With COVID’s seismic effect on the way we work, shop and play online, digital customer experience is now more critical than ever before. In a far-reaching interview, Catchpoint’s CEO and co-founder Mehdi Daoudi talks with Tim Scannell of the CIO Executive Council about the challenge of delivering a flawless customer experience in an increasingly digital world.
The change from analogue to digital culture
The debate of where a company needs to pivot itself to be successful in 2022 is now over, Mehdi tells Tim – you either embrace digital, or you die as a business. He shares his experience in a recent webinar with French luxury brands, most of whom traditionally had little traction with Ecommerce. By the end of 2021, Mehdi says, 92% of their transactions were online, bringing in over $800 million.
“That was the tipping point for me in the analogue vs digital debate - it has to be digital.”
The challenge of providing a flawless digital customer experience
Embracing Ecommerce is just the start. Meeting customers’ expectations is another matter altogether. Mehdi outlines the many factors that can get in the way, including website design, network service providers, last-mile connectivity, poor Wi-Fi, and shortfalls in users’ devices. So much that can go wrong, but users still expect an excellent level of service regardless of the platform they use.
“Flawless, you have to make sure you provide a flawless digital experience, no SSL errors, no shopping cart errors – flawless! Your platform has to work 100% of the time.”
Since the pandemic so profoundly changed our digital lives, people have increasingly less tolerance for sites or apps that don’t work. Suppose a user can’t find a product or service on a website or mobile platform in 5 or 6 clicks. They will look elsewhere - Amazon and Google are only a click away. That’s been the main change in consumer behavior in the last two years, says Mehdi, and companies must now adapt and re-adapt to respond.
Fixing problems proactively with Catchpoint
Catchpoint gives enterprises the tools to proactively detect, identity and maintain high levels of accessibility and performance for their online audience. This enables companies to fix problems before their users notice, helping them deliver the flawless experience critical to their online success.
In the second part of the podcast, Mehdi details the different types of monitoring that we provide here at Catchpoint, including proactive observability (synthetic monitoring), real user observability (RUM) and endpoint. The way he sees it, the more information you have about what could go wrong, the faster your response is.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Mehdi says, he received desperate calls from many companies saying that with every home now an office, they overnight had 3000 employees in 3000 offices. Only, no two homes are ever the same. You have different profiles, routers, ISPs and bandwidth, and they all need to be monitored in real-time. “Catchpoint is able to deliver that,” he says, “so even if your employees decide to move, we can tell you how that’s going to impact your business and how best you can support them.”
How does digital experience observability work?
Mehdi likens digital experience observability to going to the doctor. You can wait until you’re unwell, by which time it could be too late, or you can do frequent checkups and spot any abnormalities quickly. “Observability is like conducting a deep X-ray,” he says, “you want to lay down the right telemetry so you can capture the right signals.” So instead of waiting for things to blow up and constantly have to firefight, companies can catch issues early on and diffuse them.
Mehdi relates how one of Catchpoint’s biggest clients recently said that they caught a problem 17 minutes before any other tool they were using. In his opinion, that’s a figure you can’t overstate enough. “When hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent each minute, 17 minutes is significant.”