Web Experience is Having a Comeback
In the third quarter of 2020 US e-commerce sales went up 36.7% compared with the same period in 2019. Websites have come back to center stage. However, we are not seeing an equivalent shift in web experience that matches the shift in today’s consumer behavior.
Retailers are leaving money on the table. Airports continue to speak to passengers using the CDC tone of voice by pasting carbon copies of healthcare guidelines. And healthcare web experience continues to confuse patients.
Human Centered Web Experience Starts with Messaging
Last year, we hosted a webinar for US airports. Together, we discussed the importance of passenger centered communication. Specifically, we advocated for an outside-in approach of using airport websites to provide relevant, actionable information bites tailored to the passenger’s journey.
When we audited the websites of major US airports, we found most of them limit their communications practice to a COVID banner. In fact, that banner leads to non-actionable, regulatory information. If the travel industry wants to encourage travel in 2021, we must change the brand voice of all digital tools. It is a delicate balance to stay within regulatory guidelines, provide necessary information, and communicate with passengers in a human-centered voice. But it is imperative we reassess the current language that makes up web experience, and do better.
Defining the Next Decade of Web Experience
Recently, Accenture published a 2021 trends report that will define the next decade of experiences. The report discusses the collective displacement that took place in 2020 and how it impacted consumer habits.
Based on this, Accenture predicts shopping will atomize “into many micro moments spread throughout the day and across devices.” For retailers, this atomization means responsive design is now a must. Investment in responsive design always competes with investment in new apps. Yet, if this prediction holds true, you must look directly at the web experience and prioritize responsive web design as part of your overall brand experience.
The Accenture report also notes retailers need to “replicate or replace physical touch using digital. In some cases, investing in detailed copy will help give people what they need to make a decision.” And we are back to copy. Why is copy so important? If you think about in-person hospitality, so much of it boils down to having an informative, pleasant conversation. With the switch of channels, you need to find the digital version of that interaction. And website copy is the effective tool to do that. In 2021 go back to basics and redesign your website to almost be a human that speaks to your consumer.
Do Not Forget Load Time
Since we are going back to basics, we have to take a look at website speed. Goals for improving website speed remain unattainable for many, if not most, brands. According to Google Analytics, 53% of consumers ABANDON a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Yet, it takes an average of 12 seconds for a mobile web page to load in 3G.
That means we have a long way to go in terms of speed optimization for our customers’ website experience. If there is one channel where consumers expect fast experience, it is mobile. Yet, we continue to fail them.
I do realize that at the enterprise level, web speed goals may be with business partners or IT engineers, but think about the insight here. Half your consumers do not even BEGIN their online journey with your brand, because of web speed. That means you are losing on the ROI of ALL your projects and investments online. This is what I call a low hanging fruit. Add improving speed to your digital roadmap. And do something about it in 2021. The beauty of such an investment is that you can measure the impact very easily.
Resolve Checkout Issues
Another old problem that continues to plague our web experiences is the seamlessness of checkout. There are many ways to design frictionless digital checkout experiences. For instance, if you are not saving consumers’ credit card information in their profile and reusing it on their 2nd purchase, you are stuck in the 90s (like most retail websites in Bulgaria).
This is just the beginning. If you are an apparel retailer, you can apply AI at a designated touchpoint of the checkout experience. Suggest matching items to create outfits at the last minute, or shoes to go with the dress already in the shopping card. Some brands do this. And I must admit, as a shopper, I often follow the site’s suggestions! Others miss out on this upsell opportunity.
Gather Customer Feedback – The Right Way
At checkout, a customer feedback survey is the best addition. The key is to have no more than 5 questions. Make it fast. A 3 minute experience. And TELL the consumer upfront that you will not make him/her spend 15 minutes rating every aspect of your digital experience. Instead, create a digital experience strategy with a vision statement that clearly states what experience YOU aim to deliver.
Then, derive the three characteristics of your ideal digital experience, and ask consumers for those. I understand the business need for detailed feedback. However, make sure you ask for that type of feedback on a per project basis.
Understand User Experience Conventions
In his article 8 Simple Tactics to Improve Your Website’s User Experience, Akshay Dhiman talks about the importance of following conventions in designing user experience. What he calls conventions are the habitual things a visitor to your website looks for. This includes simple expectations like seeing your logo on the top left of the screen, or accessing a search feature in the header.
It still amazes me how many websites have main navigation menus that CONFUSE the end user and fail to take the user where they need to go. This is particularly prevalent in associations and non-profit websites. Your website is not supposed to have all the information you have collected in the last 20+ years. It is a channel to communicate with your engaged visitor, and to inform him/her of the products and services you have in an easy, accessible way.
