The best customer experiences online are often the ones that are not noticed. The hard part for brands is maintaining the quality of experience across their digital platforms. It requires three things, consistency, anticipation, and non-stop testing and iteration.
Consistency is key
One of the first steps to creating a great customer experience online is by creating consistency across a brand’s digital channels. To create this consistency, implement a style guide and a content plan for your brand to set expectations and ensure a consistent customer experience across your digital platforms.
Creating and using set styles for your brand allows your customers to focus on their task at hand and not the shift in fonts or colors from one touchpoint to the next. The process of choosing fonts may seem like an easy task, but there are numerous instances of use that have to be planned for, from how and when each font is used to setting rules for color, weight, and size of fonts when used.
When creating a style guide consider:
- When and how should the brand logo be used?
- Will the headline and body copy font be the same?
- How and when will font size or color change?
- Does a serif or non-serif font fit with the overall look and feel of the brand?
- Make sure you are choosing a web font?
Creating a consistent voice via social media, email, and website channels is critical to creating a great customer experience. Creating a content plan establishes the appropriate tone and voice the brand should use on its digital channels. Creating consistency in tone and voices doesn’t make the brand sound monotonous, it ensures that all copy sounds as if it were one person across all mediums.
When creating a content plan consider:
- Tone and voice: Is the brand smart or playful, open-minded or focused?
- Is it appropriate for the brand to be funny? If so when?
- Point of view: Does the brand have a polarizing point of view or a neutral one??
- How should the brand talk about itself?
- Is the goal of the brand to be informative or to tell a story??
Establishing a consistent brand style and content plan ensures that no matter where your customer interacts with your brand it is a consistent experience.
Anticipate your customer’s needs
When planning your customer experience take time to understand their needs. Although there is no way to predict every click or interaction,putting the time in up front will go a long way to easing friction points for conversions.
Anticipating your customer’s email needs
Creating a seamless and consistent experience via email is difficult to do well; from maintaining brand tone to ensuring consistent cross-browser and email client rendering of the email. Thorough planning will save a lot of time and headaches.
When planning for your brand’s email needs, here are several questions to think about:
- How are the brand’s customers reading their email? Are customers using mobile devices or desktop computers more?
- How often will emails be sent?
- What time of day will the emails be sent?
- What is the purpose of the email? A sales promotion? An upcoming event?
Anticipating your customer’s website needs
A poorly planned (and executed) website can ruin the promise of even the best products and services. Planning your brand’s website for your customers will remove the risk.
There are a several of ways to help anticipate customer needs. Customer interviews, customer personas, and user testing are commonly used to better understand the customer on a brand website. Once you know what to focus on, you can begin to plan for interactions and content.
Focus on answering these key questions will help create a website experience that anticipates your customer’s needs:
- What is the purpose of the brand website? Sales? Lead gen?
- What is the simplest way for website customers to do what they need to do?
- Is the purpose of the website clear or do customers have to search for the answer?
- How often do customers visit the site before converting?
- Will the brand website use a cookie to save customer sign-in information removing the need to sign-in again?
Easing the path to purchase or providing important information right away creates a better experience for your customers.
Never stop planning and testing
Planning doesn’t stop when the website launches or an email is sent. As you collect data from your efforts, the next step is to improve on what works and fix or eliminate what doesn’t to help increase conversions and boost your bottom line.
The work of making your brand consistent across every touchpoint does not end. The digital medium is constantly changing, what works today may not tomorrow. Never stop planning and testing to ensure a consistent customer experience across all your digital properties.