What Is Real User Monitoring?


Scott Grant November 22, 2021

The customer experience is frequently the top priority for organizations, yet as the customer experience increasingly shifts from in-person to online, many organizations have lost insight into what that digital experience is actually like. 

Current monitoring tools barely scratch the surface; they fail to provide actionable guidance on how to improve the digital experience based on the massive volume of data customers generate as they navigate websites and applications.

This results in a critical gap in digital performance visibility. After all, the digital experience has an immediate and direct impact on business outcomes.

Real User Monitoring (RUM) solves this problem by tracking the customer journey across every application they interact with, from the website to customer-facing applications, and back-end employee support applications. With this insight, organizations can more effectively discover and resolve issues to ensure you deliver a consistent and seamless digital experience.

Poor Experience, Poor Outcomes

Today’s customers  have countless ways to engage with their favorite brands, including websites, social media, in-person shopping, chatbots, customer support calls, and passive interactions like advertising. 

eCommerce and retail businesses are in the spotlight, but no industry is untouched. Other fields, like insurance and financial services, also need to deliver a seamless experience across channels to maintain their customers’ loyalty. 

Some examples of the most common issues around digital experience include poor web page performance, long load times, and glitches. These issues frustrate customers and lead them to abandon the site or go to competitors.

The Need for Accurate, Real-Time Monitoring

To uncover and resolve various digital experience issues before they can impact the customer, organizations need insight into how IT performance ties into business outcomes. After all, the goal is to accurately capture the customer and employee experience at each step

This requires IT teams to have the ability to optimize user experience across complex web environments while detecting and resolving issues in their cloud-native environment 24/7. 

But current monitoring tools do not give a full picture of customers’ digital experience across their entire buying journey. Coupled with that, digital workflows generate even more data as customers connect to front and back office employees for support, making it even more challenging to navigate the vast amount of data to find the actionable insights. 

A Key Part of the Solution: Real User Monitoring

RUM is essential for understanding the performance issues impacting customer experiences. 

One aspect of RUM involves placing JavaScript tags in app or website code, which enables IT teams to analyze aggregate data. Doing so surfaces performance issues by observing and recording every user interaction with apps and websites.

All this is possible across billions of transactions a day without sacrificing data completeness, granularity, or depth. Unlike sampling, RUM uncovers immediate insight into infrequent or intermittent issues. This approach traces every transaction through every microservice or serverless function for every type of customer and support team application.

RUM and Aternity User Intelligence Journey

Aternity User Journey Intelligence provides contextualized visibility and actionable insights into user journeys across complex web environments. Leveraging RUM, Aternity enables organizations to improve customer satisfaction, measure its impact on revenue, and optimize both the customer and employee experience.

In fact, by pairing RUM with synthetic monitoring, Aternity User Journey Intelligence enables organizations to effectively detect anomalous scenarios in real time, such as instances where conversion rates fall below average, or where poor experience leads to abandonment.

For example, by leveraging Aternity User Journey Intelligence, an online retailer increased revenue by more than $1M per year by optimizing the loading of first party content on their store catalog page to within 200 milliseconds, and proactively identifying loading delays in third-party content.

Another Aternity User Journey Intelligence customer, a global healthcare/insurance company recognized the opportunity to optimize the landing page design of their online health and wellness program. By doing so, they improved load time by 30% and customer engagement by 32%. They were also able to identify and resolve a page load performance issue that ultimately saved 70 hours on one incident. 

Aternity enables the complete correlation of user journey analytics with business outcomes across cloud-native environments. The combination of RUM and synthetic monitoring generates powerful insights into the customer journey, and allows businesses and IT teams to prioritize the improvements that will be most impactful on business outcomes.

What insights could you gain with a comprehensive view into the customer and employee digital experience? Download our eBook, “The Business Value of Optimizing the Customer Journey” to learn more about the benefits of RUM and synthetic monitoring.