voice of the customer – actualinsights* http://www.actualinsights.com Real Users, Real Data, Real Insights Mon, 30 Mar 2015 08:05:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 24161933 Social Media Mentions as Performance KPIs http://www.actualinsights.com/2012/social-media-mentions-performance-kpis/ http://www.actualinsights.com/2012/social-media-mentions-performance-kpis/#comments Tue, 26 Jun 2012 13:05:06 +0000 http://www.actualinsights.com/?p=1742 Performance is an important indicator of any user experience. You can have the most amazing looking website, but with every second delay your visitor encounters during his/her visit to you website, you are unnecessarily and very directly risking your revenue stream. Social Media mentions are not only a great way to interact with your audience, […]

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Performance is an important indicator of any user experience. You can have the most amazing looking website, but with every second delay your visitor encounters during his/her visit to you website, you are unnecessarily and very directly risking your revenue stream.

Social Media mentions are not only a great way to interact with your audience, but also a great way for monitoring how your website’s performance is perceived. Like we haven proven before, poor performance can ruin the experience in more ways than one.

Trust me, you ain’t that special!

In the past, website visitors were kind enough to call you if they were experiencing frustrations online during a visitor to your website. These days, with the advent of Social Media, visitors often turn to their online social circles like Twitter and Facebook first, to complain there.

Social Mentions as Performance KPI - Examples

Examples of social media mentions about poor performance or unstable functionalities on travel websites.

Recent Studies

In a recent study, Dutch performance optimization experts at MeasureWorks, with the assistance of Social Media agency idr1,  revealed that a staggering 4,8% of all travel tweets and (public) mentions on Facebook between January and May 2012 (totaling 225.000 mentions) were direct complaints about performance. The impact of it can be seen in the mentions. Loyal customers seeking out new vendors. Clicking to a competitors website is often easier and more efficient than waiting.

Social Performance KPI - Piecharts

Percentage of negativesocial mentions in terms of speed, availability and usability per vertical.

Kicking ’em when their down – Trending Topics

Everybody’s Online Service worst nightmare… Twitter’s Trending Topics. In January, Dutch banking conglomerate ING suffered a major outage. These issues quickly became a trending topic as Tweeps outed their frustrations about ING for not being able to perform any online banking tasks.

In the graph below you can see the ING’s website availability (blue line) and the number of Twitter mentions (green = positive / red= negative). The longer the duration of the performance issue, the more (and ever-increasing amount of) Twitter mentions were detected which directly affects customer loyalty. With finance, this effect can be even more extreme since you are preventing your own customers to gain access to their  money.

Social Performance KPI - ING Performance Issues

A direct correlation between performance issues and negative brand focused social mentions.

Impact of availability on social sentiment

With the ING example above, don’t forget that reputable research agencies such as Ovum and Forrester report that only 16% of all users will complain online. Social sentiment therefore becomes a crucial barometer, so to speak, to quantify the effects of performance (or other issues) on the online experience of your (potential) customers. If you want to know what to do to prevent this, or find out what really matters to them, then simply stop what you are doing and listen. They will tell you, sometime in the most detailed way, what went wrong, where it went wrong and what effect it had on them.

Start listening

Come on, admit it… No one likes being told ‘your website sucks’, but after opening yourself to this free form of feedback you could eventually learn to appreciate it. Alright, the data might not always be as statistically significant as web analytics can be, but it can help you to focus or be directed to the issues at hand. Here are two points you should and can start focusing on:

  1. Measure the performance from an end user’s point of view. End user, end user? You know what I mean… your visitors. Performance is an experience, not necessarily a hard statistic that you can drive on. Remember that your website is not complete until the very last element has finished loading. These are the elements that you can steer and this includes, strangely enough, 3rd party elements, too. Yes, you read it right, because what we seem to forget is that we put 3rd party elements on a site, so we can also take them off, and this includes anything from social media buttons to web analytics. Therefore, always measure performance in the same way that your users use your websites. Match the settings of their devices and connections, mobile or desktop, hardline internet connection or a mobile connection and then set out to find what you website really feels like.
  2. Don’t underestimate social sentiment. We should never neglect quantifiable data such as web performance and availability data, but we need to start raising awareness, and I am hoping that you will help us in this cause, that what the users say on accessible platforms such as social media, can really be beneficial to us. The amount of feedback you can collect and analyze from platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, forums and blog are enormous. Don’t forget, “what’ is being sad is important, but ‘how’ it is being said might be even more important for interpretation.

Volume & Time

Data Volume isn’t everything…. what you actually should be focussing on is sentiment, more specifically sentiment in a given moment in time. Even on a daily basis I experience web performance problems when I am with clients, but these are just (often) incidents that occur at certain times. Although huge variations in volume, ie. traffic spikes, can be the first signal of performance issues such as page load times and heaven forbid ‘downtime’, time will indicate when it happened. Looking through social media mentions can help pinpoint problem periods and impact.

