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This is where customer experience management tools, which are not cheap, such as tealeaf and speedtrap have created a niche, and include a browser replay feature of individual Web sessions, including the specific pages a customer viewed and how he or she interacted with them, with or without mouse movements as well. Companies on a significantly smaller budget can use other tools to a certain extent such as Techsmith’s Morae, a usability lab on a CD Rom and Crazy Egg, free or almost, heatmapping of click and mouse movement over time.
Why we wish to understand the experience our users/customers in greater detail:
The unique session replay functionality would allow the company to hone in on live technical and customer orientated issues to achieve a fix with a quick turnaround on their website.
Help customer services teams work with customers where they were having a problem on the website doing what they wanted to do – so the customer services team can replay the customer’s session and tell them where they missed a step or alternatively where the website didn’t deliver.
Identify problems in our customer journey on the website e.g look up sessions where a page or image had a problem loading, 404 errors etc.
Identify fraud or unexpected activity on financial services websites
Compare click activity on a page to mouse movements on a page to eg identify elements on a page that are encouraging a high number of mouse movements but that are non-clickable (and hence should be clickable).
B2B customer issues: Identify issues that our B2B customers are having on the site. Allows customer services to replay customer sessions.
B2C customer issues: Identify issues that B2C customers, visitors to the site are having on the site. Allows customer services us to replay customer sessions.
Usability testing: B2B and B2C usability testing, where our test audience journeys on the website can be replayed to identify issues, be that on a form process or product. For usability testing, tools developed specifically for usability testing such as Morae will allow metrics such as “time on task”, “error rate”, satisfaction, mouse movement over time, mouse clicks, web page changes and survey results.
However, these customer experience tools will allow almost video recording replay of visitor sessions which can be used as part of a website usability process.
Mouse click and mouse movement activity, if that is all is wanted initially is offered either free or very reasonably by crazy egg – but that is all one is getting. On a page by page basis (each page needs to be tracked individually), a heat map of that one page where one can breakdown mouse click and movements is shown. However, there is no ability to replay sessions.
The ultimate aim is to drive improvements in the customer experience of the website you provide, small improvements to conversion rates can lead to significant increases in leads.
Successful capture of end-user sessions and session data.
Visual replay of end user sessions.
Successful search for sessions based on free-text and event constraints.
Click versus mouse movement activity.
Challenges associated with these tools:
Getting to grips with the “customer experience method of thinking” in terms of the perceived traditional web analytics definitions of items such as visits and page impressions versus “sessions”.
Learning how to use the product and to configure the events required from scratch.
Set up and configuration of the product across all hosting sites and servers.
The ability to configure the customer experience tool to your exact requirements, rather than accept a standard “off the shelf” approach or black box approach, can be a blessing or curse depending on the processes in-house at your organisation. As they are completely flexible so reliant on good processes internally to set them up to maximise their return on investment.
Customer experience management tools with their ability to replay sessions are a window to better customer experience understanding. I hasten to add, I say a window – as it is up to the web analytics manager / user experience manager to drive value and understanding from these tools, to drive a better understanding of the customer experience.
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