4 simple steps to consistently improve customer experiences on websites

5. November 2020

30-second summary:

  • Follow this four-phase process to optimize digital experiences and enhance engagements, conversions, and customer loyalty.
  • Phase 1: Define the core metric by which you’ll measure experiences on your website or app
  • Phase 2: Establish a view of how existing experiences on your website or app are performing
  • Phase 3: Identify and prioritize opportunities for improving experiences
  • Phase 4: Implement your optimizations and measure their impact

Most enterprises have a rich well of data, but far fewer have found a way to extract the actionable insights needed to deliver better online experiences, enhance engagements or conversions, and gain a real competitive advantage.

Enterprises face unique challenges when it comes to measuring and improving online experiences – from scattered and siloed digital intelligence to substandard, fractured optimization programs. To perfect experiences across websites and apps, organizations must first make sense of data and master digital optimization.

With the amount of data being generated and collected, however, optimizing experiences can feel like a daunting task at most organizations.

Knowing this, enterprises can start with a fine-tuned methodology that leverages actionable analytics data, intelligent investigative tools, and calculated tactics across multiple departments. They should follow this four-phase process to generate consistent engagement, produce more conversions, and promote better customer loyalty.

Phase 1: Define core metrics to measure experiences on your website or app

The first step of experience optimization is identifying and aligning on a universal key performance indicator (KPI). Otherwise, any digital team’s optimization efforts will be aimless.

That said, digital metrics can’t be selected at random – marketers need a KPI that definitively quantifies digital experiences on their website or app. These can include customer satisfaction scores, repeat visits, conversion and retention rates, time spent on a site, and Net Promoter Scores.

While these metrics enable a digital team to measure optimization progress, each fails to definitively quantify and link the specific experiences affecting each metric. Enterprises should consider using a more holistic, universal metric that measures online experiences automatically.

Even better, if the metric is AI-powered, like Decibel’s Digital Experience Score (DXS®) it can crunch billions of data points around user navigation, frustration, engagement, as well as form and technical experiences. This capability takes the guesswork out of managing, measuring, and improving digital experiences.

Regardless of the experience metric an organization decides to use, it takes more than just a KPI to sync different teams – marketers need to delineate clear responsibilities. Organizations should set guidelines that provide objectives for each practitioner to enable multi-team efforts that move the needle on the collective digital experience KPI selected.

Phase 2: Establish a view of how existing experiences perform

Once organizations have selected the primary KPI, it’s time to measure its performance across every single journey on the website or app.

This view is foundational for effective optimization, with 80% of CX professionals believing a journey-based strategy drives overall business success, customer satisfaction, customer retention, and customer lifetime value. With the days of linear conversions gone, enterprises can no longer afford to view these journeys through a transactional and conversion-centric lens.

With that in mind, shaping the perfect user journey means optimizing experiences across every possible touchpoint. To do this effectively, organizations need to evaluate their current end-to-end website or app performance. They should use one of the two following methodologies:

  • Web analytics tools like Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics to establish an existing view of user journeys across a website or app, measuring user traffic patterns across pages to identify key user journey flows
  • User journey discovery tools in digital experience analytics which visualize every user journey across the site

Customers are unpredictable, but web analytics and experience analytics tools can help teams focus on micro-level issues and optimize experiences across every possible touchpoint. Both methods provide the must-have insights on the quality of an enterprise’s user experiences and indicate the performance behind each user journey, laying the foundation for the next phase.

Phase 3: Identify and prioritize opportunities for improving experiences

With a clear understanding of how experiences are performing, marketers can investigate any bottlenecks reflected by their KPI results. To succeed in this phase, marketers need access to sufficient digital intelligence.

Brands effectively using available data and analytics insights are more likely to acquire and retain customers and be profitable as a result. In fact, there are three fundamental resources every team needs to diagnose and resolve the issues plaguing user experiences and digital journeys:

  1. Behavior detection analysis. Behavior detection shares highly nuanced data surrounding user intent by tracking and measuring “digital body language” to understand how an enterprise’s web or app experiences affect users’ state of mind. Behavioral data not only accounts for every mouse click, but the movements between those clicks. With this level of intelligence, marketers can clearly identify frustration, confusion, or engagement.
  2. Session replays. Marketers can review session replays to understand how users actually engage on a case-by-case level, and to identify issues clearly provoking user frustration like a confusing navigation menu or a clunky contact form. However, some session replay tools can be incredibly time-consuming, especially for enterprises with millions of monthly user sessions, so organizations should prioritize those with AI-enabled capabilities.
  3. Heatmaps. By visualizing user session data in aggregate, heatmaps illustrate user journey trends and patterns. Displaying click data and mouse movement, heatmaps enable marketers to determine whether a newly implemented call-to-action button has driven more clicks, or if a change in your homepage user interface increases bounce rates.

With these analytics and investigative tools in place, marketers will be poised to identify user experience issues with ease and turn them into opportunities.

Phase 4: Implement optimizations and measure their impact

By now, organizations have established the issues undermining user experiences and sabotaging user journeys – and worked across departments to develop fixes for them. Now, optimization efforts must be thorough and united to be truly effective.

If executed properly, revamped digital experiences can create significant increase in conversion rates, but it takes following three steps to get there:

  1. Plan priorities. Prioritize fixes based on their potential impact and difficulty. Ensure digital teams address low-hanging fruit like broken links quickly, while being methodical and thorough regarding larger projects like an interface re-design.
  2. Calculate progress with benchmarks. Constantly measure progress by comparing post-optimization KPI results with your initial KPI benchmark. This will act as your digital team’s measuring stick for optimization, allowing you to identify projects which succeeded, failed, or need further work.
  3. Consistently monitor and improve. The difference between a website or app generating high-performing versus low-performing experiences will depend on persistence.

As more users pay closer attention to digital experiences – given many in-person ones have been put on hold – enterprises should use every tool at their disposal to ensure satisfaction and ease.

With a systematic approach to optimization, digital teams can methodically implement user experience improvements with ease. It’s just a matter of time before engagement and conversions rise as organizations quickly chip away at the issues plaguing user journeys.

The post 4 simple steps to consistently improve customer experiences on websites appeared first on ClickZ.

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