Problem periods can help you fence of a moment in the day that your website was possibly experience problems. Use the time to locate the problem. Use sentiment albeit neutral, negative or downright contempt to figure out what the effects were on conversion and loyalty. By constantly monitoring the volume, sentiment and time elements you can think about preventing performance issues in the future during predictable peak times.

Social Performance KPI - SoundCloud Sentiment

To illustratie this idea, let’s look at Soundclound, an online music service. In Soundcloud, listeners can comment on certain moments during the song, letting them share sentiment for others to watch. Now if we replace the music timeline with a performance trendline, we can create an overview of how performance impacts engagement over time. (note: to fully understand what sentiment is you will have to perform qualitative research of the social mention to understand what is negative, neutral or positive).

What’s the business impact?

Registering social media mentions and sentiment per hour, per day, that’s clear. Then what? To be able to take proper action you need a clear understanding of the business impact of performance issues. An example:

  • How many visitors are experiencing this problem?
  • What impact is this problem having on my (expected) conversion rate or other KPI’s?
  • What is it costing me in revenue? <- my personal favorite, this will guarantee you the attention the issue needs!

In just a few simple steps you will be able to determine if your website’s performance is up to par:

  1. What are my performance KPI’s? Google.com loads within half a second, but within 250 milliseconds the logo and search input field are already visible. This level of performance focusses on ‘instant satisfaction’ and is a performance KPI for them. For Twitter ‘time to first tweet’ is a performance KPI. How long does it take for the first tweet in your timeline to be visible? Every company has a ‘instant satisfaction’ element on their website that they can turn into a KPI. What’s yours?
  2. It’s about repetition. Tracking performance, how your website is experience by the visitor, is not a one-off thing. Checking it randomly won’t give you the right insights into the effects on the visitor. Performance tracking needs to be a continuous process (trends) across multiple pages (paths). Track at a minimum your ‘Red Route’, the pages that contribute the most to your revenue stream such as the homepage, product pages and purchase funnels. A visit is very rarely just 1 page, but a series of pages that form the experience. The experience needs to be flowing, just 1 single lagging page can break the user’s flow and distract him from his objective.
  3. Conversion Analysis. Correlate performance data with web analytics data, such as conversion rates, bounce rates and time on site. Find out what the tolerance level is, how long is you visitor willing to wait for a page to load before they give up. Analysis should tell you this. Analysis should tell you if you are walking a thin line and at risk of losing revenue. Make sure that doesn’t happen!

Net Performance Score

Ask a random selection of visitors a simple question:

“Would you recommend this website to you family and friends based on its performance?”

Would they all say ‘yes’? If you monitor social media for mentions about you, your website, your brand, then the answer should be no surprise. By simply listening to your customers, hearing what they have to say about their experience with you, and by correlating this to tracked performance data it should be easy to conclude the business impact and help you to prioritize optimization opportunities immediately. Take the time and do the effort to improve the user experience, because if you don’t, someone else will.

[alert color=blue title=”Translated Version” align=center]The original post was written in Dutch by Jeroen Tjepkema of MeasureWorks, with support of idr1, and posted on the Dutch ecommerce website Emerce on June 21st, 2012 (link). The post has been translated and republished here with the permission of the author.[/alert]

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Qualaroo for Custom Exit Surveys http://www.actualinsights.com/2012/qualaroo-for-custom-exit-surveys/ http://www.actualinsights.com/2012/qualaroo-for-custom-exit-surveys/#comments Tue, 22 May 2012 16:18:48 +0000 http://www.actualinsights.com/?p=1606 Do you know of Qualaroo? You should! Nothing, in my opinion, is more valuable to a conversion optimization specialist than the voice of the customer, or should we say visitor, because let’s be honest, not every visitor is a customer… yet. Over the past years I have made avid use of different feedback tools to […]

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Do you know of Qualaroo? You should! Nothing, in my opinion, is more valuable to a conversion optimization specialist than the voice of the customer, or should we say visitor, because let’s be honest, not every visitor is a customer… yet.

Over the past years I have made avid use of different feedback tools to collect a visitor’s sentiment on many different aspects of the online business. There are different goals to set for yourself when collecting visitor feedback and in most cases, the most valuable ones, are when you collect that voice that wants to leave your website right smack in the middle of the checkout process. I mean… why would you want to leave then?

The bottom line is, is that visitor feedback is your goldmine which you can prospect for optimization ideas.

NOTE KISSinsights now Qualaroo: As of 31 July 2012, KISSinsights will continue as Qualaroo. Read More

Exit Surveys

Like I mentioned before, Exit Surveys are fantastic for collecting a real visitor’s sentiment on your site. In the traditional sense of the term ‘exit survey’ the setup would consist of a javascript on your website which would trigger when a visitor lands on a page containing that script. The script would pop-up a friendly window and ask you if ‘after your visit is complete’ you would like to fill in a short survey about the said visit.

iPerceptions’ 4Q is a popular tool used for this method of feedback collection. It does the job well, and even though they have abandoned their freemium model, the insights that can be extrapolated are priceless.

