With the world turning more and more to their devices to conduct digital commerce along comes a company that appears to be trying to figure out how to make those digital interactions as compelling as possible. One such company is an Atlanta startup called FullStory. The seven-year-old company just completed a series D round of $103 million. This brings its total raise over those seven years to just over $170 and a $1.8 billion valuation.
You know that experience when a website or app doesn’t have the right button to tap or the button is hidden. Or how about when the website doesn’t have an “answer” that makes sense. It’s really no different than when an in-store or on-premise customer experience falls short. Whether because an employee doesn’t know enough about a procedure or isn’t up to date about a product or inventory. It can all lead to a really frustrating customer experience. And in today’s world, we’d argue that the customer experience is the differentiator. It separates the world into winners and losers.
So we think FullStory is onto something really important. Their mission is to give publishers — those who build and manage websites — suggestions on how to improve the customer experience on the site or the app.
Catering to CX Obsessives
According to Scott Voigt, the company’s CEO and founder, FullStory has some 3,100 paying customers today. Its customers could be described as obsessed with delivering high-quality customer experiences. Peloton, JetBlue to name just a few are early adopters of the company’s platform.
FullStory has tracked some 15 billion user sessions so far in 2021. This translates into some 1 trillion interactions. Think clicks, navigation, scrolls, etc. By monitoring all of those interactions, the company can use AI and ML to better understand the points of friction and frustration.
The technology can identify an area of a website or app where users are clicking or tapping relentlessly. That would mean either the site or app is too slow in returning a result or its not return the expected result. In either case, knowing this and being able to spot it should help improve overall usability and lead to a better customer experience.
Voight said this in an interview with TechCrunch. “The category was so nascent to begin with that we had to explain the concept to customers. But digital experience, in the wake of COVID-19, suddenly mattered more than it ever has before. And the continued amount of inbound interest has been afterburner for us.”
We think FullStory and YEXT are seeing the same issues in the marketplace. YEXT has been pushing their notion of “Answers” for some time now. It points to the need for companies and organizations to deliver more informative and authentic answers to their users. FullStory operates with the same mindset and intention. It wants to make the online — web or app — experience better by identifying those points in the customer journey that are not working.
We think about the opportunity to apply this same thinking to the millions of websites and apps that small and medium-sized businesses operate. What FullStory’s solution for the world’s largest brands also makes sense for smaller companies.
What company will step into that arena and how it will step into it with an economic model that works is unknown today. But as with most technology, the typical pattern is to build it for the large enterprise and then find ways to deploy it to small and local businesses. We’re certainly hoping that FullStory sees the opportunity and uses some of their new money to figure out the right approach.
Finally, we imagine YEXT and FullStory may find a path to each other’s doors. YEXT is pressing the issue of “Answers” and FullStory pressing the issue of “click rage”. We would expect the two companies’ models to mesh nicely. Time will tell.