Web Site Analysis – A Study in Damage Control

In my final article, ‘Net Analytics – Getting It Proper’, I mentioned a number of the highly effective ways in which site statistics can be utilized to enhance an ecommerce enterprise. That article was about success. This text reveals that regardless of how exhausting you strive, you may nonetheless get it incorrect. It is a story about failure.

It’s usually troublesome and embarrassing to confess failure and generally it’s even troublesome to see it, even when it’s proper in entrance of us. However solely by analyzing our failures can we hope to enhance and progress. Hopefully, this text will assist others keep away from the identical errors we made.

Understand that net analytics is just not all the time about counting site visitors. In actual fact, that’s often solely a small a part of it. It’s largely about providing higher services and products, enhancing the web site and making every go to to our web site a extra nice expertise. It’s also about constructing buyer loyalty and confidence.

This incident began after we obtained a request to cancel site monitoring service for an account. This occurs often, however in fact, a cancellation is rarely a welcome sight. Attempt as we would, we can not please everybody. So we study to simply accept these items; it’s simply enterprise.

Nevertheless, it’s our coverage to analyze each cancellation and attempt to decide what went incorrect. As soon as somebody has determined to cancel, there’s nothing that may be achieved about it. It’s too late. Any injury has already been achieved. We all know that we can not get better a misplaced account, however we all the time attempt to study one thing that can assist stop such issues occurring in future.

The very first thing we did that morning was to shut the account as requested and concern a credit score. We then wrote to the site proprietor and knowledgeable them that their request had been taken care of. We made no excuses nor did we attempt to get better the account. However we did ask for assist in understanding why they have been unhappy. We requested a number of easy questions as to the explanations for the cancellation and what we might do to enhance the service. Our request went unanswered.

Subsequent, we seemed up the account particulars to see what we might study. We have been shocked! This account had been open lower than 24 hours! Not even one full day. To be trustworthy, this stung. It was virtually private, an actual slap within the face. It was not a lot that we had misplaced an account, however that it occurred so shortly. Such a factor had by no means occurred earlier than, so it was a impolite awakening.

As soon as we positioned the account, we have been capable of ‘drill down’ to see each side of our consumer’s visits to our site.

The unique go to got here from somebody looking for a option to monitor site visitors on a number of web sites. This was indicated by the key phrases utilized in looking out the online. Within the in the future that we did enterprise, they made three visits, checked out 96 pages and spent a median of 14 minutes and seven seconds on every go to. The common of 26 seconds per web page is a bit lengthy, however the 96 pages visited are what actually caught our eye.

Keep in mind that that was not 96 completely different pages, however merely 96 web page visits. Some pages have been visited a number of occasions. Our customer element web page lists every web page in chronological order because it happens. This lets us see precisely what guests discover of curiosity and provides us some concept of what’s going on of their minds on the time. Key phrases and on-page hyperlinks inform us what topics have been essential.

On this case, our customer went on to the merchandise web page to see what we needed to provide. They subsequent seemed on the pricing web page to see if it was reasonably priced. They returned to the merchandise web page utilizing a hyperlink that mentioned our risk-free, a refund assure. So we all know this was an essential consideration.

They then began the buying course of, however modified their thoughts and went again to the pricing web page for one more look. From there, they returned to the shopping for course of through a hyperlink that talked a few particular provide we had on the time. So now we additionally knew that the provide had attraction.

In actual fact, our visitor made three makes an attempt at shopping for the product earlier than lastly finishing the sale. The actual fact that they did purchase on the primary go to can be a bit uncommon. Most individuals store round and are available again a number of occasions earlier than shopping for. However there was not sufficient time between visits for this to have been the case. However then once more, maybe that they had been buying round earlier than coming to our website. So this alone was not given a lot weight. It was simply one thing we famous.

Subsequent, our new consumer adopted the standard procedures: going to the login, altering the default password, organising the account and looking out on the experiences. From right here, the primary indicators of confusion and uncertainty start to point out.

Our consumer subsequent went again to the merchandise and pricing pages. Since no hyperlinks have been used from these pages, we aren’t certain what they have been searching for. However they once more returned and logged in and tried to have a look at statistics. A couple of minutes later, they returned once more to the product and pricing pages for one more look.

Lastly we started to get a touch of what was incorrect. Our consumer now went to the tutorials and options pages, analyzing at size an article on analyzing the web site knowledge. Then again once more to the statistics evaluation. So now we start to see that our consumer was not sure of precisely the best way to go about gathering and utilizing the data from their web site.

From right here their confusion appears to extend. They went once more to account setup after which to the assistance pages. They repeated this course of a number of occasions over the rest of the final two visits. Lastly, they gave up and cancelled the account.

Our subsequent step was to look at our late consumer’s website setup parameters. We discovered that sure fields weren’t arrange appropriately, confirming our rising suspicions that our directions weren’t clear sufficient. By wanting on the pages visited and analyzing the subject material of these pages and hyperlinks, we all know that our customer grew to become annoyed at not with the ability to see statistics being gathered in actual time from their website.

And probably the most telling characteristic of all got here from analyzing the consumer’s net pages. That they had by no means put in the monitoring code on the pages in order that statistics may very well be gathered within the first place! And certainly, there have been no data from this account within the database.

This made it apparent that though we had despatched them the monitoring code to be positioned on their net pages, we failed to offer steering that confirmed precisely how and the place to put in the code. We failed to elucidate its significance and the way it labored. This was a really primary and silly mistake.

Most of our purchasers are fairly tech-savvy, and since we had by no means had an issue like this earlier than, we had forgotten that not all of our prospects are technically proficient. As if that weren’t unhealthy sufficient, our complete enterprise was alleged to be centered on the small websites. It must be apparent that these folks weren’t prone to be technical folks.

So what did we study from all this? Firstly, our communications have been unhealthy. This consumer by no means requested for assist. However then, nobody ought to must ask. We should always have supplied it proper from the primary, together with a straightforward hyperlink to succeed in us. We should always have made our introduction extra private, giving a way of friendliness and concern.

We additionally discovered that our tutorials didn’t reply our consumer’s questions. Neither did our assist information.

Now we now have needed to re-think our complete presentation and procedures. We’ve got begun a means of updating and rewriting our tutorials and assist information, including video demonstrations and extra graphics and examples. We’ve got added assist notices in our introductory e mail to new purchasers.

Though it was just one buyer out of many, it was an important buyer. All of them are, as this quote from Brent Oxley of Hostgator reveals:

“One sad buyer is well worth the weight of 1,000 happy prospects by way of how they’ll have an effect on future enterprise, so we try to maintain as many individuals completely happy as we are able to. We could obtain 500 letters of reward in a month, however it’s that one letter of dissatisfaction that retains us up at evening questioning how we are able to make issues higher.”

The method of updating our website remains to be in progress. It’s not a straightforward job. Some gadgets have been accomplished, however it would take a while to get round to all of them. A web site is a continuing means of change and enchancment. Nothing stays the identical for lengthy within the web world. We made the error of getting too complacent. It took a harsh reminder from a dissatisfied consumer to set us straight.

It’s too late to convey that buyer again. They’re gone without end. However maybe we are able to stop such a factor from occurring once more. Maybe you should utilize our failure to construct in your success. I hope so.