My burning question is, is it really the most effective way to collect insights. Sure it is good to know if people were able to complete or not complete the tasks they had at hand when arriving on your site, but it takes a lot of time and effort to really find out how you can best improve your website based on their feedback. Since most surveys are focused on the entire website and not a specific page or task (or task flow such as purchasing), finding out why visitors leave and how you could possibly fix this doesn’t come easy.

Mouseout Event

Are there tools out there that can help you focus on a single page or task? Absolutely. The three that quickly jump to mind are Qualaroo, Kampyle and Feedbackify. Although all 3 are worthy contenders, only two make use of an interesting technique to approaching supposedly abandoning visitors.

Qualaroo and Kampyle make use of a script that captures the ‘Mouseout’ event on the HTML node of a web page. In layman’s terms… the script know when a visitor moves the mouse cursor off of the active web page. So, if you were to move your mouse cursor off of the page you were viewing to, for example, the URL address bar, the script would trigger and display, in this case, an invitation to an exit survey.

Kampyle calls this technique their ‘push mechanism‘, but Qualaroo also offers the same technology.


How do we go and create an exit survey with Qualaroo then? Well, let’s look at the checklist:

  1. Find an area in the (purchase) process on your website where visitors abandon
  2. Create an exit survey test in Qualaroo
  3. Place the javascript on the effected page (or entire website, depends on your tagging constraints)
  4. Activate the exit survey, sit back and relax…
For the purpose of this blog post, I will be focusing on the placing of an exit survey in the (multi-step) checkout process. If people have come this far in your website and something is stopping them in their tracks, we need to find out! No seriously… we do!
So, using your web analytics package try to find out in which steps of your checkout process visitors are abandoning the most. Hop over to your Qualaroo account at create a new survey.

Creating The Survey

Create the survey like you normally would. For instance, call it ‘Step X – Exit Survey’ where X stands for the step in the checkout funnel that you have just identified as a bleeder. Enter the URL of the page where you want the survey to appear.

Configure Survey - Qualaroo

Select the specific page you want the survey to appear on.

Asking the Question

For the question, pick something neutral but inviting… and more importantly keep it simple. Questions that I have used in the past are:

  • “Hey… we noticed you don’t want to finish your purchase, do you mind telling us why?”
  • “Uhoh, don’t want to buy from us? Could you tell us why?”
Choosing the right question is important, but don’t lose sleep over it. A lot depends on the context of the website, is it formal, leisure… adapt appropriately.


Coming up with answers that reflect real reasons for visitors wanting to leave your website is a learn-as-you-go process. The first time you launch an exit survey like this, put some standard answers in there such as:
  • I experience a technical problem
  • I wanted to know the total price
  • My creditcard did not work
  • I need to confer with my partner first
  • I wanted to see what was included
  • Other [open ended question]
The ‘Other’ option is crucial for going forward. Visitors will, when they don’t see a matching option, tell you what made them stop. It is from this answer that you will get more insights into possible hurdles blocking your visitors from purchasing. In other words, you need to adapt your exit survey regularly by adding new answers based on the feedback you get in the ‘Other’ open ended question.


We have created our survey, setup our questions and answers… now we need to configure the survey. This is the easy part as there is really only one default setting we need to change. Under the title ‘Display the survey’ edit the option to the second one entitled “When the above criteria is met and the user moves their cursor towards the browser close button”. This will ensure that the survey remains hidden until the mouseout event is detected.
Configure Survey - Qualaroo

Select the second option to keep the survey hidden until the mouseout event is triggered.

This function does not work in all browsers, but enough to get the insights you need.
You are now set to place the javascript on your website or on the specific webpage and activate the survey. Let the data flow in and get to work on analyzing it and making it actionable.

Real Insights

This blog, actualinsights*, wouldn’t be what it is today if I didn’t add some real world data… and since you have held out so vigorously until the end of this blog post, let me share some real insights!

The most interesting fact for me was that the survey completion rate was a staggering 17% during my most recent exit survey in the Travel industry. So, of all the abandoners, 17% of them took the time to respond and tell us why they weren’t buying from us… can you imagine doing that at a store?

Survey Responses

A clear distinction in responses and some interesting insights from the ‘Other’ option.

As you can see, a majority of the respondents told us that they either needed to confer with their (travel) partner or they just wanted to know the total price. From this we can gather several insights, such as research the possibility of a Postponed Booking option, that will allow visitors to take an option on a holiday, but book and pay later.

As for the total price issue, a little more research would be able to tell us why they do this. Is it to compare the price with competitors, are they window shopping, have they recently booked and they are visiting again to see if the price has changed… and so on.

In the ‘Other’ option we found two big issues, one being a visitors preference for the flights mainly the option to choose which airline company accommodates the flight to the holiday destination and second, display discounts more continuously especially among older visitors (looking for their old age pensioners discount).

Survey Findings

Drilling down into individual responses is where you’ll find your goldmine!

When you drill down into the individual responses, this is where you will find your pot of gold. Now, remember the flight preference issue in the previous paragraph? Look at the responses above and tell me what you think. People are hesitant to book a holiday because of the airline carrier who will perform the flight to the holiday destination. To briefly clarify… the travel industry is a complex vertical to work in. In most case you are not selling your own products (hotel, flight, hotel, insurances etc.) but you are in actual fact a reseller. This makes it hard to really improve your services.

