A look at Mary Meeker’s KPCB 2017 Internet Trends report.

Mary Meeker’s annual take on Internet trends is must-read material for anyone who works in or cares about how technology is changing the world.

A State of the Union for the worldwide web, the presentation looks at the big picture and goes a long way to helping us imagine the future.

Since we like to imagine the future of customer experience, we paid close attention to what Mary Meeker had to share that pertained to the subject.

You’ll find Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends presentation here — all 355 slides of it. Bookmark it, reference it, revel in the data.

Today, we are only going to highlight the bits of Meeker’s deck that pertain to heightened expectations around customer experience.

What does Mary Meeker say about customer experience?

More time with digital media is driving up expectations.

Starting from the highest level, look at this chart on time spent with digital media:

Since 2011 (A short six years ago), time spent with digital media has increased over 50%, adding two hours of time spent per user, per day. Where’s all that time coming from?

Smartphones. Time spent with mobile devices nearly quadrupled, adding 2.3 hours per day, while time spent with other digital media actually decreased (just a tad).

As users spend more and more time with digital, expectations for seamless, low-friction experiences become exaggerated as every second wasted waiting for an app, page, or video to load is a second lost to some other activity.

It’s within this landscape of heightened expectations that customer experience online becomes critical.

Measuring customer experience is hard.

Take a look at Mary Meeker’s slide on the top metrics and top challenges of advertisers and marketers trying to understand CX on the web:

The attention paid to engagement metrics and the challenge of measuring ROI go hand-in-hand — marketers and advertisers want to see how customer interactions, which are often extremely hard to measure with bright line metrics, impact the bottom line. Advertisers are measuring engagement more than anything else yet cite measuring ROI as their top challenge by a wide margin. Understanding CX on the web — and how it drives ROI — it’s far from a solved problem.

(We explored the subject of marketing metrics around engagement in The Marketer’s Guide to Customer Experience.)

Customer support expectations are rising.

When it comes to CX, support has a big impact.

Meeker points out how the Internet — and transparency driven by social media — lead to rising product quality and improved customer support.

Note that the top two things desired by consumers are easier access to online support channels and faster response times. They want answers and they want them now. An exclamation point is put on this trend via a slide that shows Intercom’s global “conversations started:”

That exponential growth speaks volumes to how customers want a clear way to the answers they need — and chat paves that desire path.

Bad customer experiences lead to lost business at a growing rate.

The Internet’s impact on a business comes down to the customer experience and word-of-mouth — amplified through social media. The result is lower customer tolerance for bad experiences, as highlighted on slide 54.

82% of customers stopped doing business with a company after bad experience vs. 76% in 2014

More than before, and thanks to the Web, mistakes in CX are costly, which makes managing customer experience more closely all the more important.

Rising expectations come to enterprise software.

Midway through the presentation, Mary Meeker points out how rising consumer expectations in the B2C market are having downstream consequences for B2B enterprise software — e.g. the expectation for services to be Cloud-based and subscription enabled (vs. licensed).

Anyone remember Lotus Notes in the early 2000s? We’ve come a long way.

A clever implication of this relationship can be seen in looking at the shift in “designer:developer” ratio over just the past few years, whereby a company — say Atlassian — had 1 designer to 25 developers in 2010–2012 but has 1 designer to 9 developers in 2017.

(For anyone keeping track at home, we have a designer to developer ratio of about 1 to 5 at FullStory, just like Intercom.)

There’s more Meeker to take in.

We only focused on the bits of Meeker’s presentation that pertain to customer experience — be it the rise in expectations when more and more time is spent with the Internet, metrics for marketing, the importance of customer support (and chat), or the spillover, downstream effects on SaaS companies. These trends are top of mind for us at FullStory — and also focalc points for our customers.

If you geek out on aggregated trends and data, you might enjoy perusing the entire 2017 Internet Trends presentation, which additionally covers topics like gaming, China, healthcare, USA, Inc., and so much more.

If you spend some time with it, you’re sure to pick up a new insight or two, not the least of which involve the major trends that are driving expectations around technology, and how those rising expectations are impacting customer experience.


Thanks to Mary Meeker for sharing these insights!