Once upon a time, the product or service was everything. Your business succeeded or failed based solely on its strength. But times change.
While quality of what you’re selling remains important, it’s no longer the only thing being evaluated by modern consumers. The overall user experience – or UX – is the new king.
UX includes design, interaction, utility, marketing, performance, accessibility, and usability. It’s everything your customers see, hear, and do from start to finish of their buyer journey. And it’s their emotional response to it, too.
With so much choice out there, you have to provide a top-notch experience in addition to a top-notch product if you want to attract, get, and keep customers.
In short, you have to design everything with the end user in mind. Your product or service. Your online presence (website, social media, content). Your marketing. Your communication.
If you remain sceptical – as any savvy business owner should be – consider the following: Consultancy firm Walker predicts that UX will surpass both price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020. Not decades from now…less than six years down the road.
And what exactly does that mean? The overall quality of the user experience will become more important than both the product/service itself and the cost of it when consumers decide between you and your competition.
A better UX will mean more revenue, more retention, and more referrals. Better conversions, better brand reputation, and better search engine rankings. It reduces dissatisfaction, complaints, and churn. All good things.
Still sitting on the fence? Food for thought:
- 90% of users have abandoned a mobile app due to poor performance
- 88% are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience
- 57% won’t recommend a company with a poorly built mobile site
- 52% say a bad mobile experience makes them much less likely to engage with a business
- 48% believe that a website that isn’t optimized for mobile shows that a company just doesn’t care about their clients
- 40% leave a webpage that takes longer than 3 seconds to load
Mobile responsiveness – making sure your website looks great on a mobile phone or tablet – is crucial. Smartphone internet consumption increased by 78% between 2010 and 2013. We shop, research, browse, and investigate products, services, and businesses online, and increasingly on our phones. That’s a keystone to your UX strategy. Likewise your website design. It needs to be fast, aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate, and informative. It needs to limit the amount of ads, and banners, and pop-ups.
Another UX component is how you engage and communicate with your customers. They want multiple channels – email, phone, social media, website, videos, infographics, podcasts, blog posts, and more. They expect high quality and useful content from you – Google changed its algorithm in 2014 to make the user experience with your content (ranked against usefulness, quality, originality, popularity and sharing) key to performance on its search engine – and they require lightning fast responses when they reach out to you. Most consumers expect an answer to a complaint on social media in less than an hour. And they want that communication and engagement to be personal: Dear Dylan rather than Dear Customer.
The user experience is everything. How your product and customer service look, feel, and behave.
Hard work? Perhaps. But companies with a focus on improving their UX have increased revenue by 37%, and 86% of people believe it’s worth paying extra for an exceptional customer experience. UX Motel lists an average return of $100 for every $1 spent on delivering a better UX.
So how important is the user experience? It’s paramount. It’s everything. It’s the very future of your business success.