In this case Transavia, a Dutch charter company, is preferred over the Turkish Onur Air. In the past there have been many issues around Onur Air’s level of maintenance on their flights causing some serious inflight and ground incidents. It is understandable that visitors are hesitant.

It is your mission as a conversion optimization specialist to help fix this and save customers. You have sought out and discovered a purchase blocking issue, become the hero and save that revenue!

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Complete Web Monitoring for $65 http://www.actualinsights.com/2011/cheap-complete-web-monitoring/ http://www.actualinsights.com/2011/cheap-complete-web-monitoring/#comments Wed, 20 Apr 2011 09:19:40 +0000 http://www.actualinsights.com/?p=726 Gathering online insights doesn't have to be expensive. In my experience there is no 1:1 relationship between tool quality and tool pricing. If you are looking to get some more attention and gain some more respect for the work that you do, I would recommend investing your own money.

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Do you work for a boss who doesn’t want to spend too much money on online analytics? Does your boss complain about high costs, lengthy implementations and not enough value for money? Have you ever just wanted to grab your own credit card and purchase some of these fantastic, yet affordable tools on the market to help you feel useful at work? Well, here’s my advice… Just do it!

Gathering online insights doesn’t have to be expensive. In my experience there is no 1:1 relationship between tool quality and tool pricing. If you are looking to get some more attention and gain some more respect for the work that you do, I would recommend injecting some of your hard earned money into some effective tools to wake up your sleeping stakeholders, managers and budget holders.

Fame + Fortune = $65/month

For a mere $65 a month you can become the corporate Complete Web Monitoring Rockstar! Trust me, it can be done. In the following paragraphs I will give you my tool recommendation in order to gather an exceptional amount of insights using a methodology/theory called Complete Web Monitoring.

Before I proceed, a quick disclaimer… there are many tools out there, free tools and paid tools, many tools with similar functionalities. The tools in this article are tools that I would personally use to gather insights if I was on a tight or limited budget. In the past I have quite often paid for tools myself to gather insights. Of course your employer should provide you with the right tools to do your work, but sometimes your boss just needs a nudge, or you just need to give in… just think about your bonus.

If, after reading this article and after having produced new insights and recommendations for the site stakeholders, you are still unable to convince your boss to cough up the insignificant sum of $65 a month for a ton of insights, then let me know. I have yet to come across a boss that isn’t willing to invest such a small amount of money for extremely valuable information about a company’s online activities, but hey… it’s a strange world we live in. But let’s not go down without a fight!

What is Complete Web Monitoring?

Sean Power and Alistair Croll released a book in 2009 called ‘Complete Web Monitoring‘. In this book Sean and Alistair shared their view on how to keep a complete overview of all facets of your online activities… ie. your online investments. Within the ‘Complete Web Monitoring’ theory, you are being put in a position where you need to be able to answer the following 6 questions:

  • What did they do?
  • Could they do it?
  • How did they do it?
  • Why did they do it?
  • What are they saying?
  • What are they plotting?

In other words, you are creating insights in the fields of Web Analytics, Web Performance, Web Interaction Analysis, Voice of the Customer, Community Engagement and Competitive Analysis. But why aren’t A/B or Multivariate testing tools or Social Media management tools like Hootsuite or CoTweet mentioned? Complete Web Monitoring focusses on creating insights, but not the follow up actions needed to improve the measured results. Don’t forget, you’ll always need insights to know what to improve. So let’s lay the foundation…

The tools to make you a Rockstar!

1. Web Analytics – What did they do?

This should be a no-brainer for the most of you. In the market today there is just one fantastic web analytics tool out there which also happens to be free… Google Analytics. Google Analytics offers more than enough tracking capabilities to give you full insights into what visitors do on your website. Is it the creme-de-la-creme? Not in my experience so far, but it is the closest we are going to get on a tight budget.

Google Analytics will start providing you with data shortly after you place the tracking codes on your site. I would really recommend digging deeper into the huge amount of functionalities and community hacks the tool boasts, such as Stephane Hamel’s gaAddons tracking code extension hack. Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Avinash Kaushik’s Web Analytics 2.0 book to help you refine your analytics techniques with tools such as Google Analytics.

Tool: Google Analytics

Costs: FREE

Link: http://www.google.com/analytics/

2. Web Performance – Could they do it?

Like I said earlier, there are many tools in the market today that pretty much do the same thing. This is also the case for Web Performance. Depending on your budget you can spend anything from $0 a month to $2500 a month tracking your relatively ‘big’ site. Free tools in this segment don’t really tell you much other than weekly performance overviews or when it has detected that your site is not responding. For just $9.95 offers you a substantial amount more functionalities, such as tracking up to 5 URLs in intervals of 1, 5, 15, 30 or 60 minutes. In other words, this tool will ‘ping’ your online service (HTTP(S), TCP port, Ping, DNS, UDP, SMTP, POP3 and IMAP) to see if it is responding, ie. if it is available to visitors.

