Why User Experience is Critical to Customer Relationships

Why User Experience Is Critical To Customer Relationships

You might be wondering, how does the design of your website relate to customer relationships? We get it, there’s no actual face to face contact. But customers relationships in 2017 go way beyond real life interactions. A lot of what we do is done online, which means the digital touch-points with customers are becoming just as important as face to face meetings.

Let’s take two scenarios to demonstrate this.

Scenario 1 – A customer walks into your clothing store and has an excellent experience. They find their way around the store easily, they love the products on display, and when a sales rep offers them help, they end up feeling valued and buying something.

Scenario 2 – A customer visits an e-commerce shop selling clothes. They can easily navigate to the right page, and the product filters are so accurate they find the item they want within seconds. They read the content on the product page and feel an instant connection to the brand, and end up clicking ‘add to basket’.

These two scenarios may initially seem very different, but they have one core thing in common. Customer service.

We’re facing the reality today that a lot of what online shoppers perceive as ‘customer service’ is how easy and enjoyable it is to use a website.  

It’s now or never

With so much competition online, your website is your customer relationship tool. If your customers have a positive experience on your site, they are likely to come back time and time again. If you fail to provide a favourable user experience for them, they won’t hesitate to go elsewhere in a heartbeat. And what’s more, if they have a negative first experience, it’s unlikely they will ever bother visiting your site again.

So you’re goal is to always serve them up the very best content and offer a design that is easy to use. User experience is related to customer relationships as well as your brand reputation overall. And there’s also a lot more that you can do when it comes to offering outstanding online customer service than you think.

Ways to use UX to enhance digital customer relationships

You can provide an online help or chat service, for example, so that sales executives can be on hand to tend to your online customer’s every need. People might not be able to see an actual person in front of them, but they can still get the assistance they need and connect with your online team in a positive way.

You can also build positive customer relationships via the way you speak to your customers online. A.k.a your website content and messaging. Communicate how valuable your customers, show them why you are better than your competitors.

With the amount some companies spend on digital marketing these days, they just cannot afford to disengage with a customer once they finally land on the website. Then all that marketing budget is wasted, and you’ve lost the chance to build a lasting online relationship with your customers.

Think about striking the perfect balance between encouraging conversions and sales, and bombarding your customers with too much sales jargon. If someone walks into a shop and gets hounded by a salesman (like being targeted by an OTT car salesman), they might just turn around and leave. Your website can come across as too pushy and ‘salesy’ too, which can also result in website visitors disengaging.

So as you can see, user experience really is critical to customer relationships. You should be placing as much emphasis on your online user experience as you do with your in store efforts. Show your valuable customers your brand in the best possible light. Offer them a user experience that’s superior to your competitors and you will continue to build strong, lasting online customer relationships.

Andrew Machin
Andrew Machin

With over 15 years’ experience in web design and digital marketing Andrew has helped many brands, both in the UK and US, create exceptional digital experiences, from websites to in-store retail experiences, such as John Lewis, Jet2, Virgin Holidays and Interflora.

Through the success of such projects Andrew has received accolades that include high-profile awards that span innovation, strategy, design and results such as the Dadi Grand Prix Award and the Digital Impact Award for Innovation.

This experience has led to Andrew judging digital design awards, been featured in .net magazine, lecturing at Leeds university and speak at seminars and conferences across the UK.

Follow Andrew @The_Machin

Articles: 108

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