3 Steps to Boosting Your Customer Experience (And Marketing Resume) with Testing

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Here’s a universal experience every digital marketer had:

You know that moment of half-exhaustion, half-relief when you finally put the finishing touches on that huge email campaign plan, that massive whitepaper, or that video series you’re using to kick off your site relaunch?

Finally, you can get this monster project off your plate and forget about it! You’re done!

Except– and top marketers are already bracing for this “bad” news– you’re not.

Because after you’ve put the finishing touches on any customer-facing system or product, there will always be room for improvement. And the marketers with the ability to test and the tenacity to keep on improving their work over time will be the ones driving real value to their employers (and drastically improving their career options moving forward).

The Power of Optimizing Your Customer Experience

Opting-in to your mailing list, completing a form, or entering credit card information to purchase something on your site is a critical point in the customer experience.

We all know it’s much easier and cost-efficient to sell to an existing customer than it is to create a new one.

That’s why this crucial moment has to leave customers feeling like they can trust your business at every contact point throughout the funnel. They should feel like their information and money are in great hands. And first impressions are everything!

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Testing, Testing, One-Two-Three

In an ideal world, we’d all have the time and resources to endlessly test all the marketing work we touch, from email subject lines to media selections to the font color on your About Us page.

A smooth, easy, reliable customer experience will lead to customers who trust your business.

But with limited resources, you have to prioritize where your optimization efforts go. Faced with a choice, it’s usually best to test elements directly affecting the customer experience first.

Wherever you ask for a transaction of any kind— whether it’s an opt-in, a purchase, or a form– you’ll ensure a smooth, pleasant experience for your users when you test every step of the way.

1. Experimenting with the sign-up and engagement

The opt-in experience is rife with opportunities to impress potential customers:

  • Test your invitation to opt in: How well does your wording set expectations for what they’ll receive, how it will be delivered, and how often they’ll hear from you?
  • Test your “thank you” messages. After opting in, most systems display a thank you page, and many include a “confirmation message.” This first message is delivered by email and asks for users to confirm their sign up.
  • Test the instructions on your thank you page. Does the copy effectively explain the process for confirming their subscription?
  • Test your confirmation message. The confirmation email message can reiterate what they’re signing up for, and how often they’ll get it.
  • Test your delivery. Once the opt-in is confirmed, check to be sure the item you’ve promised in exchange for their email addresses is delivered in a timely, responsive fashion.
  • Test your follow-up messages. If your content will be delivered with an autoresponder or drip method on your website, make sure everything is delivering the messages as expected.

2. Improve your forms

Any time you ask site visitors to fill out a form, you’re asking for a pretty significant commitment.

Whether it’s a simple contact form or a complex survey, your customers’ time and energy need to be respected. And increased awareness around identity security and email spam has made informed audiences cautious about throwing their information around.

That’s why you should begin testing your forms thoroughly before they even make it live:

  • Consider what combination of information you’re asking for, and in what order you’re requesting it.
  • Ensure form submissions are being registered and organized as you expect.
  • Confirm that form content is being forwarded to the right recipient.
  • Check that all the information you’re trying to gather is being collected properly and securely.

3. Testing your purchase process

Got buyers? Great. Now don’t turn them off by exposing them to a faulty, confusing or uncompelling system. Testing in e-commerce is especially important.

  • Test your calls-to-action. When offering a product in exchange for a purchase, are you clearly describing what will happen when the customer purchases? Do your messages align with appropriate direct response principles and best practices?
  • Test your communication. Don’t stop after you’ve told them what’s in your product. Let them know what to expect throughout the buying process. Minimize steps and make sure the path from one to the next is easy and logical.
  • Test your thank you messages. Thank purchasers on your thank you page and in any email message you send. But go beyond that– provide an easy way to contact you if they have a problem. Carefully monitor the destination where customer queries come in (as well as your social channels) so you can respond quickly.
  • Test your product delivery. Test your purchases from start to finish using a credit card, and verify that everything goes through as expected and you receive the product within the promised time frame.
  • Test your follow-up messages. Try offering support, bonus resources, and even additional products they might be interested in. As part of your testing, check the delivery of these messages to be sure they arrive as expected and say what you want them to say.

Making Testing Fun (Or at Least Bearable)

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If you’re like me, you love testing and trying new things in search of that near-perfect mix for customer experience.

But not everyone gets the same kick out of seeing a 2% conversion increase from changing a button color from light to dark blue.

Having a test friend means being a test friend.

Still, one bad experience can scare away a customer for good. Regardless of how much you enjoy testing, no successful digital marketer can afford to avoid it.

That’s where finding a “test” friend (I sometimes call them Guinea Pigs) can help.

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A test friend is someone who works in digital marketing in a similar function to yours, typically a coworker. But it’s important that it’s someone with fresh eyes who will be able to pick out things you’ve overlooked due to overexposure.

Collaborate with your test friend to look for:

  • Anything that doesn’t work as expected.
  • Any part of the process that’s confusing.
  • Anything that makes them hesitate or think too hard.

And of course, be available to return the favor when they need your input. Having a test friend means being a test friend. Build this time into your product-creation process. Plan to spend some time refining your experiences to deliver a remarkable experience to your audience.

Testing for a Competitive Advantage in the Marketplace and Job Search

A smooth, easy, reliable customer experience will lead to customers who trust your business.

It will build your authority. And you’ll create repeat customers for your employer who know they can count on your brand delivering exactly what you promise. And it will stand out loud and proud on your resume, a great way to catch the eye of companies looking for top talent and digital marketing recruiters.

So get out there, find a test friend, target your optimization, and out-test the other guys. Your customers (and your career) will thank you.

article source: CopyBlogger

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