What do more expensive packages do? They will allow you to perform real browser monitoring (check page load performance whilst also executing any inline javascripts), scripted visits (execute virtual visits on your site’s red route), perform content checks (is the proper content being shown or is your site displaying a 404 page) and so on. All of this sounds great, and it is, but when your starting out small the $9.95 a month service from Pingdom should suffice. Remember, insights from Pingdom are guaranteed to result in more questions. Answers to these questions will often require and upgrade and upgrades cost money, but because you have got your stakeholders attention, I am sure that they are ready to invest in more sophisticated tooling.

Recommended Reading: How poor performance ruins the user experience

Tool: Pingdom

Costs: $9.95/month

Link: http://www.pingdom.com/

3. Web Interaction Analysis – How did they do it?

There can only be one winner here. Even though we had a enterprise level web analytics package installed on our ecommerce websites, paying a fortune in license fees and maintenance costs it was nothing the simplicity and strength of CrazyEgg. CrazyEgg offers you direct (2 hours after placing the javascript) insights into where visitors click on the page you are tracking. Inside CrazyEgg this data is displayed in 3 formats:

  • Overlay – similar to other web analytics tools such as Google Analytics
  • Heatmap – aggregated view of the popularity of  areas clicked
  • Confetti – an overview of actual locations visitors clicked (my favorite)

CrazyEgg allows to segment the clicks in Confetti view on items such as ‘Time to Click’, ‘New vs. Returning visitors’, ‘Day of the Week’, ‘Referrer’ and even Google campaign tracking codes. If you were to update the page based on the insights gained, you can quickly launch a follow up test to re-track the clicks on the updated page so that you can compare them with the previous version.

Installation shouldn’t be too hard and can often be done without the involvement of IT. Try investigating how your CMS handles javascript. Maybe there is a way to inject javascript codes onto the website using CMS components. Make sure that you due have the courtesy to test out the javascript in a test environment first in the rare case that you bring the site down.

An added benefit of CrazyEgg is that they will soon be offering insights into a visitors ‘Scroll Depth’.

Recommended Reading: How to perform interaction analysis with CrazyEgg

Tool: CrazyEgg

Costs: $19/month

Link: http://www.crazyegg.com/

4. Voice of the Customer – Why did they do it?

One of favorite subjects. Voice of the Customer is a gold mine of data. Data right from the visitor’s mouth keyboard. The theories behind Voice of the Customer are elaborate and do not always result in the same insights, but should never be disregarded. Without getting into topics between the relative mismatches in lining up visitor behavior and attitude, Voice of the Customer gives you direct insights into what and how customers are experiencing your website. Are they running into technical problems? Can they find what they are looking for? What is causing visitors to get frustrated or what is positively effecting their experience?

By analyzing the results you can get an idea of what you might need to do to improve your site’s performance, your site’s navigation, your products and offers. Feedbackify will do this for you, cost effectively. Visitors can at any stage during their visit give you feedback. The feedback is built up by giving the site a score, choosing a main and sub-category of the feedback topic and adding free text in the space provided. This data can then be analyzed in the backend giving you a general idea of the visitor’s experience retraceable to the page the feedback was submitted on. All in all, well worth the $19 a month.

Recommended Reading: Top Customer Feedback Tools for Small Businesses.

Tool: Feedbackify

Costs: $19/month

Link: http://www.feedbackify.com/

5. Community Engagement – What are they saying?

Now that we are tracking what visitors do on your site, how your site performs and what customers tell you about their experience on you site… it is time to listen in to the chatter elsewhere on the web. Visitors will talk and with the various different social media platforms out there today it can be hard to keep track of all that is being said about your brand or products. Trackur will help you get started.

By monitoring Twitter, Facebook and forums, Trackur will alert you when any one of your search terms is discovered in these online areas. The backend will allow you to add sentiment tags to each alerts giving you a quick overview of trends over time. By learning more about how your brand and/or products are thought of will help you to define a strategy on how to improve this. Starting basic monitoring or even by striking up conversations with the people who mention you can do wonders to learning more about what interests, motivates and drives your visitors the most.

Tool: Trackur

Costs: $18/month

Link: http://www.trackur.com/

6. Competitive Analysis – What are they plotting?

Last but not least, let’s find out what the other teams are doing… Google offers 3 great tools check out the competition.

  • Google Insights can be used to visualize the popularity of keywords, but when used nifty, you can replace the keywords with the names of your competitors and get an idea of how well the brand is performing compared to you own.
  • Google Alerts lets you set up automatic email alerts on keywords you wish to be alerted on. Just like Google Insights, you can use this to not only track your own brand and products, but also your competitors.
  • Google Adplanner will allow you to compare your site traffic to that of competitors. It is quite similar to Compete.com but for us European based professionals it offers a little more data to work with.

Let’s face it. We always want to keep track of what our competitors are doing. I personally like to keep track of companies via LinkedIN, Twitter, Facebook and even a basic Google Search. Alongside all of the above mentioned suggestions we can also use tools mentioned previously to our advantage.

