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.
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:
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.
Ujjaval Parikh is the founder of Integration Yantra, a digital marketing expert that specializes in web management and analytics, business communications, and online branding. With a unique background in computer science, finance, and PR, he loves to develop customized solutions to help companies attract clients and promote long-term growth.