The art of being successful in business can be narrowed down to your ability to sell. Sounds simple, but getting it right is much easier said than done. How do you make people interested in what you’re selling and how do you get them to actually make a purchase? Nowadays we live in a data-driven world and this is shaping our understanding of the customer experience. Understanding analytics, its uses and how it fits in to the customer experience is the key to answering the ‘how’ questions.
What is the customer experience?
In short, the customer experience is everything. In more words, it is everything your customer experiences while they interact with your business. Everything from first impressions when visiting your website, to how they’re treated when they contact customer service and what sort of aftercare you offer. This all factors into the customer experience and consequently, their perception they have of your business.
Why does it matter?
Branding is crucial to stand out in competitive markets. Why should people buy from you instead of a competitor? Your branding will play a key role in determining this and a brand that gets this wrong will lose customers who would otherwise buy from you.
What’s important to understand is that you simply can’t please everyone. Many people look to companies and expect them to be socially conscious nowadays, representing and standing for particular causes and beliefs. When you advocate for a certain issue, you will put off the people who hold opposing views. You will also displease customers who think companies should stay out of advocating for social causes or issues. How do you know which customers will appreciate social advocacy and which won’t? Moreover, how do you know which causes will resonate with your audience? This is where the role of analytics comes in.
Understanding analytics in the customer experience
Data is more important than ever to understanding and shaping the customer experience to fit your market. Analytics involves the capture and analysis of that information to help feed you the information you need to better target your audience.
Chances are your website is one of, if not the single richest data source you have available. You should be using some form of analytics on your site in order to capture your visitor data and understand how they are using and interacting with your website. Google Analytics is probably the most well-known example of this type of software, but it is by no means the only one.
What can analytics do for me?
Analytics captures a wealth of information, from where you customer is located, what page they land on when they visit your site, the journey they take through your site and when they leave. While they are on your site you can capture how long they spend on each page, where they click and even generate heat maps of where on the page their attention is focused.
What can analytics do for the customer experience?
Analytics can help you understand what works for your audience and what doesn’t. Do people even notice that special offer banner at the top of your website? Do people actually read the newsletter subscription pop-up, or do they immediately close it? Are you losing customers during the payment process because there is some obstacle in the way putting customers off?
Seeing what works and what doesn’t can help you avoid repeating mistakes and enables you to add more of what does work, boosting customer engagement and sales. Analytics combined with other tools like A/B testing can really help you fine-tune the customer experience and tailor it to exactly what your audience wants.
Why does the customer experience matter?
Every company has a brand. There is an image they present to the world and there is the image customers have of that brand. These two things are not always aligned with each other, and this mismatch can cause friction and lost sales. You might think your brand image is funny and irreverent, but if your customer experience is needlessly complicated and frustrating, your customers aren’t likely to think so.
Using analytics to truly understand the customer experience can help harmonise the image of your brand that you want to project and the image of your brand that customers hold in their head.
About the Author
This article was written by Patrick Hanley of APC Physio. Patrick has utilised analytical tools like Google Analytics to compare the number of visitors on specific pages of his website to the actual conversions. This has enabled him to identify landing pages on his website like the Sports Injury page that need to be worked on to improve the customer experience.