Your users are the sole reason your brand stays in the black without them, you would crash and burn. Unlike in the 1960's, offering a good in-store experience through attentive store assistants and samples is no longer enough to boost overall CX. You can have as many free samples as you want but if your digital experience is lacking, then you risk disappointing and losing loyal customers.
Digitally you need to be offering your users high-quality CX through shared values and intuitive experiences which aren't too complex or confusing. Generally speaking, CX covers brand consistency and recognition, loyalty, humanistic engagements, accessibility and user personalisation. Failure to address these key points will result in one-off buyers, decreasing revenue and high bounce rates.
"64% of customers say that shared values create a trusted relationship with a brand" - Source
Getting to know your users is one way for you to increase CX but most companies just rely on brief buyer personas which could be months or even years old. Let's view it another way, do you believe you have the same needs or opinions as you did at the beginning of the year? Most likely the answer is no. Perhaps you have gotten married, had a baby, taken up a new hobby or just decided to be a nomad. Your opinions are changing every month and so are your users. Out of date buyer personas simply aren't enough and are most likely weighing your brand down, instead of pushing it forward.
Where do I go from here?
We know that out of date buyer personas aren't worth your time and we know the 5 tenants of CX (brand consistency, loyalty, humanistic engagements, accessibility and user personalisation, just in case you had forgotten). Next, you need to understand your users and I don't mean simply read some articles about your target audience and guess what they want, I mean really get down into the core of what drives them.
How do I do this? I hear you call. Perform detailed usability tests which focus on actionable insights. The great thing about usability tests is you can personalise your testers to fit your target audience. Whether you focus on a certain age group, location, user interests or all of it put together, a good testing company will be able to perform this type of usability test without adding on extortionate additional charges.
Doing this will increase the amount of repeat or loyal users on your site, increase sales and brand recommendations. After all in our connected world, one voice can have the power of a thousand voices, as users are now able to digitally vocalise their opinions to an audience of millions. Don't risk begin digitally called out like these companies:
One last thing
This is probably the most important part of this whole process. Don't keep your CX results or recommendations to yourself and the management team.
I cannot stress this enough. If your internal teams have no idea why they are making changes to your website or who they are even meant to be targeting then the entire project loses meaning. Keeping your internal teams informed will improve the quality of their work and consequently CX.