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To put it simply, no customers = no business
Gaining and retaining customers is such a crucial component to a business’ success. This digital age however has further distanced that traditional face-to-face customer service experience and relationship. It’s even more evident in our current climate, which is drearily shadowed by this pandemic. People are now much more likely to complete daily tasks such as shopping, banking, and socialising via their devices – both for safety and convenience. This heavy reliance on online platforms can result in quite a few businesses falling short, struggling to adapt and accurately implement and embrace digital transformation.
It is truly up to the business to strengthen and maintain this connection to their customers. To make them feel appreciated, listened to and supported.
So how do we bridge this gap?
1. Get to know your users
It may sound simple, but finding out your users’ needs, wants and pain points is something that a lot of companies don’t always recognise.
As much as we like to think that our users are like us, they are not. They’re all unique individuals with differing experiences, opinions and backgrounds. It would be foolish to generalise. Instead, we must embrace this individuality.
This is where user research comes into play. User research utilises methods such as user interviewing, surveys and contextual inquiries to gain a greater understanding of actual users, along with their needs, expectations, and goals. It’s important to find out what your audience need and value in order to create a tailored product that will be beneficial and usable to them. If your user is happy with your product and their overall experience, they’re far more likely to recommend you and become a loyal, returning customer.
How we applied it
Compare & Connect is a utility comparison tool that provides huge amount of data to businesses and other platforms. We needed to refine Compare and Connect’s brand and design to create a user-centric, competitive platform. In order do to so, this is what we did:
We interviewed users to uncover their process when using the brand and their pain points and requirements
We discovered our user’s top values:
- Appropriate pricing (competitive)
- No spam or unsolicited contact
- Smooth connection with no problems
2. Be personable
As mentioned before, a lot digital experiences take away that lovely face-to-face transaction and ability to build personal rapport. But, you can still create a very personable experience through a screen through a variety of techniques.
Tone of voice
On a website, you’re really having a conversation with your users, so it’s clear that a carefully considered tone of voice is important.This also relates to our next section on branding (spoiler alert, I know.) A clear tone of voice will set your brand apart even if your product doesn’t. Tone of voice is an expression of brand personality. You’ll notice as you browse the world wide web how some brands seem rigidly formal, whilst others are ridiculously casual. This is reflected greatly by copy. According to Nielsen Normal Group, tone of voice can be categorised into four dimensions:
- Funny vs. serious
- Formal vs. casual
- Respectful vs. irreverent
- Enthusiastic vs. matter-of-fact
Deciding on your tone truly depends on what makes sense for your company and who you are trying to attract.
Bombarding your users with multiple messages across different platforms will get you confusion, not loyalty. We’ve all been there – and it almost feels like you’re getting ambushed. It makes you just feel like a number in the company’s mind, simply used for profit.
Messages can include subscription emails, order follow ups, delivery notes or text message alerts. It’s important to find that balance – to be informative but not too pestering. It’s also necessary to incorporate your tone of voice into your messages to maintain that consistency.
Speaking from personal experience, something that brings me an obscene amount of joy is when receiving an online order with a little handwritten “thank you” in it. Now I know that this isn’t realistic for all businesses, but it just goes to show that adding a little touch of “human” into your process can go a long way and create that loyalty.
How we applied it
Planned to express a more approachable tone for the website by creating a chatbot-like questionnaire.
- Makes the users feel valued
- Adds a personal touch
- Reduces the need for call centre help
3. Look into your brand
Branding is more than your name, selected fonts and some flashy colours, it’s how you distinguish yourself from your competitors. It’s how you legitimise yourself. It’s how you make yourself memorable.
Strong branding provides a sturdy foundation for the rest of your business. It provides consistency, increased visual appeal and evident authenticity. It also allows businesses to tell their story, share their values and present their vision. If a customer resonates with these values, and feels that you are credible, they are far more likely to stick with you in the long run
According to some statistics from December 2020 (https://www.smallbizgenius.net/by-the-numbers/branding-statistics/#gref)
- Presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.
- 89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values.
Branding is more important now than ever before. It’s critical to build a brand that positively shapes the rest of your business. It’ll guide you into promoting awareness, displaying validity and retaining those valued, loyal customers that we all want.
How we applied it
- Facilitated a branding workshop with our clients
- Found the focus values that our clients wanted to “be”
- Designed a sleek and modernised logo with these values in mind
Check the full case study of Compare & Connect here.
These are just three of many ways to increase customer loyalty. It’s evident that the user experience concept goes far beyond a digital interface, there is much more that affects a user’s overall experience and impression of your brand.
Customer loyalty is one more reason to pay close attention to your client’s experience. Investing in this will only bring you an advantage – so what’s there to lose?