How to Translate a B2B Customer Journey Map into a Survey Strategy

Creating a customer journey map is the first step toward designing a superior customer experience (CX) that drives end-user growth. Rather than rushing in and narrowly focusing on a single touchpoint to measure success, a customer journey map helps you evaluate the journey as a whole—providing a bird’s-eye view of the experience your brand delivers. 

So You’ve Already Mapped Out the Customer Journey! What’s Next? 

The urgent question then becomes, how do you take that big picture view and start asking your customers about their experience? 

To move forward, you need to figure out which specific touchpoints you want to study, which metrics you want to gather, what questions you want to ask, and which channels are the most effective to collect that data.

Your customers are more than willing to tell you about the bottlenecks in their journey, but you’ll want to be thoughtful in your approach. So, before you start sending out surveys, think through your voice of customer (VoC) strategy using your journey map as a guide.

That’s what this post is all about. It will help you develop a strategy for gathering feedback at key points within your customer journey so you can take actionable steps toward optimizing your customer experience. Now let’s get started!

When in the Customer Journey Should You Ask for Feedback?

Before you begin asking away, it’s important to determine which pivotal touchpoints (otherwise known as make-or-break moments) within the B2B customer journey are ideal times to gather feedback.

Just to clarify, we are giving you a general idea of when to ask these questions, but this is not a turnkey solution. Every company’s customer journey map looks different, and your approach to asking the right questions at the right time will differ. 

In fact, in all likelihood, you already have some sense of where the bottlenecks are in your customer journey and what needs improvement, so trust your intuition there. 

And if you’ve got any doubt? The following touchpoints represent good places to start. 

1. Onboarding Completion

Why is onboarding a make-or-break moment? Signing up for a new service always takes effort because you’re asking new customers to open their minds, learn about your product, and make a change by integrating your product into their lives. The more seamless you can make this stage, the more likely you are to gain a loyal customer.

2. Support Interaction

Why are support interactions make-or-break moments? We often think of customer support as its own thing, but it’s a vital part of the customer journey. The bane of product-led growth is friction, and by definition, a support interaction is a point of friction. No matter how usable your product is, some people will struggle with it. 

Asking for feedback after a support case is closed will give you feedback on how your support team is doing. This will help determine resources support may need to speed customers through this touchpoint, identify bugs and usability issues, and draw attention to possible feature improvements.  

3. Product Experience (Usually In-App)

Why is product use a make-or-break moment? This feedback will tell you what’s working as anticipated and what needs to be reconsidered. Customer feedback can and should influence your roadmap and guide the prioritization of development resources. Plus, SaaS companies are always trying out new features, and there’s no better time to survey your customers about those features than at the very moment they’re using them.

4. First Experience of Value and/or Pre-Renewal (Loyalty Check)

Why is the incomplete and/or pre-renewal experience a make-or-break moment? After a user has been up and running for a bit, they should be experiencing the benefits of using your product and services. It’s time to make sure they are. Asking for feedback at this touchpoint is meant to surface all kinds of things about their relationship with you (that you won’t hear after a support interaction, for example). Product, service, pricing, you name it. A survey response might give you the opportunity to fix an issue you didn’t know about and retain their business. And make sure to ask again pre-renewal to make sure your relationship is still on the right track.

How Might Your Approach Vary Depending on Your Business Model? 

Let’s say you’ve got a self-serve product where customers get started quickly and they can see your product’s value upfront. In that case, it makes sense to ask the loyalty question (Net Promoter Score) early on in the customer journey because they’ve reached a point where they understand your value proposition. 

On the other hand, if you send in consultants who spend weeks or more helping your enterprise users get up to speed with your product, you’ll probably want to wait a while to send that first NPS survey.

Just make sure that, whenever you ask the question, it makes sense to do so at that time. For example, asking someone how they feel about a new feature (PSAT) when they’re not currently using that feature makes no sense. Instead, ask them about the feature using an in-app survey, while they’re engaging the product. And of course, you wouldn’t want to ask someone about a support experience they had weeks earlier. Use common sense and put yourself in the customers’ shoes to deliver surveys that flow with their experience. 

