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6 Insights to Help You on Your Customer Experience Journey

Published September 2, 2023

Fixing CX potholes and using roadmaps for your CX program: Insights from Forrester CX North America 2022.

A customer experience journey is like a roadmap. A clear, detailed map can help guide you through an ever-changing business landscape.

I have been thinking about how to summarize the customer experience journey. I was recently reminded of some insights I picked up from a convention in 2022. 

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend Forrester CX North America 2022. I listened to many presentations full of amazing insights and information.

A few key takeaways about customer experience and the customer journey stood out to me. I summarized my thoughts on these presentations into 6 key insights and 2 themes. Below you will find each discussed in detail. 

Let these tools, inspired by CX leader Harley Manning, empower you to enhance customer relationships and drive business success.

What Is a Customer Experience Journey?

And Why is the Customer Experience Journey Important?

Before diving into our insights and themes, let’s establish what a customer experience journey is.

The customer experience journey is a way to understand and enhance every interaction your customers have with your brand. This makes it a crucial aspect of your business. A customer journey involves several stages stages. These include awareness, consideration, purchase, and retention. There are also stages after the initial purchase involving post-purchase interactions, like advocacy.

Focusing on customer journeys provides insights into your target audience's expectations and needs. That way, you can compete effectively in a market where 80% of companies prioritize their customer's experience.

Understanding customer behavior and needs helps you identify effective touchpoints for improving sales. It also supports marketing efforts and ensures increased customer engagement. On top of that, you can further optimize your CX by tailoring messages to increase conversions. Ultimately, optimizing the customer journey will lead to enhanced customer satisfaction, loyalty, and improved ROI and revenue.



My 6 Customer Journey Experience Insights from Forrester CX North America 2022

Here is a brief TL;DR (as the millennials say) of my insights:

  1. CX is continuing to evolve
  2. EX is becoming increasingly important
  3. Metrics and analytics are vital for success
  4. You need to align your brand with CX
  5. CX for purpose-driven brands
  6. Keeping your devotees is critical

1 - The Continuing Evolution of the Customer Journey Experience

We already know the customer journey encompasses various stages, from awareness to advocacy. However, a deeper understanding of these stages can significantly impact your customers' experience.

CX is continuing to get bigger, better, and more impactful. Businesses that don’t work on their customer journey are falling behind and will lose to those who do. 

Luckily, by mapping the customer journey and identifying crucial touchpoints, you can enhance the overall customer experience. Our customer journey maps visualize the steps customers take. This allows you to streamline interactions and create proactive marketing campaigns. It is also becoming essential to include all customer touchpoints at different stages. That helps optimize the customer lifecycle further, resulting in greater outcomes.

You can tailor your strategies effectively by understanding customer actions, motivations, questions, and pain points at each touchpoint. Even better, implementing personalized interactions across all touchpoints. That way, you’ll build strong, trusting relationships with your customers. These efforts then lead to increased engagement, sales, and loyalty.

You should stay attentive to the ever-evolving optimization and implementation of customer journey strategies. This will help you ensure a seamless experience for your customers.

2 - The Importance of Employee Experience

At Forrester CX 2022, the importance of employee experience was really highlighted. This was unsurprising to us at McorpCX since we’ve been utilizing it for a while. It was interesting to see it more widely recognized, though. 

For those unfamiliar, employee experience (EX) encompasses an employee's journey within a company. This shapes their perception, satisfaction, and engagement. 

The importance of EX is crucial, as it directly impacts Customer Experience (CX) and drives business performance. Satisfied employees deliver exceptional customer service. This then leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. 
Investing in EX is crucial for driving growth, profitability, and overall success. It also serves as a powerful recruitment tool. EX can be the key to attracting and retaining top talent. 

You can achieve quality EX by cultivating a culture of engagement and promoting a positive work-life balance. You can further improve this by providing opportunities for career development. These may cause challenges such as limited resources and organizational resistance to change. 

Employ data-driven insights through tools like employee surveys and feedback mechanisms. These will enable your organization to gauge sentiment, identify areas for improvement, and track progress over time.

Prioritizing EX is essential for creating workplaces where employees thrive, innovation flourishes, and success becomes a shared journey.

3 - Customer Journey Experience Metrics and Analytics Are Vital

Metrics and analytics play a crucial role in understanding and improving the customer journey. By analyzing key touchpoints, you gain valuable insights into customer behavior and engagement. This will ultimately enhance their overall experience, leading to positive business outcomes. 

Leveraging metrics and analytics is essential for businesses striving to deliver exceptional experiences. By visualizing the customer experience, they can optimize early interactions, address pain points, and align metrics with customer expectations. You can then continually enhance your customer experience and drive long-term success.

