Why customer experience journey mapping needs ‘big data’ to achieve success

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional
5 min read

CXJM is vital to assist you lay out your plan of attack and begin realizing the opportunities for delivering against customer experience objectives

It’s no secret that a lot of marketers are on a single trajectory and curve with regards to Customer Experience. Even though some are further across the journey than others, virtually all are heading towards the normal goal of achieving an individual customer view. Therefore, most could have also had some contact with Customer Experience Journey Mapping (CXJM) for some reason, shape or form.

As a strategy, CXJM is vital to assist you lay out your plan of attack and begin realizing the opportunities for delivering against customer experience objectives.

When conducted properly, the procedure will provide you with a better knowledge of what the experiences of one’s customers really are and how you can begin to plan effective communications around them.

Part of my role is currently leading the complete Journey Mapping process and, having trialled several approaches, I really believe a CXJM is completed by following these 4 clear stages:

  • Stage 1 – Empathy mapping – completed by core stakeholders, empathy mapping ends with some hypothesis on the audience’s experience to either prove or disprove
  • Stage 2 – Audience interviews – used to supply some rich, qualitative based insights in reaction to the hypothesis defined from the empathy mapping
  • Stage 3 – Mapping experiences – plotting the real customer behaviours over the stages of these experience (we’ve 10 stages that focus on unaware and ends with advocacy)
  • Stage 4 – Extracting the moments of truth – do you know the audience’s defining moments from of their overall experience? When you’re able to answer this, it is possible to define an obvious role for communications in giving an answer to them with the proper content, message or action

By third , method of CXJM it is possible to really begin to understand your audience’s ‘moments of truth’ – the points along their journey that distress or delight.

During the audience interview, the experiences which are captured are ‘conscious’ – folks are recalling and retelling them. But think about capturing those ‘unconscious’ experiences? Those that only online behaviour, and data, results in as an electronic footprint?

Validate with data

This is where overlaying a variety of quantitative and qualitative data is necessary. With the addition of Validate with Data in to the aforementioned process (yes, it’s now a 5 stage process) means it is possible to enrich and gauge the moments of truth with some robust figures alongside the insights from the qualitative interviews.

Let’s be honest, a very important factor most of us have much too a lot of is data (may i still hear an echo of “data may be the new oil” from somewhen in 2012?).  This stage of the procedure puts all that data to good use and will also help inform what data you should harvest (and just why) continue.  The info you utilize to validate the experiences may differ on an incident by case basis.  However, from my experience, listed below are all an excellent place to begin:

  • Search data – a complete treasure trove of insights. Search data can offer you using what people are looking for, what questions they’re asking, on which device so when they did it
  • Social data – demographic along with conversational data. Social listening, and considering sentiment across forums and users comments, can offer a lot more context to the pain and gain points over the customer journey
  • Web analytics – often among the largest resources of data. How are your audience accessing your site? What exactly are they engaging with and what their ‘conversions’?
  • Heuristic assessments – a significant qualitative analysis of both your owned properties and ideally those of one’s competitors

Why search data is indeed invaluable

Search data is ever (really) analyzed by your SEO or Analytics team. However, when working with search data in your CXJM process, search data is really ab-so-lutely invaluable. Simply, the reason being people tell, or ask, Google the reality. People are pleased to ask Google things they might not imagine asking other people. As their search intent becomes more clear through their logged queries, so too do the insights it is possible to glean from their website.

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, writer of Everybody Lies, argues that: “for a number of psychological reasons, Google search is among the best places to source unbiased audience information”.

Putting this into practice – using CX journey mapping to greatly help Londoners of these wellbeing journey

A project from the NHS in London called “Good Thinking” is a good research study where we’ve put this technique into practice.

The overall objective of the project would be to enhance the mental health of Londoners by encouraging them to self-manage their wellbeing.  Our objective was to aggregate, structure and enrich existing research and know how triggering contexts and experiences, connected with poor mental wellbeing, would translate digitally for the NHS.

With CXJM at its core, we followed our 5 stage process and used a variety of empathy and journey mapping, COM-B behavioural analysis, social listening and key word research to discover real conversations, trends, and patterns of behaviour.

The first rung on the ladder was to perform some empathy maps for the main element intended audience groups. This activity involved stakeholders empathizing and mapping out needs, touchpoints, pain points and goals.

Next were the audience interviews, where in fact the experiences of several Londoners was captured into ‘stories’. Their experiences were then mapped onto a CX journey map, which clearly indicated the blockers and challenges faced by them when looking for the proper information they needed online.

Now the moments of truth were known, we could actually use a mix of search and social data to include a complicated layer of information. We took the search data of an incredible number of Londoners and could actually extract several learnings including:

  • What keyphrases are the hottest and common with regards to mental wellbeing
  • Which online touchpoints are people already using
  • What type of information and content they’re being presented with

CX-Map-Example

The social data provided richer context, giving an obvious direction on the correct modulation of voice, and also a validation which platforms were the very best to reach the many cohorts on.

This research was completed this past year and, fast-forwarding to today, we’ve already reached thousands of Londoners and encouraged most of them to access the web resources that the service provides – thus alleviating pressure the stretched physical NHS and saving them thousands of pounds along the way.

Marrying experience mapping with robust search and social data does indeed permit you to develop a successful digital service – whether it’s made to help the fitness of Londoners or something more commercially minded.


For a far more detail with this approach download Fresh Egg’s white paper, ‘Helping Londoners on the journey to mental wellbeing – an electronic research study for the NHS’, to understand:

  • How to recognize and understand the web behaviour, motivations and search intent of individuals, with regards to broad wellbeing conditions
  • Translating granular search data and broader trends into actionable insight
  • Recommendations on what it is possible to digitally build relationships people at different stages of these wellbeing journey

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional

Leave a Comment