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8 Ways Your Website Design Is Alienating Customers


Sep. 22, 2020

Most brands do everything they can to engage with their customers. If you’re like them, you know that on average, significantly more than half of business revenue comes from return customers. These repeat customers cost significantly less to re-engage and are continuously happy with your products or services.

Trying hard, of course, is never enough. You also need the strategy by your side. Keep in mind that these customers already know about you – and they expect you to know about them.

And yet, too often, website experiences are not optimized to these return customers. Instead, they’re all about growing new business. As a follow-up to our recent post on getting your customers invested through great profiles and account pages, let’s turn our attention to what that article doesn’t cover: the ways in which many companies try and fail to get through to their current customers.

As you read through these 8 ways your website design is alienating customers, keep in mind that trying hard and utilizing a sound messaging strategy has to go hand in hand. Find your weak spots, and work systematically to fix them in order to maximize the opportunities your returning customers can bring.

1) Your Customer Service is Based on Order Numbers

Your customers expect you to know them as well as they know you. So would you really expect them to look up a specific order number when they reach out to you with a problem? Instead, build your database and customer service (like your live chat) based on a few data pillars that everyone will remember, such as name and address. It’s the best way to ensure you can quickly and efficiently help your audience anytime they have a problem.

To efficiently take customer calls and ease customer tension, simplify software to sort by name and not order number. Read our article on 8 ways your website design is alienating customers to learn more.

2) Your Contact Page Leaves Your Customers Cold

Don’t treat your contact page as a necessary evil of your website. Treat it for what it is: one of the most visited sections of your entire online presence. Even current customers will frequently seek it out should they have questions or problems with your product. When that happens, what will they see? Ideally, it’s a contact page that makes it sound like you want to hear from them, and value their feedback. Incorporate multiple forms of contact, like phone, email, and live chat.

Your website's contact page is the most visited sections. Make sure you optimize it to warm your customers so that they convert.

3) Your Lead Qualification System Insults Your Audience

Somewhere, somehow, marketers collectively decided that scaring our audience into submission was a good idea. You’ve probably seen the lead forms that force you to click a provocative sentence like ‘I hate saving money’ if you don’t want to fill out a form. It might even generate an extra conversion. But what A/B tests don’t capture is just how many existing customers, who expect you to treat them with dignity, that alienates. It’s simple, really: try to go the extra mile in your content to avoid insulting your audience.

Use effective messaging and not scare tactics for lead qualification forms. Read more for 8 ways your website design is alienating customers.

4) Your Lead Qualification System Doesn’t Target Specific Audience Segments

It might not be outwardly insulting, but a lack of effective segmentation can be just as offensive to customers who already know about you. Sometimes, and in some of the more subtle ways, that’s difficult to avoid. At other times, it should be easy. For instance, set up your system so that logged-in customers don’t see first purchase discount offers. That doesn’t help anyone, and just makes your audience assume you don’t value them as customers enough to care.

The lead qualification system of your website should target specific customers. Here are 7 more ways your website is alienating customers.

5) Your Customers’ Account Dashboard is Impossible to Navigate

The user experience carries through to any system in which your audience logs in. Spend as much time on UX within this section of your website as you do on the front-facing pages. That means avoiding any confusion with where your customers can find and track orders, change their password, or perform other important actions. The more you can streamline that process (ideally through user studies and feedback from your customers), the better.

Focus on user experience within your website to avoid alienating customers. Here are more ways you can optimize your webiste

6) You Don’t Offer Tutorials or Help Sections For Your Offerings

Your customers have already bought your product or service. But how much are you helping them actually use it to their advantage? Your responsibility doesn’t end at the purchase; instead, it’s on you to educate your audience on best uses. You can accomplish that through video and written tutorials, as well as help sections that pre-empt simple customer service questions in a more straightforward, natural way.

One way to avoid alienating your customers on your website is by offering a help section or tutorials. Learn more on how to optimize your website for user experience.

7) You Never Ask For Your Customers’ Opinion

Everyone wants to be heard. Your customers, who have already invested money in you, especially so. If your product or service isn’t a convenience good and actually has some brand value attached to it, your audience will feel invested. That makes them want to share their opinions with you, and it’s on you to make that possible. The easiest way to do so is through your website and customer account dashboards, where you can share surveys along with ways to contact you for further information and feedback.

Use your website design to ask for your customer's opinion so they are invested. Learn more about the ways you could be alienating your customers through your website design.

8) Your Website Doesn’t Match Your Retention Outreach

Let’s get back to the beginning of this post. I mentioned that you’re probably already marketing to your existing customers to increase retention rates in some way. But does that effort actually match what you’re doing on your website? If not, you invite cognitive dissonance for members of your audience who see your messaging, visit your page, and find very different messages there. To avoid that dissonance, build your website and retention outreach in concert and make sure their sentiment, tone, and language match.

Your website should match your retention outreach or else you risk alienating your customers. Learn more ways website design can affect user experience.

Are You Ready to Build a Better Website for Your Customers?

Hopefully, the answer to that question is a resounding yes. It’s important to consider your website, both the public and log-in portions, as crucial to engage and maximize opportunities for your return customers. That makes the website building process more complex, but it also ensures that you can leverage the significant revenue opportunities audience brings.

Getting there is not always easy. You have to know how your customers are thinking, and how you can offer them exactly what they’re looking for while showcasing your respect for them. If you need help in that process, let’s talk. Let’s connect on how NVISION can be a major partner in helping you build a better, more customer-focused online presence.

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