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.