Mobile is becoming a focal point as companies invest more time in understanding the multichannel customer experience, according to research published today. 

The second annual Reducing Customer Struggle report, published by Econsultancy in association with Tealeaf, looks in detail at the extent to which companies understand the overall online customer experience across online and offline channels and the approaches or types of technology they use to identify and address issues.

The reseach has found that companies still have a limited understanding of the mobile user experience. 

The study is based on a global online survey of almost 500 business professionals working for companies involved in e-commerce and online business. The survey was conducted in March and April of this year. Here’s an overview of some of the key trends we found from this year’s research. 

More companies are looking at why things are happening, not just what is happening

Marketers are increasingly using a wide variety of methods to identify customer experience issues and reduce the impact on the customer. 

The following methods are seen as the most effective:

  • Information contained in customer emails (43%)
  • Calls to the customer service teams (45%)
  • Online feedback tools (35%)
  • Usability testing/ heatmaps (40%)  
  • Digital experience (session) replay (57%)

It isn’t just about the value of one method over another, instead the focus should be on finding the right blend and approach to identify and learn from issues. 

For example, issues may be uncovered via comments left by users on social media sites, and then investigated and understood using session replay. 

Methods used for discovering problems or issues with the online customer experience

Bad navigation (including poor ‘findability’) is the most commonly identified issue for customers on websites, with just under two-thirds (63%) of companies mentioning it, up from 57% in 2011. It is also regarded by respondents as the most serious issue.

A greater focus on mobile experience, though understanding is limited

77% of the companies surveyed are planning to increase investment in mobile channels this year, which shows that they understand the growing importance of mobile for delivering excellent customer experience.

The growth of mobile presents major challenges for businesses wanting to understand the impact on customer experience and its role in the overall customer journey.

This task is trickier, since different mobile devices are used in very different ways. For example, while they are mobile devices, tablets are often used as downtime devices, and usage can be closer to desktop than smartphone. 

Just 18% of respondents describe their understanding of the mobile user experience as ‘excellent’ (3%) or ‘good’ (15%), compared to an equivalent combined figure of 45% for the overall online experience.

How companies rate their understanding of the mobile user experience (compared to the overall online customer experience):

Mobile customer experience

There is also the issue of tracking the right stats in order to assess the customer experience on mobile.

  • 88% of companies track which devices and platforms are used by mobile visitors.
  • Only 43% minority track the value of mobile visitors (43%).
  • Just 24% track the behavioural differences of mobile visitors.
  • 22% look at the the influence of mobile on online channels. 

Social listening tools and analysis of this data are playing a more important role

More companies are recognising not only the value positive customer experiences in producing more goodwill on social sites, and realise that the reverse is also true. 

Monitoring and analysis of social data can be a valuable method of uncovering customer experience issues. 

Those using social media analysis / voice of the customer (45%) and online reputation monitoring / social listening (40%) are still in the minority even though the vast majority (77%) of responding companies rate these as ‘effective’.

Which of the following approaches does your business use and how effective are they (for understanding the overall customer experience)?

Though more companies than last year are carrying out social media analysis and social listening (an increase of 6% and 2% respectively), fewer consider them effective, which suggests that some companies are failing to elicit actionable insights which can help them improve the customer experience.

Customer behaviour data related to conversion is seen as most valuable

While the vast majority (83%) of companies consider the reasons why customers abandon purchases or leave the site without converting as ‘very valuable’ information, these are the areas where companies are most likely to have limited understanding.

85% of companies don’t measure the difference in conversion rates between visitors who have experienced specific website issues, and those who don’t experience issues. 

Which of the following do you consider valuable and how well do you understand the reasons for each?