The success of most businesses depends on creating an experience that exceeds the expectations of customers. This requires effective management of company assets, providing problem-free, high quality service. With 89 per cent of marketers competing primarily on the basis of customer experience (according to Gartner), efficient service is truly critical.
In a rapidly changing business landscape, applications usually drive the enterprise. A study by Gartner titled "IT Key Metrics Data 2016: Key Applications Measures" reveals that in 2015, the annual IT application development investment was roughly 35 percent of total IT spending. In turn, any organisation that has invested substantially in applications should have around-the-clock mechanisms to ensure optimal functioning of those applications, especially since service disruption leads to dissatisfied customers and diluted brand equity. Here's how to use a monitoring system to elevate customer satisfaction:
1. Experience what your customer experiences.
Customer experience is an important dimension of marketing and has become the fifth marketing "C" along with commodity, cost, communication, and channel. Providing a heightened user experience is imperative to keep your customers content, and is easily accomplished with application performance management (APM). You can discover every device and component affiliated with an application and understand the application topology and health for prioritisation and remediation.
For instance, let’s say you observe that customer disengagement has spiked lately. With application monitoring, you can visualise your customer's experience from beginning to end. Analyse the parameters that define your application such as how fast the application is loading for users across different browsers and from different countries. In this way, you can make quick alterations to your IT infrastructure to meet user expectations while keeping an eye out for future application problems.
2. Improve service quality and propel your bottom line.
The inability to meet service level agreements (SLAs) for application performance can be detrimental to any business. A recent survey by ManageEngine revealed that 32 percent of businesses are alerted to application performance issues by end users. The same survey also revealed that it takes up to four hours to fix an application performance outage for 60 percent of businesses.
One of the functions of APM is predictive analytics, which uses historical reports and current data to predict outcomes and resource requirements in your infrastructure. APM tools help provide this insight by collecting performance metrics and providing in-depth analysis of how your business applications are performing. Reports that are embedded into dashboards alert you of any performance degradation before it magnifies to the point of affecting customers.
While migrating or scaling your application infrastructure, remember to benchmark your performance. APM solutions help you maximise resource utilisation by comparing important metrics during migration and identifying the scalability of your infrastructure. By taking proactive actions based on this data, business processes (e.g. employee on boarding, billing, creating sales orders) are supported by the application platform and business can continue. This will, in turn, help you drive revenue and avoid customer defection.
3. Prolong customer engagement with your brand.
End users have little tolerance for non-functioning, broken, or slow applications. With the average attention span shrinking over the years, the duration of customer engagement with your brand depends on whether you deliver the performance level they expect. Failure to meet those expectations results in abandonment and suspension of transactions, thereby resulting in a plummeting conversion rate.
By monitoring key performance indicators of your applications –including resource availability, response time, and CPU or memory utilisation – APM software helps you prevent performance issues. It also provides root cause analysis whenever an issue is detected. As a result, APM tools help IT admins quickly identify the issue's core cause and take corrective actions, thereby increasing the productivity and efficiency of the company and its employees, as well as increasing the credibility of the brand. So, whether you want to add more hardware to your system to fuel your organisation’s organic growth, track end user usage and compliance, or prepare for a release deployment, application monitoring gives you detailed visibility that will help to troubleshoot and alleviate performance issues.
4. Provide a better brand proposition to ensure greater takeaway.
With the current digital revolution, your applications have become your brand. And, a good brand has become synonymous with high application performance that improves the customer's experience. A poor brand means intermittent service interruptions, distrust among customers, and erosion of your company’s reputation.
The migration of applications into the cloud ensures that customers can perform transactions regardless of where they connect from. By leveraging the five functionalities of APM (end user experience, run time application architecture, business transactions, deep dive monitoring, and analytics), you can provide great customer experience and value, whether your IT infrastructure is on premises or virtual.
Customers are increasingly exposed to an ever expanding plethora of choices, and businesses that do not leverage insight with monitoring and managing their digital infrastructure stand to lose to competition in the long run. By getting a consolidated view of the resources present in different or restricted networks or geographical locations, APM helps you realise that improving application performance does not only mean reducing the slack or turnaround time. APM is all about how effectively your brand can make life easier for your customers.
By Sneha Paul, Marketing Analyst, ManageEngine
This article was prepared by a guest blogger and the opinions expressed may not necessarily relect the opinions of Fifth Quadrant.
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