Does Your Customer Experience Cost You Money?

 

 

In a hyper competitive world dominated by digital marketing does your User Experience cost you money?  A great digital Customer Experience is a necessity for the survival of your business.  Your online presence must concentrate on your customer’s experience from discovery leading to your offer and continues through their relationship with your brand.

 

Developing your customer experience begins with a precise map used to guide them from discovery to purchase decision.  Every step must be considered including your ads, social media, and content.

 

In that context you need to examine a customer’s journey at each step.  Map the customer experience, analyze their response to the experience and measure their actions from search to decision.  Using metrics examine why and how they made their decisions.

 

Let’s examine some of the common mistakes that might kill your customer experience.

Don’t target the wrong audience…

Target your audience with ads and social media posts which will appeal to them by filling their needs.  Nobody wants to see irrelevant ads or social media posts. Make sure you select the right audience that can actually profit from knowing more about you.

 

Target people with unique and memorable messages.  Once you know who you are targeting, think about how you best to approach them. Before people actually land on your site, your ads and social media presence is the often the first point of contact you have with a potential customer.

You only have one chance to make a very good first impression. We all know how it can be impossible to recover from a very bad first impression! This needs to be done correctly.

Don’t bombard people with the same promotional message over and over.  People may need to see your product several times to become familiar with your brand, however people will either ignore or hate you if all they see is the same message repeated.

We have all become skilled at ignoring ads because our brain prefers novelty and reacts more positively to unique and novel messages.  Your ads and social media posts need to create positive connections with your brand which will spur the interest of those that view them.

Use positive messages with useful information to help people to connect with your brand.  Create seasonal content that educates your audience, providing tips and hints that help potential customers see how connecting with and using your brand will make them feel and enjoy the experience.

We love to be challenged by new experiences, be remarkable and memorable!

Never mislead through your ads and social media…

Be honest, your customer experience can be ruined if your ads or social media posts are anything less than truthful.  Ensure that your ads and social media completely reflect the landing pages that your customers will be directed to.

Have you experienced this yourself?  You Google something and either land on a page that does not help you or is totally irrelevant to your original search.  Solve this by creating responsive ads and social media posts which direct people to the correct landing page.

Your ads and social media posts need to include the same terms that people will enter in their search query, tell enough to convince people to click and direct traffic to a landing page which also repeats the same search terms and your product that the customer was looking for.

Ads and social media posts that deceive will cause your ad quality score to suffer and will affect your search engine ranking.  Too many people who click on the ‘back button is not good and negatively affects your score.

A well designed ad and social media campaign guides the customer, speeds up the process and enhances the user experience!

Don’t Overuse promotions and discounts

People react positively to a campaign promoting discounts, however overuse of discounts can result in them not being believable.  Create a sense of urgency.  Price can’t be the only reason that people choose your brand.

People need to identify with your brand and need to trust and value your brand.  Define your position with care and be consistent with your ads and social media posts.  Emphasize what makes your brand special and how the customer benefits from choosing your brand.

 

Is your site design Responsive?

Your website and social media need to work and interact perfectly to provide a seamless experience across all types of devices.  Often forgotten is the need to also work perfectly with whatever browser your customer is using.  Everything might work great on chrome, however does it also work on Safari, Firefox and others?

The trend is clear, mobile useage has surpassed desktops and is only growing.

Ensure customers can understand your message.  Is your site language set to change according to the IP address of your visitor?  It might seem reasonable to do so, however people are mobile and in the global economy people are often abroad.

A much better approach is using the browser language.  Frequently sites adapt their user interface based on the browser language settings.  This is a more sensible approach which this setting isn’t connected to your temporary location.

Is your complex search user friendly?  Site categories and subcategories should help customers find what they’re looking for. Your search function must be pristine.

Users need to be guided through the process As if they entered a brick and mortar store.  Virtual shopping assistants can help your visitors provided that they aren’t too pushy and if you spent the time and resources to create a proper tool that actually understands what your customers need.

 

People need clear instructions. Don’t overwhelm visitors with calls to action. Choose one path and guide each visitor to a specific goal. Too many messages and signals are confusing.

Be patient, don’t upsell too quickly

Make it easy for your customers to get from A to B and once they get there you can make suggestions and provide tips to assist them.  Don’t try to upsell even before your customer actually made their first purchase!

Once your customer achieves their goal, you can leverage the adrenaline kick to present them with additional options.

Make sure the terms and conditions are clear.  People hate being ambushed. Nobody wants to go halfway through the purchase process to find out that there are additional fees or other hidden add-ons.

Your customers must have access to all the information they need to make a decision before actually signing up and/or proceeding to the checkout.  The checkout process needs to be seamless and clear.

Don’t forget to take into account different regulations around the world.  A business operating for example in the EU must present the final price including all taxes and fees before people proceed to the checkout.

Don’t confuse them at sign-up

Speaking of signing up, of course the process needs to be easy to use and seamless.  A difficult sign-up process will push customers away.  Allow people to shop and sign up after they have gone to the checkout.  In some cases, you can even allow them to shop as a guest.

Reduce complexity by breaking down information into several steps/pages.  Instead of presenting one huge form with many fields, break the process down into steps that include two or three questions each.  This will be less likely to scare customers away with a million questions in a single page.

Try to pre-fill as many fields as possible based on the information you can automatically connect.  Allow integration to social media to add information and establish a relationship with your brand outside your platform.

Returning visitors should have an easy process, unless they wish to update their data.

 

Eliminate uncertainty regarding the purchase process. Waiting can seem to feel like an eternity, however adding an electronic sign that shows how long people must wait is proven to enhance the entire experience.  Perception of time is different depending on the data people have.

People Need to know where they are in the purchase process.  This is accomplished by showing the steps between search and purchase.  If customers perceive a low level of complexity and time they know what the process involves and when they will be charged.

 

Such signals may be mandatory if you are operating in the EU.  Customers need to know when they are placing the order and the button must be clearly marked to inform them that they’re about to be charged for their purchase.  Using the same ‘next’ button throughout the process is prohibited.

Signal the presence of human beings to customers.

Modern technology allows anyone to set up a site in less than an hour.  To overcome mistrust in our highly digital world it is best to create an ‘about page’ providing an office address, add documentation, and have a secure encrypted payment method.  Include your privacy policy and how you secure any customer data which is collected.

Where possible show faces and names in your ‘about us’ page.  Include how people can contact you directly through an email address, a telephone number, or a live chat feature can be added to your site.

Live chat is a great opportunity to talk directly to customers, answer their questions, and guide them through the process step-by-step. Don’t be pushy, though! Try to be useful and lead customers to their goal!