Digital Body Language Speaks Louder Than Words

How can you tell when users are frustrated ? How do you know when they’re engaged? Or confused?

To answer these questions, many marketers might point to voice of customer tools, which allow users to offer feedback through on-site surveys, NPS scores, and the like. But consider this: Only one out of 26 unhappy customers actually complain. The rest just leave.

What if you knew they were unhappy before they told you?

With emerging technologies, forward-thinking digital teams are now focusing on understanding digital body language to empathize with their customers and, ultimately, create better experiences.

Historically, the phrase “digital body language” has referred to the measurement of a rather limited set of user metrics. A 2009 study, for example, stated that digital body language is “comprised of website visits, information downloads, keyword searches, and email responses.”

Focusing solely on crude metrics such as visits, downloads, and searches, however, is the online equivalent of only observing what people say, rather than the expression they have while saying it. Anything that measures digital body language should consider the nuances that come with it.

Applying data science to digital behavior--including both what users experience (content, load times, errors, etc.) and how they interact with it (mouse movements, scroll distance, clicks, pinches, taps, and more)--Decibel Insights’ team of data scientists set out to uncover trends in digital body language, as well as how they reflects the customer experience. Analyzing more than 2 billion user sessions and countless interactions across some of the world’s largest websites, the report, “Revealing Digital Behavior: Applying Data Science to 2.2 Billion User Sessions,” revealed that certain digital behaviors directly reflect both the quality of a customer’s experience and likelihood to convert.

For example, multiclick behavior, which refers to a user rapidly clicking or tapping on an on-page element, is a major indicator of user frustration. Astonishingly, users who exhibit multiclick behaviors have an 82% lower conversion rate than those who don’t. Being alerted to sessions that contain multiclick behaviors is very useful for quickly finding frustrations in the user journey. These automated insights can lead to incredibly valuable fixes--and provide key opportunities for businesses to proactively intervene with messaging that turns the poor customer experience around.

Not all the behavioral patterns established by our data scientists point to frustration, however. Reading behavior, which refers to a user following on-page content with a mouse, signposts significant user engagement. We found user sessions that contained reading behavior completed three times as many goals as the average user.

This is just a sample of the findings from our report on digital body language. Using real examples, the report details intriguing behavioral patterns and the impact they have on the digital customer experience. Click here to download (short registration required). 

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