Aligning marketing and IT to improve customer experience online

Martin Ryan shares four top tips on how can you ensure the best internet performance and online experience for your customers.

Three seconds or less is all it takes to create a loyal customer via your website, email, app or digital collateral. Consumers are becoming choosier when they’re online. It could come down to a choice between your website and a competitor’s and with a three-second window to win the customer; the deciding factor could be the speed of your website or overall internet performance.

1. Make sure IT and marketing stay integrated

From the beginning of an online project, it is important the IT department and the marketing departments stay integrated through the product development process. Companies communicate with their customers in a number of ways; through apps, website and games however during this stage we can easily lose our customers due to poor Internet performance. Marketers need to understand the process as it can often involve a complex IT chain that may hit more than 10 servers before it makes its way to the mainframe, and have a significant influence on the end result. If customers are trying to buy items through a website and the website is slow they are less likely to complete the purchase or return to the site in future.

2. Always be one step ahead

No one wants to hear about service issues from their customers. Ideally, any problem should be detected by automated monitors and actioned by the technical alert team before the issue has even had the chance to reach the customer. This can be done by implementing systems and monitoring the simple services that run on servers. An end-to-end transactional test of the system is an accurate way to indicate the health of your service. The test can log in, perform a transaction and get the expected outcome of what the customer is experiencing. This will allow you to stay one step ahead without the customer even realising something went wrong during their buying experience.

3. There is no I in team

It is one thing to have the appropriate monitoring, alerts and metrics in place but you will need a dedicated team comprising IT and marketing representatives to respond to the alerts and perform remediation to minimise outages. For example, if an internet service provider (ISP) has an outage it could impact your business and cause long periods of downtime for your website. The integrated team needs to understand the process they need to take in resolving the issue and how to interact with customers when the issue goes on for a long time out of your control. It is critical to have a simple-to-follow, clear process and communication plans in place to ensure you meet your customers’ needs.

4. Transparency is key

Your company may have the marketing team in line with the IT department, the appropriate monitoring, alerts and team in place, however, if you don’t communicate with your customers it could cause more issues than an ISP outage. When communicating with your customers make sure you respond quickly and are transparent about the details. You don’t want to have bad reviews posted to social media for poor customer service.

Martin Ryan is VP and managing director, APAC at Dyn.