The website priority your business can’t afford to ignore

How much do you really know about what your customers do on your website? Can you say with confidence that you understand why customers drop from your site right before they checkout? Have you perfected every online form? Are you providing a great experience on mobile?

Yes to all of the above? Congratulations, you have a 100% conversion rate.

No? You're not alone.

Your customers aren’t mind readers. Just because you designed an aesthetically pleasing, well-thought out path for them to follow, spent a lot of time and money on it (you even hired the best web designer in the business!), doesn’t mean they’ll act the way you expected.

A phrase I hear from many of my prospective customers is “we’re just not ready for a customer experience platform, can you check back in 6 months?”

Companies have many reasons for not moving forward on new initiatives. Budgets, timing, internal projects taking priority, website overhauls; the list goes on and many are valid reasons.

But not understanding how customers act online is risky business. Here’s why:

1. You invest a lot of money and resources into your website. Shouldn’t you know if it’s efficient and enjoyable to use?

If you’re like most companies in 2016, your website is the “darling” of your enterprise.  It’s where your customers come to shop, engage with your brand, open an account, apply for insurance, and much more, depending on your industry. Your company pours millions into marketing, advertising, design, testing, promotions, campaigns, hosting, and much more – all for that website. Hundreds of people are employed to power it. It’s a massive undertaking and a continuous investment.

Yet, I talk to dozens of companies every week who are only beginning to be data-driven. Many allow design teams to make executive decisions without any information on the customer’s true behavior and actions online. Others spend millions redesigning a site with no knowledge of what the customer’s in-page experience was – before or after. Then, after limited (and very expensive) research, they find the redesign didn’t help much at all.

The reality is, there are holes all over your website. And those holes represent lost revenue. If one person gets confused by a form or can’t find a call to action, it’s happening to hundreds or even thousands of people.  How much does that cost if your average order value is $80 or more?  What if it’s $1,000? 

2. Customer feedback doesn’t give you the whole story.

Most of the customers I work with have a web analytics platform to understand their customers’ path across the site (which pages they visit), a testing platform, or a survey solution (we call it voice of customer), or all of the above! Some companies also do user testing or focus groups.

All of these tools tell you "what," but none of them tell you "why."

And, it's only part of the picture. Because for every customer who bothers to complain in a survey, 26 other customers remain silent (Survey of Consumer Affairs, White House).

What if you had a visualization of every person who submitted a survey, and understood the behavior of the thousands and millions more who don’t bother to respond? What if you knew why certain pages underperform, or why your A/B test wasn’t as successful as you'd hoped

If you're missing the in-page behavioral data, you're missing the bigger picture.

3. In today’s digital world, customer experience is the only thing that sets you apart.

“A customer is 4 times more likely to go to your competitor if their problem is service-related than price- or product-related." (Bain & Company)

All of your competitors have websites. They have mobile sites and apps. They may offer products that look just like yours, maybe even for less money. So what can you really do to differentiate yourself?

You can provide an awesome experience online. You can make purchasing, enrolling, or booking seamless for your customer. You can delight them. And then, they will come back.

You've heard the statistics: people are much more likely to share a bad experience instead of a good one. But you’ll never provide a better experience if you don’t know how your customers act in the first place.

We all remember a good experience much longer than what we spend money on or sign up for. In a world where everything is at your customer’s fingertips, providing a good experience is the only way to stand out.

Want to know more about what your customers do on your digital properties? There’s my picture with a link to my profile! Connect with me to learn more about how Clicktale helps the world’s leading enterprises deliver outstanding customer experiences. 

Sara Levinson is an Enterprise Sales Manager in California for Clicktale, the SaaS leader in Digital Customer Experience.

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