If you know exactly how visitors are interacting within the pages of your website then you can take your optimization efforts to a whole new level. Suddenly you will discover small elements that you never thought could impact your conversion so badly:
- The positioning of a promotional banner that’s hiding your call to action.
- The form field that’s discouraging people from checking out.
- The poorly-worded instructions that cause customer frustration.
The list of potential website pain-points are many and varied according to the industry and specific conversion goals of the digital channel. But in every case, if left undiscovered, such optimization issues can be fatal to the long-term success of an online business.
This infographic explains how ClickTale uses real customer insights to provide marketing with a deep understanding of how visitors experience your site. And from that – a clear indication of why your conversion may be lower than it should. Without such a granular view you are limited to the ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘who’, which, while important (and provided by regular analytics tools), does not answer the vital ‘experience-level’ questions that you need to create optimal customer experience and meaningful conversion uplift.
CMO’s today recognize that growing the online CLV is a strategic imperative. The majority of customer interaction with a brand going forward will be via digital channels. Just in the retail sector alone, digital channels are responsible for nearly 10% of direct revenues and over 50% of indirect revenues today.
It’s all very well thinking about how your online business is going to acquire more customers. But if your conversion rate is only 1% then the wastage in time and resources is enormous.
The so-called 80-20 rule (aka; the Pareto principle) also helps highlight that most of your online business (roughly 80%) comes from a only a small number of engaged visitors (roughly 20%).
CLV is therefore the lens through which we should be looking at future business growth. And our main question should be: how do we optimize customer acquisition spending for maximum CLV?
3 Ways to Build Customer Lifetime Value using DCX:
1. Understand your Customers’ Digital Experience
A central pillar of sustainable CLV is brand loyalty. A recent Econsultancy report found that an overwhelming 89% of company respondents believed that a great customer experience is key to driving brand loyalty.
But the only way to really understand your customers is to empathize with their experiences. To see through their own eyes. In the academic world this is known as Standpoint Theory. This states that “our locations within society shape the way in which we understand and communicate with ourselves and the world around us”. What does this mean for online businesses and CMO’s? That you can only really understand your customers’ pains and frustrations by standing in their shoes.
Back to the digital world then; Digital Customer Experience (DCX) platforms can provide this level of granularity into the experience of individual customers by recording their every online move – mouse move, click, swipe, scroll and attention.
This individual-level data can then be analyzed in its own right or automatically compiled to provide a customer experience map for every website page. The same technology can then be used to iron-out hidden or unexpected usability hick-ups that are impacting online customer experience.
2. Personalize Your Online Offering
As any marketer is aware, not all web visitors are equal. From our 80/20 rule it should be obvious that online visitors need to be segmented – and you need to start paying greater attention to those with higher ‘conversion’ potential.
- Are there specific customer segments looking for a quick deal?
- Are there specific demographics that want to compare prices before they checkout?
- Do some segments insist on reading customer reviews before making a purchase decision?
Every company should first identify its customer segments using tools such as Adobe Analytics or Google Analytics. Once identified, the next step is to drill down into how those specific segments behave and interact with your site using your DCX platform. Once you’ve identified their behavior – begin to create personalized experiences that maximize the value from your most profitable target segments.
3. Mitigate Customer Support Issues
If a website visitor has already had a negative experience then the damage is already done. Even if he makes a purchase this one time, it will probably be his last. The problem is that customer support can only react to customer pain. And its expensive. And sometimes – if not managed correctly, it can pour more oil onto the fire by adding frustration to the initial dissatisfaction.
Voice of Customer (VOC) feedback is often touted as the solution to customer experience optimization. But by the time a customer is frustrated, the feedback they provide is probably less than useful (“this site really sucks!!”). However, by connecting that feedback to the individual Session Playback recording in the DCX software you can immediately understand what caused that customer’s frustration.
As a customer, how often have you been frustrated by having to explain your experience to a customer support rep? What if you’re transferred again and again – each time having to hold, then explain the same problem to a different person? What if you don’t even speak the same language? The solution is for customer support staff to begin analyzing the Session Playback recordings of their customers in real-time. This way, they will be able to quickly understand the issues and mitigate support issues far more effectively and efficiently.
Conclusion: Stop Acquisition $$’s Going to Waste!
- If a customer feels that their online experience is intuitive, fun and informative they will become lifetime customers.
- If a customer feels that their future support issues will be resolved without stress or frustration they will become lifetime customers.
- If a customer feels that you – the business, recognize them personally and understand their individual needs then they will remain lifetime customers.
