In the latest episode of her video series Qualt Q&A, Jenni sat down with the founders of CXperts: Ramsay Crooks, CEO, and Steven Shyne, COO. The discussion revolved around how to get started with UX insights and how to optimize for high-consideration purchases. CXperts also offered up advice for how to stay ahead of consumer expectations.
Getting started with user experience insights
One of the main questions clients ask CXperts regarding UX engagement insights is, “Where do I start?”
Given that usability and UX require strategic thinking, CXperts recommend taking a broad approach.
“We’ll look at the client’s overall user flow to understand usage across the customer journey. After that, we look for areas of friction or frustration to ensure that when we start to do resource-intensive digging, we’re targeting the right spots.” -CXperts
Different businesses have different UX priorities. One client’s blog may be extremely valuable, yet another client may prioritize channel or partner marketing. It depends on where the client’s investments and the user’s expectations lie.
“We always try to align activities with the business’s KPIs. It’s crucial we get the lay of the land from many perspectives so we can really put a focus on the user.” -CXperts
Among your clients, what industry is most in need of UX insight-led optimization?
Generally we see that brands with high consideration products – which are typically high stakes or highly emotional purchases – have a lot of opportunity for friction in the UX. Every little thing matters. This is especially true for high consideration ecommerce companies with few other touchpoints or ways to convert – like phone or brick and mortar storefronts.
High-consideration products are expensive individual items or family purchases. The purchase is a big decision, often with a lot of personal investment involved. The customer and the website have to spend more time together than they would for common, everyday purchases.
“High-price, high-stakes web pages are critically important to get right. They need to have the right amount of copy, a balance of copy and images, relevant features and benefits, and related products.” -CXperts
Examples of high consideration purchases
CXperts points to the multi-billion dollar baby industry as a prime example of “high consideration.” Baby purchases such as cribs, strollers and bedding are deeply personal and all-consuming for parents so their user feedback about website content is extremely valuable.
“It’s an industry full of big lifestyle changes. Parents, especially first-time parents, can’t get enough content when it comes to the question of: ‘Is this right for my baby?’” -CXperts
Other industries cited by CXperts that are filled with high-price/high stakes purchases are higher education, medical devices or healthcare, and travel and tourism.
CXperts has worked with several tourism brands and the feedback from users (hotel guests) can be extremely detailed, with responses/questions in usability studies including “which compass direction are the hotel rooms facing?” and “what are the thread counts on the linens and sheets?” CXperts credits WEVO for broadening user feedback so you’re not just hearing from the vocal minority (i.e. the squeaky wheels). “It’s so helpful to gather insights en masse to shake out ‘the wants’ versus ‘the needs’ when it comes to the true voice of customer feedback.” -CXperts
What is it specifically about expensive purchases that require higher consideration?
CXperts believe that consumers justify expensive purchases by convincing themselves the product will improve them as a person.
“When someone buys a smart toothbrush, for example, they don’t want to just brush their teeth. They want to be BETTER at brushing their teeth. They want to be a healthier version of themselves. They want a product to change them.” -CXperts
On a larger scale, higher education is also a space with high psychological expectations.
“People don’t invest in higher ed to pass time. These are big investments that carry an expectation of significant change for purchasers. They’re looking to change their lives at a fundamental level.” -CXperts
How to keep up with today’s evolving consumer expectations
CXperts – and many in the broader UX community – recommend at least annual assessments of product usability and customer feedback.
As an example of how consumer expectations are always in flux, CXperts refers to user feedback testing they did for a client with in-store kiosks.
“From one year to the next, we would uncover new insights. For instance, we got feedback that the kiosk keyboard wasn’t fast enough. This is likely due to a shift in consumer expectations about how fast ‘fast’ is. With smartphones increasing in interaction speeds, customers now wanted snappier keyboards on all devices.” -CXperts
Also, consumers have become so attuned to Amazon and Shopify’s purchase and check-out process. As such, CXperts recommends emulating the consumer buying flows of ecommerce heavyweights.
“Even in a high-consideration purchase, it’s not a bad idea to pull ideas and layouts from these more familiar experiences. There’s no need to completely reinvent the check-out process.” – CXperts
Where are UX insights the most valuable: for specific pages, for the end-to-end journey, or both?
Ultimately, UX insights should benefit the end-to-end journey.
It’s limiting for high-consideration purchases to only optimize the buy or “checkout” flow pages; brands need insights for the full gamut of customer experiences.
“Even though we see a heavier focus on discovery and consideration pages versus checkout flow pages, you need to think in terms of the journey. Insight gathering should go across the whole funnel to understand if you’re doing the best you can in the discovery phase, in the comparison phase and in the conversion phase.” -CXperts
You can leverage WEVO for insights on your own high-consideration purchase journey — let us show you how! Want to hear more from CXperts? Check out their conversation with Jenni about how they use WEVO as a “Searchlight for Sentiment” for their clients.