About 2 months ago I was asked to participate in creating a testimonial video for Tealeaf and how we have come to use it at Thomas Cook Netherlands to help gain insights into our customers’ experience.
Although the video is quite short, not even 5 minutes, there is a lot to say about Tealeaf and CEM (Customer Experience Management) in general. Let’s face it, quantitative data is fantastic but not always suitable to gain insights into qualitative actions. In other words, web analytics will tell me if something is going wrong, where and how often, but it won’t tell me how to fix or optimize it or even tell me how my visitors use my website.
So when you start to consider the fact that User Research can help you gain actual insights (no pun intended) into a visitor’s behavior, you can start to correlate this to interaction and design.
This raises the questions, when performing user testing, are people really behaving like they normally would? Are they adjusting their behavior, because in the back of their mind there lingers a suspicion that they might fail the test?
Although very labor intensive, tools like Tealeaf, Clicktale and Atomic Labs’ PION can actually help you compare simulated behavior versus real behavior. You can compare behavior in a coordinated and often structured test versus a real life environment. Ask yourself, what would be more valuable to you?
Is CEM full proof? It isn’t, then again a lot of things never are. It will, however, give you data from real users. User who are behaving as they normally would, not running through a list of tasks and without a moderator looking over their shoulder. In other words, a user only influenced by the surroundings they are in and the way they are accessing your website.
Can you get the insights that you need using these tools? That and more. I am a firm believer that any proper analysis, web analytics or user research, will all help you discover items even those not previously known or even considered.
On a side note, I believe that CEM is the wrong acronym for the purpose of the tool and analysis. Not every visitor is a customer and we are not managing the visitor’s behavior in any real form. So in that aspect I would suggest these companies venturing in the world of gaining online user behavioral insights use logical terms such as Real User Experience Monitoring (RUEM). Just my 2 cents…