Keeping an eye on the competition means keeping an eye on competitor’s hacks.
In this industry merging functionality with ease of use for our customers is key.
However, in an ever-changing industry keeping up with the trends can be a challenge. These hacks, or tricks to making things easier for you and your customers can be simple or more complex but they’ll nearly always result in improved customer access which will ultimately increase sales and turn users into ‘promoters’.
On UX, Gartner writes:
“The effort to ensure employee adoption of an intranet is starkly different from efforts to engage consumers on the Web, and both are different from urging supply chain partners to provide accurate product information. Even within business-to-employee (B2E), B2B and business-to-consumer (B2C) domains there is limitless variety in what works and what doesn’t. Organizations are different; cultures are different; users are different.”
What are the three keys to product hacking, which allow for UX experts to increase productivity?
1. Cache ALL Customer Data
It’s amazing how few businesses actually pay attention to this as part of the user experience.
As form information is entered, be sure to cache it in all form fields, so that your users will not have to redo this at checkout. A faster checkout means less wavering at the point of sale, and faster and easier experience for the customer. In addition, you’ll likely get more sales. Fewer minutes spent refilling in information means a more likely sale.
You’ll likely see an immediate increase in the number of completed transactions.
A word of caution however, when you need to find language to notify your users of incorrect/incomplete data entry, try to avoid negative trigger words such as “wrong, invalid, and failed” instead try to use positive language like “please try again” or “please fill in a valid postal code.”
These are just tips to help you keep customer frustration to a minimum. Remember, every potential customer is a potential promoter so make it simple for them and you’ll see an increase in customer base.
2. Test. Test. Test.
Generating growth means that you are paying attention to how easy it is to interact with your site. Learn from how your users are using your product and design/redesign around this information.
Remember, if your mom can’t use it, it is likely that 80% of potential customers can’t either.
Identify a few main points of concern for your users, and focus your efforts on eliminating those immediately.
You’re the expert so of course everything easy for you and your colleagues/employees to complete, but you’re not your customer.
Make it easy for them by testing and then testing it again. You need to test before and after every change and prior to a new product launch. Testing (with users unfamiliar with your work) is key.
3. Overhaul Your Customer Service Metrics
Are you looking only at those metrics from customers who have completed transactions with you? If this is the case, you may be missing critical opportunities. Consider revamping the way that you collect data and look at the entire customer experience from the very first point of contact. Understanding the interactions from start to finish (or start to exit!) is imperative to understanding exactly how your customers may be affected by your site. Some businesses have identified their metrics as akin to a “cheat sheet” because not only does it measure their performance, but it also gives you significant data on what your customers want and how well your support works. It’s minimum effort for a great return on investment.
Gartner analyst, Jim Murfey, states:
“Simple usage doesn’t always indicate successful adoption. End users may log in to a portal every day, but logins rarely equate with productivity. Too many organizations cite a high percentage of daily logins as evidence of success, and make no progress toward a business goal of, for instance, improving customer satisfaction or shortening time to productivity for new employees.”
A customer-facing sales portal results in more sales, not more usage.
These tips can help you build on an already strong design.
Sometimes the best solutions are the most simple, so don’t get concerned about enormous or expensive overhauls. Remember, it’s the day to day changes that turn customers into promoters.
Make these three changes today, and your user experience will be measurable (and you’ll have the metrics, and test results to prove it.)