Remember: Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day, and Neither Is a Mature CX Program 

Companies don’t generally implement voice of customer surveys at multiple journey points all at once—they roll out gradually, sometimes over 2-3 years. They might do one, then add another 6+ months later. A helpful tip is to start with the touchpoint that will give you the biggest bang for your buck in terms of learning, retention, and driving Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

So What Questions Do You Ask?

When gathering voice of customer data, the most common feedback questions revolve around the things that drive product-led growth—like ease of use, customer satisfaction, and brand loyalty. With this in mind, the following metrics can help you assess these elements at key touchpoints: Customer Effort Score, Customer or Product Satisfaction, and Net Promoter Score. You’ll typically want to follow the rating question with an open-ended one asking the customer to explain the reasoning behind their score.

Now, you may be wondering: why not simply make up your own customer feedback questions tailored to your business, products, and customer experience? It may be tempting, but these metrics will give you a benchmark and scores that you can monitor over time to track whether you’re improving. 

Need a Few More Reasons to Use Standard Metrics? 

It’s much easier to get internal buy-in when using tried-and-true metrics employed by companies around the world. People can waste countless hours arguing over what questions to ask, but using established metrics can instantly end that debate. 

These metrics are also extendable and extensible. In other words, you can extend the same questions to different products and features without reinventing the wheel. This makes it easier to roll out a CX program across a portfolio of products and brands. 

And finally, these established metrics will stand the test of time, surviving personnel changes. Simply put, it’s an evergreen survey strategy.

Note: If you’re not 100% familiar with each of these surveys, don’t worry—here is a primer on how these CX metrics all work together. 

What are the Metrics You Ought to Consider Tracking? 

Choose your metric based on what you want to learn, and whether it will make sense to your customer in context. Remember, a survey is part of your customer’s experience. 

What Is the Customer Effort Score (CES)? 

Customer Effort Score (CES) lets you know how much work it takes for customers to accomplish something (e.g., onboarding, solving a problem). 

CES surveys ask the customer “How easy was it to ________?”  and is scored on a numeric scale. It’s a metric that is used to improve systems that may otherwise frustrate customers.

As a CX metric, CES helps with that “ease of use” component that increases Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). And while there’s no standard format for CES surveys, they usually look like a 5- or 7-point scale asking how easy it was for a customer to achieve whatever goal they were trying to accomplish. Take a look at our post about how to use CES to evaluate your onboarding experience for more details. 

What Is Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)? 

SaaS companies typically use CSAT surveys to get a read on specific interactions, such as a recently closed support ticket or a fresh purchase. You can format your CSAT survey as a numeric scale (e.g., 5- or 7-point). You’ll typically want to follow the rating question with an open-ended one asking the customer to explain their score. 

What Is Product Satisfaction (PSAT)? 

A Product Satisfaction (PSAT) survey measures customer satisfaction with your product or a specific feature, and you’ll often ask it with an in-app survey. Like CSAT, it’s flexible and you can ask the question in a variety of formats (binary +/- or on a 5- or 7-point scale). 

What Is the Net Promoter Score (NPS) 

There’s an excellent chance you’re already conducting NPS surveys at regular intervals, and that’s great! By combining NPS data with other key metrics listed here, you can get a good sense of the customer experience you offer across the entire journey. If you aren’t already using NPS, ask it after your customer has had a chance to experience value from your product or ask it prior to renewal.  Both are good times to assess user loyalty.

Net Promoter Score measures brand loyalty, and unlike the other three metrics listed, it follows a standard format, which allows you to compare your results against industry leaders in your field. The standard NPS question asks: “On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?” 

That NPS question should always be followed by an open-ended question asking respondents why they gave you the score they did. You will then use their answers to (1) have a customer service agent or a success manager follow up with the detractors to try to fix the problem and (2) use the response to improve your customer experience.

