4 Customer Analytics Questions to Understand Your User Journey

Tracy Guo

Platform Specialist

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4-minute Read,

Posted on December 4, 2020

Customer analytics lets you examine each inflection point in the user journey to better understand the people who use your product.

Modern digital experiences aren’t straight paths from A to B. People interact with brands online across different devices and touch points that don’t necessarily have a linear relationship. While these touchpoints are no longer linear, it doesn’t mean we can’t break behavior into key phases of the user journey, such as acquisition and retention. Fortunately, customer analytics software can help uncover these different inflection points and phases. Just as technology has empowered customers, it also gives companies the ability to use advanced customer analysis and further support their customers.

In fact, companies that use customer analytics to understand the many different routes users take are more profitable. Data-informed organizations are “six times more likely to be profitable year-over-year” and outperform their competitors by 85% when they use behavioral customer analytics.

Customer analytics involves methodically examining customer behavioral data to make business decisions. Here are some questions that customer analytics software can answer to help you understand how people move through each phase of the user journey.

What Acquisition Channel Did My Power Users Come From?

The answer to this question tells you which acquisition channels to focus on most. You can also leverage strategies and tactics from those successful channels on other channels that may have been underperforming.

Conduct a website funnel analysis to see which pages users visit on your site before they convert. Pay extra attention to optimizing these pages; they’re also great contenders for an extra paid budget to drive more targeted traffic and, ideally, more power users.

On the flip side, if none of your power users are coming from a particular channel, you might consider reallocating those resources to more impactful touch points. For example, if you notice lots of power users coming from paid social ads but not from your PR efforts, you might look at additional groups to target or new campaigns to run on social.

Understanding power user behavior pre-conversion also helps you identify and target potential power users elsewhere. When their behavior is similar to that of a power user, you can prioritize nurturing those leads and filtering them into other targeted campaigns, like emails and push notifications.

How Does My Onboarding Flow Affect Trial Conversion?

Onboarding is one of the first truly immersive experiences people have with your product. It’s also where many potential customers give up: “A massive amount of churn occurs in the onboarding phase of your product,” says Pulkit Agrawal, CEO of Chameleon. That makes it a key place to optimize for more conversions, especially because it’s early on in the customer journey and plays a large part in first impressions. But when you don’t understand how people interact with your onboarding flow and how it affects conversions, it’s difficult to know where to optimize for the most impact.

Per one survey, almost 90% of people said they’d be more loyal to a business with helpful onboarding content. And when you understand how the onboarding flow affects trial conversion, you can pinpoint exactly where and why users drop off, and you can identify predictive behaviors, allowing you to proactively address issues.

ABA English used Amplitude’s behavioral cohorts and funnel analysis to find where the most churn happened—after initiating the first course—and realized users were choosing the wrong course level for their needs. They introduced an assessment at the beginning of the onboarding flow to help users understand which level they needed. The company doubled their activation rate and increased subscriptions on mobile by 4.5x.

For your own onboarding analysis, look for behaviors that indicate churn, and look for ways to nip it in the bud. You can also develop strategies to resurrect those users—did they drop off because there was a missing feature? Send a release announcement when your product team rolls out a feature. Or maybe they bounced because there was too much onboarding content; send a personalized email with a list of FAQs to answer their top three struggles.

Which Behaviors Are Linked to Customer Loyalty?

Just like you want to understand which customers abandon your products, you want to find out which ones have the greatest loyalty to your company. Your customer retention rate tells you how many users not only jump on board but also stay on board. This is indicative of the customer experience you’re creating.

Understanding which behaviors are linked to customer loyalty will help you replicate those experiences for other users.

One of Southeast Asia’s leading entertainment services, iflix, uses Amplitude’s behavioral analysis tools to understand which content resonates with loyal customers. Their growth and marketing teams use Amplitude Engage to serve relevant, personalized content, while the product development team focuses on the customer experience. They roll out these new features and recommendations to both new and existing customers to help drive conversions and video views.

When observing your own loyal customer behavior, consider which tactics drive the most loyalty. Do your loyal users engage with push notifications, emails, or in-app messaging—or a combination of the above? See which efforts drive the most engagement and retention, and apply those to other customer segments. This also helps you identify emerging loyal customer groups to give attention to because you can analyze early behavior patterns that lead to long term loyalty.

[Related: How Retention Rate and Customer Experience Go Hand in Hand]

What Are the Leading Indicators of Churn?

Behavioral analytics can help you understand customer retention and what makes customers drop off. This helps you understand which areas to prioritize in terms of analysis and optimization. It’s about more than simply giving these users a reason to continue using your product. It’s about understanding behavior and discouraging the behaviors that signal churn.

To get started, understand your churn rate and conduct a churn analysis. You can use advanced customer and product analytics tools like Amplitude to do this. From there, you’ll see which behaviors indicate a user is going to leave. Once you’ve identified those, you can devise strategies to discourage or stop that user behavior.

Calm, the meditation app, used Amplitude to run a churn analysis on their onboarding flow. They found that users who didn’t set a notification dropped off more than those who did. As a result, they made changes to the app to encourage more adoption of their Daily Reminders feature. As a result, they increased user retention by 3x.

You Need Advanced Customer Analytics to Understand the Modern User Journey

The fact that today’s user paths are nonlinear and constantly changing makes it more important than ever to stay on top of user behavior and how it affects the bottom line.

While you might make tweaks based on the answers to the questions above, it’s not a one-and-done job. It’s important to consistently ask your customer analytics platform these and similar questions to understand how user behavior continues to evolve. 

Tracy Guo

Tracy is a Platform Specialist at Amplitude, dedicated to providing top-of-the-line product support to all Amplitude users. In her years working in support across many industries, she’s come to believe that empathy is the secret ingredient to finding the best solution.

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