Today, firms are well aware of the fact that users are now connecting and interacting across multiple devices. Most also understand the importance of trying to connect and join the dots of Customer Experience across these multiple touch points. A select few have experimented with ways in which to enrich the data they have from their user behaviour, but in most cases, these remain just this, experiments.

As consumers continue to be the driving force behind innovation the requirement to bridge the gap and connect the customer experience has never been more important. Mobile will be a key driver in orchestrating user behaviour, but importantly it is not the only touch point in, what is fast becoming, a blended ecosystem. From mobiles to wearable technology and even cars, anything connectable is set to play a huge role. So, what does the future have in store? We took information from Forrester’s latest report “The Future Of Digital Experiences – Vision: The Mobile eBusiness Playbook” and dug a little deeper.

Apps and installs can become integrated pre-emptive experiences

As users we have habitualised the process of installing firm’s apps and interacting with their websites. For example, we’re familiar with checking in online for a flight or using the airlines app and accompanying e-ticket to board and complete our experience. This is just one of many modern-day examples of digital interaction.

This familiar process is however reactive in so far as it requires knowledge and action to complete and facilitate the experience. In the future, with mobile technology as a key centre-piece, these walls can collapse, and experiences can be served to users as and when they need them. We are already seeing signs of this with Alexa voice suggestions, Google Home and Smart Fridges.

Will we be more obliged to share data for more personalised experiences?

In possibly one of the more sensitive aspects concerning future connectivity – the use, management and responsibility of data will be a key theme. Most poignantly data sharing and harbouring, for use to better serve users will become increasingly relevant, as will tools and solutions that can extract meaningful insight with which to base decisions.

At present, we (the user) have become familiar with sharing data with brands we trust, such as our location and our browsing preferences. However, in the future, it seems likely that users will share more in order to be rewarded with enriched experiences across the ecosystem. For example, you may wish to share data from your wearable health device, which monitors your body temperature, which can in-turn connect to your home thermostat to autoregulate to your optimal temperature. The intricacies and security of such data remains the blocker, nonetheless it isn’t hard to see digital experiences progressing in this regard.

Will development and the way content is served change?

As Forrester’s report details; “today, developers build standalone websites and apps with hardwired logic. While they can update content, today’s task flows are hard-coded”. Forrester believes changing habits and demands will result in development whereby “content and metadata-tagged components can hand over access to third parties that will dynamically assemble the components into streamlined task flows based on user context”. With user behaviour driving development, there will be shifts, in development concepts and traditions as well as partnerships that are required to deliver this level of content to the user.

Closing thoughts

It’s apparent that modern user behaviour is already growing faster than most businesses are currently adapting. Segmentation and personalisation is not enough, it’s merely a foot in the door for what the future holds. This latest Forrester report goes into great detail and discusses, how digital experiences will evolve, explains the transition from silo’s to connected ecosystems and details why no individual thing will replace mobile. You can download it for yourself, free, by clicking below.

Future of mobile

With a great number of retailers looking to upgrade legacy systems, many are moving to new or upgraded eCommerce platforms. Some have even transferred services to the cloud in an attempt to improve their agility.

When a retailer is going through a period of technology transition such as this, managing the customer experience is more critical than ever. This is the time that unforeseen website issues can impact revenue and damage retailer reputation.

At best, a transition to a new platform can cause momentary lapses in service or minor usability issues. At worst, it can cause significant outages and degradation in customer experience that have immediate and longer lasting impacts. There have been multiple cases of retailers being embarrassed as their customers suffer during these changes when the consequences were not adequately considered.

During this time, it is critical to have visibility of the actual customer experience, be able to identify key website issues and prioritize these issues according to their revenue impact. These are key capabilities provided by the UserReplay solution and why our customers find it invaluable during re-platforming efforts.

Areas to be mindful

There are three mains areas of consideration retailers need to be mindful of during a re-platforming process. There are three mains areas of consideration retailers need to be mindful of during a re-platforming process:

1. Understand outgoing platform challenges.  A new platform project will typically take many months.  Hence it is key to continue to discover and quantify revenue impacting issues on the old platform.  This has the added benefit of using this insight to “design out” bad CX in the new platform.

2. Pre-release of the new platform.  Testing is key when migrating to a new platform.  UserReplay can provide great insight into issues discovered during testing and soft launch of the new platform, ensuring you minimise disruption after “D-Day”.

