In an online and digital world, your company may lose customers because of web performance issues, poor response time, and slow speed. Dr. Natalie Petouhoff explains the importance of "flow" in the digital customer’s journey, and offers advice on addressing digital performance issues. In this video, learn how to merge digital experience (DX) and customer experience (CX) in a seamless flow.

Transcript

Michael Krigsman: I’m Michael Krigsman, and I’m speaking with Natalie Petouhoff, who is Vice President and Principal Analyst at Constellation Research. And Natalie, welcome! We’re talking about digital performance management today, and customer experience.

Natalie Petouhoff: Thank you, Michael. It’s great to be here.

Michael Krigsman: So Natalie, you just did research that looked at customer experience and digital performance management. Give us a high-level summary of what your research uncovered.

Natalie Petouhoff: So, what we found was that CX people don’t know that the new CX is DX, that it’s all about the flow, and oftentimes the flow is slow! That’s what makes customers leave.

Michael Krigsman: What do you mean by customer experience?

Natalie Petouhoff: So, customer experience is what the end user, the customer, sees. When they go on a website to look for information, or to buy something, they look on their mobile app. What experience do they have? Is it a good experience? Do the pages load, or is it really slow? When you press the “buy” button, does it get hung up? Do you just close out that browser and move on? It’s really that experience which is going to really keep your customers loyal, or they’re going to head over to your competitors.

Michael Krigsman: Now, returning to the concept of digital performance management: You said DX earlier, or digital experience. What do we mean by that?

Natalie Petouhoff: DX, or digital performance management, is the new CX, and that’s really what I’m here to establish. If you’re in charge of your Digital Chief Officer, Digital Customer Officer, Chief Experience Officer, what you really need to understand is you have probably done an amazing job of mapping out customer journeys and picking the right omni-channel customer experience software so you can work on many different devices and many different channels. But what you might not know, and what we found most CX people don’t know that they don’t know, is that there’s a whole technology infrastructure underneath that CX technology; and it needs to be tested, it needs to be optimized, real time, at scale, all the time.

Michael Krigsman: So, it’s not enough to simply present good content to the user, and everybody’s focused on the content. But, regarding the package, or the context of that content: How fast is it? How responsive? All of that is equally important.

Natalie Petouhoff: Well, if content is the king, then DPM is the ace.

Michael Krigsman: And, what are the challenges associated with delivering the right type of digital performance experience?

Natalie Petouhoff: Well, let’s put your consumer head on for a second: You go to a website, it doesn’t load, you’re thinking, “Hmm, I don’t know what’s wrong with this. They’re asking me to register, they’re asking me to download or purchase something, they’re asking for information, and this website’s just not working.” It’s really about what the end-user experience is like. However, it’s the digital performance management software that’s going to optimize that experience to make sure that those pages aren’t slow, that they do flow, and that the customer is happy and more likely to stay with you.

Michael Krigsman: So if customer experience is the flow from a content perspective, does the flow through the site make sense in terms of an offer, or whatever it is that’s being presented? It’s the digital performance management that underlies it, which ensures the user is experiencing a snappy, fast performance.

Natalie Petouhoff: Yes. That’s exactly right.

Michael Krigsman: Now, what are some of the key lessons that your research uncovered? And what advice do you have for site developers, content owners, or marketers who want to ensure that their site has the right level of performance, and that therefore, their digital performance management situation is fully in order and handled?

Michael Krigsman: I’m Michael Krigsman, and I’m speaking with Natalie Petouhoff, who is Vice President and Principal Analyst at Constellation Research. And Natalie, welcome! We’re talking about digital performance management today, and customer experience.

Natalie Petouhoff: Thank you, Michael. It’s great to be here.

Michael Krigsman: So Natalie, you just did research that looked at customer experience and digital performance management. Give us a high-level summary of what your research uncovered.

Natalie Petouhoff: So, what we found was that CX people don’t know that the new CX is DX, that it’s all about the flow, and oftentimes the flow is slow! That’s what makes customers leave.

