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How to audit your digital customer experience (CX)

Are there things hurting your Customer Experience (CX) or conversion rates, but you can’t put your finger on the exact issue? Do you need to improve your CX online, but aren’t sure where to start? This is where a Digital CX Audit can help.

What is a Digital CX Audit?

A Digital Customer Experience (CX) audit is a holistic analysis of your customers’ online interactions with your brand. It encompasses all touchpoints or interactions along your customer’s journey, from discovering you, learning about your product/services, and becoming an ongoing customer. My audits typically include:

  • Behavioral Analytics analysis
  • Customer interviews
  • Secret shopping
  • Google Analytics analysis
  • Abandoned cart analysis
  • Exit-Intent polls/surveys
  • Customer Support interviews

I recommend that you focus on starting with secret shopping, conducting customer support interviews, and reviewing Behavioral Analytics — especially if you’re limited on time or budget. Why those three? Because I’ve learned that these activities will give you the best and quickest ROI.

For the sake of this article, we’ll focus on those three key areas: Secret shopping, Customer Support interviews, and Behavioral Analytics.

Ask Customer Support for insights

A Customer Support team can often be a goldmine of customer inquiries, complaints, and requests — exactly which issues you need to target. 

To get started, simply have a conversation with your 1-3 top Customer Support agents, asking them about the questions, complaints, and requests they receive to gain those valuable insights. You may want to provide them a heads-up with the questions in advance so they can be better prepared.

Analyze Your Behavioral Analytics

You’ve likely already analyzed your Google Analytics, which is an excellent place to start. However, there’s a more significant opportunity to discover how those customers engage with your brand online — Behavioral Analytics. You can get this by integrating and reviewing the data from a Behavioral Analytics tool, like HotJar.

Depending on your traffic, within a short amount of time you’ll be able to understand:

  • Which elements people click on
  • How far people scroll on each page
  • Recordings so you can watch people interact with each page
Auditing Customer Experience heatmaps using HotJar
Example of a heatmap recording showing where people click the most. Hotjar
Auditing Customer Experience recordings using HotJar
Example of user recording showing where people are scrolling and interacting with across all pages. Hotjar

Become a Secret Shopper

Secret shopping will bring customer experience issues to the forefront because you’ll witness them first-hand. Start becoming a secret shopping by:

  • If you’ve already created customer/user personas, now is the time to put them to work. If you don’t have those yet, simply describe (in a short sentence or two) who your target customer is and what they are looking to achieve. If you’d like to have personas, give my article here a read. 
  • As you go through your online experience, you really get in the same mindset as your target audience. This can be difficult at first, but it’s critical that you’re able to see things from their perspective.
  • Document all the issues (or friction) you find along the way. It could be slow-loading pages, confusing functionality, poor search capabilities, broken links, lengthy text, etc.

Review what you’ve uncovered

After you’ve collected the insights following the above steps, consolidate your findings into a list:

  • The most asked questions
  • The most common needs
  • The most common complaints
  • The instances of frustration (or friction) you ran into
  • Interesting findings from your Behavioral Analytics review

Next, group those issues by ones that directly and indirectly impact conversions. You’ll then want to prioritize the issues so the most important ones get addressed first.

Take Action

Now that you have these insights, it’s time to start making improvements. I recommended that if you’re part of a broader organization, you may want to tackle some easy ones to start to get some quick wins which can get everyone excited about the progress.

The great thing about this approach to Digital CX Audits is that you can repeat it over and over again, each time gaining more and more insights into how to improve your customer’s experience.