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Putting Customer Experience in Your Pocket
Tealeaf debuts an array of offerings aimed at digging deeper into mobile-customer behavior.
Posted Nov 21, 2008
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As more individuals start to incorporate their Web-enabled mobile devices into the purchasing aspects of their lives, businesses are discovering myriad opportunities to reach consumers through the burgeoning channel. With those opportunities, though, come the difficulty of tracking mobile-consumer behavior. With that challenge in mind, San Francisco–based customer experience management provider Tealeaf is looking to assuage companies' fears with its latest CX Mobile Experience Manager.

The increased popularity of the mobile Web — and the ever-expanding footprint of the handheld devices able to access it — is driving many companies to create mobile versions of their sites. But the level of maturity may not have caught up just yet, says John Dawes, Tealeaf's vice president of product management. "The experience...isn't all that great yet," he admits, adding that the industry is at the same stage now as it was with Web sites seven or eight years ago..

That said, Dawes stresses companies need to determine what works, what doesn't, and how to proceed moving forward. That's where CX Mobile Experience Manager comes in. According to Dawes, Tealeaf is now giving its clientele the same visibility into mobile sites as it currently does with traditional Web pages. Included in this is Mobile Session Replay, which rehashes an exact browser-level recording of each session, including specific device details such as color resolution, operating system, screen size, and type of mobile device. "Understanding the behavior of mobile customers is critical," Dawes says.

Dawes says an added benefit to the offering is the introduction of real-time alert capabilities. Offering key metrics such as conversion or error rates, these alerts can be sent to business users' mobile devices to prompt them to utilize the replay functionality.

John Lovett, a senior analyst at Boston-based analyst and consulting firm Forrester Research, explains that Tealeaf's mobile-session replay offers business users their first opportunity to see what a consumer actually experienced when she accessed a mobile site, where before they were restricted to access of that depth only during development mode. "Our research shows there's a huge initiative to get some activity going around consumers [who] are using mobile devices and interacting with Web sites," he says. "There's a new lens on top of what consumers are doing with [their] phones, and [how they're] accessing information from the Internet."

In addition to providing insight into the mobile user, Tealeaf also unveiled updates to its existing line of CX solutions. The company now offers robot -- or "bot" -- traffic reporting and user-community-based templates. Speaking specifically about bot reporting, Dawes explains that most companies know about the bots crawling around the Internet to categorize and index Web sites for search-engine results. The problem is that most organizations don't have visibility into when and how often bots visit their Web pages. "Businesses looking for every way they can to improve without spending more money can improve organic search by better enabling the site to get crawled effectively," he says.

Lovett agrees, explaining that, while not an entirely new capability, the bot-traffic reporting function can help search optimization managers understand how to better position pages or updates they make to the Web sites, ultimately producing better results on search-engine pages.

Looking at the entire breadth of Tealeaf's updates, Lovett says the company has a leg up on others in the space -- for the moment. "It's no big secret that mobile is a big initiative for so many companies right now, so competitors either have development issues under way already, or it certainly forces them to play catch-up to a great extent because of what Tealeaf has put out," he concludes.

News relevant to the customer relationship management industry is posted several times a day on destinationCRM.com, in addition to the news section Insight that appears every month in the pages of CRM magazine. You may leave a public comment regarding this article by clicking on "Comments" at the top; to contact the editors, please email editor@destinationCRM.com.

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