Map your customer journey stages

Who can use this feature?

Your customer journey represents the key stages that your customers go through, post-purchase through advocacy. Mapping your journey is an important first step in building successful programs and choosing the right SuccessBLOCs that will help your teams optimize.

What is a typical customer journey?

A customer journey is a lifecycle that occurs in sequential order. Here is a summary of a typical customer journey:

  1. Onboarding
  2. Adoption
  3. Nurture
  4. Advocate


1. Onboarding

Onboarding is the process of getting the customer fully deployed and ready to use your product. Onboarding begins when the customer has purchased the product and ends at the point where they are ready to use and adopt the product.

The success criteria to exit onboarding could vary depending on whether you have a digital onboarding or a high touch, project-based onboarding program.

  • For digital, there should be key set up steps to identify customer completion
  • For high touch/project-based, onboarding is typically completed once the last task of the project is complete

2. Adoption

Driving product adoption can represent an initiative that happens across a customer's lifecycle, not just a particular phase in the journey. How do you know if you should include this as its own stage?

It's best practice to include an adoption stage whenever have different KPI and engagement strategies during the period immediately following the onboarding stage. An adoption stage typically ends by a specific timeframe (e.g., 90-365 days post contract start date) or by success criteria (e.g., license utilization > 85%).

If those scenarios don't apply, it's best practice to remove adoption from your customer journey. You can always add this stage later when you are ready.

3. Nurture

Nurture is the stage where the customer "lives" for most of their lifecycle. This stage focuses on recurring engagement strategies, such as QBRs and success plan reviews.

In the nurture stage, your team is also analyzing the customer for potential expansion opportunities and increasing the customer's use of the product for them to become an advocate. 

4. Advocate

Advocate is the final stage of the journey, in which you may define advanced criteria to denote an account as an advocate (e.g., reference program, a combination of other key factors).

What about renewal, expansion, and risk?

The customer journey is a lifecycle; stages happen in sequential order. However, other events may happen at any point and any number of times, which are outside of the customer journey lifecycle. For example, you do not want recurring engagements for a QBR in your nurture stage to be interrupted when a customer enters renewal. Or perhaps a customer decides to expand during onboarding!

Therefore, these processes are instead represented within separate lifecycles that you can manage concurrently:

  1. Renewal
  2. Expansion
  3. Risk / escalation

You'll find these lifecycle attributes in Totango under Renewal Status, Expansion Status, and Risk Status.

How do I map my customer journey within Totango?

Totango includes a system lifecycle attribute for customer journey stage. 

  1. From the left nav, click Settings.
  2. Within Settings, expand Data Management > Data Modeler.
  3. Search for Customer Journey Stage, and click to view properties.
    The names of your journey stages appear, listed in descending order.
  4. Disable stages that you don't use, edit stage names, or add your own stages as needed. Drag and drop to re-order stages.

    Ensure you have an onboarding stage defined if using the Manage Onboarding Projects SuccessBLOC.

  5. Configure additional properties for the attribute:
    • Display name: We advise against editing this name, as it is seen across many resources.
    • Description:  Appears on hover over, but this value is not required.
    • Flow: Choose the overall journey flow for reporting purposes.
    • Dimension: Leave as is.
    • Source: Indicates data source. If you set up your data source (CRM/Database) to populate this attribute, it will appear here.
    • Editability: If your data source (CRM/Database/CSV) is the source of truth for your Customer Journey stages, and you will not use Totango to automate your stages, uncheck this box.  However, in most cases, Totango will be the source of truth for the stages, so you will want to allow your teams to update this value manually or via SuccessPlay.
    • Default value: If using your account data source as the source of truth, you may choose how Totango behaves if we receive null for this attribute value. Because Totango will likely be the source of truth, you may leave the default setting as is.
  6. Click Save.

After you have your lifecycle stages defined, apply the right stage to each of your customer accounts. You can set customer journey stage individually on an account profile, editing a segment in bulk, or by data integration.


A simple approach to get started could be:

  • Onboarding = Contract Start date in the last 90 days
  • Nurture = Contract Start Date over 365 days
  • Adoption = Customer Journey stage is not Onboarding or Nurture

An even better approach is to use SuccessBLOCs with configurable SuccessPlays to automate updates to these stages based on criteria!

See SuccessBLOC Setup: Manage Onboarding Projects

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