You don’t have to be blind when building new software features, especially since so much dev time and money goes into every stage of release. What can we do to make sure the features we release are consistent with what our customers want?
One way is to build a customer journey map for your company.
Having a document like this is like having a road map before you go on an epic car journey. Making data driven decisions around feature releases and product updates becomes a breeze. Especially if you have the data to back it up. It’s a fine balance between actionable insights and just more noise from irrelevant data, and building a document that’s reliable does take a little time. However having a solid customer journey map will help your company obtain reliable and actionable insights on what your customers are actually doing inside your app, making arguments for and against using valuable resources much easier.
What Is A Customer Journey Map?
A document that maps how customers move through an application from first touch point to exit.
What better way to understand customers than through their behavior? If we can anticipate a customers needs before they get to a certain milestone in your app, we’ll know how to move them to the next step. Perhaps this is with a well placed call to action or shopping cart. (More on how having a customer journey map helps build better software here)
Customer journey maps are designed to sit alongside customer personas and analytic tools. You may already have a wealth of tools to give your team a sample sizes of your audience. However, to build a reliable customer journey map, it’s essential that you are able to understand how customers are using your software in these key areas:
- Most popular pages
Here they are in more detail. We’ll also look at how a Real User Monitoring tool like Pulse can provide a reliable data source when understanding the journey a customer takes through your app.
Find Your Most Popular Pages Using A Customer Journey Mapping Tool
Check your most popular pages and see where they’re located on your customer journey map.
It’s in your best interest to get and keep these pages incident free. No one wants bugs and slow load times to affect their workflow.
Your most requested pages could be responsible for most of the hits to your server. Find out where possible stress points are and optimize them before your customers receive a negative experience.
In Pulse, you can easily determine the most requested pages by navigating to the ‘Performance’ tab. You can then view the ‘Most requested pages’ table.
Now you know what pages your customers use the most, check the page load times with the colored bars on the right of the page URL. Is the load time surprisingly slow? Find out why by digging deeper.
(Read up on how to do a quick page load speed check)
When you click on a page link, you can find out all the requests on that page. This is paramount in determining what you and your team can fix, optimize or remove.
Are there images which are adding significant, precious seconds to the load time? Consider CSS instead.
For the product and design teams, look through the most requested pages and see if there’s anything these pages have in common to make them the most popular among your users. Is there anything your team can replicate in other areas of your site or app?
What happens, though, if you checked the most requested pages and something isn’t matching what you originally thought?
This is where the next point comes in…
If you worked hard on a feature you expected to be part of the customer journey map, but see the page it’s on doesn’t even make it to the top 20 of the most requested pages, it can be disheartening.
The first place to look is the data that you used to support this feature in the first place. If that data is reliable, perhaps the way you expected customers to navigate needs an adjustment.
Here’s an example:
You get a support ticket asking where a particular setting is. You find that user in Pulse and check the paths they took in their most recent sessions to try and find the setting. You can see they were way off.
You then see how many support tickets over the past 6 months have asked for the same thing. If there is an unreasonable amount, you can then take action to make it easier for customers to find the notification settings.
In Pulse, you can easily view user session and see the exact pages they visited. You can also view how long they spent on a page, and check their experiences for each. If you see a page has a slow load time, just click on it and view why.
There are two ways to view user sessions:
- Using the Sessions tab: Click on the magnifying glass to the right of the user to view their session
- Using the Users tab: Click on a user and view all their sessions in the Session table. Click on a date to dig deeper into a particular session
On top of viewing session page views, Pulse displays which devices and platforms are the most popular among your users.
This brings us to the last point…
By now, you’ve found the most popular pages on your site and optimized them for seamless customer experiences.
You’ve tweaked your customer journey map based on actual user behavior – and may have done some customer research into the way individuals are navigating your app.
Now it’s time to tie them together by building a solid platform experience.
More than half of the time someone uses the internet is on a mobile device. But just because the trend is there, doesn’t mean you have spend hours bloating your site or web app with features for mobile devices.
Company time – dev, marketing, product, support – is precious. Use data to back up your decisions.
You may find that less people than you thought used your site on a mobile device. From here, you need to determine if this is because your site isn’t particularly mobile friendly or because people prefer to use your site on a desktop.
How would you find this out? The old fashioned way – ask them!
As mentioned in the second point, you can check out user sessions with Pulse. Every session also has user data. If you have a site or app with a sign in, you can capture contact information, such as email.
Data is vital in giving you information on customer behavior. Using this data to map how customers are using your app can help drive major decisions on resource allocation and allow you to have confidence in your decisions.
Do you want to dig deeper into your customer? Pulse Real User Monitoring allows you to see exactly how individuals are moving through your app so you can put your resources where they count.
Trial Raygun Pulse for 14 days here and ship with confidence.