Epson increases web availability with user journey monitoring
Epson UK is using thinkTribe unique User Journey monitoring to achieve 98 per cent uptime across its customer facing websites, thus minimising lost sales. Epson’s business is primarily through traditional channels but the website provides a vital way for customers to access technical support and information.
With the help of thinkTribe, Epson now has a greater understanding of how users experience their web services and gain access to its extensive array of award-winning products such as digital imaging tools, printers and projectors
Back in 2011, Epson was suffering intermittent website downtime issues of up to 20 per cent. Massimiliano Leo (Max), Epson’s Senior IT Manager, is responsible for the company’s software development across Europe including the European website and online stores.
“We were acutely aware that the downtime had the potential to harm the customers experience and it was one of the main drivers behind bringing in an independent monitoring system,” Max explains.
“The monitoring we had in place was more technical and not sophisticated enough to understand what was happening from the front end ‘customer’ view. There was a gap in terms of what was being reported as “downtime” by our internal monitoring tools and what was perceived as “downtime” by users and by the marketing department.”
After a tender process between four companies, thinkTribe was selected. This was supported by a recommendation from one of Epson’s development managers who had really valued thinkTribe work at a previous organisation.
“We really like how thinkTribe monitors unique journeys through the website and how these mirror the customer’s experience of the site,” says Max.
“As soon as thinkTribe was set up, we were able to access real and accurate data about downtime issues rather than just perceptions and anecdotes. The most important aspect was that the information was from an impartial third party that everyone could trust.”
thinkTribe data helped Max and his team to resolve many of the issues causing the downtime and was also instrumental in helping Max to justify the move to a new web platform.
“For a few months, we monitored both the old and new platforms at the same time to deliver full visibility across both and to ensure a smooth transition. The move was a big success and we now achieve an average 98% uptime compared to 80% before the move.”
“Most recently we had a combination of a new web release and some technical updates compounded by a surge in traffic. Almost instantly, thinkTribe detected that customers were experiencing extremely slow loading of web pages with some pages were not loading at all. The team was alerted and was able to use thinkTribe data to
determine the various issues and fix it quickly.”
Epson uses thinkTribe to constantly monitor the new site to ensure users can access all products and services on offer. thinkTribe now complements the technical monitoring that Epson uses. As Max explains,
“Interestingly, the internal monitoring can find that a server is down but the user experience is not affected. So we often find that some issues are not always issues. In contrast, an issue that is not picked up by our monitoring can have an affect on the users’ experience and this is when thinkTribe picks it up.”
Max adds, “thinkTribe is invaluable. It enables us to achieve a real understanding of downtime from the user’s perspective and fix issues before they impact sales. Our aim is to maintain a standard of 99% uptime and we are very close to achieving this.”
Epson’s IT department manages the logins for the data and reports are shared with marketing. With the website on a more stable platform, marketing is now sent a “still achieving uptime levels” notification rather than the previous detailed reports about various issues. The key value is that with an independent view of the site’s performance, discussions are now based on trusted facts and figures.
Website Performance Monitoring