Creating customer web experiences that deliver meaningful, measurable results has become more important as people want to interact with businesses across numerous channels from anywhere, on any device, at any time. Here’s how to go about it.
People want to interact with businesses on their terms. They want integrated engagement, personalisation, and an intuitive and seamless experience across all possible contexts.
While this can be challenging for a business, it is necessary to remain competitive.
One mistake that businesses often make when designing their website is focusing too much on how nice it looks, yet they fail to put anything like the equivalent amount of thought or effort into how it functions for the user.
User and usability research can help businesses identify what is needed and how to move from assumptions to a solid understanding of what the audience needs.
This can be done as simply as conducting your own analysis. Put yourself in the position of the customer and visit your website for a particular purpose to find out how easy or difficult it is to find what you’re looking for.
Or, even better, get someone who has no affiliation with the company to do this.
Another option is to get feedback from existing users regarding site usability. This can be done via user testing with a sample group or through an online questionnaire.
This will help to quickly identify any pain points users have with the business’ online presence, which can then be addressed and remedied.
Leverage customer data
To improve the user experience even further, organisations must focus on using data to gain greater insights into audience needs by creating a seamless experience across all channels.
Measurable and meaningful results let organisations focus their marketing budgets on potential customers, rather than waste money on generic mass marketing and digital campaigns.
Customers expect their interactions with businesses to be personalised, so this has become a necessity.
Understand what motivates visitors to use the website and provide them with content based on that insight.
There’s no use spending time and resources on functionality or content that is not being fully utilised or appreciated. Focus on what the user actually wants and deliver on that instead. Don’t make users sift through pages of irrelevant content to finally find what they are looking for.
Make it easy for them to find what they want as soon as possible, as this will reduce user frustration dramatically and boost audience retention and repeat business.
There are a number of other ways that the customer experience can be personalised. For example, online merchants can offer deals specific to previously-expressed interests or purchase history. This allows for a clear view of previous customer interactions, such as feedback or complaints, so the company representative knows about experiences the customer refers to.
Personalise the customer journey
To create personalised web experiences that also produce measurable business results, organisations need a customer relationship management (CRM) platform that integrates data from multiple channels. This lets the business track interactions and purchase decisions, and provides a single view of the customer and can help establish the journey customers are on and personalise the message and timing so it is most effective.
Personalising the web experience is considered to be critical for the ongoing success of a business. Not only does it boost customer retention, it also typically has a significant positive impact on the volume of sales.
Users tend to have a lot more goodwill towards a company that delivers content to them according to their personal interests, rather than being bombarded with information that holds no interest or relevance to them.
It also marks the business out as one that wants to develop good customer relationships and deliver the best possible service they can, which is always appealing to would-be customers.
If the current content management system does not let the business personalise customer interactions, it is time to replace it with one that does. The short-term costs will be repaid via long-term growth and viability.
The business should, at the very least, have the analytical capability to determine what type of content appeals the most to each customer segment, enabling automatic personalisation and delivery of specific content without them having to search for it. This can be determined by observing previous browsing habits and collating a database of what typically appeals to a certain type of customer.
Businesses can incentivise the user base to provide detailed personal information in order to make this process easier by offering special deals and discounts.
Website personalisation is not a ‘nice to have’, it’s an essential component of the overall marketing strategy.
Customers prefer to engage with the businesses that make them feel understood and valued. Companies that continue to avoid this option and deliver the same content to every user, every time they visit, will soon fall behind those that do offer tailored new content.
Mike Morgan is the executive general manager of transformation services at Empired.
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