Investing in customer experience should be a top priority for any business looking to stand out in the coming period, and there are numerous reasons for attempting to get it just right.
For one, buyer behavior has shifted significantly over the past two years. In 2021, approximately 70% of buyers reported changes in shopping behavior, which meant that brands offering inferior CX experienced lower levels of loyalty and profit declines.
Secondly, research shows that delivering an exceptional buyer experience allows businesses to see higher returns, with CX leaders seeing 3x higher returns than CX laggards.
Thirdly, it’s essential to remember that today’s buyers want to support brands that put their customers first. A PWC survey from 2018 found that:
- 73% of US consumers pointed to customer experience as an influential factor in buying decisions.
- 43% of people were willing to pay more for a superior CX.
- 65% found CX to be more effective than advertising at getting them to convert.
Unfortunately, though, with most brands, the concept of customer experience equates to customer service. Yet customer service is just a single touchpoint along the buyer’s journey.
Great CX, however, is achieved by a much more holistic approach. It necessitates a proactive strategy, which aims to make every potential customer touchpoint as streamlined as possible. And, it turns out that website user experience has a lot to offer in optimizing those touchpoints.
This post looks at the relationship between UX and CX. More precisely, it explores several high-impact CX goals and suggests ways for using front-end design to make those goals more easily attainable.
CX Objectives & UX Strategies to Accomplish Them
CX Goal: Foster Brand Loyalty and Reduce Churn
There are many benefits for brands that are ready to invest in developing a superior customer experience. Two of the top ones include customer loyalty levels and low churn rates.
A recent Gartner analysis discovered that high levels of customer satisfaction directly influenced their likelihood of becoming loyal clients. This satisfaction is driven by buyers’ perception of value received during interactions with the brand and not just the quality of customer service.
According to this study, exceptional CX led to:
- An 82% decrease in buyers’ likelihood of switching brands.
- An 86% probability of satisfied clients increasing their spending with the brand.
- A 97% chance of happy buyers spreading positive word of mouth.
UX Solution: Offer Visible In-Person Support
A UX design strategy that helps brands boost loyalty and reduce churn rates is making it clear to website visitors that the organization in question is 100% committed to delivering an exceptional experience at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
An always visible chat feature – like the one used by Ultimate Meal Plans, for example – is an excellent way to let potential buyers know that they can expect instant support.
Note how the chat icon displays a photo of the customer service representative and information regarding the agent’s online status. Furthermore, see how the business uses website copy to invite first-time visitors to get in touch, making it clear that it cares about helping people get the absolute most value for their money.
All of these are small UX changes. However, they send a strong message and undoubtedly contribute to a superior overall customer experience.
CX Goal: Improve Brand Perception
Most entrepreneurs fail to understand that the buyer’s journey (and therefore their customer experience) doesn’t commence when potential customers start evaluating products. The purchasing process begins much earlier. It sometimes begins even before people realize they have a pain point that could be solved by a product/service.
For this reason, businesses looking to build a one-of-a-kind CX must also invest in brand perception, which benefits both buyers and brands.
On the one hand, improving brand perception allows businesses to develop brand value and equity (automatically boosting revenue while decreasing costs).
But much more importantly for the customer experience, investing in brand perception also benefits potential buyers. It:
- helps them predict the value they can expect to get from their purchase
- makes it easier for them to choose products that will effectively solve their pain points
- opens up their eyes to the additional benefits they stand to receive by picking one brand over another
UX Solution #1: Display Credible, Trustworthy Social Proof in Story Form
In 2021, 99% of buyers used the internet to research local businesses, opting for brands that:
- delivered great CX
- had high star ratings, and
- responded to all user reviews
Knowing this, one great UX strategy that can help improve brand perception is to utilize credible and trustworthy social proof.
Businesses should aim to employ next-level UX design to secure the absolute best outcomes of using social proof to strengthen their brand.
One superb example of how effortlessly UX can boost CX when presenting testimonials comes from Shortcut. The brand’s homepage lists several features offered by the SaaS solution.
But, what makes the UX next-level (and a positive influence on the CX) is that each feature section is followed by a testimonial where Shortcut’s happy clients point out the exact functionalities that help their businesses prosper.
UX Solution #2: Tell Customer Stories
If you’re after an alternative method to improve brand perception, consider shifting the spotlight from your brand and onto your customers.
For example, Asana utilizes UX design to encourage web visitors to check out the featured customer stories. The video below goes into a lot of detail regarding how the client uses Asana’s software, mentioning specific benefits like easy onboarding and versatility.
But, what really stands out is the quality of production and the relatability of the struggles mentioned. These UX choices help position the client as the hero of the story, acknowledging the importance of their work and showing how proud Asana is of playing a role in its clients’ successes. All of this makes it easier for companies to choose Asana as their go-to project management tool.
CX Goal: Shorten Sales Cycles
One of the best ways to ensure your potential clients receive an exceptional customer experience whenever dealing with your brand is to optimize the sales process.
A great way of doing this is by investing in the development of marketing messages for every single stage of the buyer’s journey. This high-returns strategy ensures that your prospects are presented with fully-optimized content at every step of their journey, receiving information that’s relevant to their unique experience.
Unfortunately, however, some customer journeys take too long. The average number of touches between awareness and sale falls at around eight. Long journeys cause prospects to become fatigued, resulting in them choosing the wrong solution or completely giving up on their purchase.
So, the logical solution is to find ways to shorten the sales cycle and make the buyers’ journey less strenuous for your target audience.