3. New platform release.  It is key to have the ability to act at speed on challenges that surface when the new platform is live.  As well as having the ability to proactively discover issues,  it is also important  to be able to respond to inbound information through channels such as Customer Services and social media.  Teams  within the business will already be under immense pressure so they need  to have facts and insights quickly to speed their efforts.

Given the points above, this is why a number of our customers have confirmed that it is more important than ever to closely monitor customer experience during these periods with a solution such as UserReplay.

Ensure a smooth transition whilst keeping your eye on the ball

In order to transition efficiently whilst avoiding costly mistakes, UserReplay’s CX Analytics provides a number of key benefits:

a) Identify issues quickly – using UserReplay’s CX Analytics, proactive alerting and automated discovery tools.

b) Prioritise these issues based on their possible impact on revenue and reputation – using UserReplay’s Monetisation capability.

c) Rapidly reproduce any issues and reduce root cause analysis – using UserReplay’s high fidelity session replay with detailed technical data.

Understandably, during large projects such as re-platforming, technical resources are firmly dedicated to the process and do not have much bandwidth to be distracted from the task at hand. Fortunately, the effort required to implement UserReplay on a website is minimal – a small piece of JS is simply added to the site. UserReplay’s own consultants will then ensure the solution is configured to the customer’s own needs.

Common avoidable issues during re-platforming

There are numerous examples of retailers running into issues during their re-platforming.

One retailer we worked with spent millions on re-platforming, the project taking over a year. When they switched, ecommerce revenue started to drop like a rock. It was at this point (and probably a little too late!) they implemented CX analytics and soon found a technical issue that was affecting 30% of customers. With the data now available to the dev team they were able to fix it in 15 minutes. In retrospect, they said they wished they had CX Analytics in place as a “safety net” to help “watch” the re-platforming. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

In another example, one of our retail customers discovered an issue during their re-platforming that was impacting customers trying to use their account management section. IT had been unable to re-produce it but once they reviewed some relevant journeys in UserReplay, along with the deep technical insight provided, they were able to quickly diagnose the issue. The issue only occurred when a certain cookie was present in the user’s browser. This problem was quickly resolved, thus avoiding valuable and loyal customers receiving poor experience.

Closing thoughts

In summary, implementing Customer Experience Analytics such as UserReplay in advance of re-platforming can provide the following benefits and, crucially, avoid unwanted outages and degradations to customer experience:

Protect Online Revenue – before and after.  Moving to a new platform is the most dangerous time for the website and can introduce issues that can impact online revenue.  UserReplay identifies these issues quickly and prioritises them so the most revenue impacting issues are addressed first.

-Protect Brand Reputation.  There are numerous stories of web re-platforming projects going wrong.  It is essential to avoid delivering bad customer experiences that damage the reputation of your brand.  Be able to identify and address these CX issues quickly and efficiently. Read our case study with SSFCU to learn more.

-Prioritise efforts based on outcomes (revenue) impacted – Revenue and Margin are the two key KPI’s for any retail business and losing either is detrimental to the business as a whole.

-Reduce Time and Cost of Re-producing website issues by over 50%.  Re-producing and finding website issues is typically a time consuming process and sucks IT resources from more value added projects.  UserReplay typically reduces this time by as much as 50% (many of our customers see an even higher percentage).

If you’re planning or considering re-platforming, speak to one of our team to ensure you avoid the common issues discussed.

Phocuswright, the travel industry research authority which focusses on how consumers, suppliers and intermediaries connect are hosting Europe’s largest assembly of travel professionals in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The annual two-day event features esteemed speakers from some of the World’s leading travel brands such as Accor Hotels, Airbnb, and many more.

During the event Phocuswright will also be hosting their Innovation Battleground. The Battleground is a unique scheme aimed specifically at start-ups and emerging companies. It affords them the opportunity to showcase their ideas in front of a well-educated group of travel experts and receive honest, constructive feedback. The vendors with the best concepts are then in with a chance to be crowned the EMEA Travel Innovator of the Year or can win the People’s Choice Award.

Selected keynotes

Maud Bailly – AccorHotels:
Discussing new leadership and a fresh approach to inspiring talent.

Jeroen Merchiers – Airbnb:
Discussing what’s next for the brand in its growth aspirations and going beyond private accommodation.

