CX & CRO

Customer Experience & Conversion Rate Optimization

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Introduction to CX & CRO

Most companies focus on optimizing their conversion rate, or the rate at which a consumer will change from a lead to a paying customer. It sounds like a smart plan, right?

It is a great start but your organization may be missing the big picture if your main focus is just on improving this metric.

We recommend a slight pivot in your strategy – focus on improving how individuals interact with your brand at all touch points across your organization, also known as improving the “customer experience.” Then, monitor conversion rate as a measurement to check how you’re doing.

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CX: What is it?

This goes well beyond customer service. It includes any interaction a potential customer, current customer or brand advocate has with your brand on any channel at any point during the entire customer lifecycle.

  • Operations: Culture, processes (like shipping and returns), systems used
  • Channels: Digital and in-person experiences
  • Outreach: Marketing, sales and customer service/support
  • Community: Customers, competitors, business partners
  • Occurs at any stage during the Customer Lifecycle:
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CX: What is so important about it?

This should be the most important goal throughout your organization in every department. How can we ensure that our customers are happy with each interaction? When you invest in customer experience, you’re investing in their long-term relationship with your brand – which usually translates to repeat purchases rather than one-time conversions.

Each customer interaction has the ability to make or break consumer perception of your brand. With one great experience customers may recommend you to all their friends, increasing your audience instantly. Conversely, one bad experience can turn the best brand advocate sour – and they’ll be sure to tell their friends that as well.

  • Establish an emotional connection
  • Humanize brand experiences
  • Make it personal
  • Give them a reason to care
  • Keep it simple and effortless
  • Use language they’ll connect with
  • Are authentic
  • Are consistent
  • Provide Value
  • Empower them
  • Listen and respond to needs
  • Solve problems
  • Make great memories
  • Show interest in customers outside of just making the sale

Sources: Forbes.com and EventMarketer

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Teddy Roosevelt

CRO: What is it?

This refers to the improvement of the rate at which leads take a desired action, or conversion, that deepens their relationship with your brand. Most often the “desired action” refers to a purchase of products or services. However, a conversion goal can also refer to other business-generating activities and initiatives. Your conversion goal depends on the goals of your organization on an overall level or on a campaign or initiative level. Determining how your business generates revenue is also helpful in identifying conversion goals.

Examples of Conversion Goals by Industry:

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Ecommerce:

Product and services transactions, products added to shopping carts, cart completion rate, email marketing subscription sign-ups, product guide downloads, customer service chats initiated, links clicked

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Media:

Page views, ad views, newsletter subscriptions, recommended content engagement, social shares, social interactions, links clicked, social channels visited

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Healthcare:

Phone calls, appointments made or attended, site visits, products purchased or prescribed, referrals made

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Manufacturing:

Phone calls, orders placed, product guides downloaded, customer service chats initiated, demo requests, technical specifications requested

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B2B:

Leads generated, deals closed, registration for events, quote requests, demo requests, free trial, request for proposals, contact sales, webinar/event registrations

How do you track Conversion Goals?

These can be tracked through your marketing software analytics as well as through Google Analytics. Usually, you track goals by entering a URL destination, visit duration, pages per visit or a specific event (for example: a call-to-action button clicked, a video view, a document downloaded and more). Once your conversion goals are set up, you can view your traffic in a whole new way to determine areas of success on your website and areas that can be improved upon.

  • You can view traffic by each conversion goal set
  • You can see analyze referral sites that are more likely to convert.
  • You can segment conversions by location, language, new vs. returning visitor, device, etc.
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Looking Beyond Conversion Rate

Conversion rates are great indicators of customer success in terms of how many visitors complete a desired goal on your website. However, the metric misses the mark when it comes to identifying the meaning behind a customer reaction to your brand, website or various campaigns.

Organizations should review and analyze various indicators of customer experience rather than using conversion rates as the full analysis.

  1. A conversion rate is a metric to measure and not a complete view of how customers interact with your brand.
  2. Tracking conversions alone does not take into account brand sentiment, customer recommendations, or what happens after a conversion occurs.
  3. Successful customer experiences do not always lead to conversions and conversions are not always attributable to successful customer experiences.
  4. Shifting focus from increasing conversion rates to improving customer experience helps assess all areas that impact opinions formed about your company and the products and services provided.
  5. Focusing on generating positive customer experiences in every department of your organization prepares your business for long-term success.

Measuring the full customer journey is 30% more predictive of overall customer satisfaction than measuring happiness for each individual interaction.

McKinsey

What needs to change?

Shift from focusing on conversion rates to focusing on providing the best possible customer experience. Then, use conversion rates to monitor your progress.

  1. 1. Conversion Rates Are Misleading.

    An individual may have seven to thirteen interactions with a brand before converting. Only a small percentage of all customer experiences result in a conversion. With an average conversion rate of three percent, you’re missing valuable information about the many other customer experiences that lead up to a conversion.

  1. 2. Conversion Rates and Customer Experience are not equal.

    Have you ever spent hours on your favorite website and putting items into your cart, but then you left before completing your purchase? In many cases, the lack of a conversion does not indicate a negative experience. Often times a customer may delay a purchase because of a distraction that took them away from the purchase or they’re at work and want to complete the purchase at home. If they feel positive about your brand, most likely they’ll complete their purchase at a later date. By investing in creating the best customer experiences, you’re focusing on building a long-term relationship with your customers, ensuring their loyalty and future engagement.

  2. 3. The Human Memory is a Powerful Advocate (or Enemy).

    A negative experience can make or break how customers feel about your brand. Focus on improving customer experience and you will be more likely to make changes that will naturally increase your conversion rate. Some examples where you may improve customer experience is having a faster load time for your site, making your menu easier to navigate or making your software more user-friendly.

Conclusion

Many companies focus on improving conversion rates, however, we recommend focusing on the improvement of the customer experience. Take time to examine the full journey a customer experiences with your brand during the entire Customer Lifecycle and all the information they can gather from the many forms of media where you are present. Then use conversion rates as a metric to benchmark your progress.

By reviewing and improving the customer experience with your brand, you are putting yourself into the shoes of your customers and you may be surprised at what is revealed to you. You may be able to identify simple changes that make a big difference in the way customers relate to your brand and interact on a daily basis. With each positive customer interaction experienced with your brand, you’re likely to increase conversion rates in the process.

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