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The average entrepreneur wears many different hats in a business. They often play consultant or designer, marketer and customer service all rolled into one. Understanding the user experience (UX) for your customers is crucial if you want to keep them coming back and ordering from you repeatedly.
Customer retention may be almost as important as finding new customers. If customers constantly bounce away from your brand, you’ll never see any growth and may eventually go backwards in revenue.
Executives measure and evaluate UX in different ways. Around 63% look at customer satisfaction, while 60% turn to sales retention and other business metrics. When you focus on creating a better UX, you’ll likely look at a wide variety of factors, intent on improving the big picture for buyers.
So, how can you improve UX design without breaking the bank or spending every second of your spare time working on design projects? Here are some great places to start to see the biggest UX results most quickly.
Every company has areas they can improve. Spend time auditing your website and business. Make a list of anything with room for improvement. Once you have a workable checklist, you can start taking on tasks.
For example, if you notice some of the links on your website don’t work, you can go ahead and fix them as one of your first tasks. Work through each problem area until you’ve rectified any issues.
When you know who you are as a brand, it’s easy to select a vision and goals. Objectives help ensure you improve user experience while staying true to who you are as a company. If you want to help other small business owners excel, you won’t waste your time trying to reach people who aren’t business owners.
A brand vision also shows the outside world who you are and gives your business a personality. Vision helps you stand out from your competitors. It naturally improves your user’s experience because they’ll know instantly if you’re a good match for them or not.
Focusing on search engine optimization (SEO) helps improve the user experience when people first start looking for a solution and your results pop up in their browser. SEO forces entrepreneurs to focus on a narrow niche of topics and try to rank well in those areas. Attend conferences and network with other users to figure out the best ways to improve UX within your company and reach more of your target audience.
Ideally, you’ll spend time looking at your competitor websites and why they rank near the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). Are there any holes in their information? What can you answer that they didn’t? How can you make your content better so you bump them out of the top spot in SERPs?
First impressions truly do matter. About 75% of people judge a website on the design and make a decision on how credible it is. When you focus on creating an interface that functions smoothly and using the colors and placement that makes the most sense for your typical customer, you show you understand the business and the buyer. You’ll appear more credible than if you threw up a sloppy design and didn’t think through the impact on your buyer personas.
Excellent UX also forces entrepreneurs to narrow their focus. Many people who start their own companies have dozens of excellent ideas. They’re high energy and their brains run as though 150 tabs are open at one time in a browser window. It’s typical for some business people to lose focus as they try to do everything.
When you focus on the UX of your business, you look at it through the eyes of the buyer. You’re forced to narrow your ideas and hone in on the ones most valuable to your customers. The other thoughts must go on the backburner for now.
How can you add value to what you already do? One way to increase customer loyalty is starting a loyalty or referral program. For example, you could offer points for every purchase and freebies or a discount after a certain amount.
For a referral program, you’ll ask your top customers to share what you do and why they enjoy your brand. Before you begin a referral program, make sure your users are completely satisfied with your current products and programs.
You’re an entrepreneur. Your skills might be in coming up with new ideas, leadership or a particular degree area. No one expects you to know every little thing about UX and improve it. However, if you have a basic understanding, you can hire experts and speak to them about your expectations and understand the jargon they speak.
Don’t be afraid to bring in contractors to help with some of the grunt work of creating content, posting on social media and advertising. Paying them may bring you a better return on investment because they’ll get bigger results than you might. Understanding how it all works gives you an opportunity to hire the best people for your team.
Creating better UX for your brand starts with your website but can filter to everything you do, including the interactions your customer service reps have with your customers. Filter everything through your buyers’ eyes. Will they be satisfied with the process or the results?
Once you have a grasp of how users might think and feel, it becomes easier to improve things. The better you make the experience, the more likely they’ll not only return and buy from you again but also refer other users to you.
Have questions? Want feedback on your site’s user experience? Join The Founding Moms and get help today!
Eleanor Hecks is the founder and managing editor of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and user interface. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design and/or tea on LinkedIn!