June 23, 2015 | Don Morrison

The Truth About Your Customers: The Website Experience Still Matters


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One of the great things about working with over 1,200 clients across a wide variety of industries and sectors is all the data. Since 2001, we’ve captured over 130,000,000 experiences. And having access to so much data allows us to produce a variety of industry and competitive benchmarks that help our clients understand how their customer experience ranks against competitors, across industries and channels, and over time. It also gives us unparalleled insight into the customer experience, allowing us to uncover some very important truths about your customers.

And the truth is, today’s multichannel, multi-device customers are not very satisfied with the web experience. When we look at aggregate customer satisfaction scores by channel, the web channel scores lowest—by a statistically significant 6 points:

Customer Satisfaction by Channel

Source: Q1 2015 ForeSee client data

So why aren’t today’s consumers satisfied with the web experience? Companies have been developing websites for over 20 years, and the fields of web design and technology keep getting better. Have digital teams been spending too much time focusing on the mobile and tablet experience? Possibly. But it’s more likely that they’re not effectively listening to the collective voice of the customer. Instead, they may be relying on traditional KPIs and behavioral metrics to gauge performance and they’re not thinking about how the web experience fits into the greater customer journey—which, truth be told, varies from industry to industry.

To further illustrate this point, let’s look at a popular behavioral metric many companies use to gauge performance in the web channel: engagement. If people are spending a lot of time on your site, they must be having a good experience, right? Not true. The truth is, in every industry we measure aside from retail, satisfaction decreases as the number of pages viewed increases:

Time on site does not equal engagement.

Source: Q1 2015 ForeSee client data

Our findings on task accomplishment provide additional proof that time spent on a site does not equal engagement, and definitely should not be interpreted as a “good experience.” From a consumer’s perspective, being able to accomplish what they set out to accomplish on a website is incredibly important to their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the experience. However, our data shows website task accomplishment across all industries had dropped 8% since 2012:

Task accomplishment is going down.

Source: ForeSee client data

The truth is, focusing on improving engagement on your website is a bad idea if you’re not in retail or e-commerce. Think about what your customer is trying to do. If you’re in telecom or finance, maybe your customer is trying to pay their bill or check an account balance. They don’t have all day. Your web experience should enable your customers to easily accomplish what they’re trying to accomplish in a way that meets or exceeds their expectations.

This is where listening to the voice of your customers and measuring their experience using powerful and predictive customer experience analytics is more beneficial than making assumptions based on behavioral data alone. Measuring your customer’s satisfaction with elements of the web experience (navigation, functionality, content, etc.) and understanding the impact each of these elements has on the overall experience enables you to confidently identify your business’s biggest priorities for improvement. Because the truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. For example, at an aggregate level, the top priorities for website improvement vary greatly between the financial services industry and retail:

financial services vs. retail customer experience priorities

Source: Q1 2015 ForeSee client data

The most important truth about your customers is something we’ve been saying for years that has been scientifically proven time and time again: satisfied customers are better for your business. When your customers are satisfied, they’re more likely to engage in future behaviors that benefit your business, like recommend your company, purchase from you again and remain loyal to your brand.

ForeSee’s proven approach to customer satisfaction measurement enables you to harness the voice of your customers to gain strategic insights that help you make better business decisions. To learn more, download The ForeSee CXA Methodology White Paper.

Next up: we’ll reveal some truths about the multichannel customer experience. Never miss a post: subscribe here to receive email notifications whenever new content is published.

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About the Author

Don Morrison | ForeSee

As Executive Vice President & General Manager, Don is responsible for driving growth and delivering value to our clients. His focus is to leverage the combined assets of the Answers Cloud Services platform to help businesses measure and improve the multichannel customer experience to deliver better business results. Don has almost 30 years of experience in executive management, sales management, consulting and strategic planning, including several international assignments. Prior to joining ForeSee in 2009, he was an executive for GMAC Commercial Finance and Compuware Corporation, and held senior management positions at MascoTech, Inc., Coopers & Lybrand, and Deloitte & Touche. Don has an MBA degree from Bowling Green State University and a BBA degree from Eastern Michigan University.

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