Why Tracking Customer Behavior Is Important (with expert quotes)

Knowledge is power – but why, exactly?

You keep hearing that tracking customer behavior is the key to success, yet barely anyone bothers to explain why is that so.

In this article, we’re going to explain why it pays off to explore how customers interact with your product or service. What’s more, we’ve even asked some industry experts to provide their points. Their answers are based on years of experience in digital marketing and related fields, including conversion rate optimization.

Ready to read hands-on insights?

Here’s how tracking customer behavior can help you grow your business:

Find out what and find out why

Some wise person once said: "Look at what people do, not what they say", and that rings true also (or primarily!) in case of your customers. Tracking the behavior of your website's visitors or users helps you to better understand their needs, and as a result - create a more personalized experience for them. This is crucial for reducing your churn rates.

Luckily, there is an abundance of tools to monitor and analyze this data.

Kas Szatylowicz, Content Manager at Digital Olympus

There are two main types of analytics that can teach you about customer behavior: quantitative and qualitative.

Quantitative tools will show youwhatis happening. The most commonly used software, Google Analytics, is always there to measure what matters. It will tell you all about:

  • bounce rates – the percentage of visitors who visited your website and left immediately
  • fulfilled goals – for instance, you can measure how many visitors signed up for your service
  • events – how many users take a particular action, such as sending the sign-up form

In other words, you’ll get a whole lot of numbers. You’ll know exactly how your product is performing, but you’ll still have no idea why.

And here’s where qualitative analytics and customer tracking apps, particularly session recording tools, step in.

Illustration of a session recording tool.

Session replays can teach you a lot about the reasons behind consumer behavior. Watching them feels a bit like you’re sitting next to your user, yet they act completely naturally. That’s why this method is so powerful – you can track every mouse move, every click and get tons of powerful insights.

Combining qualitative and quantitative analytics is known amongst CRO experts as user behavior analytics (UBA). This method allows you to step into the shoes of your customer and empathize with their needs so you can answer them more accurately. With this knowledge, you’ll also be able to:

  • find unique opportunities for improvement and implement growth hacking techniques
  • identify usability issues
  • understand the target audience, see what your customers want and where they’re looking for it

Stay one step ahead

Tracking customer behavior in SaaS business is critical for customer retention, product-led growth and customer success. Basically, by identifying patterns of user behavior we can really wow the customers with excellent customer support by providing help before they even reach out for it. It’s like you catch them before the fall! This approach can reduce churn quite dramatically. It matters a lot, as increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%.

Emilia Korczynska, Marketing Manager at Userpilot

Illustration of a falling person. You should catch your users before they fall.

Tracking consumer behavior can help you address certain issues before they even occur. Here are some specific examples so you can see how this might work:

  • See why your users can’t complete an action– Your customers won’t always tell you that they had an issue with something. Luckily, there’s a clever workaround – session recording tools. One of our customers, RocketLink, has found an unreported problem through session replays:

    RocketLink's interface.

    Here’s a little bit of context: RocketLink is a tool that allows you to add a retargeting pixel to shortened links. It turned out that users didn’t know the need to paste the Facebook Pixel, as they were pasting the whole code snippet instead. When RocketLink noticed this issue in a session recording, they added an extra tip to help their customers. It’s a great example of how tracking customer behavior can help you spot problems before your visitors tell you about them. Who knows, maybe they wouldn’t even tell you about the issue at all?

  • Spot JavaScript errors – Sometimes, the user may not even realize that something doesn’t work. Qualitative analytics tools, such as LiveSession, allow you to detect JavaScript errors automatically. These errors indicate that a particular element of your website is not performing the way it should.
  • Find out when the users leave your website – See what are the most common exit pages for your web app. This might give you a clue where your users typically drop out. After learning that, you can take a closer look at session recordings to find out what might be the reason for leaving. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to boost customer focus.

Take care of your B2B customers

B2B customers, an illustration of shaking hands.

In some cases, there seems to be a perception that customer behavior tracking is most valuable for B2C ecommerce retailers - but that couldn't be further from the truth.

As with any action you take in the B2B industry, it's vital that it should be based on solid evidence and have valid data to back it up. If you have no idea how customers are engaging with your product or service, how can you know that you're on the right path?

I’m working for a B2B business which offers a feed marketing service for ecommerce retailers. We track customer behavior not only on our website but also on our software platform. As a third-party ecommerce tool for many agencies, we rarely hear thoughts and opinions about our product from the users themselves. This is exactly customer behavior tracking is especially vital for us. Session recording tools have enabled us to understand where users are most frequently visiting and where they are bouncing or getting stuck.

Particularly when offering a quite complex software platform which requires a certain level of feed marketing knowledge, it’s vital to grasp exactly when our users need help and where they may be getting confused – and then take actions accordingly.

Ben Culpin, Marketing Specialist at WakeUpData

Forbes claims that only 14% of B2B companies are customer-centric. Terrifying, isn’t it? There’s even more to this statistic. While some companies track customer behavior, they sometimes use this data just to build an effective sales funnel.

Sounds promising, but that happens after that? Once the users sign up, some people consider their job as done, while in fact, it’s just the beginning of the journey.

Leaving your users on their own once they’re on board is the worst you can do. As Ben has mentioned, comprehensive B2B software requires a lot of attention and specialized knowledge. The more complex the product, the more questions and doubts may surface along the way. SaaS customers may look for assistance, get in touch via live chat and ask for help – or they might as well switch to your competitor. If you “catch them before the fall” (like Kat wrote in her quote), they’re much more likely to stay.

Key takeaways for tracking customer behavior

First and foremost, tracking consumer behavior allows you to see what your target audience really wants, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Keep in mind that learning about your customers’ habits and preferences is vital not only in the acquisition phase. Sure, it can help you attract them to your product, but there’s much more you can do to keep them happy and make them stay. Once you start to study customer behavior, you’ll learn how to reduce churn, improve user experience and much, much more.

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Kalina Tyrkiel
Content Specialist