A not so surprising fact according to HubSpot: 65 percent 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 percent 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:
Must Have #1 : Answer the needs of the consumer
There is a temptation for organizations to choose new technologies that internal staff think are great, but have no impact on the consumer experience. Even worse, some new additions to their 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 that new technology search.
Must Have #2: Make it measurable
There is a great way to determine the impact of a new technology on the digital consumer experience: make sure measurements and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) 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 data parameters can be put into place to make that quantification easier.
These measurements can include: how quickly a consumer gets to a completed action on the website; how easy information can be accessed (how many pages to get to content) and how often it is accessed; or even what options are available for additional contact (chat box, form, email or phone). Take the time to work on those measurements.
Must Have #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 what change caused an improvement in the experience. It also can make the consumer 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 do smaller and simpler changes over a period of time.
Must Have #4: Understand long-term impact
Changes to technologies can have longer-lasting 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, are there 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 still be in business in a year, two years or five years? Can someone else, like 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.
The bottom line seems clear – if companies do not invest in the digital consumer experience, there is a potential risk of losing those consumers.
Must Have #5: When in doubt, ask
There is no cost to a conversation. When there is any doubt, simply ask. Not sure what needs customers have? Do a poll or form a focus group and find out how they use the current technology and what improvements could be made. Wondering if a potential new 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.
Lisa Apolinski is an international speaker, digital strategist, author and founder of 3 Dog Write. She works with companies to develop and share their message using digital assets. Her latest book, Persuade With A Digital Content Story, is available on Amazon. For information on her agency’s digital services visit 3DogWrite.com.
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