Components of PathFinder

Components of PathFinder

Important release information:
PathFinder is available only for those users who have subscribed to the early access program. This will not be available for other customers until public launch. Watch this space for updates.

A journey is a non-linear path that varies from one customer to the other. Although the elements present in your business are the same for all customers, the route they take to complete their transaction is often unpredictable. PathFinder in Zoho CRM help you capture and trace activities of multiple customers at a time.

To enable PathFinder, you need to configure three important components:
  1. Touchpoints - Interactions users have with your business, captured as Signals.
  2. States - Stages present in your business that users access in their desired order.
  3. Identifiers - Unique parameters to identify users each time they access and resume their journey with your business.
Let's look at them in detail!

States

States are independent steps or stages that customers use to navigate across your business. They act as milestones that could indicate users' progress in your business.
For example, logging in to the website, wish-listing a product to the favorites, adding the product to the cart, and completion of payment are different actions you can configure as steps, which when your customers click, will be connected to form a path. If a customer logs in to your website and adds the product to the cart without wish-listing them as favorites, then only the states - Log in > Added to cart > Payment completion will be connected as a path.
In PathFinder, once all the states are laid down, you can discover the possibility of multiple journeys in one shot, analyze and compare each journeys, and optimize the customer experience based on the findings.

Configuring States

Because states define the path you are willing to discover, it is important that you have an objective for the type of path you need.
  1. You can configure products as states and track the overall commute across your site. (example: Smartphone, laptop, printer, etc.). Refer to this example (Discover Journey to optimize product placement for a retail store) to understand how products can be used as states.
  2. You can configure steps as states and monitor the interaction on your site at a process level. (example: Saved to favorites, added to cart, trying out the size guide, etc.). Refer to this example (Discover paths taken on your business and orchestrate a favorable journey) to understand how steps can be used as states.
  3. You can configure them both to explore an extensive journey across your business.
Tips :
  1. List all the stages available in your business. All the stages you think your users might use.
  2. If your business offers multiple products or services, you can create multiple states for each product to track the journey at a granular level. For example, if Smartphone is one of the offerings, then you can configure the following as states:
    1. Smartphone - Adding to Cart
    2. Smartphone - Comparison
    3. Smartphone - Value exchange
    4. Smartphone - EMI
    5. Smartphone - Payment completion
  3. Likewise, you can ascribe states for different products and services.
To configure States
  1. Go to Setup > Process Management > CommandCenter > PathFinder.
  2. Click the Configure PathFinder button.
  3. In the Configure PathFinder popup, provide a name for the PathFinder and a description, then click Create PathFinder .
  4. On the configuration page, click Add State .
  5. Provide a name and description for the state, then click Save .
  6. To add another state, click Add State from the left pane.
Notes :
  1. You can configure up to 50 states in a PathFinder configuration.
  2. States are individual entities that are connected by the journey users take. Unlike JourneyBuilder or Blueprint, the order of the state configured doesn't indicate the actual order that user might take.
  3. You can also mark a state as an end state ; upon reaching this state, the record will quit itself out of PathFinder. Marking a state as an end state will indicate the goal of the customer is accomplished. If the same user comes back or accesses more on the website, a new journey will be commenced.

Touchpoints

Touchpoints are user interactions in your business. Every time a user interacts with your business, the interaction triggers the corresponding touchpoint to connect the user record with the respective state.

For example, opening an outgoing email, receiving an incoming call, creation of a record, receiving an API, conversion of a record, edit of a record, are all user interactions with your business. If you receive an incoming call, this interaction will be logged as a touchpoint and corresponds the user to the respective state.

Configuring Touchpoints

Touchpoints are module-based triggers and you can configure a touchpoint based on your objective. For example, if you determine a state for lead generation, then all lead generation activities like submission of a webform, Opening of an email, Receiving an incoming email, etc., can be configured as different touchpoints.

For a more specific analysis, you can use criteria for each touchpoint for a more targeted capture of signals.
To configure Touchpoints
  1. Go to the PathFinder you have created and click on the state you want to configure the touchpoint for.
  2. Click Add Touchpoint and select the desired touchpoint from the drop-down.
  3. Select the Module and its related information, then add identifiers and criteria as desired.
  4. Repeat this process for all states.
Notes:
  1. For each state, you can configure up to five touchpoints.
  2. If you have more than five touchpoints, you can create another state and accommodate the new touchpoints in there. However, you cannot use the same name for the state.
  3. A state cannot be empty. A minimum of one touchpoint for each state is required to start tracking.
  4. The email-related touchpoints will be displayed for users with the new email integration. Click here for more information.

