Change and variability in customer buying behaviors is a constant. Especially as buying power shifts to the millennial generation, born digitals with higher expectations. It’s our job to be prepared to build a high performing digital experience around each potential customer and precisely in the moment and place they need it. At a macro level, the battle to drive specific user behavior is lost, creating evolving environments that meet any possible user behavior is our only option.
HOW TO DO IT
Dealing with multiple channels like web, mobile web and mobile apps in silos doesn’t work. Users don’t compartmentalize their interactions, they experience journeys with brands because each touch point raises or lowers the overall experience. One negative touch can ruin the whole relationship. The myriad of supporting stats in the infographic make this point. Silos aren’t effective for support, for your resources or most importantly, for customers who expect each touch point to be seamless and identical
How do you address these issues without some sort of unified customer view? Maybe you have Web & mobile Web stats in one spot, but your store stats are somewhere else and your mobile app stats are MIA. If a customer, during a single visit, uses both your Web site and your mobile app, you’ll count them twice with “odd” interactions, overlooking that they searched on one and checked out of the other.
Three principles can be applied to remedy this situation:
Instrumentation of all channels (web, mobile web, mobile apps) for all-inclusive user tracking. Sounding a bit like a broken record here, but don’t be mistaken that visibility breadth actually gives you tighter focus on user behaviors. Looking at what they do (in detail for each interaction), what time of the day they do it and through which channel, gives us actionable information to better engage with them. If you have all of this information, for example, you can push a relevant mobile notification at a key moment because you can see the customer is using a smartphone AND just came off a target webpage educating themselves to make a purchasing decision. A mobile push notification without that webpage data is a guess at your user’s behavior.
Customer Experience Management
Customer-driven business leaders adopt an “outside-in” view using holistic customer-centric analytics from all digital interactions with web, mobile web or mobile apps. This user experience viewpoint enables you to identify and solve application, technical and design issues that are impediments to adoption and conversion. For example: say a user came into the search page, saw the result page then left. What happened and why? If you understand that the user came to the search page, searched for item xyz, got 500 results in 10s, scrolled 10 times THEN abandoned… we can understand that this search page and results are not optimized, resulting in the user bailing. Now we know we need to improve search result accuracy & speed to keep customers happy.
The next level of customer experience management is relating that above search example to the entire user visit or “customer journey” as some call it. Factoring in all user actions, correlating response times, errors/crashes, bounce rates, conversion rates and on which browser, network, and geography we can get a really, really accurate idea of the complete user experience. Capturing this collection of information and assembling it in higher level views allows us to establish dashboards like Fig 2. which helps us correlate user experience with conversion rate tracking and revenues.
Launch readiness looks at assessing future user experience and performance ahead of time, before the first user interacts. It focuses on monitoring third party service effects and the quality of service delivered by your providers against whatever SLA you’ve agreed to. It’s also about preparing for a new deployment or for a specific event requires that you’ve addressed all contingencies across all channels. Just because your Marketing department has an important campaign running doesn’t mean your web sites and mobile apps are ready to handle the additional load when users will still come in through search, hit the homepage directly, or enter through mobile.
BEAUTIFUL SIDE EFFECTS OF EVOLVED APPS
Mature organizations taking care of their customers by gathering key user experience and performance data mentioned above open themselves up to a world of increased business intelligence. Great insight like:
- A measured/monitored experience reveals things you couldn’t possibly have gotten from focus groups and assumptions (Example: A major US retailer built a virtual showroom, very high performing tech with rabid fans.. until they noticed that virtual showroom users were X% LESS likely to convert with the items in their shopping cart!)
- Are your customers Webroomers or Showroomers? As you can see in the infographic, we know our users are using multiple devices, but when and where are they most likely to convert? Where do you WANT them to convert?
- What experiences led people to become customers? And repeat customers? And referrers?
- Whether or not A/B Testing is improving conversions?
- How do visitors perceive your site vs. your competitors’?
- What is driving abandonment at given pages/steps?
- Why is your conversion rate low with this customer segment?
- What is a typical customer journey across touch-points?
- Why is your app getting 2 a star ratings?
- How is conversion affected by performance?
- What is the impact of adding another ad block to your site?
- Correlating digital user experience to conversion and revenue.
- When you spot a negative trend, do you have all needed context for tech teams to investigate?
- Can you detect key failed transaction in real time?
- Do you have all needed context when a customer call in to complain?
- How do you know if your infrastructure is ready for the next marketing campaign / geo expansion / new technical partnership?
- How does your web site speed influences SEO positioning?
- Are your technology partners delivering on their SLA?