What customers say they like and how they behave are not the same thing. Don’t always trust what you are told, use data and real insights to drive decisions that have major commercial implications.
So there was a skyscraper, banner and numerous MPUs across the website. A survey panel was set up and the results came back. The agency briefed the team, “Your customers really don’t like all the ads you have on the page”. The message was reiterated in focus groups. Ditch the ads. This would be a painful decision, despite customer’s not liking them they were still delivering reasonable revenue.
The organisation was striving to be more customer-centric; if the advertisements were degrading the customer experience then removing them would be a price worth paying. And so they were switched off.
The result? Nothing. Except lost revenue. Analysing the data, customer volumes remained the same. There was no difference in the successful completion of customer goals. Switching the ads off had no impact on customer behaviour on the site; when asked customers said they didn’t like them, but what they said and what they did were different things.
The moral: if you are going to use emotion and what customers say to make commercial decisions, consider A/B testing with real data before making wholesale changes.