We live in exciting times for brands. Digital Customer Experience technology offers a powerful way of answering customer expectations and ensuring that the money you spend on acquisition generates more lifetime customers – the real force multipliers for your business.
Book a Private Demo to find out how ClickTale’s digital customer experience solution can help you transform more website visitors into lifetime customers.
DCX: Now An Integral Part of Enterprise Marketing
Digital Customer Experience (DCX) is about the marriage of two terms we’re all familiar with: ‘Digital Analytics’ and ‘Customer Experience’.
Just a few short years ago everyone was talking about the importance of measuring the success of our websites and marketing campaigns. And so was born ‘Digital Analytics’ in the shape of Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics.
In recent years however, marketers have realized that numbers, while essential to the measurement of performance, only provide a partial view of what’s really going on online. What was missing was a ‘qualitative’ indicator – a measure of how people ‘feel’ and ‘behave’ in response to an online experience.
And by missing out on that ‘qualitative’ indicator, companies found they were losing millions in wasted online revenues, not to mention customer loyalty, repeat business and positive brand reinforcement.
As a result, the conversation has today shifted towards the idea of not just measuring, but understanding and optimizing the entire customer experience online. (expand the image on the right to see how digital analytics differs from ClickTale’s DCX, for example)
2 Main Assumptions of Digital Customer Experience
Behind this new field of marketing lay 2 main assumptions that represent the new frontier of online businesses success. These assumptions are already part of the day-to-day best practices of some of the most successful brands in the world:
- That there is more to digital success than one-off conversion.
- That delivering good website design and compelling content is just the tip of the iceberg to developing real online customer satisfaction.
Now that online businesses are finally understanding the power of Digital Customer Experience, how do you harness it? How can you better understand and engage your users with your digital resources and marketing tools?
This Thursday’s webinar will answer many of these essential questions and more:
Join guest speaker John Dalton, VP, Research Director at Forrester Research as he discusses the main trends and insights from the February, 2014 report: “Digital Customer Experience Trends, 2014”.
Highlights from this report include:
- The new breed of digital innovators blending online and offline experiences
- The resurfacing of the privacy debate
- How failed digital experiences can have serious repercussions on profit and reputation
- The pursuit for user experience (UX) talent
- The focus on mobile to drive customer experience innovation
Will a red call to action result in a higher conversion rate than a green one? One of the most controversial topics in web design is the issue of color. This subject attracts a great deal of attention, based on the notion that the color of an object can affect the way we feel about that object.
The Priming Effect
Color is shown to be a signiﬁcant determinant for both website trust and satisfaction. Color has the potential to communicate meaning to the user and inﬂuence the visitors’ perception through the priming effect.
This is when the exposure to one stimulus then influences the way we response to a further stimulus. In this way the exposure to a certain color can influence the visitor’s reaction towards the site in a ‘carry-over’ effect, meaning that the emotional reaction towards a color can be translated to positive or negative interaction with the website.
Our Reactions to Color are as Individual as our Experiences
There have been numerous (unsuccessful) attempts to classify consumer responses to different individual colors. Those finding reveal that the reaction towards color is more determined by personal experiences. As a result, it can’t be universally translated to specific feelings. What this means is that our reactions to color are not absolute. So there is no collective preference for one color over another. So in our initial example, there is very little evidence to support that a ‘green’ call to action will universally make people purchase a product more often than ‘yellow’ or ‘red’.
Growthgiant ran an A/B test for CareLogger, a health app that allows users to keep track of their diabetes. They tested call to action buttons in two different colors to determine which attracts more clicks. “After 600 signups with the exact same call to action and just a different color button, the red version saw 34% more conversions than the green”.
Color is Not as Important as Persona in Determining Conversion
After seeing these results, most designers would then conclude that the red CTO leads to a higher conversion rate. But, an analysis of a similar example’s heatmap and session replay showed that that conclusion was based on partial information only.
The true reason for the difference in conversion is often due to the buyer persona rather than the color: Those that convert tend to be more ‘impulsive’ buyers (see the left hand heatmap). The analysis showed that they progressed through the page and the form quickly without attention to details, while those that failed to convert were more focused on the content of the page (the right hand heatmap).
Now that we have this vital information, action items for improving the conversion of the site could include:
- Shortening and improve the quality of the content
- Changing the layout on the page to streamline the journey
- Shortening and simplifying the form, etc.
Thus color was a questionable part of the overall online customer experience and far less important in contributing to the overall optimization and conversion.
