Top Pain Points from the Forrester CX Forum

Mark  Ryan

July 29, 2013

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I just got back from the Forrester CX Forum in NY. The conference was an exploration of how companies can launch customer experience initiatives that can deliver measurable ROI. There were 1,300 attendees including high-level executive, product, technology and marketing folks. I wasn't quite sure what to expect but I found that many attendees were feeling similar pain about their digital status and need for help in setting a sound digital strategy.

Of course everyone stated the obvious: their websites were outdated and they were looking for ways to provide a top-notch customer experience for website visitors.  Beyond that, here are the five more specific paint points I heard over and over:

#1 E-Commerce Customers Are Leaving Site / Bounce Rates High

There are many reasons a customer might leave your site-some are within your control and some are not. If you have a name that is similar to something else, users may leave due to a simple case of mistaken identity. Or sometimes users come with the intention of simply window-shopping on this visit, and that's ok.if you have good lead-nurturing tactics in place (see #3 below), then you can catch them next time. But in many cases, users leave because the shopping experience was just too complex.

To address this, you need to:

  • Reduce the overall number of steps it takes to complete a purchase
  • Show progress-let users see where they are in the purchase process
  • Account for every possible purchase option, including combinations of offline and online merchandise and streamline the process
  • Offer ways to "save favorites" for window-shoppers who may want a method to purchase quickly on subsequent visits
  • Demonstrate that you offer a secure shopping experience

Featured Case Study: Webroot

#2 Content Is Hard To Find Or Not Relevant

This is becoming a more prevalent issue, as websites are growing bigger and more complex. In 2012 alone, the average web page became 35% larger with more text and objects on the page. No wonder users are having a hard time finding the content they want.

To address this, you need to:

  • Develop a strong content strategy that's rooted in robust user research and data
  • Know what areas of your site are performing well today and what areas are underperforming to uncover opportunities
  • Understand the needs of the customer throughout the sales lifecycle and ensure you have appropriate content represented at all stages
  • Ensure that navigation is intuitive and matches customer needs/users personas
  • Personalize content based on user site behaviors to anticipate needs before the user even asks for them
  • Offer site search that delivers reliable results that can be filtered and otherwise manipulated/personalized to make it easier for the user to find the content they want

Featured Case Studies: Micron, John Muir Health

#3 Lead Issues: Need To Generate More Leads & An Easier Way To Track And Nurture The Leads

For a few years now we've been hearing that people want their website to act as a lead-generation machine. Now they're realizing that their website also needs to act as a lead nurturing device. When websites are optimized for lead generation and lead nurturing, it can be a very powerful tool. But often, companies who think they're doing it well don't even have the basics nailed.

To address this, you need to:

  • Ensure proper SEO strategies are in place to give you the best shot of capturing leads in the first place
  • Place strong, concise calls to action in all of the places that carry the biggest punch
  • Use content marketing to drive and nurture leads
  • Integrate social media to drive awareness, advocacy and repeat visits
  • Develop personalization tools that can be used for tracking and nurturing leads through multiple visits

Featured Case Studies: , GE Money, Red Prairie 

#4 Brand Isn't Presented Consistently Across The Website / Digital Properties

There can be many reasons that a brand isn't presented consistently across properties. It may be that there isn't a strong brand persona defined from the get-go, or there may be a lack of formal brand guidelines and communications, or maybe organizational growth has led to acquisitions where sites get "re-skinned for now" with the intention of a formal branding update later that doesn't materialize. Whatever the reason, all the customer knows is that, right now as they are interacting with the brand they think you are.

To address this, you need to:

  • Define a voice, tone and brand guidelines, then communicate them widely
  • Consider developing a memorable brand personification (e.g., character, tagline, jingle, etc.)
  • Develop UX templates and guidelines that meet both user and business needs
  • Use rich media to tell your brand story in the most compelling format
  • Use brand-personalization to drive loyalty
  • Implement all guidelines into a website governance plan

Featured Case Studies: Logix, Presidio, GoPro, TRUSTe

#5 Want Better Organic Search Results

Everyone who has a website wants better organic search results. But just because it doesn't cost anything to participate in organic search, doesn't mean it doesn't take effort and resources to rank high in search. Quite the opposite is true but the payoff is potentially huge. SEO is constantly changing. It's part science and part art. But there are basic tenets every website owner should be following if they want to achieve better search results.

To address this, you need to:

  • Develop and maintain a list of targeted search keywords
  • Optimize your website's metadata with your targeted keywords
  • Optimize your site for mobile traffic
  • Create landing pages optimized for a set of highly targeted keywords that you can own to help build authority
  • Implement a link-building strategy that's integrated with your content marketing strategy

Featured Case Studies: Sunset, Logix

In closing, your website needs to do more than look good. It needs to deliver on a promise of meeting the customer's need at every point of his or her journey. If you're not sure what the journey is EXTRACTABLE can help you chart it out and build a digital strategy that will address all of your pain points. If you already know what you need to do, but need help getting started, we can do that, too. Your competition is only a click away. Don't let them capture that lead. Let’s get started today!