• Robin Cohen

The myth of the perfect customer journey

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

There comes a time in every retention marketer's life when they're forced to reconcile the ideal customer journey with what is actually up and running in the wild. What sounds like a simple task of documenting emails, can quickly devolve into weeks upon weeks of work, filled with printing out countless screenshots, sorting through complex logic trees, and white boarding into the evening. Sounds fun, right?

This challenging task is not for the faint of heart, and only the truest customer champions will succeed. At the end of the road, we know something wonderful awaits us. Something that makes the paper cuts and Expo-stained fingers worthwhile: the *perfect* customer journey.

Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind on your quest–whether you're inheriting a rat's nest of intertwining campaigns or a blank slate. Grab your best Indiana Jones hat and your trustiest post-its, because we're going on an adventure.

Tip #1: Keep it simple

With projects like these, it's easy to over-engineer in the quest for perfection. Instead of focusing on specific copy and imagery, think about the overarching story. What information is presented to your users, and in which format? Take over a wall in your office (or living room) and use post-its to represent an email or notification at each stage in the journey. This simplified, visual representation makes it easy to see where your programs lack or over-index. From there, you can zoom in on the specific storytelling.

Tip #2: Ask around

The customer journey extends beyond email and on-site messaging. Set up time to get to know how Sales, Success and any other customer-facing teams interact with your users. Ask what motivates their outreach to try to get context around their cadence and content.

Tip #3: Get ready to iterate

Focus on the main pillars and mediums for communication, and know that the UX could change during your audit (think: site changes, new product launches, etc.). This documentation should be thought of as a living, breathing archive that is updated regularly.

Tip #4: Optimize for speed & impact

Between competing priorities and lack of resources, it can feel like the gaps you've identified will never be addressed. Prioritize quick wins that can be completed while the larger requests are worked into the queue (i.e. address impactful copy updates now, while the team gears up for a complete program overhaul next quarter).

Tip #5: Be ok with imperfection

The myth of the perfect customer journey is just that–a myth. There will always be more to do, clever copy to test, and new technology to try out. The customer journey may be far from perfect, but that's ok. The fact that you're even taking the time audit means that you're moving in the right direction. Keep up the good work, and make your customers proud.


Need help auditing and optimizing your customer journey? Contact the team at Robin's Nest.