Since Pingdom and Trackur are tools that do not need to be installed on your site, they can easily be used to track the performance of your competitor’s site and monitor what is being said about your competitor, respectively. Check the status of a competitors website with Pingdom, you’ll be surprised how often the site is not available, ie. offline. It’s not illegal in any way. If you go for a more expensive option you can even track a competitors purchasing funnel to see what kind of problems arise. Same goes for Trackur. People will not only talk about your brand/site, but also about the competition. Add some keywords to track within Twitter and Facebook and stay on top of it all. It’s simple, it’s available, it’s inexpensive so what are you waiting for?

Recommended Reading: How to collect Effective Competitor Intelligence.

Tools: Google Insights, Google Alerts, Google Adplanner

Costs: FREE

Links: http://www.google.com/insights/ and http://www.google.com/alerts/ and http://www.google.com/adplanner/


Generating insights into your online activities does not have to be expensive. Don’t be scared off by the prices of the more expensive tools or weary managers. You are the analyst, the optimization specialist, nothing should be holding you back from doing what you love the most. This article just goes to show, that even with the smallest budget, you can gain the biggest insights. Now go and become that legendary Rockstar!

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5 tips to tweak Kampyle http://www.actualinsights.com/2011/5-tips-to-tweak-kampyle/ http://www.actualinsights.com/2011/5-tips-to-tweak-kampyle/#respond Fri, 15 Apr 2011 07:13:43 +0000 http://www.actualinsights.com/?p=708 There is a lot more than meets the eye as far as Kampyle is concerned. Make sure you try to get the most out of it as some settings may be hidden or unbeknownst to you. A lot can be gained by putting a little more effort into your Kampyle implementation.

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At some time or another I think we have all come across the little triangular button on some website asking us to Give Feedback. The triangular button is, to many of us online analysts, synonymous with Kampyle. One questions that’s got me thinking is, are you as a Kampyle customer getting everything you can out of this visitor feedback analysis tool?

Experiences should be shared

One of the key reasons for me to set up Actual Insights, was to create an independent platform where online analytics/optimization specialists like myself can help others who work in the same field.

In 2010 I was in a position to put Kampyle through its paces on an enterprise size ecommerce website. While maintaining close contact with Kampyle representatives I was able to discover more on how to get the most out of this dynamic feedback tool.

I quickly learned that there was more to the tool than the features page on Kampyle.com initially told me. A vast amount of special settings and implementation techniques lay buried in the minds of the talented Kampyle professionals… now it is my turn to share some of these with you in the hopes that it will help you get more bang for your buck.

So, like all great bloggers eventually do, here is my first Top 5 list… my Top 5 tips on how to enhance your use of Kampyle.

1. Create Forms with Contextual Content

Although the standard Kampyle forms are a great place to start, they are more often than not 100% contextual to your website’s content. Let’s be realistic and admit that without any prior research you won’t necessarily know what’s really important to your visitors. This basically means that it will be hard to customize the forms soon after you start with Kampyle.

Over time you will learn what counts and you can adjust your form’s categories and sub-categories accordingly. So, what if your ready to move on right now, while reading this post?

I would recommend editing the Problems category first. Visitors that have experienced something negative on your website will complain sooner than a visitor who has not and when you offer them a portal like Kampyle they will make great use of it to tell you what’s gone wrong. The feedback is usually quite accurate and as a company, solving any dire issues will only help positively increase your visitor’s experience with your website.

Try tweaking your Problem categories and sub-categories to display topics that are relevant to your website, that you have spotted during previous research or your initial use of Kampyle.

For instance, your website might focus on selling products, but what is it about your products’ problems that make them unique? In the online travel industry I focussed my Problem product sub-categories to topics such as:

    • Unable to find a specific hotel
    • Unable to book a specific hotel
    • Cannot book a family room
    • No prices visible on page
    • No flights available on departure date


Now, as some of you might know, there is also, by default, a Usability category in Kampyle. A quick tip would be to include Problem sub-category topics such as 1 and 4 as Usability sub-categories. This will help you collect the information either way, as some visitors might approach the form wanting to give feedback on a usability issues, while others would basically see it as a ‘problem’.

2. Use different forms for different goals

Like I described in my first tip, the trick to getting high quality feedback from your visitors is creating contextual categories and sub-categories. Don’t forget though, that Kampyle let’s you create multiple forms that you can use on your website.

A method that I have used in the past has been to identify the different stages visitors are in during a visit. In layman’s terms: from the homepage all the way through to a product detail page, I identified visitors as ‘searchers’. Beyond the product detail page, so when a visitor enters the checkout process, I identified the visitors as ‘purchasers’… or as we in the travel industry like to say ‘bookers’… again it’s about context 😉

The visitor can experience problems in both areas, searchers will most commonly be affected by issues surrounding the product availability or its pricing. Purchasers can encounter form completion, payment or trust related problems while trying to navigate the checkout process.

In that regard, it won’t make any sense to offer a ‘purchaser’ the problem sub-category topic ‘No prices visible on page’. To sound like a broken record player… it is about context!