What do I mean by accessible? You want to make your information easy to absorb. Do not say everything that could possibly be said about your brand in your website copy. Summarize, elevate the message, and synthesize the results. This is the best practice that will lead your web visitor on a digital journey. I do realize that we are back to copy (and more work!). But those who understand the dependency of web copy and customer experience fundamentals will win the digital experience race that COVID accelerated.
Regardless of your industry, do not undermine the importance of your web experience. In the future, its importance will continue to grow. Use your imagination to leverage it in new ways.
This article is the 7th in a series of 2021 Customer Experience Trends and Tactics.
What is Human-Centered Design and how to Leverage it in 2021?
At its core, design is about value creation. In the world of Customer Experience, value-driven design requires CX professionals to use empathy to imagine a future customer experience that is…
Culture Is King – The Power of Employee Centric Culture
In 2017 we introduced our ROI series recognizing the challenges all customer experience professionals have to obtain funding for CX initiatives and to prove their positive returns. Our second ROI…
Customer Experience, Self Service, and the Gift of Time
Time is the most precious gift in life. If you think about it, time is the one thing we all want more of. As we get older and busier, time gets even more valuable to us.
Create Your Tribe: How Great CX Makes a Lifestyle Brand
Newcomers to the market realize that their business is only as strong as the growth of their customer base. With that in mind, senior leaders work hard to shorten the distance between them and the customer.
Travel Experience Stories: How Not to Leave Customers Stranded
Meet Diane, and get to know her travel experience story. Diane is traveling with her 2 year old and 5 year old to her in-laws’ house for Thanksgiving. This is…
Do You Know Why The Iconic Brand Toys ‘R’ Us Closed Doors Despite All Our Memories? #RetailBlues
The year is 2016. You are the CEO of Toys ‘R’ Us. Your brand still controls 13.6% of the toy market although the company is highly leveraged, a strategy of…
Poor Integration is Bad for Customer Journey and Worse for Brands
Although we all have bad customer experiences, there is still a big debate about “the CX field” and whether it will survive the test of time. There is no doubt…
Aviation Industry, Coronavirus Isn’t the Only Thing Killing Us
Eighteen years ago, September 11th caused a three-day halt of the US commercial airlines and resulted in a 31.6% reduction in travel in September 2001 compared to the previous year….
Lessons Learned at the Forrester Conference: “Data is the New Sexy”
Once a year I look for an event to attend where I can learn something new and get better at what I do. This year, I attended an event hosted…
Customer Experience Survey: Why Customers Are Not Responding
When you solicit customer feedback sometimes matters more than how you ask the questions. In the case of a survey about new biometrics boarding initiatives my team and I created for JetBlue, we had a list of feedback that was most important for us.
3 Ways to Create a Better Employee Experience Strategy
Guest Post by Gabe Smith, CCXP for The Petrova Experience The relationship between employee experience strategy and customer experience has long been discussed. Without engaged employees, we’re told, it’s difficult…
Why You Need Culture Not Call Center Training for Customer-Centric CX
If the organization does not understand what customer experience is, you will not get the funding or organizational support you need to build customer-centric experiences.
Customer Experience Design – How Do You Want Customers To Feel?
Last week, we talked about CX Design in terms of space and function. Today, we continue our CX design journey to talk about the design of emotions and feelings. The new…
What is Customer Experience? What are the Faces of CX?
Each area of CX represents a path for CX professionals to impact business health and build successful careers. One of my favorite CX analogies is that it is like the blood in our bodies. When CX is done well, it touches every aspect of an organization. That’s what makes customer experience so much fun! You will never be bored working in CX.
Freelance Customer Experience Lessons for Freelancers
For small businesses and freelancers alike, it’s important to recognize that your business is as strong as the relationships you build with your customers. That’s just one of the key…
Customer Experience Audit: eBay’s Vibrant Marketplace of the Future
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Customer Experience Audits. They highlight advances in artificial intelligence in retail and other technologies. See all audit stories. Two years…
Customer Experience Audit: FedEx Omnichannel Disaster
In our Strategy, Org Design & Culture series we cover customer-focused companies that are willing to adapt, take risks and discover new ways of staying relevant. Sometimes, we encounter brands…
Customer Experience Audit: Domino’s Making the Right CX Choices
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Customer Experience Audit – as series of articles featuring examples of good customer experience and bad customer experience in practice….
Culture Starts at the Top
Without a leader who believes that today’s business success is about acquiring and retaining customers, you cannot even begin the process of building a culture. Leaders who are passionate about the customer are also passionate about creating culture and employee engagement.
WeWork Does CX Right with a Wow Moment
Used at the right time and place along the customer’s journey, the Wow Moment is an excellent retention technique. When a brand creates personal, relevant experience at exactly the right time, it can build a lifelong, loyal customer relationship.
