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User experience is one of the most important principles of web design. There’s no doubt that you focus on UX with every page you design on the web, whether it’s a portfolio, a profile page, or an entire website. 

Unfortunately, what many experts forget is that UX doesn’t just apply to digital pages. That means that you need to discover the right UX strategies for everything from your website homepages to your email marketing messages and even your listings on Google. 

Today, we’re going to explore ways you can apply UX principles to your client’s image on search engines. 

Why Your Search Engine Listing Matters

Let’s start with the basics…

89% of customers start their purchasing process with a search engine. 

That means that whether you’re creating a portfolio to sell your services or building a website for a client, the first connection a customer has with your design isn’t on the homepage.

Developers and designers know that first impressions count when it comes to succeeding online. However, they assume that those first impressions happen on a social media channel, a landing page, or a home page. 

The truth is that most of the time, you’re driving a specific experience for an end-user before you even realize it. Before you can wow an audience with a beautiful site design or a fantastic CTA offer, you need to convince them to click on your Google link.

Just as UX on a website is all about giving your audience what they need in an informed and strategic manner, UX in search engine results works the same way. 

How to Make Your Search Listing Stand Out with UX

So, how do you begin to apply the principles of UX to your Google Search results?

It’s much easier than you’d think. 

Step 1: Show Immediate Value 

Delivering an excellent experience on a website often means providing end-users with the information they need as quickly as possible. Imagine designing a landing page; you wouldn’t want your audience to scroll forever to find what they need. Instead, you’d make sure that the value of the page was immediately apparent. 

When creating an image for your search engine listing, you’ll need to take the same approach. This often means thinking carefully about two things:

  • Your headline
  • Your meta description

Around 8 out of 10 users say that they’ll click a title if it’s compelling. That means that before you do anything else to improve your SEO strategy, you need to make sure that the title of your web page is going to grab the audience’s attention. 

The best titles deliver instant value.

Immediately, these titles tell the audience exactly what they’re going to get when they click onto the page. The promise drives action, while clarity highlights the informed nature of the brand. 

The great thing about using an excellent title for a page is that it doesn’t matter where you’re ranked on the search results. Whether you’re number 2 or number 5, your customers will click if they find something they want. 

It’s just like using a CTA on a landing page. Make sure your titles are:

  • Informative: Show your audience value immediately
  • Optimized for mobile: Remember, your audience might not see your full title on some screens. That means that you need to make the initial words count.
  • Easy to read: Keep it short, simple, and straightforward. Speak the end-user’s language

Step 2: Build Trust with Your URLs

Trust factors are another essential part of good UX

When designing a website for a new brand, you know that it’s your job to make visitors feel at ease. Even in today’s digital world, many customers won’t feel comfortable giving their money or details to a new company. 

Within the website that you design, you can implement things like trust symbols, reviews, and testimonials to enhance brand credibility. In the search engines, it all starts with your URL. 

Search-friendly URLs that highlight the nature of the page will put your audience’s mind at ease. When they click on a page about “What is SEO” in the SERPs, they want to see an URL that matches, not a bunch of numbers and symbols

Use search-friendly permalink structures to make your listing seem more authoritative. This will increase the chances of your customer clicking through to a page and make them more likely to share the link with friends. 

Once you decide on a link structure, make sure that it stays consistent throughout the entire site. If a link doesn’t appear to match the rest of the URLs that your audience sees for your website, they may think they’re on the wrong page. That increases your bounce rate. 

Step 3: Be Informative with Your Meta Description

To deliver excellent UX on a website, you ensure that your visitor can find all the answers to their most pressing questions as quickly as possible. This includes providing the right information on each page and using the correct navigational structure to support a visitor’s journey. 

In the SERPs, you can deliver that same informative experience with a meta description. Although meta descriptions often get ignored, they can provide a lot of value and help you or your client make the right first impression. 

To master your meta descriptions:

  • Use the full 160 characters: Make the most of your meta description by providing as much useful information as you can within that small space. 
  • Include a CTA: Just as CTAs help guide customers through the pages on a website, they can assist with pulling in clicks on the SERPs. A call to action like “read about the” or “click here” makes sense when you’re boosting your search image. 
  • Focus on value: Concentrate on providing your customers with an insight into what’s in it for them if they click on your listing.

