The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation. To ensure business survival, it has been necessary for brands to deploy tech and digital solutions, targeting new pain points brought about by the unique situation. Traditional brick-and-mortar giants, like restaurant chains, for example, are improving their processes to create a better customer experience from touchpoint to delivery. Digital has allowed brands to recover by offering new opportunities to reach and engage their go-to markets.
The same applies to B2B companies: while decision makers have long acknowledged the role of digital in business growth, Covid-19 made it a necessity in 2020. A recent McKinsey report showed that digital, rather than traditional, channels were more likely to be cited by respondents as the best way to research suppliers. The most valuable resources according to the respondents? Online materials, live chats, and, at the top spot, their website. Strong digital channels, the report continued, strengthened customer bonds, but also helped B2B companies reduce their sales costs.
Given that the website is going to play a crucial role in this new environment, it is important that your customer experience extends or translates in your digital assets. This is where user-friendly websites, as part of a good user experience, comes in.
Why is it important to have a user-friendly website?
The same McKinsey report added that 65% of survey respondents said they have been more successful in reaching customers than their former sales methods. “With such high satisfaction, many businesses will probably question whether they should ever return to the old status quo,” the report said. “In fact, about 80% stated that they were somewhat or very likely to sustain the changes for 12 months or longer. If this holds true, B2B companies across industries could revisit their go-to-market models over the next year, and many will resolve to embed digital and remote sales options along the entire customer decision journey.”
Thus it is important that as early as now,you are nailing your digital presence. We can start with the website, the new customer-facing interface, which is bound to be your most important asset in the new world of digital commerce.
What defines a good user experience?
User experience, sometimes abbreviated as UX, refers to the overall experience of a person using a product, system or service. Usually it is used in the context of a website or computer application, to describe how easy or efficient it is to use. Experience includes the affective, practical and meaningful aspects of human-computer interaction.
But allow us to take it from American researcher Don Norman, known in the industry as the inventor of the term user experience himself: “No product is an island. A product is more than the product. It is a cohesive, integrated set of experiences. Think through all of the stages of a product or service – from initial intentions through final reflections, from first usage to help, service, and maintenance. Make them all work together seamlessly.”
What makes a good website user experience?
Today, many other designers and agencies have since taken off from Mr. Norman’s research, defining user experience in their own terms. Most often, they would describe a user-friendly website with a list of characteristics. Depending on whom you are consulting, those characteristics would include the following terms:
• Fast-loading speed
• Mobile-compatibility (or being mobile-first)
• Usable forms
• Contrasting colour scheme
• Clear navigation
• Seamless information architecture
• Browser compatibility
• Robust and clean code
• User accessibility
However, at our agency, we do not merely treat our projects as a checklist of qualities we need to tick. Here, we prioritise user experience research, and use data and analytics in order to recognise what the user truly needs. To us, meeting the exact needs of the user is what makes a good website user experience, and by extension, good customer experience.
User experience is part of customer experience. Customer experience encompasses overall experience, likelihood to continue use, and likelihood to recommend to others. Thus it wouldn’t matter if you have all the bells and whistles if at the end of the day, it is not built to meet your customer’s expectations on a daily basis.
Therefore, in the discussion about user experience, we have to always go back to what customer experience means: the overall experience of a customer with a brand.
How can I improve user experience and customer experience?
User experience research may include any of the following top methods:
• Field study
• User interview
• Stakeholder interview
• Competitive analysis
• Design review
• Persona building
• Prototype feedback & testing
• Card sorting Test
• Qualitative usability testing
• Benchmark testing
• Analytics review
• Search-log analysis
• Usability-bug review
• Frequently-asked-questions review
According to research by Acquia, 90% of customers reported that most brands fail to meet their expectations of good customer experience. At the same time, 90% of customers say they want convenience. Thus, to meet those expectations, brands need to prioritise convenience. “There is no need to overcomplicate [customer experience],” the report reads. “Focus on delivering convenient, [personalised] experiences.”
Our approach to user experience and, by extension, customer experience, has always been anchored on understanding our clients, their business and their objectives, amid their competitors’ marketing ecosystem and the trending landscape. In the unique situation that we find ourselves in today, we likewise remain steadfast in our goal: to help brands communicate with their customers and maximise the digital space, no matter how quickly technology and customer behavior evolve.
Our team of highly experienced strategists, creatives, digital marketing specialists and technophiles can help you through our range of tech services. Reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our enquiry form to discuss. You can also take a look at our list of services.