Oliver Gremillon –
The Vice President details the next big bet for the brand, branching into homes and apartments.

You can find out more at Phocuswright Europe

Alternatively download our latest research discussing the changing travel climate for digital vendors.

Digital Travel eCommerce eBook

Delivering great experiences and being obsessive about the customer.

That was the message driven home by Shantanu Narayen, President & CEO of Adobe at the latest EMEA Summit held in London on May 3- 4. Simply put, focussing on the customer is perhaps not enough, instead, as Narayen suggests, companies should become obsessed with their consumers and be experience makers for their users.

The EMEA summit which had around 5,000 in attendance and many more watching online included a range of speakers. From the likes of Victoria Beckham and Anthony Joshua to Optimisation and Customer Experience experts from the World’s leading brands -there was a diverse range of talks and knowledge shared.

Adapting customer experiences

A prominent featured example relevant to the world of Customer Experience was HSBC’s mobile banking app. The app combines voice control with adaptive learning to identify patterns of user behaviour. In the (albeit fictitious) example, the app was able to identify regular payments from a parent to a child’s lunch account. After recognising the pattern, the app then suggested setting up a standing order every week to the sum of £20. This was suggested, confirmed and implemented all via voice control and the interface on the user’s phone. An interesting example of how technology habits are changing, and the potential uses for a more connected life.

Another enduring theme throughout the summit was of course centred on the importance of mobile. Far from a new argument, the prominence only further reiterated the mobile centric approach of users and preference for digital. Google ramping up their mobile algorithm, whereby indexing of sites will begin to favour those best optimised for a mobile userbase only serves to reaffirm what we already know.

You can watch Adobe’s key speakers here for a rundown of the segments 

Entirely digital experiences – travel

It’s interesting to see the numerous innovate examples of companies striving to deliver the best customer experience. Poignantly, in his opening address, Narayen’s first example he personally highlighted was his recent travel booking, “an entirely digital experience”.

Travel itself is a sector that has seen dramatic changes over the years in booking habits and shifts from brick and mortar to digital delivery. The rise of peer reviews, specialist sites, and high transaction values mean it’s a competitive space and one where delivering optimal customer service is critical. UserReplay recently explored these shifting trends with expert research from PhocusWright.

The latest guide “The Ever-Changing Travel Ecommerce Landscape” features many familiar themes such as changing digital perceptions, tackling ever-demanding customer bases and accelerating innovation. You can download from the link below to read the full report.

Digital Travel eCommerce eBook

Business leaders and professionals understand the importance and necessity of digital transformation. Central to this is the delivery of better experiences to customers and streamlining efficiencies within organisations.

It may be beginning to tire but the adage of the “age of the customer” still rings true. With technology well rooted in the majority of our daily lives, the tolerance for poor performance, slow response, and general degradation of our online experiences is minimal. People are now so well versed and accustomed to a manner of digitally focussed consumer habits that the bar becomes that much higher and expectation continues to grow, unabated.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw great advancements in medicine and with it saw a rise in documented cases of “lesser” aliments such as hay fever and other allergies. As cures and relief became more readily available, concurrently, people’s tolerance for such ailments reduced. History repeats itself, or at least in this instance, for technology.

Years ago, with dial-up internet, you’d never have dreamed of complaining if a video was buffering (you’d be lucky to get video!), it was par for the course and expected. Today, if Netflix, YouTube and/or your general ISP degrades, we’re up in arms at the poor service received. Such is the modern way and the customer holds all the power.

New technology and possibilities as well as a growing adaption and expectation online now means every experience is under the microscope. Furthermore, with so much competition for the user, it’s as easy as changing your medicine for a headache as it is to find a new service provider.

Digital transformation is not a new phenomenon but core to success and key to driving meaningful change is the balance of organisational and technological capabilities.

The importance of non-technology

The significance of new and emerging technology and its role in digital transformation is well understood. However, organisational and human factors are often less understood which is an opportunity lost when we appreciate that they are crucial to accelerating innovation and revenue growth. Ultimately, leaders must develop the right combination of tech and org capabilities to be truly set up for success.

Forrester’s latest research report, “Top Capabilities to Accelerate Digital Transformation” identifies, in detail, the explicit capabilities that business leaders believe are the most critical for transformational success. Perhaps surprisingly, just four of the top 10 are technology based. Strategy, culture, and change management feature prominently as top organisational priorities.

