Top 10 Features to Look for in Customer Journey Management Platforms

This blog post lists the most commonly sought-after features in customer journey management platforms (CJMPs).

In today's competitive business landscape, understanding your customers' journey is paramount to success. According to Forbes, companies that lead in customer experience outperform laggards by nearly 80%! So, it's no wonder that customer journey management platforms have emerged as invaluable assets, allowing businesses to visualize and analyze the paths customers take while interacting with their brands. These tools offer insights that drive strategic decision-making, enhance customer experiences, and ultimately boost revenue. However, with a myriad of options available, it's crucial to discern the key features that make a customer journey management tool effective and impactful.


1. User-Friendly Interface

A user-friendly interface is not only fundamental but also crucial in ensuring that businesses can effectively utilize a customer journey management platform. The tool should go beyond just facilitating easy navigation; it should empower users to intuitively create, edit, and visualize customer journey maps with unparalleled ease. By incorporating drag-and-drop functionality, customizable templates, and a straightforward design interface, practitioners can ensure seamless usability and enhance their overall productivity.

The drag-and-drop functionality allows users to effortlessly add various touchpoints and interactions onto the customer journey map, making it simple to track and analyze the entire customer experience. With just a few clicks, practitioners can map out the different stages of the customer journey, from initial awareness to the final purchase decision and everything in between.

Moreover, customizable templates offer businesses the flexibility to tailor their customer journey maps to their specific industry, target audience, or unique business goals. By being able to modify and adapt these templates easily, CXers can create highly personalized and detailed customer journey maps that accurately reflect their brand's individual customer experience.

Additionally, a straightforward design interface is essential in ensuring that users can easily navigate through the tool and make quick adjustments or updates to their customer journey maps. This intuitive interface allows them to visualize the customer journey in a clear and concise manner, making it easier to identify pain points, areas of improvement, and potential opportunities for customer engagement.


2. Integrations

Look for tools that offer seamless integration of data from diverse sources both at the front end and the back end. What do we mean by this? Frontend data integrations can be CRM systems, analytics platforms, and surveys - insights such as CSAT (Customer Satisfaction), NPS (Net Promoter Scores), brand assessment tools, etc. These tools enable businesses to identify meaningful patterns, trends, and pain points along the customer journey. By harnessing the power of data integration and analytics, practitioners can make data-driven decisions that have a significant impact on their overall customer experience and bottom line.

Integrating data from different sources allows businesses to gain a comprehensive understanding of their customers and their interactions across multiple touchpoints. This integrated data can reveal valuable insights, such as which customer segments are most profitable and where potential bottlenecks or pain points exist.

Furthermore, robust analytics capabilities enable businesses to delve deeper into the data and uncover hidden trends or patterns that may not be immediately apparent. By analyzing customer behavior at each stage of the journey, practitioners can identify areas of improvement, optimize their marketing strategies, and personalize their customer interactions. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have become invaluable tools in this field, thanks to their remarkable capacity to analyze vast amounts of data and uncover meaningful patterns swiftly.

In addition to identifying patterns and trends, robust analytics capabilities also empower businesses to identify pain points along the customer journey. By analyzing customer feedback from surveys, CXers can pinpoint areas where customers may be experiencing frustration, confusion, or dissatisfaction. Armed with this information, businesses can take proactive measures to address these pain points and improve the overall customer experience.

Equally important is what happens on the back end after opportunities for change and improvement have been identified. Looks for integration support in the areas of opportunity scoring, recommendation creation (again, AI is great for this!), as well as action planning. Project management is key to making change happen, and integrations to tools like Jira are invaluable.


3. Collaboration and Sharing Features

Collaboration is key in today's fast-paced and interconnected work environments. A customer journey management platform that enables multiple team members to collaborate in real time can significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the entire process. By providing a platform for seamless collaboration, businesses can foster a collective understanding and alignment within the team and beyond, leading to improved decision-making and, ultimately, better customer experiences.

Real-time collaboration allows team members to work together simultaneously, making edits, adding comments, and sharing valuable insights. This dynamic interaction not only accelerates the process of creating and refining customer journey maps but also encourages diverse perspectives and ideas to be shared. By enabling team members to collaborate in real-time, businesses can harness the collective intelligence of their teams and ensure that all stakeholders have a voice in shaping the customer journey.

In addition to facilitating real-time collaboration, the tool should also provide features that promote effective communication and knowledge sharing. Team members should be able to easily communicate with each other, ask questions, and provide feedback within the platform. This eliminates the need for lengthy email chains or separate communication channels, streamlining the collaboration process and ensuring that everyone is on the same page.

Furthermore, the ability to share customer journey maps and insights with stakeholders outside of the immediate team is crucial for driving alignment and obtaining buy-in. The tool should offer secure sharing options that allow businesses to easily distribute customer journey maps to executives, marketing teams, and other relevant stakeholders. This ensures that everyone involved in the customer journey management process has access to the latest information and can contribute to strategic decision-making.