Don’t forget that adding keywords to your meta description is often helpful too. Keywords will boost your chances of a higher ranking, but they’ll also show your audience that they’re looking at the right result. 

Step 4: Draw the Eye with Rich Snippets

You’ve probably noticed that the search engine result pages have changed quite a bit in the last couple of years. As Google strives to make results more relevant and informative, we’ve seen the rise of things like rich snippets. Rich snippets are excellent for telling your audience where to look. 

On a website, you would use design elements, like contrasting colors and animation, to pull your audience’s attention to a specific space. In search engines, rich snippets can drive the same outcomes. The difference is that instead of telling a visitor what to do next on a page, you’re telling them to click on your site, not a competitor’s. 

When Google introduced rich snippets, it wanted to provide administrators with a way of showcasing their best content. Rich snippets are most commonly used today on product and contact pages because they can show off reviews. 

Install a rich snippet plugin into your site if you’re a WordPress user or your client is. When you enter the content that you need into the website, use the drop-down menu in your Rich snippet tool to configure the snippet.

Ideally, you’ll want to aim for the full, rich snippet if you want to stand out at the top of the search results. Most featured snippets have both text and an image. You need to access both of these by writing great content and combining it with a relevant image. 

Step 5: Provide Diversity (Take Up More of the Results)

As a website designer or developer, you’ll know that different people will often be drawn to different things. Some of your visitors might immediately see a set of bullet-points and use them to search for the answer to their question. Other visitors will want pictures or videos to guide them. So, how do you deliver that kind of diversity in the SERPS?

The easiest option is to aim to take up more of the search result pages. Google now delivers a bunch of different ways for customers to get the answers they crave. When you search for “How to use Google my Business” on Google, you’ll see links to blogs, as well as a list of YouTube Videos and the “People Also Ask” section. 

Making sure that you or a client has different content rankings for the same keywords can significantly improve any customer’s experience on the search engines. Often, the process of spreading your image out across the SERPs is as simple as creating some different kinds of content. 

To access the benefits of video, ask your client to create YouTube videos for some of their most commonly asked questions or most covered topics. If you’re helping with SEO marketing for your client, then make sure they have an FAQ page or a way of answering questions quickly and concisely on articles, so they’re more likely to appear in “People Also Ask”.

Step 6: Add Authority with Google My Business

Speaking of Google My Business, that’s another excellent tool for improving UX in the search results. It allows business owners to manage how information appears in the search results. 

With this service, you can manage a company’s position on Google maps, the Knowledge Graph, and any online reviews. Establishing a company’s location is one of the most important things you can do to help audiences find a business quickly. Remember, half of the customers that do a local search on a smartphone end up visiting the store within the same day. 

Start by setting up the Google Business listing for yourself or your client. All you need to do is hit the “Start Now” button and fill out every relevant field offered by Google. The more information you can add to Google My Business, the more your listing will stand out. Make sure you:

  • Choose a category for a business, like “Grocery store.”
  • Load up high-quality and high-resolution images
  • Ensure your information matches on every platform
  • Use a local number for contact
  • Encourage reviews to give your listing a five-star rating

Taking advantage of a Google My Business listing will ensure that your audience has all the information they need to make an informed decision about your company before they click through to the site. This means that you or your client gets more warm leads and fewer people stumbling onto your website that might not want to buy from you. 

Step 7: Use Structured Data Markup to Answer Questions

If you’re already using rich snippets in your Google listings, you should also have a plan for structured schema markup. Schema markup on Google tells the search engines what your data means. This means that you can add extra information to your listings that will more accurately guide your customers to the support they need. 

Providing additional schema markup information to your listings gives them an extra finishing touch to ensure that they stand out from the competition. For example, you might add something like a “product price” to a product page or information about the product’s availability.

Alternatively, you could provide the people who see a search result with other options. This could be an excellent option if you’re concerned that some of the people who might come across your listing might need slightly different information. 

