Posted on: May 3, 2013
Congratulations! You’ve been running a testing program on your website for a while now. You’ve optimized those micro-interactions, you’ve got your conversion points humming. Now what?
We work with our partners to not only increase conversions, but to advance their optimization programs by thinking strategically in key areas. A critical piece of the process is moving the conversation from marketing to experience, which really means to stop talking about numbers, and start talking with customers.
Web analytics will only show you what to optimize, but not how or why. Listening to the Voice of the Customer provides the next layer of insights to really help your testing program become more customer centered, impacting the overall user experience.
It’s easy to be lulled into thinking of your site as a lead generating machine. But what will keep your customer coming back? Why will they continue to interact with your business? It’s most likely because you supply something they want or need. Imagine what could happen if you could ensure they really felt good about working with you? If they felt like you were the one who could really listen to them?
A quick gut check on the tests you’ve been running may feel like it’s all been about the quantitative metrics. Now is the time to consider more qualitative data.
When you start to talk about the qualitative side of measurement, we’re really talking about the people – our users, and how they experience our digital domains. So we decided to turn to the customer for some direction.
Step 1: moderated prospect sessions
We collected people who fit the prospect persona and yet were not closely familiar with the site or the brand. We gave them several tasks to accomplish on the site, including:
- Enter the site directly.
- Enter through an ad seen on a search results page.
- Use the site to take the next step with the brand (This provides insight into what users see the next step to be!)
- Encouraged users to be very vocal as they browsed, telling us what they expected and what they actually got, when they were confused and what made them frustrated.
We were able to record where our test group clicked and what they said, but we also were able to record their faces as they navigated the site. The qualitative data gained from the sessions allowed us to note where they looked and their facial expressions as they proceeded through the given tasks to really see how they experienced the site.
Step 2: tie their needs back into your tests
After our research, we gathered our findings and held a brainstorm with the full team to go through the test results page by page and brainstorm ways to organize and prioritize testing based on the research.This exercise helped underscore the differences between what a business determines to be its conversion funnel and how users perceive the path to closing the deal.
Actions speak louder than words, and by understanding how users are really using a site — what they want that they’re not getting — you can help make lasting changes that have a deep impact on your customers. When you improve the experience of the customer, you deliver not just a good or a service, but you begin to foster a relationship. And that is what lets a business thrive.
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