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7 Tools to Uncover Customer Needs & Map the Customer Journey to Create Better Experiences

Posted on Apr 4th, 2016
Written by TopRank Marketing
  • Blog
  • B2B Marketing
  • 7 Tools to Uncover Customer Needs & Map the Customer Journey to Create Better Experiences
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    Marketers have become increasingly focused on the importance of understanding the customer journey and using data to lead their marketing strategies. Salesforce recently reported that 86% of senior-level marketers say that creating a cohesive customer journey is absolutely critical.

    However, knowing where to start can be a daunting endeavour. But not taking action has the potential to put companies at serious risk as Gartner estimated that nearly 90% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience starting this year.

    Some marketers are starting from square one and need to take steps to begin collecting data to better understand the customer journey. Whereas other marketers have been collecting customer data for years and need a simple way of mapping and evolving how the customer journey is managed. The tools below have been separated into those two categories to help you find which tool will work the best for your organization as customers move through the awareness, consideration and purchase phases of their journey.

    Customer Journey Discovery & Action Tools


    Thunder Head

    Thunder Head’s One Communication Hub is a customer engagement tool that involves three main features which include:

    • Listen: This functionality “listens” to your customers interactions with your digital marketing and gathers insight on their behavior. It combines your data with the personal experience of customers to deliver real-time insight.
    • Engage: Recommendations are made in real-time based on the individual needs of customers that were uncovered in the listen phase.
    • Learn: Instead of guessing customer behavior, this platform helps fine tune your approach to match changing customer needs.



    Clarabridge describes their solution as a customer intelligence platform that aims to help the customer’s voice lead the charge for company strategies and decisions. Their system offers survey, text and sentiment analytics to help marketers make more data-informed decisions. This tool takes an omni-channel approach and collects data from multiple sources and analyzes this information to uncover insights.

    Their approach seems to focus on informing the entire organization on different data points so that all aspects of the business can improve the experience for prospects and current customers.

    Sugar CRM

    Sugar CRM

    While many people make think of Sugar CRM as a way to manage contacts and sales inquiries, there is actually quite a bit more to this system. Some of the functionality includes:

    • Relationship Intelligence
    • Analytics
    • Social Sales
    • Content Enablement
    • Marketing Automation

    From what I was able to uncover, not all of this functionality is native to Sugar CRM but they have worked hard to build integrations with reputable companies that are good at delivering specific functionality.

    Customer Journey Mapping Tools



    Smaply takes a somewhat different approach than some of these other tools. The tool is project based and heavily focused on the development of customer personas. Once these have been created, you are able to visualize the customer ecosystem and map different stakeholders and show the relationships between them.

    Once that has been completed you use the stakeholder map to map personas and customer journeys and create touch points based on that information. There are 13 steps to completing mapping in this tool and you will walk away with a very detailed, and persona driven plan.



    Touchpoint offers a collaborative way for teams to visualize the customer journey. Existing customer data can be imported into the tool to help you begin your journey to designing a comprehensive journey.

    They also offer templates to help you get started and provide an easy way to edit and share information. Once you begin testing mapping, touchpoints can be scored to determine ROI, cost and most importantly, customer impact.



    Canvanizer is a simple to use mapping software that can be used for many different areas of your business including the customer journey. While their tool does not integrate data, it can be a good solution for marketers just looking to visualize information and share it with internal teams.

    Each template provides an explanation about how it should be used and  what is included. You can also share your canvas with the community to provide other companies access to what you have built.



    Uxpressia boasts the ability to create professional customer journey maps in mere minutes. Users are able to tailor customer experiences by touchpoints and channel interactions.

    Teams can also collaborate on these maps on an ongoing basis to continue improving the customer experience. There are templates included but users can also create their own custom maps.

    How Are You Aligning Your Marketing with Customer Needs?

    The amount of data available today while daunting, provides an incredible amount of insights into what customers want. But in order to make that data actionable, you need to begin breaking it down into small, more organized segments of information so that you can adapt your marketing strategy to better meet customer needs.

    How have you used data about your customers to better align with their needs?

    Header image via Shutterstock