Customer expectations have never been higher. And to adapt to the ever-rising demands, marketers need to truly understand their digital customers’ behaviors, feelings and intent.

But that’s easier said than done: 84% of marketers say they can’t currently track the moods and mindsets of digital customers, and 76% can’t accurately measure whether digital customers are happy. This is pretty concerning, as our recent 2023 Digital Experience Benchmark report revealed that 1 in 3 site visits include frustration.

So, how can marketers get to know their digital customers better? And what kinds of tactics can help develop deeper, more meaningful customer understanding to optimize digital experiences?

Level up your Digital Experience for 2023

Catch up on the best of the Champagne Breakfast with talks from Pleo, Nobody’s Child and Elkjøp

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During our Champagne Breakfast event, all about levelling up digital experiences, we asked three industry experts to share their strategies to better customer understanding. Here’s what they recommend:

1. Gather feedback on-site during the customer journey

Julia Paulsen, Director of eCommerce at Elkjøp Nordic AS (part of Curry’s plc).“If you really want to understand your customer, you have to see what they’re actually saying.”

—Julia Paulsen, Director of eCommerce at Elkjøp Nordic AS (part of Curry’s plc).

Julia suggests gathering feedback directly on-site from customers at the time of frustration.

“By collecting feedback directly on our website, we can get really interesting insights into how our customers actually feel about their shopping experience with us.”

She also believes that customers who share feedback on-site tend to care more about your brand than those who leave bad reviews on comparison sites, for example. “These customers actually want to do business with you and provide invaluable information on how you can improve your experience for them.”

Finally, Julia highlights the importance of combining feedback with data analytics. ”When you combine qualitative and quantitative data, you can truly start to understand your customers and build your customer persona.”

Her team uses customer behavioral insights in Contentsquare to identify where customers struggle and then uses Voice of Customer (VoC) tools—like Hotjar and Happy or Not—to collect instant feedback in the time of frustration.

2. Monitor your internal search function

Chris Bishop, eCommerce and Digital Director at Nobody's Child. “The internal search of a site is often overlooked, but it’s essential for customer insight.”

— Chris Bishop, eCommerce and Digital Director at Nobody’s Child.

A very tactical way to get insight into your customers’ expectations is by analyzing your internal site search function. And with 43% of visitors on average going immediately to the search box—it has the potential to provide key insights into what products customers are looking for.

“Analyzing the site search can reveal products that you might not be stocking and trends that you may not know about yet,” said Chris. In his experience, merchandising and buying teams should monitor the search function on a weekly basis.

3. Get input from your customer relations team

Meri Williams, CTO at Pleo“It’s important not to forget to get input from your customer operations when developing your customer understanding.”

— Meri Williams, CTO at Pleo

Meri Williams, CTO at Pleo, encourages her digital team to work closely with customer operations to get a more granular picture of current customer needs. “It’s super useful, but very often gets forgotten,” said Meri.

In her previous role as CTO at Monzo, she helped set up a cross-functional team with customer operations. The team met weekly to discuss top customer queries and to find out where customers struggle online.

“The insight from customer operations helped us optimize our self-service on-site and identify which top queries should be pre-answered questions and added to our website’s FAQ section,” shared Meri.

4. Use behavioral data to understand the ‘why’

Digital Experience Analytics (DXA) platforms—like Contentsquare—go beyond traditional tools to provide insight into your customers’ behaviors, feelings and intent at every touchpoint in their digital journey.

“The reason we’ve partnered with Contentsquare is to understand the `why´,” said Chris Bishop, eCommerce and Digital Director at Nobody’s Child.

Chris and his team previously used Google Analytics to measure and improve their digital experience, but this only provided surface-level data. “With Contentsquare, we can access visual insights into why exactly our customers behave the way they do,” said Chris. “It also allows us to share data across the whole business easily.”

Chris advocates data sharing across different teams so that everyone in the business can get a holistic view of customer needs. “You shouldn’t hide data in your eCommerce team or website team, but ensure that the whole business can see and access customer data,” explained Chris.

Looking to understand your customers better?

If you want to find out how Contentsquare’s Digital Experience Analytics cloud can help you better understand your customer behavior and digital journeys, watch our 6-minute product tour.

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