Retailers failing to assess customer experience

Seven out of ten admit that their sites could be letting them down says CA survey

While more of us buying goods online, companies are not sure that they're always up to the mark. Nearly seven out of 10 companies are failing to keep tabs on how well they were delivering business services according to new research from CA Technologies.

The survey, which was conducted by research company Vanson Bourne, found that 68 percent of organisations have not adopted a service assurance solution to compare real end-user experience with the underlying systems and network infrastructure supporting them.

And the problems could be exacerbated when organisations move to cloud computing services: when asked how they would guarantee services, 30 percent replied that they would "deal with problems as and when they arise'

According to the survey, most companies are well aware that what they're offering to their companies may be letting themselves down. Only 14 percent of respondents were 'very confident' their online services would meet user expectations, while an overwhelming 83 percent were either 'not very confident' or 'somewhat confident'.

Nor are companies entirely convinced that they can assess how much poorly-performing websites could be costing companies. Forty-six percent of respondents did not believe that their current systems allowed their organisation to establish the true cost of poorly performing sites. And 63 percent of companies who experienced a drop in revenue said they were unable to quantify the extent of that loss.

One retailer is certainly well aware of the importance of customer experience. Keith Winnard, team leader for technical services at clothing retailer J D Williams said that it was crucial that the underlying infrastructure can support the demands placed on it by customers."The challenge for all business is to provide the base foundation on which the application and business can be fluid and responsive to its customers. This can only be achieved by employing the necessary tools to ensure the infrastructure links to the end-user experience."