Customer Experience Analytics Formula Blog

Creating Journey Reports to Understand Customer Journeys and Optimize Conversions

Posted by Steven Perry on Dec 5, 2017 7:00:00 AM


Your customers are engaging with your business across many different journeys – with customer interactions taking place over multiple channels, devices and visits -- and engagements occurring anywhere and anytime.   At the same time, in a competitive environment where your customers have increasing expectations to enjoy optimal experiences at every touchpoint, addressing the challenge of visualizing and understanding your customers’ complete journeys is essential for enriching experiences, building loyal customers, and maximizing conversions. 


Analysis Overview

Creating journey reports in IBM Watson Customer Experience Analytics (CXA) allows you to quantify and visualize customer journeys – individually and in aggregate – across devices, channels and touchpoints, offering you the opportunity to quickly compare path popularity, duration, revenue and customer values across unique segments (i.e., web, mobile, email, etc.) and the ability to resolve potential issues, increase conversions and optimize every journey to create loyal customers.


Analysis Benefits

  • Visualize a consolidated view of customer journeys to recognize the most traveled paths, the shortest paths, the paths that generate the most revenue and the paths that are most successful in leading to conversions.
  • Identify where customers may struggle or succeed in their paths and drill down for a deeper understanding of customer journeys and the source of customer friction or customer conversions.
  • Examine how activity in one customer path may impact performance in other paths, allowing you to optimize all customer journeys and increase conversions in all channels.


Analysis Formula

This customer experience analytics (CXA) formula will assist you with creating customer journey reports in Watson CXA to offer you a complete view of the multi-channel paths your customer take, enabling you to identify the paths that are the most relevant to your business, such as paths that lead to conversions or paths that top-tier buyers pursue, allowing you to drill deeper and uncover insight you can use to optimize all channels and customer journeys.   In addition, the analysis of journey reports can also assist you with evaluating the paths that may require additional optimization to increase conversions.   


Components of journey reports

As you can configure journey reports to focus on analysis of particular audiences or specific customer interactions pertinent to your business, it is first helpful to understand the key components of journey reports.

  • Audiences: A journey report can be configured to include all of your customers or just a specific audience, such as top-tier buyers or customers from a specific demographic group.
  • Top paths: Top paths are identified through four metrics, including path duration, most traveled, average revenue generated per customer and how many unique customers traveled the path.   Journey reports can be configured to include the top five paths in the report results or only the top path.
  • Touch points: A touch point is the starting point or the ending point for a path in a journey report.  You must define at least one touch point—a start point or an end point -- or you can define both a start point and an end point.
  • Range of interactions: Touch points are the foundation that defines where the path starts or ends. If you define both a start and end point for a path, the path results include all interactions that occurred between the two touch points.  If you define only a start point as a touch point, you can specify how many days from the start point you want to look forward for interactions. If you define only an end point, you can specify how many days from the end point to look backward for interactions.


Creating customer journey reports

To create a journey report in Watson CXA to visualize the customer journey paths or patterns that you want to analyze for your business, do the following:

  1. In the navigation panel, click Create > Journey report. 
  2. From the Audience menu of the report builder panel, click the Edit icon to select an audience, or accept the default value of All customers.
  3. In the Interactions menu, click the Starting or Ending icon, or click one of the touch points on the page to add an interaction. Then, select an interaction to associate with the touch point.
  4. Accept the default date range to report on or you may click Modify to change it.
  5. While optional, you can add one or more filter conditions to the event by doing the following:
    1. Click Add filter and select an event attribute and operator from the lists.
    2. Enter a value to filter on.   If you want to add another filter criterion, click +.
    3. Select the filtering logic that you want to use from the list at the top of the window and then click Apply:
      • Satisfy all below applies AND logic to the filter processing where events must meet all of the listed filter conditions to be included in the results.
      • Satisfy any below applies OR logic to the filter processing where events that meet any of the listed filter conditions are included in the results.
  6. Then click Apply to add the interaction to the report configuration.  
    • Note:  If you want to define another interaction, repeat the process of selecting an interaction, date range and filter conditions (if applicable.)
  7.  In the Look period menu, you can specify the number of days in the range or accept the default range of 14 days.
    • Note:  If your path includes both a starting interaction and an ending interaction, you do not need to specify a look-back or look-forward range, as the report results will include all interactions that occurred between the starting and ending interactions.
      1. Enter the number of days to look back or forward in the box and then click Done 
  8. From the Metrics menu, select a criteria for ranking the paths in the report results:
    • Top journeys of individual metric. This option returns results for the top five journeys ranked according to the metric you select:  Most traveled, Duration, Average revenue, or Unique customers.
    • Top journey for all metrics. This option returns the top journey for each of the four metrics.
  9. To compile your journey report, click Generate.  You can then accept the default report name or change it or add a description.  Save your report by clicking Save.


