When Adobe Digital Marketing announced that the theme of its 2017 cloud summit would be, “Make Customer Experience Your Business,” attendees were intrigued, and eager to hear more. That’s understandable. Businesses know that customer experience is their lifeblood: with infinite choices in content, what drives consumers to one company over another is more than the products and services they offer—it’s the nature of their experience at every touchpoint.
As Adobe explains:
“In order to meet the demands of digital, you need to become an experience-led company—a company that delivers in-the-moment experiences that are compelling, personal, useful, and delighting the customer at every touchpoint. With these qualities, your brand experiences can create a real connection with your customers to build lasting loyalty.”
For most consumers, the first touchpoint with your business is usually your website, but many businesses don’t take the time or to ensure that their websites provide visitors with outstanding customer experience.
Most Websites Don’t Work
That’s the conclusion Hubspot came to after they tested more than 1 million websites. They assigned a grade, from A to F, for each of 4 key performance indicators, as well as an overall score. On average, websites received:
- a D- for performance;
- a D for mobile responsiveness;
- a D- for SEO;
- an F for security; and
- an overall grade of F
What do these grades mean for customer experience? It means websites which load too slowly, don’t work on mobile devices, can’t be found through organic searches, and don’t do enough to protect the private information of their customers. Said differently, if you want to ensure outstanding experience for your customers, you need to begin with a thorough audit of your website.
Customer experience, sometimes called “user experience,” is the sum of all interactions between your customers and your business.
“User experience” encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products. The first requirement for an exemplary user experience is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother.”
The quality of user experience is defined in large part by the visitors to your website. Did they like the design? Could they easily find the information they were looking for? Was it easy for them to take the actions they came there to take? In other words, did your website meet (or exceed) their expectations?
What Are My Customers’ Online Expectations?
To find out, Hubspot conducted a comprehensive survey of thousands of website users. Among their key takeaways were the following 5:
- Contact information needs to be clearly visible: 51% of users say clear contact information is the most important thing missing from websites, almost 2 in 3 want to see contact information on the home page, and almost half will leave a site if they can’t easily find contact information.
- Page load speed is critical: 39% of users say they’ll abandon a site that doesn’t load quickly enough.
- Customers want an attractive layout: 38% of users say they’ll leave a website with an unattractive layout.
- Customers don’t want to search for products and services: 86% of users report that they want information about your products and services clearly visible on the home page.
- Customers want to easily find information about your company: 52% of site visitors try to find “About Us” information on your home page.
What Steps Should I Take to Improve Customer Experience on My Website?
It’s possible your website is one that’s bucking the trend and giving your customers the kind of experience they want and expect—but why take chances? You can improve the odds that the experiences customers have on your website are making the right impression to grow your business by taking the following 5 key steps:
- Make sure your site loads quickly: there’s something about the internet which makes people impatient. Consider the fact that 87% of visitors to your site will leave if there’s as little as a 2-second delay in load time. That means lost business for you. To ensure your site is loading quickly, test it using Google’s free page speed service. Google will tell you if your site is loading too slowly—and offer free advice on how to fix the problem on desktops and mobile devices.
- Make your calls to action (CTAs) easy to find, and easy to use: nothing is more frustrating to your customers than being directed to take an action, and then not being able to figure out how to do it. Make calls to action clearly visible and easy to use. Select colors for call-to-action buttons which make them stand out from the background, and use verbs like “Join,” “Learn,” “Discover,” and “Start,” to make your intentions clear.
- Break up lengthy information text with bullets: your customers want useful, relevant content that helps them solve their problems, but they expect you to make that information easy to digest. Replace lengthy descriptions in paragraph form with bulleted lists that highlight your key points.
- Help customers navigate content with clearly descriptive headings: the headings on your site serve as a kind of table of contents. They should clearly describe the content which falls beneath them. Your customers will become frustrated (and possibly abandon your site) if they encounter content they didn’t expect because it doesn’t match your heading.
- Make your website responsive: more Google searches now take place on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets than on desktop and laptop computers—and about one-third of e-commerce now occurs on mobile devices. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, with every aspect of functionality performing as well as on a non-mobile device, you’re throwing away a lot of business. Nothing will kill customer experience more quickly than a website that isn’t fully responsive. Equally important, since Google launched its mobile-first indexing of web pages, a non-responsive site will hurt you in search engine rankings.
At PointClick Technologies, customer experience is embedded in our DNA. Our managed hosting, security and compliance, web hosting and cloud services solutions have been designed with your customers in mind. To learn more about the ways we can partner with you to improve customer experience and help you grow your business, contact us today.