Think about some of your recent encounters with the companies you interact with. Not just the good ones, but the bad ones too.
The lawnmower you just had serviced and were told was in “like new” condition when you picked it up starts spewing smoke and making a weird sound minutes after you started using it. You immediately call the shop, ready to offer a piece of your mind only to be met with a sympathetic ear, an abundance of apologies and the offer to pick up your mower from your home and discount the cost of repairs.
That is a GOOD customer experience.
On the other hand, you purchase a pair of shoes from the online store of a retailer you trust. However, when they arrive, the shoes in the box aren’t the color you expected after viewing them on the website. You repackage them for return and learn there will be a $9.95 “restocking” fee. Surely that won’t apply since the retailer incorrectly illustrated the color. You try calling customer service but hang up after an exceedingly long wait time. So you send an email and receive an answer two days later that states that if you return an item you’ll have to pay the fee.
That is a BAD customer experience.
Whether good or bad, customer experience (CX) is defined by every interaction a customer has with a company. It could be as simple as calling a restaurant to make a reservation (was the call answered promptly? was the staff pleasant and accommodating?) or receiving a postcard announcing a sale or promotion by mail (did it arrive on time? was the card attractive and easy to understand?). Collectively, every interaction is part of your brand’s customer experience.
Unfortunately, the experiences customers are most likely to remember – and share with others online or by word of mouth — are the negative ones. However, by focusing on providing your customers with positive experiences – and encouraging them to share them — you can reap the benefits of a competitive edge, better customer retention and more referrals.
Your Website: Key to Good CX
While CX encompasses customers’ overall experience with your brand, user experience (UX) focuses on specific aspects of your business, such as products and customer service. Collectively, those user experiences create your brand’s customer experience.
One of the most important contributors to your company’s CX is your website. A website’s UX relates to how a person feels when interacting with the site. It’s about how easy it is to use, how visually appealing it is and how easy it is to navigate. In short, a positive website UX is all about providing your website visitors with a rewarding, frustration-free experience.
The website components that have the biggest impact on user experience include:
- Design – the overall appeal and logical placement of links and pages that users are likely to access frequently
- Navigation – the ease with which users can find their way around the site
- Content – text, videos, photos that are not only appealing but also useful
- Speed – pages should load in 1-2 seconds
- Responsiveness – your site should look and perform well on all devices, especially mobile, since more than half of website views are performed on a mobile device, such as a smartphone
- Accessibility – be sure your site is accessible to all visitors, including those with disabilities
How GA4 Can Help
When Google rolled out its new analytics product, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) in July 2023, it noted that one of the differences between GA4 and its predecessor, Universal Analytics (UA), is an increased focus on UX versus simply gathering data on the number of visits to a website and its pages.
GA4 also measures “engaged sessions” instead of “bounce rates.” Engaged sessions are those that last at least 10 seconds, have at least one conversion event or at least two page views. The percentage of sessions that aren’t engaged sessions is considered the equivalent of what was previously called the bounce rate, which measured the number of users who left a site after only one page visit.
GA4 also allows you to track events, which are actions that users take on your site, such as clicking a button, downloading a file or making a purchase. You can use event tracking to monitor the effectiveness of your calls to action and other site features.
With GA4 analytics, you can start to understand areas that may be causing users to leave your website and correct them. It’s an ongoing process that can really pay off. Improved UX can ultimately lead to better CX – and that’s a real plus for your brand.
If you need help in improving user experience on your website, Fresh Creative is here to help.