By: Christy Green On: August 14, 2015 In: Contact Center Comments: 0

We’ve been talking about the importance of providing a superior customer experience by making it easy for your customers to work with you. In my last two posts, the first 6 steps I outlined were focused on setting up web self-service and properly optimizing your site to give customers an omni-channel experience. Today’s suggestions are about tracking and measuring, which are equally important, but often overlooked!

Let’s take a look at three contributing factors: customer feedback, site performance and personalized experience.

Customer Feedback

To provide a superior customer experience, it is important to:

  1. Have an intimate understanding of your audience.
  2. Detect when there is a change in their behavior.
  3. And most importantly, take action!

As you know, there are many different methods for gathering customer feedback, including:

  • Surveys such as customer satisfaction surveys (CSATs)
  • Metrics such as Net Promoter
  • Web analytics and search logs, such as Website Analysis and Measurement Inventory (WAMMI) services
  • Getting customer feedback on individual answers
  • Conducting firsthand customer interviews and focus groups
  • Doing usability testing and collaborative design

There is no one right way to understand and empathize with your users, so information may come from a variety of sources. Companies that take the time to continually measure and improve their Web self-service experiences, based on customer input, are the ones that are most likely to achieve their business goals.

Measure the Site’s Performance Data

Consider the following:

When an individual Web page takes a significant amount of time to load, that increases the overall site bounce rate. Since users tend to be somewhat impatient, a slow, awkward Web self-service experience is likely to cause abandonment to an assisted channel that costs your company more. Unfortunately, this aspect of the user experience is often overlooked during Web design.

There are a variety of free tools you can use to do a quick check-up on the current load performance of your Web self-service site, such as www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze. It’s quick and easy and provides an analysis and recommendations.

In addition to technical performance, it’s also important to measure the business performance of your Web self-service experience. One key performance indicator is the deflection rate (self-service success rate may be a more accurate term since it describes the true benefit of Web self-service), defined as the percentage of site visitors that are able to obtain the information they want without having to engage an agent in some way.

Healthy self-service rates may vary considerably, and there is no particular target number you should strive for. Depending on the nature of the business, some companies have a 20 percent success rate and are looking to decrease it whereas other organizations have a 90 percent or higher rate and are trying to increase it. However, it is important to keep careful watch over this key performance indicator, because it provides the greatest overall snapshot of Web self-service.

Deliver a Personalized Experience

Personalized experiences build brand loyalty. Remember, your customers love it when you make things easierfor them!

Here are a few recommended ways to personalize the online experience:

  • Don’t force users to re-enter login information when they are already logged in to another portion of the site, using a single-sign-on capability.
  • Automatically populate data fields and other site information if the user is already logged in or has entered similar information on a related page. Enable users to edit or modify these fields as desired.
  • If applicable, enable customers to “register” their product, and remember this when the customer submits a support incident or visits your Web self-service site to find information.
  • Provide special contact channels or custom knowledgebase articles, depending on the user’s service level agreement (SLA).
  • When a customer is authenticated, welcome that person with a personalized greeting. There are often many opportunities to provide other nice-to-have personalization options.

Use your imagination, and put yourself in the customer’s shoes as you evaluate your Web experience: what little extras would help you have a better, more pleasurable, less painful experience?

If you’d like help with your web self-service evaluation, ask us about our complimentary Web CX Pathfinder.
Check out the series!

Avoid Customer Servitude, Part 1

Avoid Customer Servitude, Part 2