SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Jun 22, 2011) -
- 18 percent of companies rate their understanding of the overall online customer experience as "poor"
- 55 percent believe bad navigation is both the most common and serious problem plaguing customers
- 95% of respondents that are using session replay technology find it to be quite or very effective
- Only three percent of the companies surveyed believe they offer customers an "excellent" multichannel experience
A survey commissioned by Tealeaf®, the leader in online customer experience management (CEM) software, and conducted by Econsultancy, reveals that US companies are losing the equivalent of 23 percent of their entire annual online revenue due to poor online customer experiences. According to the study, limited understanding of the overall online customer experience, lack of multichannel approach, and hard-to-diagnose site usability issues are all contributing factors to the poor consumer experiences that lead to billions of dollars in lost revenue.
The full findings of the survey of nearly 500 global senior business professionals are available in a report recently released, entitled Reducing Customer Struggle, available to download from http://econsultancy.com/us/reports/reducing-customer-struggle. It reveals that nearly one-fifth (18 percent) of businesses rate their understanding of the online customer experience as "poor" or "very poor," with only four percent classing it as "excellent."
Limited Understanding of the Online Customer Experience
This lack of understanding seems to be most prevalent at the bottom of the sales funnel with the majority of companies saying they have "limited" or "no understanding" of why customers abandon a shopping cart (78 percent) or leave a site without converting (81 percent). Instead, most are reactive and rely on other channels to discover customer issues, with 76 percent most likely to learn about site problems as a result of calls to the customer service team or through customer emails.
"It's essential for businesses to maintain a competitive edge by gaining insight into site pain points and taking quick action to dramatically improve the customer experience," said Matt Raines, VP Technology at Bluefly.com. "Failure to do so will severely limit a company's ability to identify issues and to make the necessary tactical fixes and strategic changes to the site that left untended will result in lost customers and lost revenue."
The Most Common and Serious Online Customer Experience Issues
When asked to identify the single most common problem that customers might encounter on their websites, bad site navigation/poor 'findability' was considered to be both the most common (57 percent) and most serious (55 percent) problem. 29 percent cited lack of information as the second most common and serious (31 percent) problem that might drive customers away from websites. When it comes to effective approaches for understanding the customer experience, only 11% of respondents said that they use session replay technology but an astounding 95% of those found it to be quite or very effective.
"This research demonstrates a clear link between online customer experience and revenue generation," said Geoff Galat, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for Tealeaf. "Online businesses have much to gain from better online visibility -- whether it's across multiple channels or at the bottom of the sales funnel where conversion rates should be highest. A poor online user experience, coupled with a lack of visibility and understanding, translates into a significant amount of lost revenue as well as added costs due to increased inbound inquiries."
Lack of Multi-channel Approach
Linking online and offline channels and sharing insights across both is also a major challenge for businesses, with only three percent describing the multi-channel experience they provide as "excellent" and nearly a quarter (24 percent) rating it as "poor" or "very poor." Sixty percent of the companies polled admit that the offline parts of their business have little or no understanding of the experience a customer might have at their online store. Currently only 49 percent of companies have processes in place to prioritize and rectify the problems and issues customers face online; this practice will become even more critical as companies add a new channel into the mix, as 52 percent of those polled plan to invest in the mobile internet this year.
"The web lies at the heart of any multi-channel business these days and providing visibility across all business units will ensure a seamless experience at all brand touch-points," said Ashley Friedlein, CEO at Econsultancy. "As the online channel becomes increasingly valuable for business, it is vital for companies to ensure the customer journey is as pain-free and productive as possible. Companies that fail to put in place the technology and processes necessary to improve online experiences will miss out on this growing financial potential."
The Reducing Customer Struggle report is based on an international online survey of almost 500 business professionals working for companies involved in e-commerce and e-business. The survey was live during March and April 2011.
Econsultancy promoted the survey to its community of digital marketers and e-commerce professionals, offering a complimentary copy of this report as the incentive for taking part. Tealeaf, the research sponsor, also promoted the survey to its customers and prospects.
A total of 491 respondents who are employees at an e-commerce or e-business company took part in the survey. The best represented countries were the UK (58%) and the US (21%). For more detailed profiling of respondents, see Section 8 of the full report.
The survey respondents were typically senior within a business, with more than a third (38%) classifying themselves either as heads or VPs of digital / e-commerce (23%) or business owners / C-level executives / CMOs (15%). A third of respondents are marketing managers responsible either for multiple channels (25%) or for a single channel (9%).
Econsultancy is a digital publishing and training group used by more than 200,000 Internet professionals every month. The company publishes practical and time-saving research to help marketers make better decisions about the digital environment, build business cases, find the best suppliers, look smart in meetings and accelerate their careers. Econsultancy has offices in New York and London, and hosts more than 100 events every year in the US and UK. Many of the world's most famous brands use Econsultancy to educate and train their staff. Some of Econsultancy's members include: Google, Yahoo, Dell, BBC, BT, Shell, Vodafone, Virgin Atlantic, Barclays, Deloitte, T-Mobile and Estée Lauder.
Tealeaf provides online customer experience management solutions and is the leader in customer behavior analysis. Tealeaf's CEM solutions include both a customer behavior analysis suite and customer service optimization suite. For organizations that are making customer experience a top priority, these solutions provide unprecedented enterprise-wide visibility into every visitor's unique online interactions for ongoing analysis and web site optimization. Online executive stakeholders from ebusiness and IT to customer service and compliance are leveraging Tealeaf to build a customer experience management competency across the organization. Founded in 1999, Tealeaf is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and is privately held. For more information, visit www.tealeaf.com
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