4. Visual Customization and Flexibility

Not all businesses follow the same customer journey paths. Each industry, target audience, and brand has its own unique characteristics and dynamics that must be taken into account. That's why having a customer journey management tool with customization options for visuals is ideal. By being able to tailor the maps to specific business needs and audience understanding, businesses can create customer journey maps that are not only visually appealing but also highly relevant and relatable.

With customization options for visuals like icons, colors, and shapes, businesses can align the visual representation of the customer journey with their brand identity. This allows for a consistent and cohesive presentation of the customer journey, reinforcing brand recognition and creating a more engaging experience for both internal teams and external stakeholders.

Icons can be used to represent different touchpoints or interactions along the customer journey, making it easier for users to understand and interpret the map quickly. By choosing icons that are relevant to the industry or specific customer interactions, businesses can enhance the clarity and comprehension of the customer journey map.

Colors, on the other hand, can be used to evoke emotions and convey specific messages. By choosing colors that align with the brand's personality or the desired customer experience, businesses can create a visual representation that resonates with their target audience. 

Shapes can also play a significant role in visual customization. Different shapes can be used to highlight different stages of the customer journey or emphasize specific touchpoints. By using shapes strategically, businesses can guide the viewer's attention and create a more impactful visual representation of the customer journey.


5. Customer Persona and Segmentation

To create accurate journey maps, it is essential for the customer journey management tool to have robust capabilities for creating and incorporating customer personas and segmentation. This powerful feature allows businesses to gain a deeper understanding of their different customer groups and their unique journeys, enabling them to develop highly personalized strategies that cater to the specific needs and preferences of each segment.

By creating customer personas, businesses can create fictional representations of their ideal customers or prospects based on demographic information, behavior patterns, and other relevant characteristics. These personas serve as archetypes that represent specific customer groups and provide valuable insights into their motivations, goals, and pain points. Incorporating these personas into the customer journey map allows businesses to see the journey from the perspective of each persona, helping them identify areas where they can improve the overall experience for each segment. Advanced tools, like JourneyTrack, also support Multiple Personas, which allow practitioners to compare the experience of several personas within the same journey.

Segmentation, on the other hand, involves dividing customers into distinct groups based on common characteristics or behaviors. This segmentation can be done using various criteria, such as demographics, purchasing behavior, or psychographic traits. By segmenting customers, businesses can gain a better understanding of the different needs and preferences of each group, allowing them to tailor their strategies and messaging accordingly.

When the customer journey management tool enables the creation and incorporation of customer personas and segmentation, businesses can unlock a wealth of insights that can guide their decision-making process. By understanding the unique journeys of different customer groups, practitioners can identify opportunities for personalization, develop targeted marketing campaigns, and improve overall customer satisfaction.

Incorporating customer personas and segmentation into the customer journey map also helps businesses identify gaps or inconsistencies in their strategies. (JourneyTrack includes a DEI module that allows practitioners to see how their current customer segments align with the company's overall DEI goals.) By visualizing the journey of each persona or segment, CXers can identify areas where certain groups may be experiencing friction or where their needs are not being adequately addressed. This insight allows businesses to make informed adjustments and optimize their strategies to ensure a seamless and satisfying customer experience for all segments.


6. Ideation Functionality and Facilitation

Innovative strategies are crucial for staying ahead of the curve and delivering exceptional customer experiences. That's why tools that facilitate ideation and collaboration on improving customer journeys are highly valuable for businesses looking to drive innovation and create unique strategies.

By allowing brainstorming and idea generation, these tools empower teams to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to enhance the customer journey. Whether it's identifying new touchpoints, designing personalized interactions, or streamlining processes, the ability to generate ideas collaboratively can lead to breakthrough innovations that set businesses apart from their competitors.

Furthermore, these ideation tools foster a culture of inclusion within organizations. By providing a platform for teams to share their ideas and collaborate on improving customer journeys, businesses can tap into the collective intelligence of their employees. This not only encourages cross-functional collaboration but also empowers individuals to contribute their unique perspectives and expertise, leading to more comprehensive and innovative strategies.

In addition to brainstorming and idea generation, these tools also facilitate collaboration throughout the entire ideation process. Team members can work together in real-time, refining and building upon each other's ideas. By providing a collaborative environment, businesses can harness the power of collective problem-solving and ensure that all relevant stakeholders are involved in shaping the customer journey and, thereby, feel a sense of ownership when it comes to execution and follow-through.

Moreover, these tools offer features that streamline the ideation process, making it easier for teams to capture, organize, and evaluate ideas. While digital whiteboards can serve a purpose for brainstorming sessions, having a true workshopping feature built into the customer journey management platform is ideal. JourneyTrack is unique in this regard. Its workshopping feature allows broad participation, includes voting features, captures all ideas (whether they are included in the final journey map or not) in the platform, and creates the ensuing journey map with the click of one button.  