Use Color in its Relevant Context
Anthony G. Greenwald and his colleagues observed that people make connections much more quickly between ideas that are already related in their minds. For example; the strong cognitive link between man and soccer. Or women and makeup.
We are primed to connect ‘man’ and ‘soccer’ due to their strong connection in our mind. These connections were developed through the socialization process and are culture related. But we can also use this concept to connect colors with products or offerings.
Our reactions towards colors stem from the conditioned links between a certain color and what this color represents.
Thus, if pink is automatically linked to pretty little girls, this well established connection can be used to communicate a brand’s desired image in the consumer’s mind (Madden et al., 2000). For example, if a new website for girls clothing uses pink, it actually takes advantage of everything that this color stands for.
Conclusion: No Hard and Fast Rules
At the end of the day, there is no set of hard and fast rules that can guide you through the process of choosing the right color for your websites. But, color should be connected to the specific message one wants to convey. Black can fit nicely for a business website but not for a wedding website for example. The usage of a specific color should try to take advantage of our cultural experiences and rely on our existing associations.
To understand how customers really experience your website, book your own private demo with a ClickTale expert consultant.
- Better understand what their site visitors were purchasing
- Organize the data and isolate the products that were frequently purchased together in order to discover customer buying patterns
- Expand functionalities of the website to accommodate these customer patterns—for example, making it easier for users to add extra dining chairs when purchasing a dining room set
It’s no secret that the insurance industry worldwide faces multiple challenges: Price competition in non-life sectors such as motor insurance are driving down premiums and profitability; low interest rates in most western economies deter people from buying savings products; and more competition is popping up from banking, financial and even online giants such as Google and Amazon, who are increasingly dabbling in the insurance game.
As a result, many companies in the space have experienced a contraction in profitability. However, a silver lining does exist. Some companies, feeling that squeeze, have reacted by forcing greater innovation in the online space. And in fact, despite the challenges, the insurance sector has grown at an enormous 26% since 2010 from $4.1 trillion to an expected $5.1 trillion in 2015 - much of it due to online.
Online Insurance – The Gold Rush Frontier
Due to the inherent nature of the space which lacks a real ‘shop’ interface with customers, and thanks to the increasing scope of mobile and tablet devices, insurers are rushing to invest in their websites and their website customer experience.
This new gold rush frontier means that companies can quickly expand their pool of potential customers (using social media), make fast sales and develop brand trust (via the website), communicate and troubleshoot with customers personally (via online chat), and at the same time, keep costs reasonably low.
And that means that the customers’ online experience is now critical to the business success of the insurance company.
Multiple Online Journeys & Challenges
The customer online journey for an insurance site is typically made up of 3 elements: ‘find’, ‘choose’ and ‘buy’. In addition, these can be further broken down into a number of specific goals.
A successful insurance website must therefore provide superior user functionality and experience across all of these different goals:
- Provide a platform for direct selling of insurance products
- Provide a means of researching and comparing different policy products
- Viewing specific policy details
- Making changes to policies already acquired
- Paying premium bills
- Contacting customer support/company reps
To add to the already complex list of tasks above is the fact that online experience trends vary whether the user is looking for life-related products or non-life related products. For example, motor and home insurance products have become far more “commoditized” in recent years and therefore are more of an ‘impulse buy’ today. Conversely, life insurance continues to be much more a ‘considered purchase’.
Implication: Carefully Study Your Customers’ Online Body Language
The insurance sector will shortly be a $5.1 trillion business. And the key growth catalyst is the web, helping providers attract new customers while decreasing marketing and administrative expenses.
In light of the considerable challenges and range of goals that the insurance site must answer, developing a competitive edge is contingent upon a deep understand of online customer experience. Vendors have no choice but to evaluate the online body language of their web visitors to understand where they struggle and why they potentially leave.
Some Questions You Should Be Asking:
- Does the customer want to checkout quickly and easily on a specific product page? Or are they looking for further information to build trust?
- Was the customer able to compare policies easily? Or were they intimidated by too much text?
- Does the website provide a logical flow to the checkout? Or are customers getting frustrated way back on the home page?
- Is it easy to get a quote? Or is the online form too invasive and tedious?
The only way to answer these and many other similar questions is by using a Digital Customer Experience solution that shows you how customers scan, scroll, click and swipe across and within the different pages of your website.
Once aggregated into overall trends, this detailed view helps you to optimize your site for your different target audience needs – based on gender, demography etc. (by integrating with Adobe Analytics). Furthermore, it will enable you to apply these customer experience insights to more quickly make the right website optimization changes (by integrating with A/B testing tools).
