Imagine two hardware stores who share a parking lot; one hardware store is bright, welcoming, clean and well-maintained. The other has paint chipping off the building, a flickering ‘open’ sign and barred windows. Which one does the customer choose to enter?
The company website is the modern day store front. Now imagine there are two equally bright and welcoming hardware stores. How does one set itself apart from the other? The one who delivers the best customer experience.
Set your modern day store front apart with these strategies to improve your customer’s experience.
If a customer was in the hardware store checking out and the employee at the register asked them to write down their credit card information and proceeded to carelessly leave that sensitive information on the counter, how would the customer feel? Distrustful, not cared about. When a company website doesn’t have a SSL Certificate, it sends the same message to the customer; the company doesn’t care about securing the customer’s privacy and financial well-being.
In addition to assuring that the customer’s credit card data is secure, SSL certificates create a positive customer experience by preventing extra cookies and ads being injected onto the website.
Read more about SSL Certificates here: https://www.feynmangroup.com/blog/http-ssl-https.
Mobile is king. As of July 2017, 54% of users access the internet from their smartphones. It is absolutely necessary for a customer to be able to navigate a website effortlessly from their phone.
Let’s go back to our aesthetically equal hardware stores. Both of them are chains. One of them has the same layout in every single location. The customer walks in and knows exactly which aisle to find ceiling tiles without having to think about it. They are in the same aisle they were in at the location across town.
The same principle applies to mobile responsive design. A customer should intuitively know where to find what they are looking for across a website displayed on desktop, smartphone and tablet. This consistency builds familiarity and loyalty with the customer and allows them to focus on their purchase rather than everything the company is doing poorly. Consider asking your web designer to re-design your website using Mobile First Design.
Intuitive User Interface Design
Humans are hardwired to choose the path of least resistance. A customer should not have to work to find out what a company does, learn about their service or products, or how to purchase them. This is where user interface design is critical in creating a positive customer experience. Creating a website that is intuitive for the customer to acquire what they came to the website for is key. Here are a few principles to focus on to keep your potential customers from bouncing back to Google’s search results and retaining them on your website:
- The three-click rule: Every destination on the website should be less than three clicks of a mouse away from the customer accessing it.
- Simplicity: The #3 most visited websites in the world have one major thing in common, the simplicity of their website’s interface and purpose. See Google, YouTube and Facebook.
- Usability: A customer should never have to pinch, zoom or slide. For mobile resolution, buttons should be big enough that they can be effortlessly activated with the tap of the thumb. Text should have high readability by using appropriately large font size and by selecting colors that have high contrast.
- Information architecture: Scanning is how people read content on the web and 55% of all page views get less than 15 seconds of attention. Use hierarchy to help your customers quickly locate the information they are seeking. This is achieved by breaking up information into readable chunks, organizing it using subheadings, and optimizing for skimming with bullet points.
The shortest distance between a brand and a customer is a conversation. Chatbots are poised to become the standard that websites are for businesses in the near future. Using Artificial Intelligence, Chatbots can be programmed to suit the customer needs of any industry. They allow website visitors to ask questions as they would if they were talking to a knowledgeable customer service representative at the hardware store. The customer is provided on demand support and the automated service gives the company more efficiency to be productive and grow.
Creating a great customer experience in a store or on a website is subtle. The customer shouldn’t even realize why it is a great experience, it just is because everything works seamlessly.