A survey commissioned by Tealeaf®, the leader in online customer experience management (CEM) software, and conducted by Econsultancy, reveals that UK companies are losing the equivalent of 24% of their entire annual online revenue due to poor online customer experiences. This equates to £14bn alone in the past year amongst online retailers . This is despite 84% stating that selling more products or services is a key objective for the business.

The full findings of the survey of nearly 500 global senior business professionals are available in a report released today, entitled Reducing Customer Struggle, available to download from http://www.tealeaf.com/customer-experience-management/resource-center/register.php?doc=reducing-customer-struggle. It reveals that almost one fifth (18%) of businesses rate their understanding of the online customer experience as “poor‟ or “very poor‟, with only 4% classifying it as “excellent‟.

Limited understanding of the online user experience
This lack of understanding seems to centre on 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%) or leave a site without converting (81%). Instead, most are reactive and rely on other channels to discover customer issues, with 76% most likely to learn about site problems as a result of calls to the customer service team or through customer emails.

Steve Robinson, CEO at MandMDirect.com believes understanding online customer experience should be a key focus for all businesses over the next 12 months: “As consumers continue to flock to the web, ebusinesses need to dramatically improve the experience they receive through greater actionable insights. Failure to do so will render companies powerless in making informed site developments, which could reduce their competitive advantage as a result.”

Lack of multichannel approach
Linking online and offline channels and sharing insights between them is also a major challenge for businesses with only 3% describing the multichannel experience they provide as “excellent”. Just under a quarter (24%) rate it as “poor” or “very poor” and only about a half (49%) have processes in place to prioritise and rectify the problems and issues customers face online.

Respondents estimate that 15% of total inbound calls relate to website problems but, despite this, 68% fail to give call centre agents access to information about the online experience of individual customers. Although the majority of companies (86%) say their call centre staff are able to escalate website issues to the right people in the business, only approximately a third (36%) measure the extent to which these problems are then resolved.

“This research demonstrates a clear link between online customer experience and revenue generation,” said Geoff Galat, CMO of Tealeaf. “Ebusinesses have much to gain from better online visibility, particularly 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 enquiries.”

“The web lies at the heart of any multichannel business these days and so providing visibility across all business units will ensure a seamless experience at all brand touchpoints,” 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 seamless 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 full results of the research are available to download today from http://www.tealeaf.com/customer-experience-management/resource-center/register.php?doc=reducing-customer-struggle.

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Survey Methodology

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 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 or respondents are marketing managers responsible either for multiple channels (25%) or for a single channel (9%).

About Econsultancy
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.

About Tealeaf
Tealeaf provides online customer experience management solutions and is the unchallenged leader in customer behaviour analysis. Tealeaf's CEM solutions include both a customer behaviour 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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Published on: 1:09PM on 2nd June 2011