer journey mapping tools, you’ll be able to successfully pinpoint the moment your customer begins their journey.

That could be when they started engaging with your website or your social media handles. Or, it could be the searches they made on Google.

Once you’ve identified that starting point, you can track the customer journey until they either convert or drop off. This enables you to identify other moments along the journey where customers may be facing a pain point.

This part of the process is important because it provides clarity to the customer journey, which you need before implementing any improvements.

Start your free trial of Funnelytics Performance

Unleash the full potential of Funnelytics with a free 14-day trial and get access to the platform that will help you plan, measure and optimize your customer journeys.

3. Use a customer journey analytics solution

Customer journey tracking with Funnelytics
Once you’ve established your marketing goals and identified those all-important customer touchpoints, it’s time to introduce the right customer journey mapping tools. There are plenty out there, like Funnelytics, for example.

With Funnelytics as your customer journey analytics software, mapping your customer’s journey is easy.

Its easy-to-use, drag-and-drop visual canvas allows you to:

  • Plan customer journeys and measure performance in real-time
  • Visually map how people get to your site and navigate your channels
  • Centralize your performance data without using multiple tools
  • Express ideas clearly to team members using the funnel mapping feature
  • Make quick changes to finished funnels without disrupting the rest of the funnel.
Funnelytics is highly regarded for customer journey analytics because of its collaborative and easy-to-use features. It gives you the opportunity to create visually and aesthetically pleasing customer journey maps that deliver the results you need.

In the words of one G2 crowd reviewer: “There seems to be nothing Funnelytics cannot track.”

There’s an abundance of customer journey analytics tools to choose from, with other examples being:

  • Insider: Connect customer data from cross-channel experiences with its AI intent engine.
  • Contentsquare: Intuitive technology that delivers more human experiences with accessibility and privacy.
  • HubSpot Marketing Hub: Provide personalized experiences that attract and convert customers at scale.
  • Glassbox: Create frictionless digital journeys in real-time and across multiple channels to accelerate growth.
  • MoEngage: Empowers marketers to map customer journeys, gather insights, and view them in single unified profiles for each customer.

4. Assess the performance of customers and gather customer feedback

Funnelytics people filter feature
Creating customer journey maps is just the beginning. From there, marketers can score the performance of their customer journeys and start to pinpoint the ones that require more observation and a proactive approach.

Customers with a high net promoter score (NPS) have a higher lifetime value. In many industries, NPS accounted for around 20% to 60% of the variation in organic growth rates among competitors.

Using a scoring method as part of your measuring and monitoring of customer journeys will help identify ways to improve and grow the impact of your marketing efforts.

Don’t forget to ask your customers for feedback too. Customer feedback is the secret ingredient you might be lacking when it comes to measuring the performance of the entire customer journey. This additional insight will help you to improve customer engagement.

Best practices and expert tips for customer journey tracking

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to customer journey mapping. You’ll need to tweak your customer journey map template to suit your specific marketing needs.

With that in mind, here are some best practices and expert tips when conducting customer journey tracking.

Develop your customer personas

Gather data and create distinct buyer personas for the various types of people who interact with your business.

Make sure you’re utilizing a variety of methods when it comes to lead generation. That way, you’ve got a rich source of data to conduct deep dives of the results. This will help to clearly distinguish one buyer persona from the next.

Create unique maps for different customers

To make sure you’re creating a quality experience for these different kinds of customers, design unique journey maps for each buyer persona.

Creating one map to track all buyer personas becomes overly complicated and confusing. You’re dealing with a multitude of different buyer habits and behaviors and it’s important to be able to track them with clarity.

By designing maps for each of your different buyer personas, you can provide your marketing team with a clear overview of the various routes people are taking through your sales funnel.

Track every step in the entire customer journey

Funnelytics customer journey step explorer
When using customer journey analytics software, make sure to track every step within the journey of the customer.

They may begin by seeing an advertisement online and then click through to the product page for the first time, before reaching the endpoint where they check out.

The tracking goes beyond just that initial purchase, especially when it comes to identifying which touchpoints lead to the customer making another purchase.

Measure your outcomes

There are a number of KPIs that are worth setting up to monitor each stage of the customer journey. These may include:

  • Awareness: Track impressions, bounce rates, and time spent on specific pages
  • Consideration: Monitor click-through rates, track clicks, and cost-per-click
  • Decision: Track conversion rates and cost-per-conversion
  • Retention: Assess customer satisfaction and customer lifetime value, and track customer loyalty
  • Advocacy: Record referrals and customer performance scores.

Start tracking, analyzing, and optimizing your customer journeys

Using a customer journey mapping tool offers many benefits, from creating better customer experiences to accelerating sales cycles, personalizing your products, and identifying problem areas within your buyer funnel.

Funnelytics is an effective customer journey analytics tool that helps you to better track your customers and analyze their interactions.

If you’re looking to enhance customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, consider investing in a customer journey analytics tool like Funnelytics.

It’s a great way to discover every individual customer path taken towards your products or services and make better-informed marketing decisions.

Start your free trial today.

Start your free trial of Funnelytics Performance

Unleash the full potential of Funnelytics with a free 14-day trial and get access to the platform that will help you plan, measure and optimize your customer journeys.


Picture of Mikael Dia

Mikael Dia

Founder & CEO @ Funnelytics Inc.

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