Michael Krigsman: What do you mean by customer experience?

Natalie Petouhoff: So, customer experience is what the end user, the customer, sees. When they go on a website to look for information, or to buy something, they look on their mobile app. What experience do they have? Is it a good experience? Do the pages load, or is it really slow? When you press the “buy” button, does it get hung up? Do you just close out that browser and move on? It’s really that experience which is going to really keep your customers loyal, or they’re going to head over to your competitors.

Michael Krigsman: Now, returning to the concept of digital performance management: You said DX earlier, or digital experience. What do we mean by that?

Natalie Petouhoff: DX, or digital performance management, is the new CX, and that’s really what I’m here to establish. If you’re in charge of your Digital Chief Officer, Digital Customer Officer, Chief Experience Officer, what you really need to understand is you have probably done an amazing job of mapping out customer journeys and picking the right omni-channel customer experience software so you can work on many different devices and many different channels. But what you might not know, and what we found most CX people don’t know that they don’t know, is that there’s a whole technology infrastructure underneath that CX technology; and it needs to be tested, it needs to be optimized, real time, at scale, all the time.

Michael Krigsman: So, it’s not enough to simply present good content to the user, and everybody’s focused on the content. But, regarding the package, or the context of that content: How fast is it? How responsive? All of that is equally important.

Natalie Petouhoff: Well, if content is the king, then DPM is the ace.

Michael Krigsman: And, what are the challenges associated with delivering the right type of digital performance experience?

Natalie Petouhoff: Well, let’s put your consumer head on for a second: You go to a website, it doesn’t load, you’re thinking, “Hmm, I don’t know what’s wrong with this. They’re asking me to register, they’re asking me to download or purchase something, they’re asking for information, and this website’s just not working.” It’s really about what the end-user experience is like. However, it’s the digital performance management software that’s going to optimize that experience to make sure that those pages aren’t slow, that they do flow, and that the customer is happy and more likely to stay with you.

Michael Krigsman: So if customer experience is the flow from a content perspective, does the flow through the site make sense in terms of an offer, or whatever it is that’s being presented? It’s the digital performance management that underlies it, which ensures the user is experiencing a snappy, fast performance.

Natalie Petouhoff: Yes. That’s exactly right.

Michael Krigsman: Now, what are some of the key lessons that your research uncovered? And what advice do you have for site developers, content owners, or marketers who want to ensure that their site has the right level of performance, and that therefore, their digital performance management situation is fully in order and handled?

Natalie Petouhoff: Well Mike, this is one of those things that falls in the wheelhouse of organizational change, and so it’s really not about the CX people or the IT people, it’s really about businesspeople and IT coming together to be able to optimize the experience; and it really takes both teams doing what they do best to be able to do that.

The first thing I would ask is, “Do you know about DPM?” And if you don’t know about DPM, it’s time to go make some friends with IT. And, if you do have DPM in your organization, are you actually looking at every single web page, and looking to see how well it’s being tested? You can do benchmarks; there are plenty of sites where you can see where your performance is.

And then, if you can’t optimize every single page, which most customers can’t, then you want to figure out what pages do you want to optimize? Is it the purchase page where that button is, where people are purchasing? Is it getting hung up? You know, is it making people feel that purchase didn’t go through? You also want to look at pages that are early in the funnel, because that’s really where you’re going to gain the trust of the customer.

Michael Krigsman: So, it’s the coming together of the user perspective with the technical perspective, and that means business working together with IT to present a unified front and smooth flow across all these dimensions to the user.

Natalie Petouhoff: Exactly right. If you’re in an agency and you’ve created beautiful content, that’s really great but you want to make sure that content doesn’t take too long to load. Slow is not good. Flow is great. So, it’s really about making the connection between what the user is experiencing, the customer journey that you’ve created, and then testing and optimizing the technology that supports all of it.

Michael Krigsman: I love that. Slow is not good, flow is great. We’ve been talking with Natalie Petouhoff, who is Vice President and Principal Analyst at Constellation Research.