Finding the right blend

Organizational and technological capabilities are inextricably linked. Predominantly though, as this latest report highlights “fail to design your organizational capabilities, and you fail to design digital transformation”. It’s evident that an over obsession with technology and ignoring culture and talent can be to the detriment of successful transformation. With change and progress accelerating at an alarming rate all around us, it can be easy to lose sight of the purpose, core to which is the customer.

Appreciate technology but pick wisely

True digital transformation is continuous which means success does not and cannot depend on a single technology. Businesses mindful of success must design capabilities to take advantage of emerging tech as they come along. Key technologies identified by Forrester include insights-driven tools, along with data science and digital architecture. All of which provide valuable business insight, that can crucially, be acted on to deliver value throughout the business and for end users.

Becoming customer centric as an organisation helps align strategies with digital transformation setting you up for future success. As customer demands show no signs of declining, businesses need to adapt to fully cope with expectations.

You can read the full findings of the Forrester Report below which covers in detail the breakdown and importance of capabilities for business leaders.

Transformation Report

As I write this, I am feeling rather ‘Springy’.
Clocks changed – tick!
Daffodils aplenty – tick!
Summer kit and caboodle now available in store – TICK!

Change is in the air

In the UK, Snowmageddon (Round 3) has been called off and although it might be a little chillier over the next week or so with some unpredictable weather (aka rain!), we can look forward to two 4-day weeks without bread and milk shortages – hoorah!

Despite the fact this year’s Easter Egg hunt may be a bit soggy, and for all the chaos caused by the UK’s recent bad weather, there are some important positives to focus on, especially if you work in eCommerce.

Bad weather is great weather for online business

According to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, January’s online retail sales saw an increase of 13.9% YOY and the post-Christmas month-on-month sales decline of 20.4% was lower than the 24.1% 5-year average.

Rainfall was above average in January and high-street footfall was at the lowest recorded in 5 years – the two, of course, are connected.

IMRG’s February stats shop a back-weighted month thanks to all the lovely snow we encountered and this is expected to show in the early March stats too.

YoY Growth IMRG

The close connection between weather and consumer spending has always been there driving interest in anything from BBQ’s to woolly hats – and it is a huge opportunity!

It’s…Snow joke for your brand!

Over the years, harnessing weather conditions to popularize a business or a brand has seen the birth of some of the most innovative campaigns that will go down in the marketing history books.

A brilliant example was Polo Mint back in the day with one of my most favourite guerrilla marketing campaigns ever.

Polo Mint

Photo credit: Ads of the

Back in 2009 when the UK was covered in a thick blanket of snow, London agency JWT made the most of this by creating a stamp of the iconic mint, winning them the Gold Outdoor Lion at Cannes International Advertising Festival 2010.

Boden, ASOS, John Lewis et al have been quick to identify that the recent inclement weather we have been experiencing is a great way to connect with their social media audience with bright, witty and often funny comments!

“The weather has influenced consumers’ choice of purchases, and driven their choice of channel” – 

Boden, Hunter

Summer Ready?

Forgetting about all the harsh weather 2018 has thrown at us this far, now is the time to plan for the possibilities and positives summer 2018 could bring.

Last June, our soaring UK temperatures (around 30C/100F!) were considered responsible for the UK retail sector growing faster than expected. These figures were assisted by the rapid sale of summer clothes during the hot weather we encountered.

As I sit here shrouded in a blanket, it’s rather hard to imagine that kind of weather but it did indeed occur and early reports suggest that we could be in for a scorcher in 2018.

Challenging as it may be, now is the time to think about how to deliver a great online experience to these shoppers and maximise the revenue opportunity the weather can present.

Switch-off from sledges and get thinking about the factor 50 – for 2018. Keeping an eye on the weather will help drive your eCommerce success.

As Forrester opines, we are currently in the “Age of the Customer”, whereby every initiative and business decision should be driven with the customer in mind. Much of this thinking and shift in typical, transactional relations is owed due to advancing technologies; changing the power paradigm from organisations to customers. With more information, literally at their fingertips, customers have become more demanding in terms of what they expect online.