Remember: Less Is More

Have you ever taken a “brief” survey that stretched on far longer than promised? Most customers don’t want to take 3-4 minute surveys, and you can reduce friction and improve your survey response rate by using microsurveys. 

Let people write a novel in response to your open-ended questions, that’s great—you’ll learn a lot from them! But put yourself in your customers’ shoes and keep your surveys short and sweet, gathering a relevant metric upfront. 

Which Distribution Channels Should You Use to Gather Feedback?

Emails, SMS, and in-app surveys are the three main survey channels typically used to gather customer feedback on a post-acquisition journey. Once again, use common sense and think about the channel that makes the most sense for the user. Product experience, as mentioned above, is almost always best asked through in-app surveys at the moment they’re in your platform or app. Support experience is often assessed with an email survey. SMS can be a great channel for gathering feedback if you’re already communicating with customers via phone—for example, following up on a cable technician’s visit.

Just like the question of “when” to collect data, the question about how to distribute surveys will sometimes produce different answers based on your business model. For instance, if you’ve got a more complicated onboarding process where end-users interact with customer success a fair bit, they won’t be surprised to receive a survey via email. On the other hand, if you have a largely self-serve product where onboarding is straightforward, it makes sense to conduct the CES survey in-app.  

The best distribution channel can vary by touchpoint, so consider a multi-channel strategy. To start, determine the best survey channels for your business.

Understanding the Big Picture 

As you gather data and begin to analyze it, it’s important to remember that none of these metrics or the touchpoints they evaluate exist in isolation. The real secret to a successful CX strategy is to take a step back and look at the entire journey—understanding how it’s all interconnected. 

This is where it helps to have a cross-functional team, often led by someone with responsibility for CX operations, that can step back and look at an implementation plan. They can then unify all the data and connect information across the tech stack (e.g., Zendesk, Salesforce, Gainsight, InMoment. 

Without this holistic approach, it’s easy to develop departmental silos (where everyone focuses exclusively on their own touchpoints) and technological silos (e.g., the Sales team sees what’s in Salesforce, and the Customer Support team sees what’s in Zendesk, but nobody sees the big picture). 

Tasking a team with developing a big picture approach to evaluating the entire customer journey is an essential ingredient in creating a consistent customer experience. And a consistent, seamless, enjoyable experience will build loyalty and boost customer value in the months and years to come.

How to Use Customer Experience Analytics to Identify Key Touchpoints in the Customer Journey

To meet your customer experience (CX) goals, you first need to understand the current state of your customer journey. But gaining the level of understanding necessary is easier said than done. The customer journey is made up of countless moments—even a CX program with boundless resources wouldn’t be able to examine them all! The key is, then, to focus on the moments with the greatest impact on your customers, be they positive or negative. And that’s where customer experience analytics come in.

What Are Customer Experience Analytics?

Many of you may be familiar with the basics of CX analytics, but for those of you who could use a primer, we’ve got you! 

Customer experience analytics concern the strategic process of discovering, collecting, and analyzing customer data in order to obtain the intelligence businesses need to inform the decisions they make. 

Whether this customer data is solicited (through email or SMS surveys or in-app/online intercepts) or unsolicited (via review sites or social media), the right customer experience analytics can pick up on opportunities for improvement throughout the customer journey.

Identifying Moments of Impact with Customer Experience Analytics

There are various vendors that offer customer experience analytics (you can check out a third party analyst ranking here), but today, we are going to talk about a specific solution: Touchpoint Impact Mapping.

Touchpoint Impact Mapping is a unique analytical approach that brings the emotional state of the customer journey to life at every touchpoint. This approach is based on behavioral sciences’ “Peak-End Rule,” which states that our perception of our experience with anything—a brand, a person, a place, etc.—is largely shaped by intense positive or negative moments within that experience. 

