UK companies lose £14bn from poor online customer experiences

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UK companies are losing the equivalent of 24% of their entire annual online revenue due to poor online customer experiences, a survey commissioned by the online customer experience management (CEM) software provider Tealeaf.

The study conducted by Econsultancy, reveals this equates to £14bn alone in the past year amongst online retailers and is despite 84% stating selling more products or services is a key objective for the business.

The findings of the survey of nearly 500 global senior business professionals are available in a report released today, entitled Reducing Customer Struggle. It reveals almost one fifth (18%) of businesses rate their understanding of the online customer experience as “poor” or “very poor”, with only 4% classifying it as “excellent”.

Limited understanding of the online user experience

This lack of understanding seems to centre on the bottom of the sales funnel with the majority of companies saying they have limited or no understanding of why customers abandon a shopping cart (78%) or leave a site without converting (81%). Instead, most are reactive and rely on other channels to discover customer issues, with 76% most likely to learn about site problems as a result of calls to the customer service team or through customer emails.

Steve Robinson, CEO at MandMDirect.com said understanding online customer experience should be a key focus for all businesses over the next 12 months: “As consumers continue to flock to the web, ebusinesses need to dramatically improve the experience they receive through greater actionable insights. Failure to do so will render companies powerless in making informed site developments, which could reduce their competitive advantage as a result.”

Lack of multichannel approach

Linking online and offline channels and sharing insights between them is also a major challenge for businesses with only 3% describing the multichannel experience they provide as excellent. Just under a quarter (24%) rate it as poor or very poor and only about a half (49%) have processes in place to prioritise and rectify the problems and issues customers face online.

Respondents estimate 15% of total inbound calls relate to website problems but, despite this, 68% fail to give call centre agents access to information about the online experience of individual customers. Although the majority of companies (86%) say their call centre staff are able to escalate website issues to the right people in the business, only approximately a third (36%) measure the extent to which these problems are then resolved.

“This research demonstrates a clear link between online customer experience and revenue generation,” said Geoff Galat, CMO ofTealeaf. “Ebusinesses have much to gain from better online visibility, particularly at the bottom of the sales funnel, where conversion rates should be highest. A poor online user experience, coupled with a lack of visibility and understanding, translates into a significant amount of lost revenue as well as added costs due to increased inbound enquiries.”

“The web lies at the heart of any multichannel business these days and so providing visibility across all business units will ensure a seamless experience at all brand touchpoints,” said Ashley Friedlein, CEO at Econsultancy.

“As the online channel becomes increasingly valuable for business, it is vital for companies to ensure the customer journey is as pain-free and seamless as possible. Companies that fail to put in place the technology and processes necessary to improve online experiences will miss out on this growing financial potential.”

The full results of the research are available to download today from http://www.tealeaf.com/customer-experience-management/resource-center/register.php?doc=reducing-customer-struggle.