Online engagement: it’s all about the user experience

Posted by Lucille Moreton on May 26, 2016 at 9:00 AM

 

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You can’t ignore the Internet, and believe us, neither will your customers. From research to actually purchasing a product in the ‘offline’ world, the web is taking up a huge portion of your customer’s time and gives them an immediate first impression of your brand.

So why do people talk about customer experience and user experience as if they were different things?

What’s the difference between user and customer experience?

In common practice, the term has come to mean the experience within a website, where as customer experience encompasses all interaction a customer has with a brand and its products.  The key difference lies in which context the consumer is having the experience, though it’s true that these often overlap.

Customer Experience: From online to offline 

Online engagement relies a great deal on what we call User Experience (UX) - which is the functionality and ease of using the website itself - but it also needs the solid foundation of the real-life experience (from delivery to purchase) to back it up and drive the sale. Neglecting either of these two aspects may leave you with an unfinished and unsuccessful marketing campaign.

While online user experience is discussed more often, we’ve taken the guidelines that are most often given for a website, and broken them down for any experience you could be offering anywhere.

Here are our top 5 tips to apply across all online platforms

1. Speed

This is an easy one. Whether online or offline, customers do not want to wait for your site to load, your queues to dissipate, or your call centre to pick up the other end of the line. Make your processes light and speedy for an instant customer connection.

2. Simple navigation

Looking for something and not finding it is incredibly frustrating – and your customers agree. Set up the smoothest journey to purchase that you are able to by making it as clear and direct as possible in bricks-and-mortar establishments, on social media, your website, and in your above-the-line activities.

3. Appealing visuals

Aesthetic appeal is often left as an afterthought, but eye-catching and bold design, coupled with ease of navigation and information structure, can create an incredibly rich and personal experience both in-store and out.

4. Straightforward information

Don’t beat around the bush. Find out what your customers need to know, and tell them in as few words as possible, wherever they are reading or watching.

5. Peer reviews

Word of mouth is still a powerful tool. Online and offline, customers have a huge influence with their peers, so allow the conversations to develop, and let your customers speak for your product. Online, a great way to do this is with social media, where customers can interact with one another and with you.

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Topics: Marketing

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