With 97 percent of consumers indicating their purchasing decisions are influenced by an online experience, it’s evident that user experience (UX) is now inextricably linked to the overall customer experience. Just as living the brand message extends beyond the marketing department, so too, has UX extended beyond the domain of the web design and development.
Moreover, a good user experience is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s an expectation, as illustrated by the 89 percent of consumers who said they would switch to a competitor if an online experience was poor. To transform your customers into brand advocates, a positive user experience must be part of every interaction a consumer has with your brand.
User experience is a subset of the overall Customer Experience
While having aesthetically pleasing UX may initially drive ROI and conversion, the overall customer experience is what drives repeat business and brand attachment.
When preparing a user experience strategy, knowing your buyer personas and understanding the customer journey as it relates to each persona is essential. Only after you understand this can you design a customer experience strategy that makes the consumer the hero. You may consider the services of a user experience agency to guide you through this process.
Gables Residential is a great example of a brand strategically using UX to make the customer the hero, enable sales, and create a seamless customer experience both online and offline. By approaching the problem through the eyes of the consumer, Gables was able to find a way to delight customers and convert sales. The company developed an iPad sales application that gave leasing agents tools that covered the entire lead to lease process. The sales app is integrated with the customer-facing search tool which enables customers to search properties in real-time and then forward the search preferences and profile to the agent. By making the prospects’ lives easier, the brand successfully positions itself as the guide to empower customers to arrive at their desired destination.
User experience must be fully aligned with your Brand Story and Strategy
Your brand story must be incorporated into every aspect of the user experience, online and offline. Each touchpoint should align with your brand story in a way that speaks to your customers and invites them to engage.
Apple, the world’s most valuable company, is renowned for its stellar design and product UX. But, even for Apple, pretty design and good aesthetics alone aren’t enough. Its brand story is aligned across the organization and incorporated into every aspect of the user experience. From hardware to software, applications, and in-store experience, the simplicity and clarity of Apple’s messaging is intertwined throughout the whole customer experience.
In its stores, laptop screens are adjusted to a recommended angle that causes a glare, so prospective customers have to adjust the screen to see it. This multi-sensory experience increases buyer interaction with the products and helps evoke a sense of ownership pre-purchase. Apple’s consistency in user experience increases brand attachment.
A transformational user experience is clearly aligned with a brand’s story and strategy.[tweet] The marketers and leaders who are innovating and transforming the customer experience understand that UX goes far beyond digital design. It’s a sales enablement tool, an opportunity to create customer experiences that engage and delight, and a vital subset of the overall customer journey. In order to create an effective and revenue-generating UX strategy, you must distill your brand story down to six seconds. Learn how to bring simplicity, clarity, and alignment to your brand’s story, strategy, and systems in our latest book, Marketing Interrupted.