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Site performance the hidden danger to customer satisfaction - report

21st May 2013
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Whilst even the most minor delays to website response times can negatively impact customer satisfaction, new research has revealed that a third of firms don’t consistently monitor site performance.

The survey of nearly 600 CIOs worldwide, undertaken by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by Borland, found that 32% do not or don’t know if their website is monitored on a 24x7 basis.

Additionally, 26% admitted that they don’t or are unsure if they are monitoring response times for transactions such as shopping cart and database record retrieval on their websites.

The findings also revealed that a staggering 80% of CIOs page views, conversion rates and site abandonment with media, leisure and entertainment companies and financial services organizations shown to be the worst culprits.

Unsurprisingly, the situation worsens for mobile experience.  A third (34%) of those surveyed admitted they aren’t tracking how quickly their own website loads on mobile devices and 36% are not tracking how quickly their web applications load on mobile devices.

The findings follow recent findings from Equation Research that revealed 88% of online visitors are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience, and alongside customer satisfaction, page views, conversion rates and site abandonment are also likely to suffer as a result of delayed website response times.

Archie Roboostoff, Borland solutions portfolio director, at Micro Focus, said: “Users have very little truck with poor performing websites today so these insights are pretty astonishing.  88% of online visitors are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience so taking a passive approach to website performance is a massive risk to reputation, and for e-commerce sites, revenue too. 

“This shows that a solid performing website is still a competitive advantage, and that any company delivering an equally good web experience on mobile is likely to win the customer retention and acquisition battle.” recently caught up with retail consultant James Dion to discuss the rise of the omnichannel customer. He explained that to satisfy the always-connected consumer, businesses must be absolutely obsessive about delivering the best online experience.

“The new consumer is really loyal to the technology so if you're site is a little slow or they're not getting the kind of service that they think they should be they'll switch in a heartbeat,” he said.

“Years ago, we were all worried in the dial-up days about page loads and when most people were accessing the web via dial-up modems, people were really concerned about the size of jpegs and how long it took a page to load because there was a lot of understanding that customers wouldn't wait for a page to load. And then when everybody started to get high speed access, that went away.

“Now you rarely hear about a company being worried about their page load time but they should be. A lot of them have built sites that are really slick and cool but they've got a lot of flash going on and much larger jpegs and they've forgotten that for the mobile customer in particular, they have very little patience.”

So what strategy should businesses deploy to make sure they keep their customers engaged? Dion advised: “You need to go back to basics. First and foremost make sure that you have a truly mobile site that can be used from a 4” or 5”screen, and also looks good on a tablet and a computer screen, and that all of the above loads very fast. That's not an easy thing to accomplish.”

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