I was not surprised to hear on the radio someone claim that people are starting to return to traditional bricks and mortar shopping in preference to the web. I did however find their explanation overly simplistic.
For them the answer lies in a desire to return to the social element of shopping, and the tactile element of actually seeing and handling the goods. Whilst accepting that I believe that something has driven people to reassess the way they shop, and the major driver to that rethink is the experience they have of using the internet to shop. When was the last time you went into a store, loaded your shopping cart and then found that you could not find a way to pay and, worse still, could then find no one to help you? We have all had horror stories of frustration on the web—being a Mac user with Safari and Firefox but no Internet Explorer I have probably suffered more than my fair share.
We live in a highly competitive era, one in which if the customer experience fails to meet their expectation, which is routinely high and getting higher as their time becomes a precious commodity, they have no qualms about churning. With modern technology, people rarely leave quietly. Service failure is now routinely exposed to a global community through blogs and things like the Amazon customer feedback forums. Despite this most people develop and run their web sites with far less professionalism and care than would ever be seen in a high street store; the investment made in quality is usually very limited. As a consequence people's expectations fail to be met by a significant proportion of web sites.
Tealeaf, a very successful company already in the USA, and a spin-off from SAP, are able to address this issue. Tealeaf provides a solution that offers full visibility and insight into the customer experience on the net. We have all had to fill in those boxes that ask you what were you doing when your transaction failed and, if you are like me, you can really only remember what you did just before the system failed, the navigation to that point is not something you can really recall. As a consequence you tend to get fobbed off with a partial answer, and go to another site. But, with Tealeaf, all of the transactions are logged and when there is a service failure they can be resolved by going back and looking at the transaction exactly as seen by the customer. There is no more guessing—it is a forensic search of what actually happened, making it possible to resolve issues quickly and with accuracy.
So, whilst prior to Tealeaf, management of the Net was a fragmented affair, Tealeaf brings everything together into a single repository, with everything that is captured being indexed and then made available through structured search, with aggregation and drill down. With the Tealeaf CX repository at its core the full solution set then offers five purpose-built applications to automate the workflow of managing the customer experience on the web: CX Reveal for responding to customer calls, CX Verify for dispute resolution, CX View for usability, CX Connect for multi channel analysis, and CX Impact for resolution of issues. The five work together to enable the workflow to address all aspects of the customer experience.
Tealeaf have already made a big impact in the USA and are starting to make an impression in the UK. This product has unique capability and anyone who is trading significantly on the Internet cannot afford to ignore what is on offer here.