According to Zendesk’s latest report on customer experience (CX), 75% of customers are happier to spend more to purchase goods and services from brands that offer a good customer experience. Despite this, 63% of marketers admit their own brand isn’t able to execute their CX strategy very well (RedPoint Global).
This is where user experience (UX) design comes in.
By designing your buying journeys and support channels, so they’re easier to use, you enhance the overall experience for the customer. In other words, better UX design leads to better all-round CX.
Read on to learn how you not to fly blind and use data to better inform your UX design and improve customer experience.
What’s the Difference Between UX and CX?
User experience and customer experience are often used interchangeably but have very different definitions. While they might overlap, each term has its place.
Customer experience is a term that belongs both to the customer service and marketing realms. It’s used to describe the whole experience for a buyer, from their very first interaction with a brand right through after-sales care.
Customer experience design is fundamental to the success of a brand, as it drives a company’s reputation. In fact, half of the customers say that customer experience is more important to them now than it was before, while 94% of people are more likely to buy from brands whose customer experience they rate as being very good.
User experience (UX) is more of a design-related term. Used in reference to buying psychology, UX design considers how the physical elements of a buying journey make it easier for a customer to reach their end goal.
In short, UX design streamlines the customer journey to improve the customer experience.
UX design can seriously help a company to net customers, increase conversions, and enhance the customer experience. Unfortunately, however, over half of UX professionals believe that the potential of UX design isn’t being exploited enough.
One of the best ways to take better advantage of UX to boost CX is to analyze your brand’s data. By looking into how customers behave, you can better understand how to redesign your platforms and improve the overall experience.
Bear in mind that you’ll need rock-solid data storage methods to stay compliant when harvesting data. Whether you’re using edge computing, cloud storage, or on-premises solutions, make sure they’re secure enough to keep customer data safe.
Read on to learn how to use data to improve your CX.
How to Use Data to Design for Better Customer Experience
Customer data is your gold mine. By harvesting data on customer behavior and preferences, you can get a deeper understanding of how to improve your service for your current and future clients.
Here’s how to use that data to design a better user experience to enhance your customer experience.
1. Use transactional data to personalize future recommendations
63% of consumers have come to expect personalization as part of standard service.
Not only that, but customers feel more seen when brands make a special attempt to personalize services to meet their needs. In fact, the same report states that 38% of buyers say they feel more like an individual when brands send them recommendations based on their previous purchases.
What’s more, a third of buyers say they’re frustrated when brands send them irrelevant offers. Worse still, 38% of buyers get annoyed when brands send them recommendations for something they just bought.
Unfortunately, though, marketers think they’re better at personalizing the experience than consumers think they are. 57% of marketers don’t think they’re struggling to meet consumer expectations for personalization, while 73% of consumers think they do.
However, by harnessing transactional data from your CRM software, you can better understand how to personalize recommendations to meet customer needs.
For existing customers, you can use buying history to design better email templates and website experiences that recognize the customer’s previous purchases and offer recommendations based on these.
For example, the folks at Dot&Bo are sending cart abandonment emails reminding potential customers that they have left something in their shopping cart. They also make some recommendations to lure people back to their website.
You can also use this transactional data to better segment your target audience and design personalized marketing more effectively.
Look for demographic and behavioral patterns that show up among purchase history, as this will show you which kind of customers purchase which products. Use this information to design targeted advertising for the right audience segments correctly.
2. Use website behavioral data to streamline the buyer journey
While 40% of business professionals agree that customers are prepared to shell out extra cash for a better experience, 67% of product professionals admit that they don’t really know why customers drop off from using their services.
If you’re unsure why customers don’t gel with your online experience, you won’t know how to improve that buying journey.
Think about mobile access, for example. 64% of web traffic comes from mobile devices, yet 73% of web designers say that the main reason website visitors bounce off websites is because they’re not responsive to mobile devices.
By analyzing website data during your project management, you will begin to see patterns that indicate how you can redesign the user experience to create a more cohesive buying journey that makes it easier for customers to reach their end goal.
Take Bionic Gloves, for instance.
The sports glove brand found that it had super-high cart abandonment rates, despite customers running through the rest buying journey easily.
The company ran tests with different UX designs for the cart. By analyzing cart abandonment data, Bionic Gloves found that the cart design that eliminated the ‘Gift Card’ and ‘Special Offer’ elements converted 25% more often. Not only that, but customers who converted had 17% higher profitability.
This demonstrates how reducing clutter in the UX design helps streamline the customer experience. It makes it easier for customers to understand what they need to do to purchase.
Only by tracking and analyzing website data was Bionic Gloves able to spot this pattern.
3. Use social data to inform buyer personas
Social media platforms are a treasure trove of personal data that tells you all about your target audience’s preferences, interests, and behaviors.
Not only are customers accepting of the fact that brands use social data to understand them better, but they also encourage this to happen.
Tracking and monitoring social data helps you get a stronger sense of the kind of people interested in your products and services, enabling you to build more accurate buyer personas.
By understanding their behavior, you can get a better idea of how to design customer experiences to meet the requirements and preferences of each buyer persona.
For example, Millennials and Gen Zers are far more likely to use messaging apps than Baby Boomers.
In this respect, if your social data shows that you’re catering to Millennials and Gen Zers, go ahead and integrate a social messaging support chatbot. If your data shows your audience is mostly Baby Boomers, you’re better off focusing your customer support on email services using your preferred email marketing platform.
