Improving Customer Experience: How to Measure the Impact on Digital Revenues
Do you know how your customers feel about your company? Do they like you, hate you, feel ambivalent toward you? Without knowing how your customers feel about their experiences with your business, increasing your revenues can be more challenging than it should be. That’s why experts expect the customer experience to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020, according to a recent Walker Study.
Satisfied customers are more likely to spend more money, become brand advocates, return for future purchases, and be more engaged with your overall company mission. According to Esteban Kolsky, if customers are not satisfied, 13% of them will tell 15 or more people that they are unhappy, but if customers have a positive experience, 72% of them will tell six or more people.
The problem is that many businesses stop at this surface level information, unwilling or unable to dig deeper into the reality of their customer experience on their bottom line.
You need to look past the basics in order to understand exactly how important the customer experience is to your success, particularly when it comes generating value.
The Importance of the Customer Experience
Most businesses look at customer conversions as the only ROI of their customer experience program. They think that if a customer purchases a product, they must have had a positive experience and appreciated the product offerings. After all, data collected by Medallia shows that the strongest brand advocates spend 15% more than brand non-advocates.
But while conversions are important, they do not accurately indicate your full customer experience or if it is sustainable. For example, just because a customer purchases a product does not mean they are happy and will return in the future. Only a deep look at your customer experience analytics will tell you that, which is why Gartnerpredicts that, by 2018, more than 50% of organizations will redirect their investments to customer experience innovations.
However, this is easier said than done. Your customers’ experiences can be shaded in ambiguity, which can make it incredibly difficult to determine if it’s having a positive result on your business.
The Troubles with Measuring Customer Experience
When businesses are faced with making decisions on where to investment to drive the biggest impact on customer experience, the lack of clarity can be frustrating. Should you spend on digital customer engagement or on a new online store design?
In the end, implementing a successful customer experience program requires a structured approach that is based on science. You need to be able to build an explicit link to value, so you can direct your investments where they’ll do the most good and build a roadmap for future success.
Quantifying the Customer Experience to Improve Your Business
The first way to start using your customer experience program to improve your business is to focus on ways to collect and analyze customer feedback. That’s where an advanced experience analytics platform is necessary. This type of system lets you step into your visitors’ shoes to see exactly how they are experiencing your website. But you shouldn’t be satisfied with an experience analytics platform that offers session replays alone; a mature solution will include advanced capabilities such as path quantification and path identification, to name a couple.
For example, by using a customer experience analytics platform with path quantification, you can see how frequently visitors are struggling to fill in a particular field on the shipping page or whether a particular sequence of interactions on a category page is the mark of a visitor who will ultimately convert.
So, what is path quantification and how exactly does it work?
Path quantification is a tool that tracks the sequences of in-page visitor behaviors —millisecond-level clicks, scrolls, hover, etc.—so that you can measure the magnitude of experience-related problems or opportunities. By orders of magnitude, it can help users reduce the time spent quantifying the impact of visitor behaviors.
Using path quantification, you can answer questions such as “how often:
- Are people hovering over “Add to Cart” but not clicking?”
- Are visitors scrolling up and down on our FAQ page because it takes a while to find the question they want answered?“
- Are our loyalty club members leaving negative feedback in our VoC?“
- Are visitors hovering over the coupon code field and then getting distracted?“
- Are visitors reviewing our rate chart before clicking on the “Open an Account” CTA?”
- Did visitors hover over our limited time offer to switch plans in the last month?“
- Are visitors reading the text on our content page?“
- Are visitors accidentally closing the filters?“
With the right experience analytics platform, you can record data from thousands of customers to spot trends or problems that affect a sizable percentage of your visitors. If you only recorded or watched a single customer, you wouldn’t be able to tell if he or she was were an outlier or one of many. And in the best systems, you should be able to label snippets of behavior or entire recordings and then scan for similar issues to discover if it’s a frequent problem or not.
Eventually, you’ll be able to track the financial implications of this behavior. For example, if you find that 28% of your customers abandon their cart because of difficulty filling in a field on the shipping page, and that the average order value was $119, then from there, it’s a simple matter to calculate the extent that this poor customer experience is having on your bottom line. And the reverse is true as well.
In the end, linking your customer experience to your digital revenues requires you to:
- Determine which customer behaviors matter based on their perceived outcome. For example, satisfied customers shouldn’t abandon carts, but frustrated customers may.
- Link what your customers do together with your business results. For example, if a customer spends a lot of time scrolling on your homepage and then leaving without making a purchase, that’s lost revenue which could be due to a poor customer experience.
- Analyze historical customer experiences for trends. A single outlier can’t successfully tell you if your customer experience is a positive or negative one, but trends can help you determine revenue generators and detractors.
*Merav Keren is a Senior Digital Manager at Clicktale. Merav is enthusiastic about perfecting online products and marketing techniques, to grow business and reach the ultimate in digital experience. She has 10 years of experience in online marketing, holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Tel-Aviv University and an MBA from the College of Management. *