Nearly 50% of brands lack a clear view of customers. Here are 3 ways to improve.

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Customer experience is the primary driver of brand perception, and the digital realm is no exception. User expectations for excellent and efficient digital journeys are higher than ever, and can even trump brand loyalty. Four in 10 U.S. consumers told FullStory they don’t care what brand they buy from “as long as it works,” and 59% will even pay a premium for great digital experiences. In fact, Gartner predicts that as early as 2024, organizations with the ability to optimize end-to-end total experiences will outperform competitors by 25% in satisfaction metrics for both CX and EX.

Given this, it’s no surprise that companies are doubling down on digital experience. In a recent survey of 700 global DX professionals, 73% say their organizations have a clear, consistent strategy for digital experience, and 71% are furthering their investing in analytics platforms. 

But the devil is in the details, as the saying goes – and when it comes to deriving actionable insights from their data, DX teams are falling short. Despite the tools at their disposal, 50% of survey respondents said they lack a clear view of user behavior online, 43% don’t understand customer preferences on sites and apps , and 81% are unable to identify which digital interactions are frustrating and why. As a result, over a third (35%) say that it is too difficult to convert DX signals into meaningful insights.

DX teams are also hampered when it comes to discovering new opportunities for growth. Two-thirds of respondents told FullStory they don’t use their data to experiment with new products, innovations, or ideas. 

These shortfalls are especially troubling in the current economic climate of cutbacks and budget scrutiny. DX professionals report they are under pressure to perform: 79% of survey respondents said their performance targets have increased for the year ahead, despite 51% facing budget cuts. Two-thirds are trying to do more with less, which makes the challenge steep to improve usage of data to inform effective DX strategy. 

The good news is that CX leaders can get the insights they need by rethinking their relationship to user data:

  • Capture all digital behaviors Many DX professionals only gather behavioral data on the portions of their site that get the most traffic. This means they can’t see the whole customer journey, especially when users deviate from the expected path. A full 67% of DX professionals reported needing to re-tag websites and apps whenever new questions arise or they want to track new behavior patterns – a significant drain on time and resources.
  • Share across roles & teams DX teams don’t just struggle to collect the right data; even when they have it, data is hard to use and share. According to FullStory’s survey, 74% of DX teams can’t connect data among teams and eliminate silos. This is highly inefficient: 30% report that multiple teams end up replicating each other’s work due to lack of access. Overall, just 24% of DX professionals in the survey strongly agreed that their organizations have a single shared source of data truth. Policies and practices that support data access can help build a shared understanding of user behavior across the organization.
  • Extend critical DX data. DX teams need data that’s portable and flexible so their companies can implement new advances without needing to reconfigure their entire environment. But currently, 62% of DX practitioners in FullStory’s survey reported that they don’t collect data that integrates with other sources. To ease merging data from disparate sources, teams need to push for standardization so that new datasets can be integrated accurately and without redundancy. 

With brand perception, customer satisfaction, and retention on the line, research shows that teams who prioritize complete data capture and democratic data access can gain a meaningful edge over their peers and the competition. For example, by harnessing all online user behavioral data, outdoor retailer Mammut found that simplifying menu design and position doubled usage and boosted mobile conversion by 8%. Even subtle signals of user confusion can hold the key to sales advantage, and teams who invest in customer understanding will emerge as winners in 2024.

Adam Gunn
Adam has been building strong global brands since 2002. As a brand and marketing leader at high growth companies like MarketStar, Pluralsight and now FullStory, he excels at creating revenue and awareness outcomes through strong leadership, creative vision, powerful storytelling, and intentional product messaging. Adam believes that brands must use all quantitative and qualitative data available to understand when, how, and to what degree they must evolve. His data-driven approach enables brands to create and foster true category leadership while accelerating awareness, retention and growth.

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