4. Use social data to design your omnichannel experience
An omnichannel customer experience is made up of the individual customer touchpoints, over a variety of connected channels that allow potential customers to pick up where they left off on one channel and continue the experience on another.
Not only do 43% of buyers say that they feel like an individual when a brand recognizes them across all touchpoints, but they also think an omnichannel experience is more important than marketers give it credit for.
As Rich Gardner, VP of Global Strategic Partnerships at Klaviyo puts it: you need to “find out what your customers care about and design meaningful communications across all of your online channels that mirror how you would build a relationship with a customer in person.”
Social data provides the key here. By tracking data across all social platforms, you can get an idea of what your audience uses each platform for, enabling you to tailor the design to facilitate those purposes.
For example, you may find that Instagram is used to discover your products. Following the discovery of your brand, customers head over to YouTube to watch videos about your products and learn more. After finding out about your products, customers head to your website to purchase from your product pages before switching to Facebook to leave a review.
Using this social data, you can better design the customer journey to improve the user experience with more effective navigational features and easy-to-spot signposts that link these channels together.
5. Use customer service data to address recurring usability issues
Looking for patterns and visualizing customer data can help you to understand where customers are getting stuck.
While this may indicate bottlenecks in the buying journey, you may also find that existing customers have usability issues with your products.
For example, imagine that you offer a service through an app. You might find that customers are continuously contacting support because a certain feature of the app doesn’t work or it’s not easy to figure out.
Monitoring the patterns in your customer support data helps you to get a clearer understanding of how to tweak UX design to smooth out the customer experience of your product or service.
Don’t forget to look into self-service customer support data, such as your help center. You may find that customers are accessing particular help guides and how-to videos more than others. Nowadays there are plenty of screen recording tools to create quick video tutorials for such purposes. If this is the case, these features could likely do with a UX tune-up to make them easier to use.
6. Use chatbot data to improve website navigation
Last year, around 20% of companies implemented a chatbot to enhance their customer service.
Not only can a chatbot speed up customer service and deal with minor support requests instantly, but it’s also a reservoir of informative data.
One important use of chatbots is to help customers navigate around your website.
According to 61% of web designers surveyed by GoodFirms, bad navigation is the number one reason why visitors abandon a website. Despite this, over 30% agree that convoluted navigation is the most frequent web design mistake they see.
Poor navigation is frustrating to users. It makes it tough to reach the end goal, encouraging them to click off your site and look for answers elsewhere. A few simple adjustments to the UX design of your navigation can improve the customer experience, helping customers better reach their end goals.
Just look at Bizztravel Wintersports, for example.
By simplifying navigation, the Dutch travel company managed to increase goal completion by more than 20%.
Chatbot data can be extremely helpful to this process.
By harvesting chatbot data, you can find the most common navigational queries from visitors to help you tweak UX design and make it easier for users to navigate around your site. Apart from the chatbot, you can also implement the use of other customer service tools like Live Chat, Self-service portals, Customer portals, etc.
7. Use customer sentiment data to find emotional triggers
Sometimes referred to as opinion mining, sentiment analysis uses natural language processing to analyze consumer text data to decipher the emotional sentiments of customers.
Most often, brands use customer sentiment analysis to find common themes within customer reviews.
Feedback tends to be emotionally driven since customers only tend to give feedback if they’re very happy or very frustrated. Sentiment analysis enables you to identify the customer experience elements that drive these strong emotions.
Look for patterns among negative feedback to spot areas where you can improve UX design to enhance the customer experience. Identify patterns in the positive feedback so you can use these devices as inspiration for your UX tweaks.
8. Use A/B test data to optimize the buying experience
57% of brands agree that tracking user data has a significant impact on internal design decisions.
A/B testing is a great way to create data that directly informs design decisions.
Ultimately, customers will respond better to design features that improve the all-around customer experience. By testing different UX design features, you can get a better idea of which elements improve the user experience, in turn enhancing the customer experience.
The German firm Dachfenster is a prime example of this concept for effective working.
Seeking to help customers navigate the buying experience more easily, the window and blind company chose to address the ineffective dropdown menu on its homepage.
Testing two alternative list menus with an A/B test — one in orange font color and one with green buttons — Dachfenster found that it increased both conversion rates and revenue acceleration.
However, the orange font only increased conversion rates by 18%, compared to 33% when using the green.
Using A/B testing, Dachfenster worked out which UX design elements are better at helping visitors reach their end goal, streamlining the customer experience.
9. Use social listening data to align with industry trends and expectations
It’s not enough to simply look inside your own company. You need a wider perspective on the industry to understand what drives your target audience to pick you over competitors.
This is where social listening data comes in. 51% of marketers are using social listening to get quick insights into the trends in their industry and the expectations of their target audiences.
By monitoring when and how key terms are mentioned, brands can begin to understand the kinds of conversations that customers are having around these terms.
While UX and CX aren’t twins, they do go hand-in-hand.
Not only can UX design help boost customer experience, but CX data can also help to inform UX design.
By dwelling into all kinds of customer data, you can begin to pick out patterns that show what your customers expect, the service they require, and the issue they’re having. This helps you more effectively design customer journeys to streamline CX, so customers reach their end goals more easily.