3 Key Customer Experience Concepts You Need to Learn for 2018

Jack Maden  |  January 24, 2018

Jack Maden  |  January 24, 2018


If 2017 was the year every company in the world declared its interest in providing fantastic customer experiences, then 2018 marks the year businesses must actually deliver on these promises - or face being left behind.

To give you a head start in 2018, here at Decibel we've put together a glossary of key terms all about digital customer experiences. Be it refreshing your conversion optimization knowledge or discerning the difference between quantitative and qualitative user data, we hope it proves to be a valuable resource for those who want to stay informed on all the latest in digital experience.

In this article, we pick out three key concepts that will help you stay ahead of the customer experience curve in 2018.


1. Digital Body Language

What is digital body language?

Digital body language refers to every interaction and gesture a user makes on a website or app, ranging from how fast and at which angles they move their mouse, where they click, hover, and scroll; to device rotations, the rate at which they tap, where they pinch, and more.

Just as someone shouting in a shop is evidence of a poor customer experience in-store – and someone smiling a good one – certain digital body language denotes the equivalent online.

Why is digital body language important?

Measuring digital body language is essential for gaining insight into and benchmarking user sentiment at scale, which lays the foundation for increasing digital experience maturity and improving digital experiences.

Our data scientists analyzed over 2 billion user sessions to establish trends and patterns in digital body language, identifying prevalent user behaviors that indicate frustration, engagement, and confusion.

One such behavior identified by our data scientists is multi-click. Multi-click behavior refers to when a user rapidly clicks or taps on an on-page element on a website or app, denoting a frustrated user experience.

It can be further broken down to ‘unresponsive multi-click’, where the behavior falls on an unresponsive element, like a paragraph of text or an image, and ‘responsive multi-click’, where the behavior falls on a responsive element, like a link or a carousel.

Digging into the data, our data scientists established just how indicative multi-click behavior is of user frustration.

On a major financial services website, for example, we analyzed 3 million user sessions that interacted with the site’s ‘Get a Quote’ form. We found that the average completion rate of the form was 77%. For sessions that contained a responsive multi-click behavior, however, the completion rate was just 17%. And for unresponsive multi-click behavior, the completion rate was even lower, at 14%.

Another pattern in digital body language identified by our data scientists is mouse reading. Mouse reading behavior refers to when a user directly follows the content they are reading on a website or app with their mouse, denoting an engaged user experience.

Mouse reading behavior is a very useful metric for measuring how your customers respond to different messaging, and for identifying what they immediately notice on the page.

Looking at 6 million sessions across a major media site, our data scientists analyzed mouse reading behavior in relation to the number of goals completed by users. Within Decibel Insight, goals are triggered when a user completes a desirable action during their session. For the particular media website we looked at, goals are configured to trigger when users fill out a form, hit a call-to-action, or visit the paid subscription area of the website.

Our data scientists found that average user sessions completed 0.31 goals per session, while user sessions containing mouse reading behavior completed an average of 0.98 goals.


2. Digital Experience Maturity

What is digital experience maturity?

A company’s digital experience maturity refers to its level of sophistication in measuring and delivering digital customer experiences on its websites and apps. It is comprised of two things:

  1. Visibility into digital customer experiences (i.e. understanding how customers behave and feel)
  2. The ability to action these insights throughout the organization (i.e. being agile with improvements)

Taken together, these two things represent a brand’s digital experience maturity. And they feed each other: the more visibility brands get into digital experiences, the more they can align their business around the insights that matter. And, if visibility feeds business alignment, then alignment feeds greater investments into initiatives that grant more visibility.

Why is digital experience maturity important?

Customer expectations online have risen to the point where 89% of customers stop doing business with a brand after a bad experience. As a result, committing to a digital transformation project that improves customer experiences has never been a higher priority for businesses.

Indeed, increasing digital experience maturity enables a company to get the most value out of its technology stack, save resource by breaking down departmental silos, change the perception of stakeholders when it comes to customer data, base decisions on customer sentiment – and consequently deliver fantastic digital customer experiences to improve its bottom line.

By going beyond conversion rate optimization, forward-thinking companies harness the power of digital experience optimization – making use of both quantitative user data and qualitative user data – to place customers at the heart of all they do, increasing both conversions and customer lifetime value on their websites and apps.

Companies that don’t acknowledge the importance of customer experience online, meanwhile, face being left behind.


3. Digital Experience Optimization

What is digital experience optimization?

Digital experience optimization is a website and app improvement model that aims to optimize digital experiences. It cycles through three stages: measure, understand, and improve.

This model is utilized by companies in the latter stages of digital experience maturity, that combine quantitative user data with qualitative user data in a way that enables them to move beyond conversion rate optimization.


Measure. The measure stage is almost fully automated. Teams monitor their digital experience analytics platforms - which reconcile quantitative user data with qualitative user data - for alerts into UX or technical issues, and investigate trends in user behavior.

Understand. Once a potential problem or bottleneck in the customer experience has been surfaced, it’s time to start honing in with specific analysis. Watch back session replays and review customer feedback to gain a fuller understanding of the problem, and use in-depth quantitative analysis to investigate its scale.

Improve. The initial problem has been thoroughly examined with quantitative and qualitative analysis. There’s either a straight fix, a hypothesis for a test, or an opportunity for personalization.

This experience optimization model puts the focus on the customer and removes the emphasis on guesswork from optimizing digital experiences.

Depending on the departmental set up of each organization, digital experience optimization models differ in the details (for example, see how LexisNexis harnessed DXO to increase annual website revenue by 81%). However, they each share in incorporating the best aspects of conversion rate optimization – a scientific approach, a focus on the bottom line – while also considering digital experiences, the optimization of which is essential to establishing customer loyalty.

Why is digital experience optimization important?

Harnessing digital experience optimization is a crucial step for companies looking to increase their digital experience maturity. With customer experience being the new battleground for brands, looking beyond conversion rate optimization is not just advisable: it’s necessary.

Indeed, while the singular focus of conversion rate optimization is on increasing conversions – i.e. it is conversion-centric – digital experience optimization focuses mainly on improving experiences: it is customer-centric. Conversion rates are of course still crucial in this model, but increasing them is recognized as a natural consequence of creating better experiences, rather than as the only thing that matters, resulting in a host of longer-term benefits.


Achieving Digital Experience Transformation

These concepts should prepare you for what's to come in customer experience in 2018. But to really give you a head start, we've published a report that outlines how the world's leading companies stay ahead of the competition online. By harnessing new technologies to maximize visibility into digital experiences, The Rank Group achieved 400% ROI, and LexisNexis increased the year-on-year revenue of its UK website by 81%.

Hit the banner below to download the full report to get the lowdown on how they did it - along with a whole host of tips and tricks for transforming your digital experience offering.

Alternatively, take our 5-question quiz to see how mature your company is when it comes to measuring and delivering digital experiences, and discover how you compare to others.


Jack Maden

Written on January 24, 2018 by:

Jack Maden

Jack is Digital Manager at Decibel, the best digital experience intelligence platform around! He also runs philosophy break.


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