It’s a good idea to consult a customer experience professional when embarking on a website redesign. Here’s why CX should be an integral part of your website project.
A website redesign project should involve a visual designer (obviously), developer, project manager, content writer, UX designer – all the usual suspects. If you engage a marketing or digital agency to create your website, they will likely assign people to those roles.
But how do you know what sections your website should have? What content? A CX designer can help you understand what customers are looking for.
And if your site offers customers the ability to perform tasks – such as setting an appointment or purchasing products – that’s where you really want to engage a CX designer. There are a few reasons for this.
Website redesigns should consider the back end
The CX designer will ensure that the website’s functionality integrates smoothly with the business processes and technologies that power it. There may be an entire ecosystem of support functions that are not part of the website, but need to be considered.
Hopefully you’ve involved IT to determine what technology systems will be impacted by this redesign, and what technical updates are needed to support your new website. A CX designer will work with IT on needed integrations, and also examine business processes and other non-technology pieces. That way, everything works together and the customer gets a consistent experience.
Customer experience is an integration exercise
There may be integration opportunities with certain features that you haven’t considered. For example, if you offer customers the ability to download spec sheets, are you also providing a link to your message board where customers discuss technical details? Are you offering to schedule an appointment with a technical service rep? Are you alerting the reps that this person is interested in specs for a potential follow up?
If you offer a live chat support, do the support reps have the information they need? Are they empowered to answer customers’ questions or hand them smoothly to the right person?
Marketing professionals know the importance of “omnichannel” marketing. That is, marketing that is consistent and available across multiple avenues of communication.
Your customer experience is also omnichannel. Your website is one channel among many – an important one. Looking at how it fits into the overall customer experience will ensure the experience is successful.
Provide a smooth, helpful experience across the board
Most importantly, a CX designer will help each task go smoothly. By focusing on what a customer needs to accomplish, the CX designer can see across features, departments, and technologies to help customers be successful. They can also recognize potential problems and head them off.
I once had a request from a sales team to move their customer intake form from paper to a website. They wanted new customers to fill out this form in the store, sitting at a computer, before a rep would help them. That’s all fine, but I had some additional questions.
Why make customers complete a form in the store, instead of doing it ahead of time once they have an appointment? What happens if the one dedicated computer breaks, or two customers need to use it at once? And most importantly, why are you making customers spend time filling out a form when they’re already in your store, in person, and clearly interested in products?
These were all questions the sales team had not considered. Chances are, many teams don’t give a lot of thought to how website changes will truly impact the customer’s overall experience. A CX designer will look at your website and process from the customers’ point of view. With a top tasks analysis and a mapping of the overall experience, they can get customers where they need to go and keep them on a smooth path.
Customer experience is about fitting each piece into the bigger picture, the right way. That includes your website. So if you’re working on a website redesign, consider asking a CX designer to take a look at it. You may head off some problems, and you just might find some extra opportunities.