Customers’ Online Struggles Prove Costly

Many customer service nightmare stories involve the visible "mistreatment" of a person in your store or office location. When the problem is online, too many organizations fail to recognize they have a problem — and they’re paying for it.

A new study estimates 23% of annual online revenue is going by the wayside as the result of poor online customer experiences. And about four out of five survey respondents indicated they have little or no understanding why customers leave a shopping cart (78%) or exit a site (81%) without completing the purchase.

According to the study, limited understanding of the overall online customer experience, lack of multi-channel approach, and hard-to-diagnose site usability issues are all contributing factors to the poor consumer experiences that lead to billions of dollars in lost revenue. Most are reactive and rely on other channels to discover customer issues, with 76 percent most likely to learn about site problems as a result of calls to the customer service team or through customer emails.

The report, Reducing Customer Struggle, reveals that nearly one-fifth (18 percent) of businesses rate their understanding of the online customer experience as "poor" or "very poor," with only four percent classing it as "excellent."

When asked to identify the single most common problem that customers might encounter on their websites, bad site navigation/poor ‘findability’ was considered to be both the most common (57 percent) and most serious (55 percent) problem. 29 percent cited lack of information as the second most common and serious (31 percent) problem that might drive customers away from websites. When it comes to effective approaches for understanding the customer experience, only 11% of respondents said that they use session replay technology but an astounding 95% of those found it to be quite or very effective.

Linking online and offline channels and sharing insights across both is also a major challenge for businesses, with only three percent describing the multi-channel experience they provide as "excellent" and nearly a quarter (24 percent) rating it as "poor" or "very poor." Sixty percent of the companies polled admit that the offline parts of their business have little or no understanding of the experience a customer might have at their online store. Currently only 49 percent of companies have processes in place to prioritize and rectify the problems and issues customers face online; this practice will become even more critical as companies add a new channel into the mix, as 52 percent of those polled plan to invest in the mobile internet this year.