A not-so-surprising fact: According to HubSpot, 65% of consumers state that the experience they encounter on a website is a “very important” factor in recommending a brand. If that stat is not enough, HubSpot also reported that 75% of consumers expect new technologies to be used to create memorable and better experiences.
The bottom line seems clear: If companies do not invest in the digital consumer experience, there is a potential risk of losing those consumers. What are the most important factors in creating those memorable digital consumer experiences? Consider these five must haves.
1. Answer the Need of the Consumer
There is a temptation by organizations to choose new online technologies that internal staff members think are great but that have no impact on the consumer experience. Even worse, some new additions to a company’s current technologies can make the digital consumer experience worse or more complicated.
When considering adding new technologies, look at what the consumer experiences currently are. Then determine whether the new technology addresses a specific need or improves on the existing experience. If those needs are not being addressed, it may be better to continue to search for a new technology that will better fit the user’s needs.
2. Make It Measurable
There is a great way to determine the impact that a new technology will have on the digital consumer experience: Make sure measurements and key performance indicators (KPIs) are set up to determine whether the technology has actually impacted the digital experience for the consumer. Yes, the customer experience can be challenging to quantify, but there can be parameters put into place to make that quantification of that data easier.
These measurements can be how quickly a consumer gets to a completed action on the website, how easily and often information can be accessed (e.g., how many pages to get to content), or even what options are available for additional contact (e.g., chat box, form, email, or phone). Take the time to work on those measurements.
3. Keep Changes Simple
When it comes to adding in new technologies, make one change at a time. This is important for several reasons:
• Too drastic of a change could impact how well the technology can be integrated into current platforms and cause current technologies to malfunction.
• Introducing several changes at once can also make it difficult to determine which change caused an improvement in the experience.
• Introducing too many changes at once can make the consumer feel overwhelmed with the new experience.
Even new technologies that improve the digital experience could be rejected by the visitor if there are too many changes at once. Be patient, and incorporate smaller and simpler changes over a period of time.
4. Understand Long-Term Impacts
Changes to technologies can have longer types of impact. This goes beyond the digital consumer experience and can affect whether a company can incorporate future digital changes and new technologies coming on the horizon.
When reviewing new technologies, ask yourself if there are options to modify or alter the technology so that the investment can grow and pivot with changes in the business, the economy, or the consumer. Also, will the organization providing the technology be in business in one, two, or five years? Can someone else, such as a third-party vendor or internal IT team, support the technology if something were to happen?
Understanding the cascading effects of choosing a new technology is vital.
5. When in Doubt, Ask Your Customer
There is no cost to a conversation. When there is any doubt, simply ask.
Not sure what needs customers have? Conduct a poll or gather a focus group and find out how your customers use the current technology and what improvements could be made to help them.
Wondering if a new potential technology is easy to implement and doesn’t have any potential pitfalls? Request references and ask hard questions about their experience, the implementation process, and the impact of the technology.
This also goes for internal staff and asking how the technology may affect their department. Bringing all stakeholders to the table is worth the effort. Take the time to gather information before implementation to remove unnecessary headaches. By having this additional information, better decisions can be made on what technology is chosen and how effective it can be.
Digital consumer experiences are more important than ever. Adding new technologies can enhance those experiences. With the focus on these must haves, companies can implement the right technology at the right time and help the consumer experience their brand in a new and exciting way.