Digital customer experience is a critical part of business success. Consumers have more options than ever to acquire the product or service of their choice, as well as increasingly simple ways to move from one brand to another. It’s up to brands to ensure consumers’ experiences on their digital platforms are flawless or they risk brand loyalty, and worse, revenue.
Decibel recently surveyed 1,000 consumers in the U.S. and U.K. about their digital experiences with brands to determine what keeps them coming back to a brand’s website or app, and what pushes them away.
Bad Digital Experiences Alienate Consumers and Cost Brands
Ninety-five percent of consumers will leave a website due to a frustrating digital experience. And it’s not a rare occurrence: 22 percent of consumers note they do it regularly or always. For brands targeting a particular gender, men displayed a notably greater level of patience: 30 percent never or rarely leave a website or app due to a frustrating digital experience compared to only 17 percent of their female counterparts.
Unfortunately, there's no single culprit when it comes to the sources of frustration. More than a dozen different qualities have a negative impact on consumers’ digital experiences — from broken links, links bringing them to the wrong page, or too much scrolling required. However, the biggest digital experience issue, cited by 36 percent of respondents, was having ads blocking the page view. That frustration is felt more in the U.S. than U.K., as 41 percent of U.S. respondents cited it as their biggest frustration. As for the U.K., unacceptably long page load times drives most of them away, with 33 percent citing it as their top pain point.
The real challenge for brands, however, is not necessarily relocating ads or fixing links; it’s knowing when consumers have a negative experience and fixing it in near real time. Frustrating digital experiences go unreported almost half of the time, and only 8 percent of consumers always report a frustrating experience. That number is consistent across U.K. and U.S. consumers.
How Brands Can Ensure Customers Don’t Reach the Digital Boiling Point
Brands can’t let consumers suffer in silence. Just because consumers don’t report a bad digital experience doesn’t mean they're complacent. Nearly 20 percent of respondents say bad experiences impact their brand loyalty a lot, and nearly 60 percent say they’ll go elsewhere if they can get the same product at another retailer with a better experience.
The data points to the fact that creating a positive digital customer experience is essential to remaining relevant and driving revenue. The secret is for brands to understand when such experiences go awry. With consumers reluctant or refusing to report a bad experience, brands cannot rely on traditional analytics like surveys or Net Promoter Scores, which were designed for a world that operated largely offline.
Only when brands can quantify online customer behavior at scale can they effectively create, measure and optimize digital experiences. They must understand what happens between the clicks to ensure they know not just what their customers are doing, but how they're feeling. Having this level of insight will enable them to make improvements before consumers reach their digital boiling point.
To read the full report, click here.
Ben Harris is CEO of Decibel, a digital experience intelligence platform.