Companies in the digital marketplace of the 21st century know a customer has their options. They make every minute of the day count for something, and they don’t have time to waste sitting in front of a screen waiting for something to load. If they feel like time is wasted with broken links or pages that load at a glacial pace, they will click away and find a competitor who can provide better service.
The challenge of providing a fast and reliable online experience for every user is one that must be met as digital transformation continues to reshape how people conduct business and meet day-to-day needs. The retail industry, for example, has been entirely disrupted by digital transformation. Gone are the days when shopping trips to in-store locations were the norm rather than the exception. The expectations customers have of companies have changed dynamically, and companies must meet those demands or risk redundancy.
Meet Sooraya. Sooraya is the face of the new millennium – a Lebanese-American mother of two who works in medical administration in a major American
city. Sooraya’s life often feels like a maelstrom as she balances school and sports with her kids, work, her passion for long-distance running, and spending precious hours with her husband. As a result, Sooraya economizes her time by completing many day-to-day tasks online. Her banking, clothes shopping, and perusing new running gear are all done online. Sooraya hasn’t been in a bookstore in years; the suspense novels she reads voraciously are all bought on Amazon. She even shops online for the ingredients to make her famous Lebanese koosa.
Every day there are more people like Sooraya who depend on reliable online service to meet basic living needs and they overwhelmingly patronize companies who can provide consistently reliable service. In this marketplace, milliseconds count. A customer who has to wait more than two to three seconds for the front-end page to load is proportionally more likely to give up and click away. The blink of an eye, a finger snap, this tiny amount of time can be the difference between making a sale and losing a transaction and sending a valued customer to a competitor.
Vendors in the digital marketplace are facing battles on many fronts. Information on service performance is stored in different systems where it is siloed and there’s no full visibility when it comes to monitoring both front- and back-end services as well as third-party content from all around the globe much less correlation between the different sets of data. Websites need to provide a cohesive experience for users even though they have complex ecosystems of homegrown and third-party content (like social media – think Facebook, Twitter etc.), multiple services, and APIs (like advertising and marketing analytics) that all interconnect to provide the user experience. As every biologist, philosopher, and Jedi Knight knows, one disturbance in an interconnected system can have long and far reaching ramifications. Thus, the challenge of providing a fast and reliable experience can be a complex and potentially frustrating one.
Collecting and translating performance data is a massive undertaking but one that can be fulfilled by using a unified monitoring tool that gives full visibility of front-end and back-end systems on user impacting events. The right tool will quickly identify the root cause with full visibility and traceability of the front-end through to the back-end systems, all unified through the concept of the same Business Transaction which spans these systems and acts to minimize user impact by leveraging a symbiotic relationship between proactive and reactive capabilities. With a unified monitoring solution, a company has proactive, reactive, and insightful data to manage the customer experience. An application intelligence platform that unifies back-end monitoring with both real-user monitoring and synthetic monitoring will not only optimize the experience of a customer like Sooraya, it will also accelerate the digital transformation of a company, keeping it at the head of an ever changing industry.
The harsh reality is that when people like Sooraya have a poor digital experience or difficulty with their online tasks, they won’t hesitate to find vendors who can better meet their expectations, which have been set by companies with massive technical resources. The good news is that a comprehensive and unified method of tracking and reporting user behavior can assure the experience that earns the loyalty and appreciation of customers around the globe.
This is Part One of a four-part series on ‘A Day in the Life of Tech Torment’ .