3. Create push-only surveys

What I have always liked about Kampyle is its Push-Mechanism (PM). The PM allows you to push the survey invite to a visitor based on several factors such as time on page or by moving the mouse outside of a browser’s active area. The latter can basically be described as the event where a visitor moves his/her mouse cursor off of the page being displayed in the browser to, for example, the URL address field or to click on another tab. The visitor is, theoretically, displaying behavior comparable to that of someone wanting to leave the website. Kampyle will allow you to push the invite to a visitor in these instances.

What’s so great about this? Well, let’s say you wanted to find out why people are leaving the checkout process, or even better, a specific page within the checkout process that has displayed huge levels of abandonment (research this with your analytics tool). How could we accomplish page focussed research with a tool like Kampyle?

A good conversion tip has always been to limit the amount of exit links on checkout pages, the so called Amazon model. With that in mind I deliberately did not place the Kampyle button anywhere within the checkout process to avoid visitors from getting distracted and abandon. So, even though we were not displaying the button, I still wanted to find out why people were abandoning the checkout. By slightly editing the settings for my ‘Purchasers’ form, since we are only interested in purchase problems, I inserted the javascript on the 2 pages within the checkout process that we had identified in Google Analytics as areas of concern. The Kampyle form would only be shown when visitors on the 2 previously identified pages moved their mouse cursors out of the active browser window.

Some of the main reasons for people to abandon, this was something we discovered through Kampyle in earlier stages of its deployment, were:

    • needed to discuss with partner before booking
    • needed to transfer funds from savings account first
    • was only comparing prices
    • session expired
    • technical issues

As you can see. Using focussed forms on specific areas on your site will help you gain terrific insights. The insights above helped us focus on how to solve these issues both technically and functionally.

4. Make contact form fields mandatory

Kampyle is not the most least expensive solution out there. It boasts a great range of functionality and analytics tools in the admin area, but let’s face it, like any tool we just want to get our money’s worth. The problem I had with Kampyle, was that I was seeing a huge amount of half empty feedback items. In other words, people were only grading our site and not selecting a Category, Sub-Category let alone leaving any free text feedback. For this reason we were reaching our subscription feedback cap very fast while not obtaining good quality feedback.

So how do we stop wasting feedback items on incomplete responses? The trick here is to talk to your Kampyle account manager and have them change the settings on the contact form fields that are displayed when the visitor wants to submit the feedback. By default, the form fields are not mandatory. Changing the form field settings to mandatory will help you siphon out the incomplete responses and increase the number of feedback items that actually tell you something. My experience has shown that by making these fields mandatory you will start getting better quality and more relevant feedback, but wait, there is more….

Like many other form situations, you will always get some Mickey Mouse entries with fake names, email addresses and phone number, but just take these for granted. In a previous blog post I discussed how you can use the collecting of email addresses to your advantage when setting up simple usability tests.

5. Track auto reply email links

The last and most easiest (and shortest) tip to set up concerns the auto reply emails you send out to respondents. In the auto reply emails it is always smart to add some sort of link back to your website or other related page(s). Don’t forget to add web analytics tracking codes to the links. This way you can track the effectiveness of your auto reply emails and track your respondents’ willingness to reengage with your website.


There is a lot more than meets the eye as far as Kampyle is concerned. Make sure you try to get the most out of it as some settings may be hidden or unbeknownst to you. A lot can be gained by putting a little more effort into your Kampyle implementation. In a future post I will talk more on how to deeper analyze Kampyle data using tools like Excel and to open up new communication channels with visitor feedback.

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True Intent Conversion Rate http://www.actualinsights.com/2011/true-intent-conversion-rate/ http://www.actualinsights.com/2011/true-intent-conversion-rate/#comments Tue, 12 Apr 2011 11:22:36 +0000 http://www.actualinsights.com/?p=670 How can we grab the attention of the chiefs, the managers, the budgetholders? Like many wise guru’s have said many times in the past… monetize it the metric. Add a monetary value to the metric and quickly show the potential income gain that can be made.

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We have seen tonnes of KPI’s filling up our dashboards over the years. From conversion rates to bounce rates and from time on site to depth of visit. Now, I know that these are not the best examples of complex KPI’s but they (should) form the foundation of every company’s decision making as far as online activities are concerned.

Over the last several months, while working on some extensive Voice of the Customer projects, I started to think about how to integrate data from the two sources. I wanted to gain more insights from qualitative responses (attitude) from our visitors and correlate this with quantitative data (behavior). In other words:

Were people really doing what they say they wanted to do?

or even better:

Could the people do what they say they wanted to do?

For this reason I have come up with ‘True Intent Conversion Rate’. Intention should allow us to better segment and serve our visitors. Like the Beastie Boys sing in their song That’s It That’s All “Intention leads to action”.

Selecting the right research tool

Back to the business at hand… soon after starting work at my new employer, I was able to push through a minor Voice of the Customer project that would involve the implementation of iPerceptions‘ 4Q survey tool.

