Graduate from observer to participant: Make your website better by understanding the digital customer experience
When you think about how you can improve your website, what first comes to mind? Layout? Pop-ups? Discounts on products? Sure, these are potential perks, but will they really solve the underlying problems? What you need is a tool-or set of tools-to help you understand your site from the inside out.
There are two sides to every computer screen: that of the customer and that of the business. In order to take your site to the next level, you need to stop thinking like a business and start thinking like a customer.
As a site manager, you have two options: you can sit and watch how people use your website and not react to it, or you can take action. I imagine anyone reading this article has a vested interest in the success of their website, and therefore would suggest that the latter is the chosen course of action.
Websites are no longer stagnant displays. In today’s world, they are interactive from the moment the user logs on, and it’s up to you to optimize the site for the best user experience in order to reach your goal, whatever that may be.
For you to do so, you have to stop watching your website like an observer and become actively involved in the development and tracking the relevant information. The only way you can understand the digital customer experience is to see it from the perspective of the customer.
Improving the digital customer experience
According to Wow Local Marketing, 55% of people become frustrated with a brand if they have a negative website experience. And Adobe found that 39% of people will simply stop engaging with a website if it takes too long to load. These are significantly high figures when you consider the traffic of most websites. The question is, do you know what needs to happen so that your customers don’t get frustrated with your website?
To improve the digital customer experience, you have to start at the beginning, from the second the customer lands on the home page. Every step in the process matters, and if you can’t see it all the way through, then the customer certainly won’t be able to. If you have a destination page in mind, but customers aren’t ending up there, something is wrong in the process. Instead of having to go back to the beginning every time the process fails, look for a way to find the issue in the middle before losing all the progress you have made so far. Chances are the answer is a lot closer than you think.
If you have a standard website, unquestionably you must have a mobile site or a mobile app. This is increasingly critical as more and more transactions and conversions are being completed via smart phone as opposed to desktop. So many companies are seeing the mobile platform as a mission critical of their marketing that a 2013 IBM study found that 84% of CIOs are focusing more on the mobile customer experience than the desktop customer experience.
According to Vala Afshar of the Huffington Post, “Mobile is no longer about technology, but a lifestyle.” That being said, it must be taken into account that desktops are becoming less relevant than mobile devices. Because mobile experiences are expected to be so instantaneous, if the mobile experience is lacking, then the customer is much less likely to switch to a different site (even more quickly than they would have on a desktop).
How you become the participant
Once you collect and review the data, it’s time to take the next step. Information can be shared among employees in all departments, so everyone has access to the same data. This is important so that all the teams understand where the issues lie, and how they can work together to fix them quickly. Many of the issues can be fixed in short periods of time, or they can lead you to the root of a bigger problem, and there is less stress about trying to find the error. Small changes can lead to greater success in the long run.
The digital customer journeys have already become an incredibly important part of business strategy, and its importance will keep increasing in the coming years. McKinsey found that satisfaction with a customer journey leads not only to a 20% increase in customer satisfaction, but a 15% increase in revenue. By building a strong, dedicated path for your company’s website, you can make those numbers much higher.
Glassbox: The solution for crafting the ideal digital customer experience
Glassbox uses the following primary tools to gauge the digital customer experience:
- Website Session Replay– See what actions were taken or what went wrong seconds after it happened. See every tap or swipe that got them to the final page in the process.
- Click maps– Understand what – on average – the customer journey looks like on a specific page or form, from beginning to end, including which fields people spend the most time on, what data inputs they change more often than you’d like them to, and more.
- Funnel building– Analyze specific scenarios and work flows; spot where people churn or abandon a process and why.
- Experience performance– Identify infrastructure issues and how they impact customer behaviors.
While Glassbox has been capturing and storing the relevant information, you can decide how you will act on it. Glassbox can reveal the following data:
- Which buttons are being clicked and which are not
- Why people are or are not completing the desired conversion
- Technical issues that need to be fixed, such as JS errors, app crashes, performance or availability issues, and more.
- How users respond to the layout of the website
- Where your users are coming from (both location-wise and digital or mobile)
There are very few hardware suites that offer this comprehensive set of information. When all this data is combined, you are given a front row seat to what the user is experiencing. Once you can see how this information works together, you will be able to understand not just the success rate of your website, but why people are reacting the way they are to your site.
With Glassbox’s cross-platform tools, you can quickly identify any mobile issues, and whether they are separate from desktop issues. And just like tracking the desktop journey, you can see every swipe that that mobile user made during their journey on your website. By making the same tools available for both desktop and mobile, there is no longer a platform divide. Just like that, you have access you need to all the data with just a few clicks of your own mouse.
The greatest benefit of Glassbox is not just the immediacy, but the depth of the data breakdown it provides. Knowledge is power, and when it comes to making your website successful, the more you know, the better.