Using Online Depth Interviews to Identify Why Customers Abandon an Online Ordering Process

A communications services provider that offers a bundled package wanted to find out why visitors to the product sales web site were abandoning the online purchase process. It was unclear whether the problem was internal or external, but the company needed to find the root of the problem so it could immediately implement solutions and increase its online package sales.

Originally, our client had considered an online survey to identify root cause, but our past experience had shown that it is hard to anticipate and pre-code all possible explanations in a structured format. To remove the uncertainty of the situation, Rockbridge proposed one-on-one interviews online to allow site visitors to fully explain the issues they encountered. This exploratory format allowed an open dialogue to occur between the visitor and the moderator and help dig deep to find the main issues visitors were facing.

There were other advantages from conducting the interviews online. It made it possible to reach out to a widely dispersed, national customer base. It was possible to show web pages that visitors may have encountered and gauge their reactions based on previous experience. And, it was easy for project stakeholders to observe interviews in process.

The resulting feedback provided a clear picture of the issues that were driving abandonment. In particular, the interviews identified problems that had never been considered by the client, such as inconsistencies in instructions which sent customers to a different channel to sign up for services. The company was able to immediately address the top issues and implement solutions in a timely manner. Clear problem definition led to a clear solution, and helped the company alleviate obstacles to online sales.