7. Journey Hierarchy and Comparison

The capability to have a full overview of all journey maps, establish hierarchies within customer journeys, and compare different journey paths is a powerful feature that allows businesses to gain deeper insights into their overall customer experience scenarios. By analyzing and understanding the various customer journeys, CXers can make informed decisions and develop strategies that cater to the specific needs and preferences of their various segments.

Establishing hierarchies within customer journeys enables businesses to prioritize and focus on key touchpoints or stages that have the most impact on the overall customer experience. By identifying these critical points, businesses can allocate resources and efforts more effectively, ensuring that they are addressing the areas that have the greatest impact on customer and business metrics. This hierarchy also helps businesses understand the flow and progression of the customer journey, allowing them to identify areas where customers may be experiencing friction or drop-offs.

Comparing different journey paths provides businesses with valuable insights into the variations and patterns that exist within their customer segments or scenarios. By understanding the similarities and differences between different customer journeys, practitioners can identify common pain points or areas of improvement that need to be addressed. This analysis can help them develop targeted strategies and interventions that are tailored to the specific needs of each segment or scenario.

In addition, comparing journey paths allows practitioners to identify outliers or exceptional customer experiences that can be further studied and replicated. By understanding what sets these exceptional journeys apart, CXers can identify best practices and strategies that can be applied more broadly to enhance the overall customer experience.

Lastly, having a comprehensive view of all customer journeys enables businesses to identify instances where multiple teams are duplicating efforts. This presents an opportunity for streamlining processes, resulting in time and cost savings.


8. Business Impact Analysis

A critical feature that sets effective customer journey management tools apart is the ability to quantify the impact of changes in the customer journey on important business metrics. This feature allows businesses to make informed decisions and prioritize their efforts based on the potential outcomes that these changes may have on their overall business performance.

By being able to measure and analyze the impact of changes in the customer journey, practitioners can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of their strategies and interventions. This data-driven approach allows them to understand which aspects of the customer journey are driving positive business outcomes and which areas may need improvement. It enables businesses to identify the touchpoints or stages of the customer journey that have the greatest influence on key business metrics, such as customer satisfaction, retention, conversion rates, and revenue.

With this information at hand, leaders can make more strategic decisions about where to allocate their resources and efforts. They can prioritize the areas of the customer journey that have the highest potential for improving business performance and focus on implementing changes or optimizations that are likely to yield the greatest returns. This helps businesses optimize their investments and ensures that they are addressing the aspects of the customer journey that truly matter to their bottom line.

Quantifying the impact of changes in the customer journey also allows businesses to continuously monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of their strategies over time. By tracking the changes in business metrics as a result of specific actions or improvements in the customer journey, practitioners can assess the success of their initiatives and make data-driven adjustments as needed. This iterative approach enables CX leaders to continuously refine and optimize their customer journey strategies, ensuring that they are always aligned with their business goals and objectives.

In the end, connecting customer experience (CX) efforts to the larger business objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial for organizations to truly embrace a customer-centric approach and for CX practices to play a vital role in propelling the business forward.


9. Security and Compliance

In today's digital age, protecting sensitive customer data is more important than ever. With the increasing number of cyber threats and data breaches, businesses must prioritize the security of their customers' information. When choosing a customer journey management tool, it is crucial to ensure that it complies with industry standards and regulations to provide robust security measures.

A reputable tool should adhere to strict security protocols and practices to safeguard customer data. This includes implementing encryption techniques to protect data both at rest and in transit. Encryption ensures that even if unauthorized individuals gain access to the data, it remains unreadable and useless to them. Additionally, the tool should have secure authentication and authorization mechanisms in place to ensure that only authorized personnel can access and manipulate the data.

The platform should have robust security measures in place to prevent unauthorized access or data breaches. This includes regular security audits and vulnerability assessments to identify and address any potential weaknesses in the system. The tool should also have mechanisms to detect and promptly respond to any suspicious activities or breaches.

In addition to these technical measures, businesses should also consider the physical security of the tool. This includes secure data centers, backup and disaster recovery plans, and restricted access to the infrastructure hosting the data.


10. Technology Roadmap and Responsiveness

Lastly, as customer journey management platforms continue to evolve at a rapid pace, it presents an exciting opportunity for CXers to shape the development of these robust platforms. With developers relying on valuable customer feedback and insights to guide their path forward, practitioners have the power to influence the roadmap of these tools. When choosing a technology partner, look for one that not only welcomes feedback but also possesses the agility to swiftly incorporate desired features and functions that users ask for. This collaborative approach ensures that businesses can stay ahead of the curve and deliver exceptional customer experiences in an efficient manner.


Choosing the right customer journey management tool involves evaluating how well it aligns with your business objectives, team dynamics, and customer-centric strategies. It's not just about the features but also the tool's ability to translate data into actionable insights that drive meaningful improvements in customer experiences. Assessing these crucial features will guide you toward selecting a tool that best suits your business needs and empowers your team to craft exceptional customer journeys.


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