Identifiers

Identifiers are unique parameters that identify your users as they enter your business. Identifiers recognize these users whenever they resume their journey. This is an important aspect, as it determines the accuracy of the paths.

For example, mobile number, last name, date of birth, email address, Twitter handle, and website are among different fields that could denote a visitor.

Configuring Identifiers

Identifiers are the fields present in each module in your CRM. As the movement of a user could be across different states, to connect them with each other, you need to choose fields whose values are mutual with modules present in the subsequent states.
While the order of the states are plotted based on user movement, the question of identifying common factors between two states becomes evident. Let's explore how they can be configured.

As a business, you might be aware of all the process available to create and convert leads and the touchpoints applicable at each stage. However, you might not know how these elements are being used by your users. Considering this factor, PathFinder allows you to configure up to five identifiers for each touchpoint. Based on the buyer's cycle, you can recognize the modules that might be involved with a particular state and spot the fields that could be common between two states.

For example, let's assume your objective is to discover lead conversion in your business. To know how leads are generated, how they are qualified, and how they are converted, you can configure:
  1. States based on the steps involved in your lead management process: lead generation, lead qualification, lead nurturing, lead conversion, and contact creation.
  2. Touchpoints based on the avenues through which interactions happen during these stages; submission of a webform, clicking on an email campaign, receiving an incoming call, clicking an outgoing email, conversion of a record from leads module, and creation of a record in contacts module.
  3. Identifiers can be common fields present.
    1. Submission of a webform is a touchpoint that is related to the lead generation process. The identifiers can be user information like last name, email address, mobile number, twitter handle, and record ID.
    2. Clicking on an email campaign is another touchpoint related to lead generation. The identifiers can be campaign ID, email address, and campaign subject.
      Here, the above touchpoints have different triggers, assigned to the same state, Lead Generation, and the same module, Leads. As you can see, email address is a common identifier, the value of campaign ID and record ID points to the same record.
    3. Conversion of a lead record is another touchpoint that indicates lead conversion. The identifier that is configured here will relate to the fields present in the contacts module. This is where you have to take caution. You will need to verify the fields you have configured as identifiers from the leads module are present in the subsequent contacts module too.
Tips:
PathFinder considers the value of the identifier fields to form a path, such that between two states or two touchpoints, you can use different fields whose value could be overlapping.
Let's assume:
  1. Lead Generation is a state > Creation of a record in Leads module is a Touchpoint, then Identifiers can be Mobile, Last name, email address phone number, and/or Record ID.
  1. Lead conversion is a state > Convert of a record from Leads module is a touchpoint, then the identifiers can be the same as above: Mobile, Last name, email address, phone number, and/or Record ID.
As you can see, the touchpoints in both the case are from same module/ layout so that the same identifiers can be used. If you would like to track a path between two modules, then the fields present in one module may not be available in the other module. In this case, you can
  1. Choose the fields that could carry common value like Last name and Contact Name, such that the contact name contains values present in the last name field.
To configure Identifiers for a touchpoint:
  1. Click on Identifiers and select the desired unique fields from the drop-down.
Notes:
  1. Based on the module chosen during the touchpoint configuration, PathFinder auto-populates relevant identifiers. You can either retain them or update them with your desired fields.
  2. The identifier "Record ID" will appear only when update of a record is chosen as a touchpoint.
  3. Record ID act as a coordinate to denote a record which is not a "visible field" in your CRM. You can use Record ID as an identifier for touchpoints configured for the same module.

Track the Journeys

Once you have completed configuring States, Touchpoints, and Identifiers, it is time you start tracking journeys.
  1. For a newly created PathFinder, you can click start tracking button.
Once you start tracking, you can validate your configurations from the Setup Overview.

  1. You can also edit an active PathFinder by clicking the Edit button.
  2. Once you have updated the configuration, you can either save the updated configuration as a new version and track like a new rule, or override the existing configuration.

Generate analytical reports based on paths observed using Variables

In addition to the PathFinder reports, you can also extract records that follow a certain path with the help of variables.
Variables are fields used in your touchpoint configuration, which you can use as a denominator and classify your record database based on the paths.


Supplimentary resources on PathFinder


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