User Experience in the Online Marketplace

User experience is paramount in customer satisfaction.

Last year, total e-commerce spending in the United States totaled nearly $210 billion dollars. With more and more of the country’s commerce taking place online, user experience is becoming the single most important aspect of a company’s image. Regardless of the industry, customers will again and again stay with vendors whose websites offer a good user experience.

A generation ago, user experience meant real-world, brick-and-mortar customer service. If your customers were happy when they left your shop or office, you stood to do well. Today, with the explosion of e-commerce, your customer needs to be just as happy when they leave your website. And unlike in previous generations, for many of today’s businesses it’s all online. With no other opportunity for good customer service, website user experience is paramount in customer retention.

What does good user experience mean? Put simply, it means that all applications on your website must function flawlessly, and they must do so all of the time. Last June, an online payment service went down for several hours, crippling online transactions in a ripple effect that spread like wildfire throughout cyberspace. Over 200,000 online vendors were affected, and untold dollars were lost. Would these customers stay with the provider? Would you? That kind of negative user experience will cost customers. And it doesn’t necessarily need to be a massive outage. We’ve already discussed how simple transaction and page-load latencies, time-outs, and errors can wreak havoc with a vendor’s customer base.

Measuring the end-user experience is the first step in improving customer satisfaction, and is the responsibility of everyone involved. While IT will be on the frontlines, the rest of the business must constantly monitor, manage and optimize the user experience offered by their business. Real User Monitoring< tools allow you to capture every single interaction with your valued customers from their perspective. This data can be used to calculate a baseline for setting service levels, and make sure that they are met.

   

Correlsense was named a “Cool Vendor in IT Operations” in 2009 by the leading analyst firm, Gartner.