For instance, you can ask Google to list other pages along with your search results that customers can “jump to” if they need additional insights.

Baking structured data into your design process when you’re working on a website does many positive things. First, it makes the search engine’s job easier so that you can ensure that you or your client ranks higher. Additionally, it means that your web listings will be more thorough and valuable.

Since UX is all about giving your audience the best possible experience with a brand, that starts with making sure they get the information they need in the search results. 

Constantly Improve and Experiment

Remember, as you begin to embed elements of UX into your search engine listings, it’s essential to be aware of relevant evolutions. Ultimately, the needs of any audience can change very rapidly. Paying attention to your customers and what kind of links they click on the most will provide you with lots of valuable data. You can use Google analytics to A/B test things like titles, pictures, featured snippets, and other things that may affect UX. 

At the same time, it’s worth noting that the Google search algorithms are constantly changing too. Running split tests on different pages will give you an insight into what your customers want. However, you’ll need to keep an eye on the latest documentation about Google Search if you want to avoid falling behind the competition. 

Like most aspects of exceptional UX, mastering your SERP position isn’t a “set it and forget it” strategy. Instead, you’ll need to work on constantly expanding your knowledge if you want to show clients that you can combine UX and SEO effectively. 

Make sure you have plenty of tools set up to offer reports and insights into the kind of changes that you may need to make to align with search engine expectations. 

Making the Most of UX in the SERPS

It’s easy to forget that there’s more to UX than making your buttons clickable on mobile devices or ensuring that scrolling feels smooth. For a designer or developer to deliver excellent UX for a brand, they need to consider every interaction that a company and customer has. 

This means starting with the way a website appears when it’s listed on the search engines most of the time. Getting your SEO listing right doesn’t just boost your chances of a good ranking. This strategy also improves your reputation with your audience and delivers more meaningful moments in the buyer journey. 

Don’t underestimate the power of UX in SERPs. 

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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Sound is an information-dense data type. Although it may feel antiquated in the era of video content, audio remains a primary information source for many people. Despite long-term decline in listeners, 83% of Americans ages 12 or older listened to terrestrial (AM/FM) radio in a given week in 2020 (down from 89% in 2019). Conversely, online audio has seen a steady rise in listeners over the past two decades, with 62% of Americans reportedly listening to some form of it on a weekly basis according to the same Pew Research Center study.

As a wave, sound includes four properties: frequency, amplitude, waveform, and duration. In musical terminology, these are called pitch, dynamics, tone, and duration. Sounds also help humans and other animals perceive and understand our environment, providing context clues for the location and movement of objects in our surroundings.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Feedback is one of the most valuable resources for any business. Informative messages from your customers can tell you a lot about your company. They’re a way to check that your service strategies are paying off and a chance to learn which parts of your product need an upgrade.

Reviews and testimonials can also help you better understand your audience and the kind of solutions they’re looking for with your brand. 

Solid feedback is also how you improve your chances of gaining more customers in the long term. Brands with superior customer service generate about 5.7 times more revenue than their competitors. 

Of course, before you can begin tackling challenges like pulling trends from feedback or using your reviews to upgrade your business, you have one essential task to consider: How are you going to collect the valuable information your customers have to share?

There are a lot of options to choose from. You can reach out to clients individually with email messages or set up a feedback form on your website. You could even consider working with a review site to give your audience more options. 

Today, we will look at the steps you can take to collect customer feedback the right way.

Unlocking the Benefits of Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is the information and input shared by your community. It provides a behind-the-scenes view of people’s interactions with your team and shows you where you need to focus on beginning driving new opportunities. 

Customer feedback becomes a guiding compass for your organization when used correctly. It shows you what you’re getting right and wrong from your customer’s perspective. Positive feedback can even become part of your marketing campaigns. User-generated content in the form of reviews and testimonials makes for excellent tools to encourage new people to purchase your products. 

Case studies and in-depth reviews from your clients can also help generate trust among potential customers, so you’re more likely to earn crucial sales. 