UX Solution: Provide User-Friendly Product Evaluations
One way to use UX design to shorten the sales cycle is to add user-friendly product evaluations to your website.
When done just right, these can help prospects experience the benefits of a product early on in their buying journey, making it easier for them to make better decisions about the products they invest in.
For example, if you check out the Affinda invoice extractor page below, you’ll see that it allows potential customers to test the brand’s core product. The process of extracting invoice data is super simple, relying on the user-friendly UX mechanism of drag-and-drop. The result is a feature that not only looks great but, more importantly, does what it claims to do. This ensures a successful customer experience (and a heightened chance of conversion).
To take this UX tactic a step further, you could draw inspiration from Quetext’s plagiarism checker page. It’s a brand that makes its product previews even more customer-oriented. The page includes a “How it works” explainer section. There, it instructs potential subscribers on using the UX feature and presents valuable advice on how to get the absolute best results for their needs, especially in the section that explains citations.
CX Goal: Increase Order Values
According to data from December 2021, people take two things into consideration when choosing what brands to buy from.
- value-for-money, with 69% of online buyers prioritizing it over other factors.
- convenience, with 56% of people requiring it from eCommerce stores.
This goes for both online and offline shopping. So, when trying to improve the customer experience, brands should look for ways to help buyers solve their pain points as efficiently as possible.
A great way to do this is to encourage customers to address multiple needs with a single purchase.
This doesn’t just make shopping more convenient for buyers. It also benefits sellers, as it increases order values and automatically boosts customer lifetime value while reducing operational costs associated with processing small orders.
UX Solution #1: Order Customization
One great way to employ UX features to increase order value is to allow order customization.
The Optimal Workshop pricing page, for example, permits potential buyers to indicate the size of their team. The user-oriented element is an excellent solution. It allows Optimal Workshop to provide its target audience with always-relevant offers and drive a higher revenue than if it only showed three preset subscription plans, as is often done in the SaaS industry.
UX Solution #2: Intelligent Cross-Selling or Upselling Functionality
Another way to use UX to boost order value is to employ intelligent cross-selling and upselling functionality.
For example, when shopping with Function of Beauty, web visitors are prompted to complete a quiz about their hair type. Once they have provided all the data, buyers are presented with a custom shampoo formula that meets their needs. And then, during the checkout process, the site employs an intelligent cross-selling function.
This feature suggests additional products the buyer might want to add to their order, allowing them to boost their overall customer experience and benefiting the brand by getting people to buy more of its products.
CX Goal: Increase Order Frequency
There’s one thing that most brands fail to understand when looking for ways to improve the customer experience. It is that, for a lot of people, shopping is a form of stress relief.
A study from 2014 discovered that making purchasing decisions helped people cope with sadness and gave them a sense of control over their environment. Moreover, almost one-third of social media users utilize social networks to find inspiration for things to buy.
And the great thing is that exceptional customer experience can help your audience feel the positive effects of shopping with your brand. Plus, it can benefit your business as well, increasing order frequency and improving cash flow.
UX Solution: Personalization
A UX tactic that can encourage people to shop with your brand more frequently is to employ the power of personalization.
In November 2021, McKinsey found that 71% of consumers expect personalization. And back in 2017, Segment discovered that following personalized shopping experiences, 49% of consumers made impulse purchases, and 44% became repeat customers.
So, if you’re ready to use personalization to improve the customer experience, it’s not a bad idea to look for ways to add it to your site via UX design.
For example, the Barner website features a fun-to-use Virtual Try-On UX element that allows potential buyers to see how they would look wearing specific eyewear. The personalized experience is not only fun but also helpful to those who have to make challenging purchasing decisions.
Firstly, it minimizes the risk of the item not meeting expectations. And secondly, it increases the chance of buyers being happy with their purchase, maximizing their chances of buying from the same store in the future.
CX Goal: Shorten the Length of Support Interactions
Lastly, as you look for ways to improve CX and make your business your audience’s top choice, don’t forget to optimize customer support.
Brands that excel at delivering an enjoyable experience employ engaged and helpful customer service operators. They have highly efficient and informed sales teams. And, perhaps most importantly, understand that today’s customers want quick answers at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
UX Solution: Make the Experience of Learning About the Product Enjoyable and Easy
When using UX to improve CX, one great way to do it is to predict and answer the questions your target audience is bound to have when shopping on your site.
The brand Voices, for example, has a fantastically user-oriented homepage that utilizes every single piece of screen real estate to explain the product in a clear and approachable manner. The copy is written very well, and on top of that, the brand’s design team chose UX elements, like the collapsible FAQ section, filtered search function, and tag-enabled categories section, to make it absolutely effortless for new prospects to learn about the brand’s offer.
Note that this isn’t just a great thing for buyers (who won’t have to wait for support agents’ replies). It also cuts costs for the brand, as it successfully uses front-end design to minimize the amount of time its staff spends on customer inquiries.
Alternatively, you could achieve a similar effect with video. For a fantastic example, take a look at how Klaviyo did it. This brand presents its unique value proposition through video, addressing its audience’s main pain points, then introducing its software as the best way to solve those pain points. It’s a great way to make learning about the product easy. Plus, it scores high points for brevity as well, seeing that the video is under three minutes long.
Great web design makes it substantially easier for businesses to meet their goals. But brands that want to truly stand out have to understand that today’s consumers want more than great aesthetics.
In 2022, consumers want exceptional experiences at every stage of their buyer’s journey, signaling that the absolute best way to approach front-end development is to make it serve CX. The UX strategies listed above are all great ways to achieve this. So don’t hesitate to give them a try and allow them to help your company reach its full potential.