Customer Journey image.png


Accessing and analyzing journey reports

Watson CXA processes two report types for your customers’ journeys:  Channel Analysis and Pattern Analysis.    By default, a journey report opens with the journey channel analysis results displayed when you click Manage > Journey reports and select the report you want from the list.  By then clicking on the Report type menu, you can switch to the journey pattern analysis results for your report.

  • Accessing journey channel data: Helps you analyze your journey channel data by providing four path view types: Separated view, Time-lapsed view, Merged view, and Mindset view.
  • Analyzing journey patterns: Helps you discover the sequences of customer behavior that have the greatest impact on the customer journey by using journey pattern analysis.


Using customer journey reports

While there are many use cases for customer journey reports, for this formula example we will apply journey channel analysis to analyze and understand the customer journeys that led to conversions and use this insight to successfully support a new product launch.   

  1. Configure the journey report to understand the paths of top-tier buyers
    1. As we want to better understand what led the top-tier buyers to convert on previous purchases of similar products, we configure the journey report to show only the paths that were taken by these buyers by selecting Top Tier Buyers from the Audience menu.
    2. There may be several successful paths by top-tier buyers, so we will select to view the top five most-traveled paths by selecting this option from the Report options menu. Or, you can select to view just the top path from the options menu, if you wish.
    3. For the selection of the end touch points of the paths, we will select the Cart Purchased event, as we want our report to capture only the paths that resulted in a conversion.
      1. Additional filters can also be applied to this event. For this formula example, we will apply a filter to specify the cart purchase of a particular product, as we want to identify the top paths for customers who converted or purchased a particular product, so that we can apply this insight to the launch of a similar product. 
  2. Analyzing the results of our journey report
    1. The journey channel report results show the top five most traveled paths that led to the purchase of our specified product.
    2. Each path shows the channels that customers used to interact with our brand, and the paths are sorted by most traveled in descending order. The report also provides metrics to compare paths by duration, average revenue, and number of unique customers.
    3. If we want to visually compare the top five paths along the time dimension, we can switch to the Time-lapsed view to quickly gauge the time elapsed between individual channels within a path.
  3. Drill into channel activity for deeper insight
    1. Drilling into the most frequently traveled path in the channel summary, we see an aggregate view of the customer interactions that the top-tier buyers completed in the different channels along their path to purchasing our particular product.
    2. By analyzing the interactions of top-tier buyers, we can identify what influenced their purchase.
      1. Perhaps they first opened a promotional email with a 10% discount offer, clicked the email link to the product summary page on the website, and then launched the promotional product video before making their purchase. Or, maybe they were influenced through a social media promotion to visit the product page, and they then downloaded a product brochure before finalizing their purchase.   By drilling down into the channel activity, we can uncover what interactions led to conversions and replicate those offerings to support conversions for our new product launch.


While our formula example utilizes journey channel analysis to gain insight into customer journeys, journey reports can also be configured to provide journey pattern analysis to help identify high-impact customer behavior patterns in customer journeys.   Armed with deeper insight into your customers’ interactions and journeys using journey reports in Watson CXA, you are better able to replicate successful customer paths, resolve potential issues or customer struggles, and optimize journeys in all channels to increase conversions.  


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Topics: Watson Customer Experience Analytics, IBM Watson Customer Experience Analytics, Watson CXA, customer journeys, journey reports

About this blog

The CXA Formula Blog is designed to provide formulas or recipes in using IBM Watson Customer Experience Analytics and Tealeaf CX on Cloud. This includes formulas in digital analysis, customer experience analytics, journey analytics, and Universal Behavior Exchange. These formulas are designed to provide you insight and best practices in customer analytics.

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