In mid-March, Litium and our partner Ateles will be broadcasting a webinar on conversion optimization led by UX experts Carolina Carlgren and Matilda Nilsson. You can view the webinar at the bottom of this page. You will find a summary of the webinar content here.
Many companies today underestimate the importance of the customer journey and therefore fail to recognize potential pitfalls and points of friction. For example, it is easy to see an ad and develop a specific expectation, but if it doesn’t deliver on that expectation, the entire experience becomes a negative. This is something I myself experienced all too clearly the other day when an ad popped up on Instagram for a fleece jacket I had been eying for my son. When I saw it in that moment, I thought I would make the purchase. But when I clicked on the ad, I only got to the message “product is not found.” So my customer experience ultimately ended in failure, and the store in question lost a sale. It was certainly no win-win deal.
In order to improve the customer journey, and by extension, conversion optimization, Carolina and Matilda recommend four steps, which I go over in a little more detail below.
1. The way you start should look different depending on the project
The problem for many is how to tackle the issue of improving the customer journey, and the kind of start a project gets off to depends, of course, on the experience. It is important not to get weighed down in the minutiae of the process – the important thing is to adopt a mindset with a full focus on the customer. One helpful piece of advice to help you get out of the gate is to start with a “proto-personas,” a stripped-down version of personas. An especially good idea here is to create a dynamic document with parameters that include the prioritization of personas and conversion-boosting and conversion inhibiting factors. The most important thing in this step is to create a common view around your product or service and to always maintain a focus on the customer.
2. Build a framework through your requirements management work – both for new and existing products
It often happens that internal forces pull in different directions and that shortfalls in the customer journey are therefore discovered too late. One way to avoid this pitfall is to use “User story mapping,” an approach that gradually maps the customer journey and broadly divides the requirements. At its core, User story mapping is about what a person does and why. Once you understand that, value automatically becomes the most central aspect instead of function.
Another focus in step two is to work to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), which adds value to the brand through the continuous re-evaluation and refining of the product. A good way to describe the MVP is the so-called Kano model, which is a way of working with everything from basic needs to expressed and unspoken needs. Something that many businesses fail to recognize here is that investing in these unspoken needs actually often results in more satisfied customers – at a lower cost!
3. Validate the customer journey during ongoing projects
It is a fallacy that user tests cost more than the benefit they bring; in fact, quantity is not what is important here. By testing just five customers, about 80% of the problems and friction points emerge. It is easy to work from an inside-out perspective, but user tests provide the outside-in perspectives you need to validate the customer journey.
The focus in step 3 is therefore on creating concept sketches that are later transformed into visual elements in order to be able to test actual users and gain customer insights at this early stage. The most important thing to keep in mind in this step is that you need to be able to push reset and set aside those old ideas. The iterative approach, build – test – learn, ensures that your MVP work does not fall by the wayside. When is the MVP good enough? That is actually up to the customer.
4. Focus on CRO in your customer journey work
Too many businesses get bogged down in the backlog of the customer journey, with insights taken from an inside-out perspective. This approach will not lead to an increase in conversions.
Take a smarter approach – collect insights, quantitatively and qualitatively, side by side. Quantitative insights, such as data analysis and technical analysis, can pinpoint where you are losing your customers, and qualitative insights, such as user tests, interviews and surveys, can tell you why.
Then sort the insights into those that must be done, those that need to be investigated further and those that need to be validated. By continuously validating hypotheses, even a bad outcome can be beneficial, because they can be removed. Then you can determine what are the most important measurable goals – those that actually serve as validation to show that the customer journey is getting better and better – and measure customer satisfaction in the long run.
In other words, if you hope to increase conversions and get repeat, satisfied customers, you need to make your customer journey part of your everyday routine. Would you like to learn more about how you can improve your customer journey and increase conversions? Don’t miss our webinar (in swedish)– you can watch it here!
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