My experience as an in-house analyst has been to start out small and cheap when it comes down to tools. Spending loads of money on research tools is an easy thing to do, but it won’t guarantee you anything. By limiting your initial investment you, your colleagues, your company can slowly get to grips with the new insights. Hence our choice for 4Q. Free, good basic analysis suite, easy to implement and unlimited number of responses.

What is the purpose of your visit?

After implementing 4Q I quickly realized that these basic insights were quite powerful. Not only were visitors relatively happy to provide us feedback, but they were quite often able to pinpoint the real issues bothering them during their visit. Now, although these insights are great, my attention shifted to one of 4Q’s default questions in the survey ‘What was the purpose of your visit?’.

Although this is one of the standard questions in the survey, the answers can be edited in the back-end. Before implementing the code via our CMS onto the pages we wanted to invite users on, I edited the questions to match the context of our travel website. The 5 main questions being:

    • I am looking for a holiday
    • I want compare prices
    • I want to book a holiday
    • I have a question about my previously made booking
    • I want to talk to a representative

These 5 questions reflect the 5 basic stages of our visitors that we have identified within our travel, packaged holiday, vertical:

    • Initial research phase
    • Price comparison phase
    • Booking (purchase) phase
    • Post Booking (post purchase) phase
    • Customer Contact phase **

** can be pre- or post purchase or even visitors wanting to continue via our offline channel

Below an example of responses to this question (only showing 2). ‘I want to book a holiday’ is shown here as ‘Ik wil een vakantie boeken’, the Dutch equivalent.

Conversion Rate… HiPPO style

I think that I can say with quite some certainty that there are many companies out there who thrive on Conversion Rate. It is most likely the most often used metric/KPI among chiefs and managers. Any analyst out there will hopefully agree with me that the old school conversion rate metric is extremely prone to irregularities such as (poor quality) traffic spikes, website errors and the list goes on. It will basically tell you how well you converted the visitors to your website, including the people who:

    • were just looking
    • wanted to compare a price
    • wanted to book a holiday
    • wanted to talk to someone
    • had a question about a previously made purchase

With True Intent Conversion Rate, this does not change much, but it will help me filter out traffic who’s purpose it is not to book/purchase a holiday. It will allow me to segment my visitors based on purpose of visit, giving me a clearer image of how well or poor we are converting the visitors who want to make a purchase.

The basics

For the mean time, since 4Q’s Google Analytics integration has not been completely deployed, the calculating of True Intent Conversion Rate is pretty much a manual chore.

iPerceptions’ Product Community Support Coordinator Fiona Peter has confirmed that with the 4Q Suite you will be able to fully integrate 4Q with Google Analytics and create segments based on responses given to the Purpose of Visit question. The metrics (excluding date ranges) involved are:

    • (V) Total visitors – web analytics tool (ie. Google Analytics)
    • (O) Total orders – web analytics tool (ie. Google Analytics)
    • (I) % of visitors where ‘Purpose of Visit’ = ‘I want to book a holiday’ = – survey tool (ie. 4Q)

The calculation would then be:

O / (V x I) = True Intent Conversion Rate

4Q, as Google Analytics, allows you to download the data in .csv format making it easy to build a sheet in Excel that can do the calculations for you.

Although 4Q measures Task Completion through one of the four questions and is in actual fact not an exit survey tool, I have found this data to be unreliable since the question is often asked and responded to at the beginning of a visit and does not reflect the answer of a visitor who has actually ‘completed’ their visit or task.

“Shock and Awe”

What can we do with this metric? How can we grab the attention of the chiefs, the managers, the budgetholders? Like many wise guru’s have said many times in the past… monetize the metric. Add a monetary value to the metric and quickly show the potential income gain that can be made.

Here’s a very simple example

Imagine a website, maybe your website, where you get close to 200.000 visits a month. With a tool like 4Q, you have found out that 5% of those visitors (sampled of course) came with the intention to make a purchase, that’s 10.000 visitors. With 1000 orders, you regular conversion rate would be 0,5%.

Based on True Intent Conversion Rate however, you quickly realize that you only converted 10% of the visitors who came to your website holding their wallets or credit cards. With an average order value of $100 and 9000 visitors who did not convert, even though they had the intention, this means you potentially missed out on (9000 x $100) $900.000 in revenue.

Hey Mr. Budgetholder, can you hear me now?

Pros & Cons

Like web analytics, calculating True Intent Conversion Rate is not and never will be 100% accurate. The insights gained from this exercise should help you and the website stakeholders become aware of how well your website is performing for those who have the intention to purchase goods from you during that specific visit. It should give you enough ammo to further investigate what it is that is keeping visitors from purchasing. Maybe it is a usability issue, or a web performance issue, either way it should be treated as a start off point for further research.

A visitor’s attitude and behavior are difficult to match at an individual level, let alone at a group level. Sample based results should also be handled delicately for that matter. Qualitative research tools are great but will never tell the full story. Maybe the visitor was just about to enter his/hers credit card details when: the phone rang a distracted from the purchase, dinner was ready and being served etc.

The metric helped me leverage the importance of the many aspects of performance of our website. By calculating how much money we were potentially losing, give and take a few percentages on either end of the said calculation, more people inside the organization became aware of the leakages.

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