This approach, unique to InMoment’s Strategic Insights Team, discards traditional survey metrics, analyzing only customers’ comments for frequency and emotional intensity. This analysis highlights the “peaks” across an experience in a visual map which pinpoints areas of experience excellence that should be celebrated, as well as touchpoints that should be improved.

Not only does it show brands where to focus their efforts, but Touchpoint Impact Mapping also clarifies what about those touchpoints elicited such emotional intensity from the customer. For instance, if the onboarding process was identified as an emotional low, customer experience analytics would reveal that customers found the process confusing. To improve the experience in this area, the brand could publish an FAQ article, rewrite directions, or include additional context on the webpage.

Want to Learn More About Touchpoint Impact Mapping?

If you’re in the market for customer experience analytics that can help you focus your resources on the moments that truly matter, you can learn more about Touchpoint Impact Mapping from InMoment’s Senior Insight Design Specialist Dan Jones in this video:

Want to see a Touchpoint Impact Map in action? Contact our team to demo our unique solution!

How to Leverage Customer Journey Analytics to Improve Experiences

Each key touchpoint throughout the customer journey plays a huge role in how a customer judges their experience as a whole. This means that at every touchpoint, the stakes are high and there’s a risk of damaging your brands’ reputation. And the scariest thing? It’s not enough to do the work to understand the customer journey at one point in time; businesses need to constantly keep up because customer journeys evolve overtime. That’s where customer journey analytics can come into the picture!

With the appropriate analytics and action, your company can prevent mistakes along the customer journey from happening. Our eBook, Understand and Predict Your Customers’ Needs with Customer Journey Analytics, breaks down a three step process to improving your brands’ customer journey. Let’s get right into it!

  1. Get the Inside Scoop
  2. Pinpoint the Target Areas
  3. Strategize for the Future

Step #1: Get the Inside Scoop 

The customer journey can often feel like a never-ending puzzle. How do we create the best experience for a bunch of strangers? Well, that’s correct, customers are technically strangers, which makes it infinitely harder to cater to them. A logical first step then is to get to know your customers!

With powerful customer experience technology, InMoment can help your brand eliminate silos and combine data according to segmented groups, so you can feasibly sort through all sources of customer feedback, whether they’re solicited (phone, email, or text surveys etc.) or unsolicited (social, third party review sites, and more). Seeing these data points altogether can give you a general idea of how your customers behave, what they care about, and more. When you have an inside scoop on how your customers are interacting with your brand, suddenly, customers aren’t strangers anymore but people you can get to know better and better!

Step #2: Pinpoint the Target Areas

One of the benefits of having data collected from a myriad of sources is the ability to statistically analyze trends, patterns, and anomalies. By measuring what topics have the most traffic, your company can focus its priorities on the issues that matter. Leveraging customer journey analytics to identify the impact of a topic often proves to be a big time saver!

InMoment’s advanced analytics can generate all the associated comments and details about an issue, where it’s happening, the words and themes most commonly associated with it, how widespread it is, what impact it has on your business, and more. It can also generate actionable alerts so you can closely monitor problems that arise—and take action. 

Step #3: Strategize for the Future

With so much data to manage, businesses often forget the potential for feedback to predict customer concerns and behavior. These predictions allow brands to execute dynamic offers, personalized incentives, and customer-focused policies that build loyalty and drive new business. By utilizing your customer journey analytics to predict future problem points and subsequently implement an effective strategy, your company can proactively meet customers’ needs.

Predictive models work the best when they forecast risks and opportunities, including churn/attrition, revenue, customer segments, likelihood to return/recommend, and potential cross-sell and upsell opportunities. With these forecasts, your brand can maintain an informed and preemptive action plan that will keep customers loyal. Customer journey analytics are not only useful today, but for making business improvements in the long run!


You’ve just learned a bit about how to leverage customer journey analytics in your CX Program—but if you’re looking for a more in depth guide to understanding and predicting customers’ needs, read our eBook!

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