With a variety of tangible and intangible factors involved, safeguarding the online reputation of businesses becomes a widespread task. While many are using new technologies to achieve higher profit margins and revenues, fewer companies are succeeding. This is exemplified by the average life span of companies on the S & P 500 Index, which has fallen in recent years to just 18 months. Ensuring success requires consideration of all eventualities including risk.

Pope Inauguration

Digitally focussed: Pope Benedict Inauguration (2005)/ Pope Francis Inauguration (2013)

What risks are centred around these digital trends?

Forrester security and risk expert analyst Nick Hayes identifies “the four V’s” associated with accelerating risk into today’s digital climate. These are broken down into the following:

Volume: The number of influence impressions put in front of customer
Visibility: The ease at which public opinion can be widely distributed
Volatility: The unpredictable impact of consumer’s opinion
Velocity: The speed of change to brand perceptions

With so many factors at play concerning reputation it’s perhaps unsurprising that we have seen a 461% increase in reputation linked losses in the past five years alone.

Everything is amplified in today’s World

Whether it’s a data breach, security issue, marketing, third party or even financial bug, when reputation is concerned any of these has a risk component attached to it. Both individually and as a whole these actions can impact on an organisations reputation for better or for worse. Given today’s connected culture it’s the intangible assets that can make or break you. Data innovation, intellectual property, employee experience, customer experience and much more; all contribute to how your organisation is perceived.

1975 to 2015

While many positives can be derived from the wealth of technologies available it’s also imperative to keep a sense of perspective and shift your mentality towards risk when required.

Studies show that a 1% improvement in a firms CX score can translate into an additional profit of $150 million dollars per year. On the flip side, there is also the chance that a 1% decrease can have the reverse effect, an often-neglected perspective. So how do we measure this to improve the likelihood of success and mitigate risk, safeguarding reputation?

Insights driven businesses are faster and fleeter

The most successful organisations are ones that are data and insights driven, actively utilizing the wealth of information available. Experts are forecasting that these companies will grow at a much greater rate than those that aren’t acting upon this available data.

Key to success, is the requirement to be ‘digitally intelligent’ with a business’s online assets. Everything from internal properties and information to workflows and processes should be consistent and mapped, including the touch points with internal and external users. Regarding reputation, you should be thinking about the ways in which you can better evaluate your own interactions as well as the experiences your customers have. Consider:

-Systems of engagement (touch points with people)
-Systems of record (host processes)
-Systems of automation (connect to the physical word)

From these processes, gather and drive risk insights

When we start thinking about common processes and technologies we can start to gather different types of insights. From this you can identify risk factors and produce what Forrester’s Hayes calls, KRIs (Key Risk Indicators), which can be used to balance out your more typical KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

Whilst continuing to deliver value to customers, you can design digital risk initiatives like the below:

-Establish goals (identify metrics that align)
-Inventory processes
-Create metrics for performance management
-Use metric data as KPIs
-Determine performance thresholds (at which points should you set risk, what is the limit?)
-Report outcomes
-Evaluate and realign as required

By assessing the likelihood of risk, the degree of potential damage to reputation and the frequency of occurrence, you can better understand the measures and scope to put in place.

What we can learn

By parsing out the different types of reputational consequences and costs; you will foster a far greater understanding of what constitutes a risk and how to mitigate it. By finding ways to offer strategic business support for key departments, organizations can efficiently outline causes, put in control contingencies and kick-off key initiatives to manage reputation.

By having effective measures in place to track reputational impact, key risks to reputation are easily identified and handled. Whilst it’s imperative to continue to deliver an exceptional customer experience, remaining cognizant of risk factors can ensure your online reputation remains intact.

This article was taken from a talk with Forrester’s Nick Hayes. You can watch the full talk here.

SSFCU Webinar

It’s time to turn down those lights,
Get the champers on ice,
Tee-up a little Barry White on Spotify,
And slip into something a little more comfortable, why don’t you…
It’s Valentine’s Day!

To some, it may be just a cynical, made-up day, manufactured by the world of retail to flog heart shaped goodies and mushy greetings cards (…sorry…what’s the problem with that!?!) but, to this old romantic, it’s a fantastic excuse to show those closest to you, just how much you care for them. I mean, who doesn’t like a little romance and to be ‘wooed’, a little? Oh, Mr Darcy!

