Imagine the potential of a website that people related so much to, it felt as if it were a trusted friend.
Visiting such a page would give users a warm and fuzzy feeling. They would see images and read copy that’s relatable and that kept them engaged. They’d feel compelled to follow calls to action to go on a journey with the website. It would be a fun experience that made them feel confident in the brand and keeps them coming back again and again.
Contrast that with a website with zero personalization, one where the layout has no clear path it wants you to follow, one where it’s clear they didn’t have you in mind when it was designed.
Sure, there are products on display, but a static, cold environment that wasn’t driven by psychological principles to incite behaviors might leave visitors indifferent or frustrated.
The January 2016 study Using Consumer Neuroscience Methods to Understand the Power of Emotions states the more emotions that are prominent in a campaign, the more significant the business impact is. Customer experience design builds upon these principles to deliver website visits that are memorable and keep visitors coming back for more.
What Is Customer Experience Design?
Creating touch points that are intended to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty is a dominant trend in areas ranging from product development, to marketing initiatives, to website design.
Customer experience has become a top priority for business and technology leaders, as Gartner’s Customer Experience Primer for 2016 shows 89 percent of marketers today compete to create moments that strengthen customer experience and improve advocacy and loyalty.
Forrester’s 2014 The Business Impact Of Customer Experience report shows positive gains in customer experience can net some companies up to more than a billion dollars in additional revenue.
Customer experience design is simply designing a product or process with the customer in mind to create an experience that increases positive sentiment for the brand. Elements of customer experience design may include:
- Copy, imagery, videos and lay-out of a website
- Interactive features
- A seamless customer journey, with clear calls to action and explicit ways for customers to obtain what they want on the website
- Landing pages that are relevant
These are big-picture themes that support the company’s mission through the power of managing the right details in design process. Including the creation a brand story and culture customers believe in and are passionate about, delivering exemplary customer service by using values such as ethics and integrity to serve as the foundation for your business, and connecting meaningfully with customers to make them feel like you’re invested in them.
How to Prioritize Customers in Design
A thoughtful customer design strategy helps turn customers into advocates who will spread the word about your brand for you. Insightpool reports 92 percent of people trust what they hear from others over traditional forms of advertising, according to Nielsen. In short, the power of customer experience drives the social proof around your business which can help (or hurt your growth), meaning that catering to your customers during the design is vital.
The important first step in successful customer experience design is determining to know your customers.
This can be done by creating specific customer personas, each one focusing on a group of people. Over time you’ll have enough personas to allow you to target the majority of your customers.
Think about demographics including gender and income levels, and what the typical day is like in the life of each persona. Determine what your customers like, dislike and need.
This will make your business more likely to give them what they want. The Harvard Business Review suggests aiming to meet segment-specific needs through design at all levels of the customer experience. This includes checkout, product pages, content marketing efforts, and more.
Use surveys to ask customers what is working for them and what features they’d like to see implemented on your website, in your customer service center, on your social media sites, etc. Any point in your process where you connect with your customers is an opportunity to talk to them about how you can improve their experience.
This connection can be systematic (like a web based survey) or manual (like when a customer service representative calls to ask how things are going). It can be triggered by actions (a purchase) or by a point in time (a 3 month check-in).
No matter how you arrange the information collection, be targeted. It might be nice to collect data that will make you feel good but you really want the dirty, ugly things that are keeping you from growing your bus
Use those insights to improve strategy.
Other insights may be gleaned by tracking user behavior on websites and seeing where customer drop-off is to improve the customer experience design of those pages.
McKinsey & Company recommends using behavioral science research to improve the customer experience, especially in areas such as customer support. By empowering customers with choices so they feel like they’re in control, for example, they’re more likely to have a pleasurable customer support outcome.
At Inspire Business Concepts, we love helping brands create optimal customer experiences to improve satisfaction and boost sales. To learn more about how we can help you, head here.