The Future of Customer Experiences

I met Jason years ago at eTail West when he was the CTO of MotorCycle Superstore and I was President of evo.  Jason and I stayed in touch after the sale of Motorcycle Superstore when moved on to head up e-commerce strategy for Akamai and his most recent move to ClickTale.  Jason is a brilliant e-commerce technologist and leader and I was thrilled he was able to make his schedule work to attend StatBid Summit.


Jason Miller:       Hi. I'm Jason Miller. I was previously the CTO of Motorcycle Superstore. Did that for 17 years, so I come from that software engineering background. The last few years, I was with Akamai as the chief strategist for commerce, and now I'm actually with Clicktale, behavioral analytics as director of product strategy.

Jason Miller:       Who are you really competing against? This is always a question. Everyone thinks it's your nearest competitor, but when you're talking about customer experience, you're competing with every experience they have, whether it's Amazon's two day shipping, or one hour shipping, or Facebook's instant making people think stuff should load instantly, or the relevance of Google search, when they use your search box, how relevant is it. It's that last best experience that sets the bar. That's what they expect. When you think about Starbucks, they've got geolocation, they've got a payment app, they've got loyalty, they've got everything built in. Customers start using that app, that's what they expect your app to be like. Why can't I pay with your app? Why can't I find your stuff geo located? Why isn't the stop showing up on your app instantaneously?

Jason Miller:       What do all these successful brands have in common? They're innovative. They're constantly testing. Think of a Starbucks as testing stuff, every day new features for customers. They're measuring that customer experience, and they're driving data driven decisions. I love that quote there that, "Without data, you're just another person with an opinion." I look back in my early days and back in the late '90s. We're measuring a lot of the same things now to try to decide if we're successful or not. Obviously conversion rate, but we're measuring balance rate, performance. The metrics haven't really changed a ton since 1998. When we think about, how are we gonna really get a good feel for those customer experiences, what are we missing? We're missing all that rich data that we can grab. 

Jason Miller:       Maybe it's mouse movements. Maybe it's replays of their session. It's a timing of how long it takes them to enter a from. It's when we go to the web page and we bounce, do we bounce after looking at the page for a couple seconds, or do we soft bounce because the page doesn't make sense to us? Maybe we bounce in 10 seconds. We could have a drinking game for this. Every time I say big data or AI or any other buzz word, we could all drink, but we'd never get through it. We do have a ton of rich data on our websites. All of our digital properties are trying to tell us what our customer wants. It's actually capturing that data and doing something useful with it.

Jason Miller:       This example here shows, customers are getting stuck at the checkout or shipping page. We see the drop in our regular analytics. We see an exit rate. Okay, something's wrong. We don't know what's wrong. By digging into this and actually doing a session replay, physically segment this down to who had this problem, now I want to go watch an actual physical replay of their session? You can see that there's a popup covering up one of the shipping options for those customers with a JS area, so they can't ever complete it.

Jason Miller:       Same kind of thing. We've spent so much time working on our product pages to make them optimize for customers to choose what they're supposed to choose, but we don't really have analytics to follow it through the process and see, are they actually using those items in the order that we expect them to so that they're getting the best experience. 

Jason Miller:       I just talked about the idea of field analytics, when people enter forms. Dr. Shira Agasi is working on this project, and her concept is, every form is a contract between you and the customer, and that's what increases that lifetime value, is having your customers trust you. 

Jason Miller:       What she's done with her research is actually taken that field analytics of how customers interact with a form. Those are experience sensors that you can build friction and struggle scores out of, that you can actually look for people who are trying to defraud you based on cues of deception. The consumer motivation, the quality of how they're going through those forms. I'm a big fan of, don't ever have anything in the form that you don't actually need the customer to do.

Jason Miller:       Now, on the flip side of that, Dr. Liraz is actually working on this consumer mindsets, and this is the way people actually interact and look at your page based on mouse movements, tilting the phone or the device, whatever it may be. She's identified out of this big data set that there's five key ways that people interact with your site. They may actually use multiples of these on your site when they're using them. 

Jason Miller:       Take the mindset of lack of interest, for example. Well, lack of interest can mean a lot of different things, but a lot of times, if it's on your homepage or something, it means you've sent them to the wrong page and you have too many calls to action. It doesn't make sense, what they're supposed to do. We want to make sure that the page is really clear of what the person should do. If they're just setting on the page, and they're like, "I'm not sure why I'm here." Then you've got the lack of entry.

Jason Miller:       On the even worse side of that, you've got disoriented. If the customer's disoriented and they're darting around the mouse or they continue to change the direction of the mobile device. There's not clarity on the page of what you want the customer to do, and they're confused, so we're not gonna get this customer to convert if they can't even figure out what they're supposed to do on the page. 

Jason Miller:       Now, if you have a fight that's more data driven, with lots of references, media sites, product reviews, things like that, you might see this exploring reaction, where they're actually spending a lot of time on the page. They're reading all the content, they're going down the page, and they're doing that intuitive decision making strategy.

Jason Miller:       Within combination with this is the mindful strategy. You want to have a combination of these as we're moving through the site, and I'll have a slide about it on the end, but looking at that sensory stimulation of how they're moving on site. Is it cognitive, are they actually following the path you would expect them to follow? Or, is it a really hard to buy product, financial services, stuff like that, that people don't really want to buy, but they have to spend a lot of time on the site to buy.

Jason Miller:       Then, the one you love the most, the focused person. I always say, this is the guy shopper. He doesn't really want to look at anything else. He wants to come in and knows what he wants to buy. He clicks the button, he tries to get out of the site as quick as possible. Within that conversion funnel, you've got to have a focus, otherwise those customers are never gonna be able to buy.

Jason Miller:       Kind of thinking of this from your home page through to your checkout page, you look at, they come in, they know what they want to buy, they're focused on the home page. They hit the category page, they're exploring through the category page. Find what they want, they're mindful, they're on the product page, they're following the prompts as you want them to, adding things to cart. They get to the checkout page and then we see this disoriented behavior. That's because they can't find the way to check out. Maybe you have an error on there that you haven't seen or something.

Jason Miller:       Now, Dr. Gilad is actually working on deep learning. Here's AI, you can drink again. Deep learning models to try to take millions and millions of customer interactions, and distill that down into an algorithm that can actually predict within less than 10 seconds of a customer being on a page if they're actually gonna convert and buy the product or not. 

Jason Miller:       Now, he published this research, and he's actually able, within 76% accuracy with this current model, to tell you when that customer is sitting on the product page, if they're gonna actually buy or not. So, really cool uses of big data and training and AI algorithm.

Jason Miller:       If you think of a few other ways to use this, creating unique fingerprints for your customers from the financial services sector. There's an insurance company that uses the idea of how fast you type in a form requesting a sales agent call you, to which sales agent it matches you up with based on that sales agent's speed. If you type fast, you want someone who's gonna work with you fast and give you information fast. They found success with that. A lot of good uses, that now we've got to take advantage of this data and actually turn it into something useful.