Corporate Survival of the Fittest: How User Experience (UX) Helps You Win

Companies are continually releasing products with new features and functions to keep customers happy, but meanwhile consumers are expecting (and demanding) more from the brands they know and love. Giving your clients what they want is a good place to start if you want to increase your company’s revenue and popularity; however, to make your company stand head and shoulders above the rest, you need to create a truly outstanding user experience.

Essentially, this means making your clients’ time on your site – or spent using your app – as easy and satisfying as possible. They will thank you by returning to your site for subsequent purchases, and as quite an added bonus, they’ll tell their friends, family, and co-workers to join in on the fun by pointing their web browser to your site too. However, if they have a bad experience, it could mean the opposite: bad reviews and tanking sales.

What is User Experience, and Why Does it Matter?

Your company is only alive because you have customers. Treat them with respect and understanding, and you will foster a sense of loyalty that leads your business to thrive.

Interface, usability, and human-machine interactions are just several components that make a memorable experience. These are important considerations, but the best UX includes much more.

Components to create best user experience

Play Your Cards Right

What UX really comes down to is designing a website or other online portal that meets if not exceeds visitor expectations. So how do you keep your users happy?

First, it pays to make sure you aren’t making common usability mistakes: a flat color palette, hardly any links to help users navigate around your site, overly complex categories, and a lack of search options.

Next, look over the key points of user interaction: where the buttons are placed, whether or not links are easy to find, how users can customize their experience, and if text is placed in a way to make it approachable rather than overwhelming.

Trial and Error

For many e-commerce companies, potential sales never make it past the shopping cart:

Trial and Error
Source: Statista.com

Thankfully, you can avoid this trap. How?

Put yourself in their shoes by taking the UX test provided by usabilla.com.  As you proceed through your web-based purchasing and sales process, ask these questions:

  • Was the final cost what you expected it to be? Why or why not?
  • Did you feel the website was fast, slow, or about average?
  • Did you think the checkout process was long, short, or about right?
  • Did you feel secure entering your payment information?
  • At any time did the website crash or timeout?

Was the price in the currency you expected it to be?

Once your site or app update goes live, get plenty of feedback from employees, friends and customers to tweak the final design to make it better suited to your user base. To keep your customers’ attention, you need to create a satisfactory experience that makes your company memorable and keeps your visitors coming back for more brand interaction, more blog reading, and more shopping.

Read the User’s Mind

While it isn’t possible to know exactly what thoughts are running through your visitors’ heads as they browse around your website, there are ways to capture and analyze data to paint a big picture of the reaction that your digital marketing efforts are eliciting. The bounce rate, for example, will give you an indication of how many users immediately click away. If it only takes a website visitor 10 seconds to leave your homepage for an unrelated destination, that’s a big clue that your user experience isn’t meeting everyone’s basic needs.

Tools like Google Analytics, Omniture, and WebTrends will also let you know how users behave on your site. Are they entering through your most popular blog post, but staying to read more content without ever finding your services? Is Facebook steering them to a promotional webpage, but not getting visitors to click on your ecommerce store? Once you identify gaps in visitor behavior, you can add links to your site in the places they’re most needed.

Above all, it’s important to provide a user experience that’s compelling. If your consumers feel valued based on their interaction with your brand online, that positive user experience leads to increased customer loyalty. The next step from there is positive word of mouth, which brings more people to your website or application, in turn increasing ROI for all of your digital marketing campaigns.

Can HR Boost Your Bottom Line?

You can have all the tools and technology in the world, but at the end of the day, what really drives your company’s success is people. You already know that everyone who purchases your products is critical to your business’ survival and growth; however, the real fuel for your organization’s fire comes from its own employees. That’s why, no matter what industry you’re doing business in, the value of human resources (HR) cannot be overlooked.

According to research conducted by the National Business Research Institute, the attitudes of employees have an enormous effect on customer satisfaction – as much as 80%. Happy humans, even in today’s technology-based and highly digitalized society, are still one of the most critical components to making or breaking corporate success. Furthermore, satisfied employees are, on average, twice as productive each day at work.

