Head of UX Alex Turnbull explores how to make welcoming digital Customer Experiences, as measured by our PulseCX benchmarking tool.

SCENE: MIDMARKET RESTAURANT – AFTERNOON

Doorman:

(Opens door)

“Good afternoon Madam, Sir.”

Maître d:

(Enthusiastically)

“Mr and Mrs Turnbull. So nice to see you again. How are those mischievous children of yours? Would you care for your usual table? Of course, right this way…”

FADE

Nice welcome, right? How though does that compare to the online experience of the very same restaurant? It might go something like this:

SCENE: MIDMARKET RESTAURANT WEBSITE – 3AM

Customer:

(Walks into website)

“Hello, I’d like to…”

Interstitial banner:

(Jumps in front of the customer, shouting)

“SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER!”

Customer:

(Searching for close button)

“No thanks, I’m already signed up actually.”

Cookie banner:

(Blocks entrance to restaurant)

“Do you give us permission to record you for your entire visit and all future visits on any medium of our choice and sell that data to any company we choose in future?”

Customer:

(Pushing past the banner, annoyed)

“I actually just want to book a table?”

Booking form:

“Welcome customer 642. Which location are you interested in?”

Customer:

(Sighing)

“The one I always go to.”

Booking form:

“If you’ve visited us before, please use the previous visitors' booking form, over there, otherwise please tell me your name.”

Customer:

“Actually, never mind.”

(Closes browser tab)

FADE

This one… not so welcoming. Sadly, this situation isn’t in the slightest bit unusual, but what went wrong? Clearly there was no recognition of the customer at all, and they were treated (as we all so often are online), as a completely new customer with no connection or shared history whatsoever with the brand or their website.

How can this be though? Surely GDPR dramas, cookie crackdowns, data breaches and password leaks have taught us all that our online data is readily available to anyone who cares to look for it. But the day-to-day reality is that many brands are only engaging with the most basic of the available customer data, utilising crude tools without any clear strategy and inadvertently developing actively-hostile user experiences for their current and potential future customers.

Brands need to know who they’re talking to and then tailor the experience to increase relevance.

Get your users logged in, and keep them logged in. Position the experience of being logged in to your site as being so much better than being logged out that your users won’t be able to resist. Once you have someone hooked into your system to that level, then you can truly start the process of actually learning who they are, how they think, and how you can use their purchases, preferences, history and behaviours effectively, allowing you to provide personalised, welcoming and rewarding experiences that keep them coming back time and time again.

I’m not saying it’s going to be easy – it took Amazon a very long time to become the default shopping platform in the UK – but this is how they did it. How are you going to make it work for you?

To use our PulseCX benchmarking tool to discover how welcoming your site is compared to your competitors contact Managing Partner Phillip Lockwood-Holmes on phillip@whitespacers.com.