In today’s digital world, every user is always connected. The digital experience of your brand, from a human perspective, determines the value of your products and services, and affects the revenue, productivity and reputation of your business. This human experience is rapidly becoming a key metric for evaluating business success. The issue is that businesses have not, until now, had the tools to properly analyse human experience and so be able to effectively manage and improve it.
Customers regularly switch brands when their experience is poor. As customers, senior business leaders are quick to change brands as the result of a poor digital experience. Yet, those same executives don’t expect their customers to be as fickle. For some reason, business leaders expect customers to tolerate a more inconsistent digital experience than they are willing to themselves.
(Actual Experience – Digital Barometer Research).
About half of senior business leaders believe that a poor digital experience has an adverse effect on employees, resulting in reduced productivity, loss of revenue and attrition. So how good should the experience be and how much inconsistency is acceptable to customers and employees?
To be able to answer that question we must first look at the complex digital world we now live in. Gone are the days where we can call IT and they can quickly solve our system issues. Just look at the dizzying array of businesses, technologies, networks, data centres and applications involved in every digital supply chain. This makes it really difficult to find out where the problem lies when things do go wrong for users.
As enterprises add digital infrastructure, cloud services and applications they are also adding management tools that, while absolutely necessary to help solve issues, are not intended to analyse the digital experience from a human perspective and cannot realistically be expected to do so. There is a need for a tool that can analyse and score the user’s digital experience from a human perspective. Not a system tool such as network or application performance management, or a customer experience tool such as an NPS or C-sat; but one that provides a score which is a proxy for what your users would tell you about the quality of their digital experience. The key is then to correlate the performance of the end-to-end digital supply chain with the user experience score, and ultimately to the performance of the business. This is where Actual Experience can help.
Understanding the performance and quality of each digital interaction from the human’s perspective benefits enterprises in two distinct ways:
Management systems, while valuable for troubleshooting and monitoring the components of the digital supply chain, do not analyse the human experience and can only pinpoint the source of a problem when there is a catastrophic failure. Our user experience analytics enable more than monitoring and after-the-fact reporting. Analysing the human experience quickly directs people and systems so that they can proactively understand and solve user problems. Rather than escalation and finger-pointing, responsibility is assigned to the correct engineer, supplier or partner to solve the problem, reducing recovery time and cost.
Too often, improvements to service agreements, network and IT infrastructures are made based on schedules put forward by the vendor. Most enterprises are not specifically tracking the performance of each element involved when executing a specific business process.
Yet, when the human experience is tracked across all those elements, it becomes apparent which services, routers, servers, databases and applications are not performing as required, where upgrades are required, and which elements or services need to be replaced. Our powerful user experience analytics benchmark the quality the user sees as a result of the performance of individual elements, rather than just the performance of the elements in isolation. IT infrastructure investments can then be prioritized to create the greatest return for the business based on the needs of customers and employees.
Clearly, having a reliable way of analysing the quality of a user’s digital experience is the key to improving it. Nearly half of the enterprise executives surveyed indicate that they are having problems identifying specific user experience issues that need improving. Existing monitoring and survey tools are performing as advertised, yet businesses are still not getting good insight into what is negatively affecting the human experience of their users. The problem is perspective.
Rather than taking an inside-out approach that uses mountains of performance data from the dozens of infrastructure, cloud and application elements involved in every user transaction and using that to compose a view of the user’s digital experience – why not measure it as a user, from the outside-in?
Our lightweight piece of software, known as a Digital User, sitting as close as possible to the end user can be used to target a chosen product or service. This might be a website, an application or cloud service. The Digital User simulates the human user without tracking them. The software exercises the digital supply chain that delivers the digital product or service and collects standard performance data all along the way.
That data is then sent to our Analytics Cloud to be crunched, delivering a data-driven proxy for the user experience, in the form of a Digital Quality Score. The analytics involved not only determine what the user experienced but compares it to what the user should have experienced.
To remain competitive and profitable in the digital economy, human experience analytics are the most effective way to ensure that customers and employees are satisfied, and digital services are working as expected. A holistic view from the user’s perspective that takes into account the infrastructure, connectivity and applications accessed by each user provides the ultimate benchmark for user experience and that is now achievable.