Only around 3% of customers say that they find marketers and salespeople “trustworthy.” This means that no matter how good your marketing messages might be, you’re only going to be able to accomplish so much with the claims you make about your brand. Ultimately, your clients will turn to other customers like them to determine who they should buy from.

On average, buyers read around seven reviews before they’ll even consider trusting a business. 

The good news is that around two-thirds of customers will share their personal information with a brand. Clients are happy to provide feedback in the right circumstances. It’s your job to ensure that the process is as easy as possible for your customers.

So, how do you get customer reviews?

1. Design an Effective Feedback Survey

The most obvious way to encourage feedback from your customers is to ask for it. Unfortunately, designing a good customer survey isn’t always as simple as it seems. 

On the one hand, you’re keen to gather as much information as possible from your customer, which could mean that you want to ask many questions. On the other hand, asking too many questions could easily scare your audience away. 

To improve your audience’s chances of actually sharing information, keep the feedback requests as simple as possible.

One or two questions at a time should be enough to give you some helpful information about customer preferences and expectations. When choosing what to include in your survey, remember:

  • Only ask essential questions: If the answer to a question isn’t going to help you achieve your goals, don’t ask it. You don’t need to know someone’s age if you want to know if they had a good experience with your service reps. Keep it relevant. 
  • Make the questions thoughtful: Yes or no questions are great for collecting quick information. However, if you want more valuable feedback, leave your queries open-ended, and give customers room to explain themselves. 
  • Use rating scales: If your customer doesn’t have time to respond to a question in your survey with a complete answer, a rating scale can give you some helpful insights with minimal effort from the client. 

Ensure none of the questions on your survey are leading or loaded. Customers don’t want to feel like you’re answering questions for them. It might also be worth showing your audience how much you value their data with a quick response. Hilton Hotels always responds to any adverse reactions to surveys within days of receiving the information. 

Customers can even see how their reviews contribute to the overall rating of the business. 

2. Master Your Emails and Customer Contact Forms

Email is one of the easiest and most effective ways to gather customer feedback. Because this is a standard support channel for most businesses, there are plenty of opportunities to generate feedback. 

The first step in using emails for feedback is to send a message thanking your customer for their recent interaction with you. If someone purchased a product from your company, immediately follow up to let them know you appreciate their custom. A couple of days after, when your customer has had a chance to use your product or service, that’s when you follow up with your feedback request. 

Ideally, your email request should be as short and straightforward as possible, with a clear call to action that tells your customer what to do next. This example from Papier keeps things as detailed as possible.

If you want to boost your chances of engagement, you can add elements to your email that might encourage a positive response, for instance:

  • Remind them of what they bought: Remind your customer of the item they purchased with a picture and a bit of information. Highlight the key features and benefits of that product, so they have some inspiration on what to write about in their review. 
  • Offer them a reward: If you want to boost your chances of your customers doing something for you, you need to offer something in return. This could be a discount on their next order, a chance of winning something, or even just free shipping on their next purchase. 
  • Personalize the message: Make your customer feel special by personalizing the message. Use their name and reference their previous interactions with your company. If they’ve been with your business for a while, mention that in the email.  

Remember, many of your customers are likely to check their emails on the go. That means that giving feedback should be as simple as possible, regardless of the tech your customer is using. For instance, in this Zomato example, users can choose to drop an email to the company or send feedback straight from the app. 

3. Create App Usability Tests

If you want some in-depth insights into your company, and your business processes, then a usability test could be the best way to generate valuable feedback. If you have your app, ask your customer to submit some information right there and then, after they’ve finished using the service. The great thing about this kind of input is it’s fresh.

Unlike other customer reviews that might come a day or two after your customer has used a product, usability tests allow you to get feedback at the moment. There’s a much better chance that you’re going to get some relevant and detailed responses here. 

For instance, in this Skype lab feedback request, customers can tick boxes for any video or audio issues they had and leave a starred review. 

If there’s extra information to share, the customer can tap on the comment box to elaborate. However, they don’t need to do this part unless they want to. 