Would You Pitch In To Save Toys “R” Us For Your Children To Experience? #ToysRUsGoFundMe
Last week we laid out the big moves that the leadership of Toys ‘R’ Us failed to take to evolve with customer needs and thus joins other brands as examples of…
Why Bt2B Businesses Must Think Like B2C in the Next Decade
B2B vs B2B thinking makes a real difference when it comes to customer experience. According to Gartner at least 80% of B2B buyers now expect the same buying experience as…
Let’s Get You Certified as a Customer Experience Professional!
Like all mature professions, customer experience has a certification that is internationally recognized. Adding it to your resume will signal to the business community that you are serious about customer experience and your aspiration to be part of its leadership ranks…
Why Customer Retention is the True Measure of SaaS Success
Guest Post by Callie Reynolds for The Petrova Experience In SaaS (Software as a Service), like in most businesses, sales is king. Sales gets the glory, and while I’d like…
Even the US Government is Jumping on the Customer Experience Train
As we get ready for 2021, we have been diving in to the top customer experience trends we see on the horizon. So far, we have looked at why customer…
Holiday Wishes for Great CX: Career Advice Edition
Every successful customer experience initiative starts with a skilled CX team. Brush up on your CX skills to strengthen the business case for CX; to develop relationships within your organization; and to deliver standout customer experiences in the new year.
4 Career Tips to obtain a Customer Experience Role
In honor of the 4th of July, we are rounding up 4 career tips for CX professionals. Set aside some time during the break from work to take stock in your CX career and evaluate the steps you need to get to the next level.
Leadership During the Pandemic: Guest Post by Rachel Dreyfus
This is a guest post by Rachel Dreyfus, President, Dreyfus Advisors, who researched leadership during the pandemic. How has Covid19 influenced leadership over the past three months? Research results show…
Are You Ready to Go Exclusive with Jane, Your Digital Concierge?
In 2015 JetBlue introduced bag fees. Seven years after the competition. The media exploded. Many publications were negative. They blamed the airline for “selling out.” One headline read “A New…
Autonomous Customers, Traveler Privacy and More Questions for CX Professionals in a Changing World
“As we move toward a more automated culture, most travelers will adapt to a Jetsonian, automated lifestyle. Every industry we know will be disrupted. For those of us in aviation,…
How to Prepare for AI: Dispatches from CR Summit, Charleston
On the eve of the #CRSummit in Charleston, customer experience leaders from various industries held the first AI Committee meeting. AI is a challenging topic to cover because it has…
Customer Experience Technology View of your Call Center
By 2022 the global cloud based contact center market is growing from USD 6.8Bn in 2017 to 20.93Bn in 2022. This makes for CAGR of 25.2%. If you do not…
From Pain Points to Magical Moments: Transform the Customer Experience
Argyle Journal interviewed Liliana Petrova about emerging self service technology and meeting and exceeding customer expectations in airports. One such way, as Liliana explains, it to create magical customer experience…
Hospitality Experience and Why We lack Seamless Travel Experiences
Hospitality is taken for granted across government agencies, airlines and hotels. In my line of work, I often hear “I want to have the JetBlue customer experience.” Although many claim…
Get Customer Experience Basics Right and You Don’t Need to Invest in Wow Moments
Wow Moments are a Customer Experience hot topic. Customer experience professionals ideate how to build, prioritize, finance, and measure these Wow Moments. Chip and Dan Heath wrote a whole book on the topic: The Power of Moments. No Wow Moment saves you from negative word of mouth if your brand fails to get the customer experience basics right or to deliver the expected brand experience consistently.
Coronavirus Travel: What Does Hospitality Mean Now?
I want to tell you about my recent passenger experience. Earlier this week, I traveled to New Orleans from JFK Terminal 5 in New York. I had planned an airport…
Customer Experience Audit: Starbucks Bets On The Physical Experience
Starbucks is opting in for the physical experience in order to become a lifestyle brand while other brands are investing in omni-channel experience.
A Customer Experience Strategy will Define Your Success in 2021
While there may not be a magic pill to guarantee the perfect customer experience, there is one thing that every organization needs to transform into a customer-centric business. And that…
How to Extend Your Travel Experience Value Proposition
Last December the Ladders published that discusses business travelers who extend travel beyond the timeline of the business trip. The article says, “[a]ccording to a new study by La Quinta by…
Employee Experience Strategy and Customer Experience Depend on Strategy
This week, Andy Newman wrote a great article in The New York Times about the life of a retail sales agent. He used the example of an Old Navy sales…
What Can Casino Consulting Firms Learn from Airlines?
Today we’re talking about casino experience. Casinos and airlines are similar in their operational complexity and sense of wonder. They also are similar in the way they can implement technology…
Customer Experience Audit: Cadillac Scores Millennial Customers with Future-Forward Thinking
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a Customer Experience Audit series. See all the audit stories. The automotive industry is right next to the airline industry in terms of…