Giving A View Into Web Self-service

New software from Witness Systems enables companies to record, playback and analyze individual customer sessions using a self-service Web site.

New software from Witness Systems Inc. enables companies to monitor the customer self service pages on their Web sites.

With eQuality Discover, which will be introduced on Thursday, IT managers can set up a system to record, playback and analyze individual customer sessions using a self-service Web site. Customer service and marketing managers can use this information to improve site design and make sure that the sites performance is meeting goals set for it.

What eQuality Discover does is essentially listen to the Web traffic from a particular site and divert relevant Web self-service interactions to a database where they are saved for later use if necessary. Sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, is not stored in the database, officials said.

With the stored data, a customer service manager can play, pause and rewind to see exactly what a visitor did on the Web site, including the amount of time he or she spent on each page, in order to deconstruct that users experience.

The software also can be set to record only those visitor sessions that match a business rule, such as recording sessions when a visitor hits the "call back" button. Another business rule may alert IT via e-mail whenever an error page pops up, according to officials at Witness Systems, in San Diego.

eQuality Discover also enables a quality manager to annotate a screen and send it as a link to the Web designer explaining what needs to fixed.

Witness recently inked a deal with analytical software maker NetGenesis Corp. to cross sell each others products, thus bolstering the analytical power of eQuality Discover. Officials at Witness Systems said they expected to sign a similar deal with NetGenesis competitor WebTrends in the not too distant future.

Beyond monitoring Web customer self service, Witness also makes its system work with interactive voice recognition systems today and plans to bring out versions for voice commerce in the first half of next year and for interactive kiosks sometime after that, officials said.

Pricing for eQuality Discover starts at $65,000 for one Web site address.