Insights · 7 min read

3 digital experience fallacies and how digital leaders break them down

Gardner Rordam
Posted March 25, 2022
3 digital experience fallacies and how digital leaders break them down

In a previous blog post on Digital Experience Intelligence (DXI) for Enterprise, I shared a high-level overview of what distinguishes the companies best able to take action to improve digital experience:

  • Cross-functional and collaborative organization

  • Guided by customer-focused decision-making

  • Tracking and acting on revenue-based metrics

We’ve also discussed how enterprise organizations can follow the money trail of DXI insights. Digital experience is directly connected to your company’s revenue opportunities. Turning DX insights into actions depends on your ability to advocate for the value of those actions, and what it’s worth to your company.

If we take one step further out, though, there’s a critical point that begs further explanation. Why is digital experience so important to your company’s revenue? Among the many things you could spend time and effort on, why does DX matter the most?

Happy customers mean a green bottom line

Stating the obvious, your company’s revenue comes from your customers. While many of your company’s teams serve to improve customer experience, few disciplines focus as directly on the customer as DXI.

You can get to know them in new ways, picking up on their explicit actions and implicit signals. DXI gives you the opportunity to build trust with customers in new ways that lead to a stronger partnership and greater long-term spend from each customer.

Though we can all agree that revenue comes from customers, and happy customers are more likely to spend money with you than unhappy customers, many organizations woefully miss the mark on aligning to these two basic principles. FullStory can help you change this.

To explore this topic, I’m going to cover a few fallacies and their data-driven antidotes to transform poorly performing sites into an experience that your customers will love.

Is your organization ready to move to the next phase of digital experience excellence? Download our complete guide to digital experience maturity.

3 fallacies for digital experience transformation

1. Brand vision leads your web design

Every company wants to stand out—precisely the problem branding seeks to solve.

A company’s branding is essential to distinguishing itself, creating recognition, and driving customer loyalty. Brand is a good thing. But it can go too far and get in the way.

Consider a hip, edgy fashion company. Their brand reflects the unexpected, the daring, and the new. And unfortunately, this concept seeps into their site navigation as well.

They’ve done away with clearly structured categories and product detail pages. Finding the shirt you want is more like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” plot than two clicks to "Add to Cart." You get lost in the site structure, and avant-garde screen transitions pop up just to keep things interesting. But you still can’t find that shirt!

Antidote #1: For an ecommerce site, like the company above, the primary goal is to make direct sales. Brand awareness must be secondary, and both can co-exist. Focus the FullStory analysis on the primary goal.

Start with Journeys—how are people getting from homepage to cart? If customer journeys are wild, varied, and unpredictable, it’s a sign that your secondary goals are getting in the way of your primary goal. Chart the unexpected detours on the way to “Add to Cart” and find ways to give those brand experiences their own path that doesn’t get tangled up in the sale process. Quantify the number of people who start on a shopping path, but never convert to checkout and end up in a "brand experience" instead. Then, use this segment to quantify opportunity for some navigational changes.

2. Letting lawyers into site design

For SaaS and ecommerce sites alike, many businesses operate in regulated industries. We all have a duty to our customers and the community at large to abide by the appropriate levels of consent, transparency, notifications, and customer agreements that our industry requires. And that’s a good thing.

However, we’ve all encountered an online experience that felt more like a law school class. Every click or new page requires a new waiver, disclosure, or other hoop to jump through to get to the next step. Eventually, many customers will give up, thinking,”Surely it doesn’t have to be this hard!” With rare exceptions, that customer is right, and they go to a competitor who found a way to combine good digital experience with required legal notices.

Antidote #2: First, log into FullStory and find out just how intrusive legal notices are on your site. Likely, these notices and requirements pile up over time and were not intentionally mapped out from the beginning.

As regulations change, requirements grow, and if a company isn’t careful about it, the legal burden shifts from company to customer. Set up Watched Elements for legal notices, and make sure you know the CSS selectors for legal checkboxes and other disclosures. Then build out funnels to see how many hoops customers jump through.

Once you know just how many legal notices have accumulated over time and what burden they’re placing on your customers, start calculating conversion rates or retention rates for the most burdened vs. the least burdened customers. Likely, you’re going to find that the fewer hoops required of your customers, the happier they are and the more they spend. From here, you can have an educated conversation with your company’s legal team: how can we consolidate or streamline the legal process so that we meet all of our obligations, but get out of our customers’ way?

If you’re in an industry with lots of legal regulations, you’re likely also dealing with sensitive PII. Be vigilant with Privacy Settings as you conduct this analysis. We aren’t suggesting shortcuts to legal obligations, but encouraging companies to be mindful of how those requirements impact site design and navigation.

3. Worrying about every possible customer

This one is perhaps the hardest to avoid, because you feel like you’re listening to and thinking about the customer, but the end result is frustration, confusion, and an unhappy customer base. The site that demonstrates this has a team behind it who have thought of every “what if?” scenario and embedded that in their site.

Multiple paths, choices, product options—endless flexibility and possibilities feels like you’re solving for everything, when in fact, you're obfuscating the clearest and best solution you provide.

The best analogy that comes readily to mind are grocery stores. Many big-box stores offer dozens of options for something as straightforward as peanut butter. Different brands, sizes, sodium contents, organic (or not) peanuts, flavor add-ins, and so on. A lot of disruptors in the food industry (who, not coincidentally, mirror this philosophy in their digital properties) aim to eliminate this option overload by focusing on one product. Contrary to initial feeling, customers want clarity more than endless flexibility.

Antidote #3: Don’t listen to what customers say, listen to what they do. Theoretical interest in a certain product or even in a certain feature set on your site is different from actual usage patterns. If you’re on a product team for a SaaS company, you likely hear your customers regularly say things that start with “it would be nice if…”

As you prioritize and implement that customer feedback, regularly check-in on FullStory to answer questions like:

  • Are users following new paths and abandoning old ones?

  • Are the new paths failing to get adoption despite ample notification and enablement?

  • Are there CTAs or areas of your application that are rarely accessed or even seen?

So often, FullStory users discard findings that no one, or very few people, use a certain part of a digital property. Take these findings and proactively simplify your site. Let the best features and paths win, and retire the rest.

Regardless of ecommerce or SaaS, or the part of the organization you find yourself in, you can rely on FullStory to get to the heart of what your customers want, and how to make them happy. Analyze the data, look at actual customer actions, quantify what’s over-used (legal notices), what’s under-used (too many options), and what’s more complicated than it should be (artsy brand gimmicks).

Make your customers’ tasks easier, improve their overall experience, and gain both loyalty and longer term value for your company.

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Gardner RordamEnterprise Customer Success Director

About the author

Gardner is an Enterprise Customer Success Director at FullStory. He is based in Atlanta, GA.

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