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Monitor Your Website to Keep Customers

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on May 24, 2011

A staggering portion of the country’s consumer activity now happens in cyberspace. Last year, individuals spent nearly $227.6 billion shopping online. Though these customers have a multitude of e-retailers to choose from, they tend to stay loyal to businesses that offer consistently good online experiences.
That makes it more important than ever to measure the experience visitors have on your website. There are various approaches, both software- and appliance-based, that are generally known as real user monitoring (RUM) or end-user experience monitoring. Using such a system can mean the difference between loyal customers and lost sales. Here are a few more reasons to consider incorporating one into your service strategy:

1. A real user monitoring system is basically a smart stopwatch for e-business. It reports the time it takes to perform the requested action, as in transferring money from one bank account to another. This capability is a natural add-on to a technology investment such as application performance management. Look for IT vendors who package RUM with their systems at no additional cost, or check out free RUM software online.

2. Make sure all applications on your website function flawlessly all of the time. The failure of an online payment service, for example, can do hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage within hours. The long-term implications are even more serious. If customers cannot complete a transaction on their first visit to a website, they are unlikely to return when so many other alternatives exist.

3. Fix problems before customers complain. When RUM reports show slow load times or other deadlocks, use the data to pinpoint and repair the problem immediately, before it affects users. A RUM solution should deliver traffic streams from the client side, server side, and the network, so you can see whether a problem resides in the data center, the network, or the browser.

Oren Elias
Chief Executive Officer
Framingham, Mass.

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