Of course, some might argue that we shouldn’t really need a special day to show our true feelings and make a bit of an effort for that special someone. We really should do this all year round, right? Do we really need all the pomp and fuss in the form of flowers, trinkets and heart embellished Hallmark moments?

This translates to eCommerce when we think about how we schmooze our website visitors and the Customer Experience (CeX) you give them. This should be a consistent ‘all-the-time’ thing, showing our customers the ‘love’ every time they visit our website. Of course, delivering great CeX needs some real commitment!

There is only one thing for it, and I know it’s a bit ‘old-school’, but as far as I am concerned there is nothing more romantic than a good old-fashioned mix-tape.

So, dear eCommerce website owners, developers and influencers, here are a selection of Valentine’s appropriate tracks to bear in mind as we consider what needs to be done to get customers using the ‘L’ word when they visit you online!

Everything I Do, I Do It for You – Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams knew exactly what he was talking about back in 1991 when he penned this little gem, and if you have taken note of Forrester’s 2018 Predictions report, you will also have gathered that his sentiments also apply to eCommerce. (Seamless link there!)

‘The key to successful retailing in 2018, is obsessing about customer experience’ so it’s time to roll out the red carpet ladies and gentleman, and place our lovely customers at the centre of everything we do.
Being customer obsessed isn’t something I hear many retailers object to, in fact, quite the opposite is true. There is huge support for placing the customer at the heart of business actions and decisions, however, being set-up in a way that allows this to be realised is something of a challenge.

To do absolutely everything you can to deliver great CeX to your customer, traditional organisational silo’s need to crack and teams that have previously worked apart (i.e IT and eCommerce) need to come together. As it stands, the ‘siloed’ nature of our businesses can actively prevent the delivery of a seamless and revenue generating interaction with the customer, which will never do!

Our advice:

IT, swipe right on eComms.
eComms, defo DM I.T.
You guys are made for each other!

Something Stupid – Frank Sinatra & Nancy Sinatra

The chat is flowing. You are gazing into each others dilating pupils and even sneaking in the odd hand-brush and arm touch…it’s all going well…until a flippant, ill-considered comment pops out of your mouth that you immediately regret and can’t take back….damn it! We’ve all been there, haven’t we? (Please say ‘Yes’!!!)

It’s the same when you are buying something online and there is a bump in the road. The size drop-down isn’t working because you are using an IOS device or there is a circle going round and round after clicking the ‘buy’ button but no confirmation of purchase comes through. Did I buy it? Have I been duped? It’s frustrating, worrying and, not only could it impact the customer completing that transaction with you, it could also cost you that customer for life.

Keep a close eye on the health of important website areas like ‘Search’ and ‘Check-out’.

Even what appears to be a seemingly minor, short-lived, online issue impacting <0.5% of your check-out visitors could create a negative impact on revenue if left unresolved.

Ask your team:

Can we identify sessions where users are encountering struggle?
Can we quickly identify what sessions have been impacted by an issue?
Can we give our tech team the details of this issue so they can replicate and resolve it?
Can we quantify the impact of these issues so you can prioritise fixes?

This level of insight and detailed interrogation will ensure visitors check-out with their Visa, and not emotionally!

I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Aerosmith

This the title track to 1998’s ‘Armageddon’, starring the delightful Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck, makes a rather important point.

No one wants to miss out on the important stuff in life, do they? It’s really annoying, and be it wondering how Liv Tyler is getting on back on planet earth while you’re hanging off gigantic chunks of space rock on a mission to save the entire planet from imminent annihilation -OR- casually sipping on a pepper-mint tea in the office, wondering why Gloria from Bourton-on-the-water never did buy those art deco designer pastry forks, in limited edition rose gold, despite her repeated visits to your website, it’s just massively frustrating!

The good news and bad news on this one.

Bad news – space rock on a collision course with earth; bit of a pickle to sort really…

Good news – it’s really not so difficult to figure out what happened to poor old Gloria and the mystery of the cutlery purchase that never was.

There are lots of CeX tools that can provide you some insight into a user’s online experience on your website, however, many provide only a sample of the sessions that have taken place. Sample data is good for making a call on some basic usability issues, however, it’s pretty poor for drilling into the specifics of an individual user journey and interrogating the reasons that something didn’t work.

Wherever possible, remove the information gaps, guess-work and conjecture on what may have taken place. Ensure you are capturing 100% of user sessions and what’s more, demand insight from your CeX solution that is fully monetised and actionable so you can prioritise your work and that of your teams’!

