Your Business Needs an Amazing User Experience to Thrive
In a hyper competitive digital marketing world does your User Experience cost you money? For your business to not only survive, but to thrive you must have a proactive digital Customer Experience. Your online presence should make your customer’s experience seamless and direct.
You have to develop a clear map guiding your customers from initial discovery through their purchase decision. Every step must be considered including your content, social media, and advertising.
In that context you need to examine a customer’s journey at each step. Map your customer experience. You have to analyze the customers response to your experience and measure their actions from search to decision. Using metrics examine why and how your customers made their decisions.
Let’s look at some of the mistakes that can kill your customer experience.
To Thrive You Have to Target the Right Audience
The first question you have to ask yourself is “who is the audience that I need to attract?” Then target your audience with ads and social media posts which will appeal to them by filling their needs. Don’t waste people’s time. 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.
Once you know who you are targeting, think about how it’s best to approach them. Before people actually land on your site, your ads and social media presence is telling your story to them. You have to use unique and memorable messages to target your desired audience.
You only have one chance to make a good first impression. We all know how it can be impossible to recover from a very bad first impression! You have to get this right.
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 by providing helpful tips and hints. You have to encourage potential customers to see how connecting with and using your brand will make them feel and enjoy the experience.
We all love to be challenged by new experiences, so your experience needs to be remarkable and memorable!
Never Mislead Through Your Ads and Social Media
Be honest and don’t ever knowingly mislead anyone. Don’t ruin your customer experience by using ads or social media posts that are anything less than truthful. It’s also important that your ads and social media completely and accurately reflect the landing pages that your customers will be directed to.
Have you ever 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. You can avoid 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. You have to give enough information to convince people to click on your ad and direct traffic to a landing page. It’s important that your landing page also repeats the same search terms about your product that the customer used in their initial search.
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!
You Should Never Overuse Promotions and Discounts
You want to create a sense of urgency in your audience. Most people will react positively to a campaign promoting discounts, however overusing discounts can make them not believable. Price can’t be the only reason that people choose your brand.
It’s important that people identify with your brand. You achieve this by building their trust and value in your brand. Carefully define your brand’s positives and be consistent with your ads and social media posts. Emphasize why your brand is special and the benefits received by choosing your brand.
How Can You Ensure That 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 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. You have to have a seamless and usable search function.
Users need to be guided through the process. Your experience should be 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. Choose one path and guide each visitor to a specific goal. Don’t overwhelm visitors with calls to action. Too many messages and signals are confusing.
You Need to be Patient, Don’t Up-sell too Quickly
Make it easy for your customers to get from point to point in your sales process. 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. Nobody wants to go halfway through the purchase process to find out that there are additional fees or other hidden add-ons. Never ambush people, everyone hates being ambushed.
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. Ensure that your checkout process is 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. If you manage to do all of this correctly your customer will trust your brand.
Don’t Confuse Your Customers at The Sign-up
Speaking of signing up, of course the process needs to be as brief as possible, easy to use and seamless. If you make your sign-up process too difficult you will push customers away. It may even be a good idea to allow them to shop as a guest. You can benefit by allowing people to shop and sign up after they have gone to the checkout.
Reduce the complexity of your sales process. If possible break information gathering down into several steps or even 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 definitely enhances the entire experience. If people have more data, their perception of time is different.
People also need to know where they are in the purchase process. Accomplish this 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.
You Need to Signal a Human Presence to Your Audience
Modern technology allows anyone to set up a site in less than an hour. It’s great to embrace and use technology, however you also have to keep the human in your process. There’s a natural mistrust that you have to overcome mistrust in our digital world.
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. Never be pushy, though! Always try to be helpful and guide customers to their goal!