UX sounds like it might be the abbreviation for some obscure state in the Midwest of the United States. “User Experience” is the full term for UX (nope, we don’t know why it’s not called “UE” like every other acronym ever).
The term UX has evolved to mean how a person feels when they are using or interacting with a particular product, system or service. That means UX has a broad meaning; when you are on hold to your phone or internet provider, that is your UX with them. When you go to your local shopping centre and use the new touchscreen store directory, that’s a UX. And when your clients or customers use your website, that’s their UX with you.
New user experiences
The traditional way businesses thought was that the “sales” cycle began with marketing. The cycle would transition to selling, and then in some cases, end with after sales support. Introducing the internet into the equation changed all that.
Now, most customers choose everything from their whitegoods to their doctor, to where to catch up with mates for a coffee by punching a query into Google first. That means that long before someone calls you or walks into your place of business, they’ve already made their first impressions about your business.
A simple case study
For most businesses, that means that their first UX for potential clients is their website. If you have an excellent service or product, committed staff and a customer focus, chances are you are doing ok. A lousy website won’t always kill your business (but a good one will certainly help).
Let’s say; you run a small removalist company that has a website that all the basics: contact number, a picture of your trucks and your rates. You don’t make a habit of checking up on your competitor’s websites, but three similar sized businesses in the area have websites that leave yours in the dust. They have a modern, mobile responsive layout, a page with positive customer testimonials, links to a Facebook page with queries answered within 3 hours, as well as a brief section with pictures and biographies of all the removalists that work for them.
After a while, you may notice your natural leads and queries will fall. That’s because after about five minutes of Googling “removalists in Newcastle” a potential customer will find your website, plus your three closest competitors. If the other three are roughly equal, but your website is less polished than the others, guess who is going to the first eliminated from their consideration?
So what are the knock-on effects resulting from that loss of momentum to your business?
- You may have to discount your rates to win business – resulting in pressure on your margins.
- You may give your competitors the opportunity to expand or cut their prices ahead of yours. This leaves you without a competitive advantage.
- You lose the free and unsolicited organic leads and business that might flow through your website. Instead you have to invest in other forms of paid marketing (radio, print, flyer drops).
You can substitute hairdresser, landscaper, mechanic, wedding cake maker, and many more, into this example and get the same results.
A clear solution
There is no single “simple” fix (otherwise, every website out there and the associated UX would be great). But working with a professional web design agency can give you an advantage over your competitors.
Your website can be tailored to be easy to find, navigate and use by your customers. If you collect data, those sections can be optimised to take less time to fill out. This will give you more accurate and useful information.
If you think your online experience for your customers could be better or have questions about how your website could be improved (and there’s very few that can’t be) then get in contact with us at Brugel Creative. We’d love to be able to help you get a standout web presence with brilliant UX.