There is nothing quite as competitive as the digital marketplace. Unlike physical stores, which have many opportunities to attract and capture customer attention, eCommerce stores have only seconds to sustain visitor attention. In fact, over 70 percent of Internet users admit to leaving a website if loading times exceeded five seconds. Moreover, if the overall functionality of a website refused to remain consistent, the majority of Internet users have no issues abandoning their task and moving on.
Because of the high demands of modern Internet users, website administrators must narrow their focus beyond creating viable content highlighted by intuitive website design. Protecting the performance and stability of a website is the foundation of any successful website – regardless of its intended purpose.
Protecting Critical Business Processes
The problem with many website monitoring solutions is its inability to truly monitor critical business processes. The modern digital enterprise is based upon complex infrastructure, which utilizes a myriad of physical and virtual components. While your website may be available, which signals an “OK” cue to your monitoring solution, several critical business processes, such as a shopping cart or information pages, may not be successfully completing their transactions.
Unfortunately, visitors don’t care whether or not your website is technically available if they can’t complete actions or access pages in an expected time frame. By monitoring various web applications, you can avoid a lot of problems with these processes. However, when these processes and pages are monitored through a well-appointed monitoring tool, the reputation and reliability of your website is safeguarded.
Real User Monitoring for Real Retention
While synthetic website monitoring ensures specific processes and functions within your enterprise are operational, they feature limitations in terms of real-time data. Synthetic test results are limited by the scope of its features. For example, tests are run using specific browsers, and the test is successful; however, a user with a non-tested browser experiences critical errors. In this scenario, a system administrator wouldn’t be aware of the problem unless a visitor comments on the lack of performance or functionality.
Prevent mistaken success by implementing real user monitoring, or RUM. This method of website monitoring captures data derived from actual users, and their experiences. This level of monitoring showcases the true performance and reliability of your site. The more control you have over monitoring, the greater your visitor attraction and retention rate.
To maximize the effectiveness of this powerful monitoring technique, utilize a RUM solution capable of delivering full page monitoring and data capturing. Utilize this information to then optimize your site according to the end user perspective and watch your bounce rate reduce while your average visitor duration increases.
Perhaps one of the biggest misunderstands surrounding Service Level Agreements, or SLAs, is that this is far from a simplistic document. While it’s true that these documents are designed to define the performance of your service based upon a set of pre-determined parameters, its included clauses are designed to clearly cover all provisions, obligations, reporting methodologies, rewards and punishments for not meeting these designated metrics.
There is a host of elements that work together to cultivate a well-rounded Service Level Agreemen; however, the following three steps are considered the essential foundation of any carefully constructed SLA.
Establish Your Service Parameters
Perhaps the most important step when it comes to cultivating a thorough Service Level Agreement is the establishment of your server parameters. Before going forward with the creation process, it’s essential to create the performance parameters for your service. While you must meet industry-standard performance metrics, delve deeper into how your business will meet and/or exceed these metrics. It’s only when this is successfully accomplished you can move on to the next steps.
Disaster Recovery Pland and Prevention Methods
Unexpected disasters are an unfortunate reality for all businesses. When it comes to the digital services you render, a Service Level Agreement must clearly define how your business plans to handle a disaster, should one occur. Along with details how servers are backed up and how sensitive information is archived for protection, it’s essential to detail the exact methods your business uses to protect and prevent a disaster of any size. Along with this information, make sure your SLA outlines the steps that are to be taken should a disaster affect their data or server performance. Remember, only outline a method of disaster recovery and prevention that your business can adhere to. False statements regarding disaster recovery could result in legal action should a disaster occur and steps found on the SLA aren’t followed.
Provider and Customer Obligations
This is one of the most personalized sections within a Service Level Agreement, as it specifically refers to your specific service or product. That being noted, your business must establish a set of parameters when it comes to the various obligations of both the provider (your business) and the customer/client. For example, a customer obligation may be to provide necessary documentation to support the creation of their product. A provider’s obligation may be to deliver a product or service within a specified time frame. Regardless, this is one of the most important sections to fill out in great detail. The more room you leave for interpretation within this section, the greater your likelihood of an unpleasant customer encounter. Leave no rock unturned, as they say.