With the right tools in place helping you deliver the online CeX required and driving revenue upwards, you may notice you CFO is generally a bit more cuddly to!

From all of us here at UserReplay have a delightful Valentine’s day and remember;

When your website is read,
Customers shouldn’t be blue,
Great CeX is awesome
For increasing reven-ue!

(Hey…I tried!)

As consumers are getting more comfortable with making financial transactions online – from ordering grocery to banking and purchasing insurance – the market is also becoming more competitive for financial institutions (FIs.)

You aren’t just competing with the bank down the block or the credit union in the next town. While you have the opportunity to access a national or even international clientele, you’re also competing against other FIs from around the globe.

How can you stand out?

The financial industry is highly regulated and many consumers consider most financial products as a commodity.

Simply coming up with a slightly different product or a marginally better pricing is no longer enough to set you apart in this competitive landscape.

Thankfully, there’s a gap in the market and if you fill it before your competitors do, you’ll set your brand apart and gain market share.

Customer Experience: the New Frontier

Consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience (CX), which will become the key differentiator, overtaking price and product by the year 2020.

Customer Experience Statistics


Your customers have developed high expectations when they interact with other consumer brands that deliver a user-centric customer experience.

In addition, the line between online and offline is blurring. Customers want a seamless omnichannel experience even when they switch channels or devices while interacting with a brand.

However, the financial industry has lagged behind in delivering an outstanding customer experience. Many FIs fail to meet customer expectations and consumers are increasingly frustrated with the industry.

A report titled “Improving the Customer Experience in Banking” found that only 37% of organizations have a formal CX plan.

While many FIs are starting to invest in CX initiatives, they’re still facing a lot of challenges in the implementation – especially with data analytics, technology, and the creation of a 360-degree customer view.

In addition, most FIs still approach CX from the perspective of internal benefits (e.g., cost cutting, increasing sales) instead of customer benefits (e.g., ease of use, responsiveness), which is the key to delivering a customer-centric experience.

How Financial Institutions Can Improve Customer Experience

To successfully deliver an excellent customer experience, you need to shift the focus of your organization’s digital engagement from cost reduction to experience enhancement.

Focus on building trust and developing relationships with your customers throughout the entire customer journey – engaging them from the moment they’re researching about a financial product, to opening an account and becoming an advocate for your brand.

Here are some ideas for designing an engaging CX that will improve customer acquisition and retention:

Create an Exceptional Mobile Experience
More and more customers are engaging with FIs via mobile devices. For example, 49.5% of all online searches for life insurance and 42.1% for over-50s life cover came from mobile devices, according to Alex Koslowski, head of proposition in the consumer division at Royal London, the UK’s largest mutual insurer.

To capture these customers, develop a mobile-optimized website that’s not only responsive but also utilizes mobile-specific features such as tap-to-call, location service, and auto-fill to streamline the user experience.

You can also create a mobile app that enables customers to carry out specific tasks quickly and easily, e.g., pay bills or deposit a check.

Barclays Mobile Banking won two FStech Awards for a feature that enables customers to call the bank directly from the app and introducing instant lending on a mobile device.

Use Engaging Content To Simplify Complex Processes
Many consumers are intimidated by the complexity and variety of financial products. FIs can create interactive, educational, and engaging content, e.g., a quiz or product selector, to help customers understand their needs and choose the best products.

Streamline your online application processes by simplifying product configurations and pricing structure.

In addition, you can use gamification to increase customer engagement and loyalty.

Deliver a Consistent Omnichannel Customer Experience
Customers want a seamless experience when they interact with your brand across all touchpoints and devices.

Develop a centralized database for storing your 360-degree customer profiles, which can be updated in real-time as customers interact with your brand on multiple channels.

With the development of a single customer view, you’ll also have the opportunity to leverage advanced analytics, machine learning, and contextual engagement to be proactive about your advisory and sales activities and deliver a highly personalized experience through your customers’ preferred channels. Defining an audience


How To Optimize Customer Experience Cost-Effectively [ Case Study ]

Creating an exceptional customer experience is a sizable undertaking that involves many moving parts.

What can you do to ensure that your CX initiative is achieving the desired customer experience and the associated business objectives?

