Web Site Analytics - The Difference Between Watching and Listening
By Jerry Tarasofsky CEO, iPerceptions Inc. | January 27, 2012
To create this dialogue, you must use whatever tools are available to watch and truly listen to what your web site visitors have to say. It has been our experience that many site owners believe that simply "watching" or tracking "hits" and following click-streams is sufficient to understand what is going on in the minds of their users.
At first glance, the difference between the actions of "watching" or "listening " in relation to understanding and interpreting visitor behavior at your web site does not seem that great. It can be argued that in the end, both provide some information about the visitor's overall experience with your site. How you interpret the information provided by watching and listening and how your marketing or development team takes action on that data, to a great degree, will determine how well you are able to respond to the needs, wants and desires, of your visitors - and how well you can build customer loyalty and encourage repeat visits through your web initiatives.
The analogy of someone watching vs. listening best describes the differences I am referring to. You can observe a guest's reaction to your new room design and know whether it had positive or negative impact, but until you actually listen to them and get their feedback in a form you can take action on, you won't know what if any impact that design had on their intention to return to your hotel.
I think it is important for web site owners to recognize that there is quite a fundamental difference in these two actions and that at iPerceptions we believe it is far more important for web sites focused on providing a rewarding customer experience to listen rather than simply watch.
In both cases, web site owners also face the additional challenge of finding metrics that will give them the data they need, in a format they can easily understand and react to at a price that is competitive and within budget.
The following is brief overview how the hospitality sector Watches and Listens.