Stay tuned for more on website insurance optimization and conversion, coming soon…
Book your own private demo with a ClickTale expert consultant.
- Enhance existing, already processed GA data with imported dimensions and metrics.
- Upload calculated values after a transaction occurs, like total customer spend, last transaction date, or a loyalty score.
- Correct any errors in data you have uploaded to GA in the past.
|Illustration of a new Google Analytics report with data from multiple sources|
If you understand that A/B testing is in part, a guessing game, and if you further appreciate that there is serious $$ value to be made by reducing that guesswork with clear observations of how customer behave, then tomorrow’s webinar is a must-watch for you:
Join Jessica Braman, Customer Experience Consultant at ClickTale and Ryan Lillis, Optimization Strategist at Optimizely as they discuss integrating ClickTale and Optimizely and how this helped Forbes remove the guesswork from their A/B testing.
During the webinar you will learn how to:
- Leverage ClickTale and Optimizely integration to deliver superior digital customer experience.
- Prioritize your A/B testing hypotheses according to value and urgency.
- Get conclusive results from your A/B testing.
- Compare and understand why different versions work better.
- Quickly identify and resolve areas of customer struggle on your website
One UX design trend we see popping up again and again is the mimicking of real world objects on the web. Also known as skeuomorphic design, from the greek “skéuos” meaning container or tool and “morph” meaning shape. In the online world this refers to a web object (or functionality) that retains the design, look or functional characteristics of the original.
Encourage Better Understanding Through Real-World Association
Used to create a visual metaphor, the main purpose of this design is to increase the familiarity and the association between the product and its real world counterpart. Visitors can thus quickly tap into shared cultural understandings from the world of real objects and things. This helps UX designers to convey complex meanings in a more straightforward manner.
Gambling Sites: A Practical Web Example
A good example of the skeuomorphic design trend can be found in gambling sites, most of which attempt to mimic real-life casinos.
To start with, there is the sound of coins; then a somewhat dark design to emulate a real casino atmosphere. Sometimes loud music puts players in the right gambling mood; and finally a ‘gambler of the day’ provides a constant reminder to the presence of other players in the game.
All of these casino-like elements are designed to portray the social air of a real bricks and mortar casino. However – the underlying assumption here is that online gamblers are all “transplanted” live gamblers. Is this assumption really true, then?
Do Online Needs Differ from Real World Needs?
Research conducted by Cotte & Latour (2008) found that online players can be clearly distinguished from real-live casino players and have different needs.
To test their theory they conducted thirty interviews comparing Las Vegas gamblers with online gamblers.
The results were quite astonishing:
- Casino gamblers showed negative emotions towards online gambling, primarily because online gambling lacks the desired social interactions of the real-world casino.
- Conversely, online gamblers also perceived this lack of social connectedness in virtual gambling – but for them it was a positive characteristic, and one of the crucial reasons why they were happy with their choice to gamble from the comfort of their home.
It was that lack of social connectedness that led them to choose the online environment in the first place.
This intense and ongoing cycle of social interaction is what helps physical casino gamblers reignite their desire to gamble. In contrast, online gamblers do not go through the same stages of emotional preparation when they play online.
If we take our example back to UX design then, we arrive at the understanding that some web visitors intentionally choose the digital media in order to escape from real world engagement. So, casino-like, skeuomorphic design elements on a website could actually harm the visitors’ experience, as they are looking for a way to escape from social interactions and from the inherent emotional intensity of the real casino.
Conclusion: Research Your Audience Before Investing in Skeuomorphic Design
Because digital media is sometimes used to provides a route of escape from social connection, it may not be so important to re-create “interactive qualities” for some types of websites.
In short, it is extremely important to learn who your visitors are and what they need or want. Are they social beasts or loners? Do they look for real flesh-and-blood social contact or prefer to just tap the screen? Users must be given the opportunity to disconnect if they want to, as interactions often demand cognitive resources that some people may not be ready to invest!
Cotte, J., & Latour, K. A. (2009). Blackjack in the kitchen: Understanding online versus casino gambling. Journal of Consumer Research, 35(5), 742-758.
Sanfey, Alan G., et al. “The neural basis of economic decision-making in the ultimatum game.” Science 300.5626 (2003): 1755-1758.
Premack, D., & Woodruff, G. (1978). Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind? Behavioral and brain sciences, 1(04), 515-526.