Everywhere you turn, companies are recognizing the importance of the experiences customers are having online. This recognition has driven everything from SAP’s decision to buy Qualtrics for 8 billion dollars, to Adobe’s purchase several years ago of Omniture, to Medallia going public, and companies increasingly investing in efforts to make sure they are meeting customer needs online and offline.
With the modern-day focus of the importance of delivering great customer experiences, you might be surprised to learn that the main underpinning for Customer Experience Management comes from a concept developed the same year that Rick Astley released his ubiquitous song, “Never Gonna Give You Up”.
In 1988, the term “Experience Economy” was first used in an article by B. Joseph Pine III and James H. Gilmore describing the experience economy as the next economy following the agrarian economy, the industrial economy, and the most recent service economy.
While the original concept was focused in part on businesses charging for the feeling customers get from engaging with them, the broader and more modern concept of living in an experience economy boils down to a very simple idea: Companies that do a better job of meeting the needs and exceeding the expectations of their customers have a strategic competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Measuring the Digital Customer Experience
The purpose of measurement is management. In an experience economy, managing the customer experience becomes a strategic business imperative which should be recognized as having the same weight as managing quarterly financial performance. Since you can’t manage what you don’t measure, companies must seek out better ways to measure and understand the customer experience.
There are three critical, data driven ways to measure and understand the digital customer experience.
- Analyzing visitor behavior and site performance
- Observing visitor behavior and site performance
- Listening to the customer to understand their perspective about the experiences they are having.
Analyzing 100% of visitor behavior
and site performance
Analyzing behavioral data and site performance issues has been a mainstay of managing the user experience for decades. The newest development in this arena is technology that enables access to 100% of visitor behavior data and site performance data. If you aren’t capturing 100% of the experience, then you aren’t able to fully manage that experience.
In addition to eliminating blind spots, when all the granular data is at your fingertips, the time to find and fix site issues (both technical and usability) is exponentially reduced.
Observing visitor behavior
and site performance
As powerful as behavioral analytic data can be on its own, observing visitor behavior through session replay technology makes it easier and faster to identify and gain acceptance of user experience and site performance issues at scale.
There are two tricks to making replay technology effective at scale.
- It needs to be able to collect all that data with no discernable impact on site performance or user experience. In other words, all data needs to be collected asynchronously, as Auryc does.
- End users of Session Replay need to be able to quickly identify the sessions that contain meaningful insights. This is why tying in to 100% data collection becomes so important. There is gold in the data, but unless you are able to seamlessly tie it with observational data you are missing out on the full picture.
While there are other ways to observe visitor behavior online (such as in a lab or in a user study), doing so at scale requires technology that can capture vast amounts of data without negatively impacting site performance, and requires tying in to a deeper reservoir of data than most solutions are able to offer. (Auryc offers 100% data collection which is natively integrated with Session Replay technology.)
Listening to the customer
No data driven user experience program can be complete without also having a way to quantify the customers perspective on the experiences that they are having. If behavioral analytics tells you what is happening, and session replay shows you what is happening, the customer will tell you what all of that means.
Measuring the success or failure of your efforts from the customer perspective is a critical piece of data that must be taken into consideration. Behavioral and observational data on its own may lead you to believe that a customer visit was a failure because it didn’t result in a conversion…but when you ask the customer they may tell you that the site worked perfectly for them, and that they are planning on returning tomorrow to finish their transaction. This was a successful site experience!
Unifying behavioral analytics,
session replay, and voice of the customer.
Integrating multiple technologies can be a costly and time consuming challenge, and when the integrations don’t work right it usually requires coordinating the efforts of multiple vendors to fix the problem. Auryc is the only company that natively ties all three of these technologies together.