How effective are Jet.com’s efforts to better understand its customers?
At the Internet Retailer Conference and Expo in Chicago, Ben Babcock, director of UX research at Jet.com, and Michael Mace, VP of product marketing at UserTesting, discussed the solutions and best practices the Walmart-owned e-tailer uses to get its finger on the pulse of customer sentiment.
Mr. Babcock recommended first mapping out the full customer journey step-by-step on the office wall, a practice in use at Jet.
“If you understand this whole journey and you can understand how to improve it, you get loyalty and you get repeat business,” Mr. Babcock said.
Noting that the e-commerce customer for a website like Jet was generally different in terms of lifestyle and culture than people working inside the company, he explained the importance of knowing what customers like (or hate) about the company by speaking with them on a weekly or even daily basis.
“Everybody in the company should be able to answer, who is our customer?” Mr. Babcock said. “Everybody should have the same answer to this question.”
To do this, Jet uses a few hands-on strategies. Staffers listens to recorded customer service calls and some go out into the field (for instance, to coffee shops) to ask potential customers for feedback on apps (in exchange for a gift card).
Jet conducts twice-weekly in-person user testing in which it brings customers into a room in the office with a comfortable, apartment-like layout. Staff observe customers as they use the computer in the room to do their normal online shopping, whether on Jet.com or elsewhere. They also show customers advertisements and use technologies such as eye tracking to measure responses. Jet makes real-time updates to its website based on the insights it gleans from the customer interactions. The company even makes observing the customer testing a part of the new-hire orientation.
For remote testing purposes, Jet also video records users while they follow a tester-created script. This allows testers to view users in their real-life environment.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What are the most effective ways for online retailers to get to know their customers? How effectively are retailers using customer testing and observation to improve their businesses in actual practice today?