This post previously appeared on CMSWire.
Title image: Agberto Guimaraes
When it comes to the world of digital experience, everyone has a need for speed. Consumers want fast customer service, quick access to the information they need, immediate download speeds and overnight shipping — and the list goes on.
CMOs and CIOs alike are tasked with figuring out how to make things as fast and easy as possible for those consumers: CMOs devise strategies to ensure that customers can find the content they need when they need it, while CIOs must ensure that customers can access that content seamlessly and consistently, without interruptions or security breaches.
The common denominator underlying all of this? Internet performance.
Gone in 60 Seconds
When your internet fails to meet expectations, you lose more than just customers. In today’s hyper-competitive digital environment, a site that takes even three seconds to load experiences a bounce rate that’s 50 percent higher and delivers 22 percent fewer conversions than a site that loads in one second.
Customers don’t want to wait even a millisecond longer than normal to purchase a new pair of shoes or stream a funny video, but it isn’t simply because everyone has become impatient. Today’s consumers have learned what’s possible and have raised their expectations when it comes to online speed.
What’s more, a delay in speed doesn’t just damage the customer experience and deter consumers — it can also hurt revenue. Amazon calculated that a one-second slowdown in page load time could cost it $1.6 billion per year in sales.
Keep Customers in the Loop
Internet performance can be an indicator of security risks as well. In an age where data breaches make the headlines daily, the impact on digital experience and brand reputation can be major. After all, if companies aren’t monitoring their internet infrastructure and their websites get compromised, there’s no way of knowing who or what was at fault.
Consumers want to be in the know and if you can’t reassure them about why they couldn’t access your site and how you’ve remedied the situation, they’ll move on. But if your website is down and you identify the problem swiftly, you can keep customers in the loop and alert them about what the problem was and how it’s being fixed.
Speed Builds Loyalty
Companies stand to gain a lot by optimizing internet speeds. In an age where consumers have so many online options for such a plethora of services, it’s important to stand out. Turning your internet performance into a competitive differentiator can make that happen.
This is especially true for online companies that provide video streaming or receive massive amounts of site traffic on a regular basis. If sites like those can reliably provide speedy load times, consumers will consistently return and customer loyalty will build.
What’s more, companies in other industries stand to gain additional benefits from optimized internet performance. In the adtech industry, for example, programmatic and ad bidding companies must have flawless high speed internet connections so that they don’t miss out on potential bids.
Achieving CMO – CIO Synergy
Optimized internet architecture and performance starts with full visibility into all of your network providers and existing architecture. Your IT team needs to be able to identify and correct where performance is lagging and improve any necessary path connections so the digital experience is maintained.
The CIO-CMO relationship can be a key factor here because while CMOs look at website and customer data to optimize their efforts, CIOs look at network performance and security data to optimize theirs. All too often, this data can remain siloed within each respective team but it all needs to come together to provide a comprehensive view of internet performance.
Don’t Wait to Create Great Service
And the necessary synergy doesn’t stop there. CIOs and CMOs must work together to figure out what customers really want and how to give it to them. For instance, if customers consistently leave your website after reaching a certain page, it’s essential to look at what could be happening from the back end.
When CMOs and CIOs commit to getting to the bottom of a problem on a particular page to improve customer experience overall, that mindset ultimately benefits all of your online assets.
Making online assets and services available when and where customers want them can make a world of difference for your website’s performance and, in turn, your customer experience and your bottom line. Remember that customers who are made to wait won’t wait very long.
Gary is VP of Global Sales Engineering and Customer Success for Dyn, an Internet Performance Management company. Previously, Gary served as the Area VP for the Eastern Regional Sales Engineering at CenturyLink supporting Cloud & Hybrid IT. He also ran business operations for the company’s Hybrid Cloud business. Follow Gary on Twitter: @gsloper