Security Service Federal Credit Union (SSFCU) is an $8 billion member-owned organization. It’s the largest credit union in Texas and the 8th largest in the nation, serving more than 700,000 members worldwide.

As more members choose to self-serve online, SSFCU needed to offer high-quality service in their digital environment. SSFCU had to take its website usability and online service capabilities to the next level quickly and effectively.

SSFCU worked with UserReplay and used advanced technologies such as machine learning, a variety of CX analytics, and patented interactive user session technology, to define and improve their CX strategies.

As a result of this collaboration, the credit union reduced the time it needs to identify and fix CX issues by more than 50%. They’re able to act on critical issues immediately to minimize the overall impact on the business.

In addition, they have the ability to test new products and services with their members before spending the time and resources to bring them to market so they can maximize ROIs.

With the aid of advanced analytics and technologies, you can now take the guesswork out of implementing CX initiatives for your financial institution and make data-driven, informed decisions.

SSFCU Webinar

Today’s customer-led market has created a shift from what is acceptable to what is expected of e-commerce brands. If you’re not continually delivering smooth, connected customer experiences that outperform your competitors, then you’re missing out on millions of dollars in earned revenues and future business. Customer conversion is key.

The typical online business conversion rate of just over 2% is no longer good enough. If you’re going to compete in the age of the empowered customer, you need to dig much deeper to understand why the other 98% of user journeys aren’t converting – and do everything you can to decrease basket abandonment, which currently averages 75%, according to industry research. You need to do more than the competition is doing, to build the trust generated by the customer experience.

Barriers to customer conversion

Chances are, most barriers to conversion are nothing more than basic errors and common site issues. According to Forrester, 48% of sites don’t perform well, most digital interfaces disappoint and rookie mistakes are rampant. Yet, if you don’t find and fix hidden errors – which we find account for between 40% and 100% of our customers’ lost revenue – these problems will start to hurt your business.

Machine learning helps you deliver actionable insight and focus on the details that often go unseen internally, yet have a huge impact on your customers. It looks for abnormal patterns in your data, across each of the paths attempted by the customer, to auto-discover hidden obstacles. It learns from every micro step of every unique user’s online journey, covering variables like why some customers choose certain paths, what actions they take and what triggers these actions.

The advantages of actionable insight

This actionable insight is only possible when you capture 100% of the data and combine it with machine learning. From there, you can identify the users that are really struggling and at which stage of their online journey – whether it’s signing in, searching for products or during purchase. It’s a necessary level of precision that tells you exactly why potential or lost customers voted with their fingertips.

Machine learning highlights the issues that caused these obstacles – and because a monetary value is attached to each one, you can see exactly how many customers are affected and how much revenue is impacted. It gives you a list of actionable insights on issues and which issues are leading to abandoned purchases and the loss of multiple customers, so you can prioritize those first.

Total visibility of your customer journeys is available, as all customer segments of interest are promoted. There’s no need to waste time replaying every session but focus on segments and replays that machine learning has identified. And because all manual processes are automated, you can spend your time more effectively – on innovation and key business objectives.

The segments to watch out for

For clients that prefer a fully managed service, UserReplay provides actionable insights through a service called Active Insights, which includes machine learning and advanced analytics, to identify obstacles that affect revenues.

Unlike other solutions, UserReplay offers 100% fidelity video replay of each user journey – so you can relive a specific customer experience first-hand and interrogate the data. All of the data is provided, from the actual code run in the browser from each journey to detailed event data, giving you a full picture of what’s happening and why.

By identifying all issues that seriously affect customer experiences, including the subtle ones that can easily be missed, UserReplay finds revenue segments that other tools miss. And this is a real opportunity for your IT and e-commerce teams to share the insights that matter most.

See eye to eye

By working as integrated product teams and delivering high value insight for both technical and ecommerce teams, you can find and resolve issues up to ten times faster – helping to achieve your companywide objectives of increasing efficiency and improving customer satisfaction.

Actionable insights is the key to customer conversion and it’s imperative to the success of your e-commerce business in this new world. Using machine learning and data will not only allow you to visualise the real value of your customer experience, it will also give you everything you need to optimize it.

See eye to eye, not back to back
Find out how UserReplay can help you win in the age of the empowered customer here

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1 Bridge the gap from CX strategy to digital CX, 2017 (Forrester)