4 - Aligning Your Brand With the Customer Journey

Aligning your brand with your customer journey can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

One way to align with your customer journey experience is by integrating your brand values and messaging across customer touchpoints. From the initial awareness stage to post-purchase follow-ups, each point of contact should reinforce your brand identity and values. This creates a cohesive customer journey. 

Customers interact with various touchpoints along their journey. These include your website, social media, customer service team, and promotional materials. You should coordinate these interactions to provide a consistent brand experience. Each one should also effectively resolve and minimize customer pain points. 

Your customer service team also plays a vital role in shaping the customer journey. They're usually the frontline representatives of your brand. By equipping them with the right tools and information, you can ensure every customer interaction contributes to a positive and memorable experience.

5 - The Customer Experience Journey for Purpose-Driven Brands

For purpose-driven brands, your customer journey should reflect your values at every touchpoint. When designing your customer journey map, consider the following:

  • Understand Your Customers: Conduct surveys to truly grasp your customers' needs and desires.
  • Customize Your Journey Map: Tailor your customer journey map to fit the needs of your e-commerce customer base.
  • Optimize Touchpoints: Ensure each interaction point aligns with your brand's purpose and values.
  • Align E-commerce Strategies: Integrate your e-commerce customer journey map design seamlessly with your overall brand ethos.

6 - The Role of Devotees on a Customer Experience Journey

While listening to the presentations, I noticed many speakers emphasizing the importance of their influence on brand loyalty and advocacy. This led me to understand that devotees and superfans play a huge part in shaping your customer experience journey. While every customer is valuable, devotees and superfans stand out in their unwavering support and enthusiasm for your brand.

These loyal advocates not only make repeat purchases but also promote your products or services to others. Their authentic endorsements can influence the perceptions and decisions of the average customer. This can then further increase trust and loyalty toward your brand.

Nurturing devoted customers can create a ripple effect that extends beyond individual interactions. It can help solidify brand loyalty, drive advocacy, and enhance customer satisfaction.

Customer Experience Journey Themes From Forrester CX North America 2022

Since first attending 10 years ago, I've been to the Forrester CX conference every year. Each time,  I pay attention to what is being talked about. I have (and overhear) conversations on the floor.

The conference has always been instructive and enlightening every year I’ve gone. However, in 2022, there were two themes or topics of conversation that just kept coming up. The most discussed — and most interesting — themes that came up were:

Customer Experience Journey Potholes and Fixes

Navigating the customer experience journey means dodging common potholes that can mess up your efforts to build strong customer relationships. 

One biggie is inconsistency across touchpoints. Imagine if your customers were getting different service levels depending on how they reach out. It would likely be confusing and frustrating for them, right? Well, that’s another reason to ensure your brand is aligned throughout the entire customer journey and that you have a good EX. Both of these will help you maintain consistency across touchpoints.  

Next, there's the lack of personalization. Nowadays, customers expect tailored experiences. Not giving them special treatment can make them feel like just another number. So, make things personal. Tailor your interactions to each customer's preferences. It'll show them you care and keep them coming back for more.

And hey, don't ignore customer feedback. It's like a treasure map showing you where you need to improve. Missing out on this insight means missing out on chances to make things better.  Ask for feedback, whether it's through surveys or social media. Then, give your team the freedom and tools to provide awesome service. Then, follow through on that feedback to really enhance the experience.

Customer Experience Journey Roadmaps

As you navigate through your customer experience journey, you can create customer journey maps. Perform effective customer experience journey mapping by visualizing and aligning your strategy with key customer touchpoints. These roadmaps outline the path your customers take from initial contact to becoming loyal advocates.

By mapping out these touchpoints, you can identify critical interactions where customers form opinions about your brand and make decisions. A roadmap allows you to plan and enhance these touchpoints proactively. You can create a seamless and positive customer experience with one that's well-charted.

When developing your customer journey map, you should consider the various stages your customers go through, such as awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, and advocacy. Each stage presents unique opportunities to engage and delight your customers.


So there you have it. Those are the six insights and two themes that I took away from Forrester CX NA 2022. If applied well, they can help you on your journey to delivering outstanding customer experiences.

As you navigate your customer experience journey, remember to stay responsive like a sailboat catching the wind. Keep evolving, measuring your progress, and fixing any potholes along the way. Let these insights guide you toward success.

As for my most recent Forrester CX experience, the event was capped with Harley Manning's retirement. He made his last public appearance on the Forrester CX stage on Thursday, June 9th, after founding Forrester's CX research movement and leading it for roughly 25 years.


Thanks for all youve done, Harley…

(To Harley, from a Devotee, thank you again for everything you've done. But I've gotta ask: is this the beginning of a Tom Brady-style recurring retirement or a Rolling Stones' 15th retirement tour?)

And for what it's worth (though I may be in the minority), I love the move from NYC to Nashville for the convention. There's some voice-of-the-Forrester customer feedback for you.

See you at Forrester CX North America 2023!

Post authored by Graham Clark

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