The Power of One

What makes your employees happy, and how can you keep them satisfied? First, let them be themselves. My technique for personal branding encourages employees to express creativity and be themselves. Those individual traits can seem at odds with developing a cohesive corporate image, but they are actually quite valuable to improving ROI and driving corporate success.

The most successful companies do not ask employees to leave their personalities and opinions at door upon clocking in each day. Giving employees personal freedom makes them feel valued as a key part of the business, and they’ll know the CEO, or team at the top, cares for their overall well-being.

Power of One

Ideally, your employees have plenty of opportunity to grow and learn along with your company. I always say that creating harmony between the “personal” and “corporate” spheres does wonders for your business. Each employee has unique values and relates to different types of people. In turn, they can appeal to a wide audience, which can be translated into a very effective way to build a larger and more loyal consumer base.

Learning the Ropes: Corporate Branding 101

Your employees should understand and be able to explain what makes the company unique and stand out from – if not totally defeat – the competition. This is a vital strategy for any business looking to grow. After all, how will potential customers know what unique value your product or service has if each of your employees can’t even put their finger on it?

Learning the Ropes: Corporate Branding 101
                                                                      Source: hrreview.co.uk

This is one area of business where human resources (HR) is absolutely critical. When employees are first brought on to work for the company, that’s the prime time to teach them about branding, communication policies, and workplace culture. If that process goes smoothly, it lays a foundation for active employee engagement.

As a business owner or manager, how can you know if your employees are engaging enough – or at all? There are four main things to look for:

check mark Everyday satisfaction in the workplace
check mark Willingness to recommend the business as a place of work
check mark Employee retention – or even consideration of leaving
check mark Sense of pride to be part of the company

No matter how happy your employees are, it’s important to continue to take steps to increase employee engagement. In the next blog, I’ll share three of the top ways to involve your workforce in your company culture.

Employee Empowerment Equals Corporate Visibility

Employees have an enormous impact on customer satisfaction, which means it’s important to keep them happy in the workplace and happy with your corporate culture. Satisfied employees are also exceedingly more productive than those who are merely clocking in to collect a paycheck.

But while every business owner and manager knows that people – including employees – are a key asset to long-term success, it’s not always easy to know how to keep your workforce motivated and plugging along with a smile genuinely plastered on their faces.

HR Do's & Don'ts

Offer Incentives

Research surveys and studies conducted by Gallup and the Society for Human Resource Management show that employees who are engaged and satisfied with their daily roles and responsibilities are motivated to work harder for their company. These employees typically deliver remarkable levels of performance and are five times less likely to quit their jobs voluntarily. With an increase in sales and revenue, companies should become more willing and able to provide financial incentives, such as raises, bonuses, and commissions. One of the best ways to look after your workforce is to develop loyalty commission programs to ensure employees feel their hard work and effort pays off. And all those incentives mean the best employees will stay.

Making the Most of Social Media

Once you have the attention of your employees, it is time to get them involved in talking about their workplace. Social media campaigns are one of the most effective methods of driving sales and making your company more visible on the web, and happy employee are likely to participate and spread positive word of mouth.

In addition to delivering fresh, fun, and engaging content, these campaigns allow for the critical, but often overlooked, ability of your company to develop personal relationships with customers. Letting your employees show their personalities in interacting with your company on social media will also show clients that your organization is approachable and friendly.

Making the Most of Social Media
                                                                      Excerpt from NBRI infographic

Your Company is Your Team

Employee engagement is all about team-building, and it requires a holistic approach. That is to say there isn’t one right or wrong way to go about it. Start by getting to know your workers as individuals to find out what their concerns and visions are, and in turn develop an effective and efficient branding campaign that works for you and represents them. When you engage and motivate each employee by encouraging creativity, developing incentive programs, and showcasing your team with social media campaigns, you will help your business grow exponentially.

It’s no secret that a business can’t run without people, but it’s a common problem to focus too much on the external network (customers) and not enough on the men and women on the inside – your employees. By engaging the group that’s already interacting with your company and your products on a near-daily basis – using incentives, social media, and team-building exercises – the conversation about your brand will naturally grow to attract new customers and quality new hires.