Great customer experience is one of the hardest things for your competitors to copy.

A strategy of continuous improvement can offer clear differentiation from competitors.

However, it’s only when we measure what customers are actually seeing and doing when they are interacting with our digital channels, that we can understand where they might have issues or unmet needs. 

Rather than theorise about potential problems or rely on closely monitoring small samples of test users, we need to let the data lead us to areas of concern.

Research by IBM Tealeaf and Econsultancy found that almost three-quarters (73%) of companies admit they’re unaware of the reasons customers leave the site without converting.

Q: How well does your company understand the reasons for the following activity?

Everyone knows users forget passwords but it’s surprising how much business you could be losing because of it. One e-business had no idea of how or how many customers used their user ID and PIN recovery system before looking at the actual usage data.

They were quickly able to see how many customers were dropping off and identified the struggle points for those users. Defining conversion rates for this type of non-core website activity can support wider customer experience improvements and sales.

A good approach to consider is to start with high level quantification of how many customers are getting specific experiences (good or bad) and then drill down into finding those specific customers.

By really understanding your customers’ experiences will enable you to find out where the challenging points are for each individual customer. This helps you to get a real competitive advantage.

Enhancing the mobile experience

Major investment is being made by organisations of all types into the mobile channel but few are viewing these mobile-specific websites and apps through the eyes of the customer.

We recently heard of one client example that identified several hundred customers a day that were unable to register an account on a new iPhone app, but were able to quickly resolve the issue, due to adopting the data-driven customer experience approach. 

Our research found that e-businesses are seeing an increase in the proportion of traffic to their website attributed to mobile devices, with 41% saying that mobile accounts for more than 20% of their traffic, compared to just 17% in 2012.

As this trend continues, it will become even more important to evaluate the wide range of ways customers are interacting with your website.

Geoff Galat

Published 10 February, 2014 by Geoff Galat

Geoff Galat is Worldwide VP of Marketing at IBM Tealeaf and a contributor to Econsultancy. 

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Comments (5)


Robert Jones

Great article Geoff, responsive mobile design is definitely becoming more and more important. We've just recently done some work to make our own site responsive.

over 4 years ago



its correct that max companies don't know why people go out without converting .. well nice article to draw the attentions of clients on minor issues that are neglected by people

over 4 years ago



Good one, Geoff! This article is going to help a lot of online marketers see better into one of the more important aspect of online marketing - user or customer experience. I, for one, learned from this post that it is not a passing matter, rather one that needs constant attention and even solution.

You were right in pointing out the mobile channel as a good chance at improving customer experience, especially with the proliferation of mobile gadgets today. Optimal customer experience must also have been what the developers of the responsive web design had in mind, when they came up with it. It has steadily gained popularity with website managers, since they know users will appreciate it greatly. It had made their online experience as mobile as their gadgets, which increased traffic for the different sites and platforms frequented by most users.

Innovative web designs and good online trends can help in creating favorable customer experience, but to continually search for the issues they encounter and looking for the best solutions for these issues have to be a priority in order to keep them coming.

over 4 years ago



Great article Geoff and I completely agree using real-time session data to identify and resolve customer friction points will only continue to grow.

Mobile in 2014 will see companies that a "mobile optimised site" is anything but that. A site that works on mobile devices, or even a dedicated mobile site is only the starting point; much like 'desktop' ecommerce a few years ago.

over 4 years ago


Shep Hyken

If your company’s website is an important part of the customer experience (and it usually is), it is important to keep in mind that the customer experience online must be as strong as an in-person experience. As important as it is to understand why a customer didn’t buy from you during an in-person interaction, it is just as important to understand why a customer leaves your website without buying.

over 4 years ago

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