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Online customer experience costs UK plc dear

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UK companies are losing the equivalent of £14bn a year thanks to poor online customer experience, a report has found.

Tealeaf, which produces online customer experience management software, commissioned a survey that found UK companies are losing the equivalent of 24% of their annual online income because customers are suffering poor experiences. That equates to £14bn in the last year alone.

The Reducing Customer Struggle study, carried out by Econsultancy, quizzed nearly 500 senior business professionals. It showed almost a fifth (18%) of businesses rated their understanding of the online customer experience as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor.’ Only 4% classified it as ‘excellent’.

Delving into the reasons for that, the study found most companies said they had ‘limited’ or ‘no’ understanding of why customers had dumped their shopping cart (78%) or left a site without buying (81%). Most relied on calls to the call centre to find out about site problems.

Online retailer Steve Robinson, who is chief executive of says gaining that understanding should be a key focus for all businesses. “As consumers continue to flock to the web, ebusinesses need to dramatically improve the experience they receive through greater actionable insights,” he said. “Failure to do so will render companies powerless in making informed site developments, which could reduce their competitive advantage as a result.”

There’s also a problem for retailers who believe that the way they link up the different channels of their business leaves much to be desired. Only 3% said their business’ multichannel approach was ‘excellent’, while 24% said it was ‘poor’ or ‘very poor.’

“This research demonstrates a clear link between online customer experience and revenue generation,” said Geoff Galat, chief marketing officer of Tealeaf. “Ebusinesses have much to gain from better online visibility, particularly at the bottom of the sales funnel, where conversion rates should be highest. A poor online user experience, coupled with a lack of visibility and understanding, translates into a significant amount of lost revenue as well as added costs due to increased inbound enquiries.”

Ashley Friedlein, chief executive at Econsultancy said: “The web lies at the heart of any multichannel business these days and so providing visibility across all business units will ensure a seamless experience at all brand touchpoints. As the online channel becomes increasingly valuable for business, it is vital for companies to ensure the customer journey is as pain-free and seamless as possible. Companies that fail to put in place the technology and processes necessary to improve online experiences will miss out on this growing financial potential.”

The study can be downloaded here.

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