With usability tests, it’s a good idea to focus on a few key things that you want to learn about. For instance, Skype’s example above demonstrates that the company wants to check at least five user experience issues for both video and audio. 

Giving your customers options that they can choose from reduces the amount of work they need to put into leaving a review. It also means that you can get actionable information on which parts of your app or site need the most improvement. 

You can get the same kind of instant feedback on your website, too, mainly if you’re using a live chat app for customer service. 

Live chat is quickly becoming an essential part of the customer experience environment because it’s fast, easy to use, and efficient. It’s also highly affordable for most companies, thanks to evolving technology. Set up your Live Chat app to immediately request a review from your customer when the interaction is over.

For instance, SiteGround asks customers to rate their service provider with a picture of the employee they spoke to. The image lets the customer see that they were talking to a real person, which improves the relationship with the company. The statement about feedback improving the customer service and support that SiteGround can offer shows the customer how valuable their reviews are. 

4. Conduct Customer Interviews

Conducting a customer interview is a lot like sending out a survey. The main difference is that you ask the client to engage in a much more in-depth conversation. Usually, these interviews will be the initial research required for a published case study on a B2B website. 

Reaching out to valuable and loyal customers can give you a fantastic source of in-depth information to learn from. You’ll need to make sure that you have a good relationship with the customer in question before you attempt this, however. Most one-time clients won’t want to get involved with a time-consuming interview. 

Look at your CRM technology and find out who your most impressive VIP customers are. Reach out to them with a request for feedback, and make sure you offer something in return. For instance, tell them that you’d like to interview for a case study that you can display on your website. If they’re happy for you to do this, you can reward them with a discount on their next purchase or some gifts. 

You could also follow up with a customer who recently contacted your team for an interview, like Ticket Arena does here. With this message, they promise the customer that their insights will make the customer experience better for future clients:

When requesting long-form qualitative feedback, remember to think through your questions carefully. In-depth stories from customers bring nuance and color to your quantitative data. They could even guide your business to making some crucial future decisions. 

When talking to your customers:

  • Start with an open-ended dialogue: Remember that open-ended questions are crucial to get as much detail as possible from your customers. These queries give your customers more flexibility to cover the details of their experiences.
  • Get more specific as you go: Start with simple questions, then build on them as your conversation evolves. Use the things you learn from your customers to dive into topics that are relevant to them. For instance, if a customer mentions your live chat app, go into a deeper discussion about the channels they prefer to use. 
  • Practice active listening: Make sure that you’re open and receptive to the information you’re given. Actively listen to customers, even if you’re not in the same room, by acknowledging what they say and providing valuable responses. 

5. Use Social Media

Sometimes, people are reluctant to give feedback for your business on your website because they’re not in the frame of mind. When customers come to your site, there’s a good chance they’re looking for information from you or want to check out a new product. 

They’re probably not in the right mood to start sharing their opinions. 

However, if you capture your customers on social media, there’s a good chance they’ll be feeling a lot more talkative. After all, social media platforms are where most customers discuss their issues with companies, talk about purchases with friends, and make their voices heard. 

Simply paying attention to when people talk about your company on social media can give you a lot of helpful feedback. Social listening tools allow you to collect post information every time someone mentions your business name or product. 

Alternatively, you can actively use the tools on social media to gather data from customers. For instance, Instagram has its own “poll” feature on Stories that allows companies to collect opinions. 

If you’re collecting feedback on social media, remember that you shouldn’t be asking any questions that are too complicated. Although people are more willing to share their opinions on social, they’re still looking for a relatively laid-back and casual experience.

Polls, where people can vote for their preferences with a single click, are more likely to garner engagement than a post asking people to tell you about the best purchasing experience they ever had with your brand. 

If you do want to encourage more in-depth feedback, the best option is to promise a reward in return for your follower’s effort. 

Make the experience fun by transforming it into a competition. 

For instance, ask your customers to share their favorite story involving your brand for a chance to win an impressive prize. You can ask each customer to tag their response with a branded hashtag so that relevant answers are easier to find. You could even add users to tag their friends in their posts too, to increase brand reach while you collect feedback:

With gifts and rewards to incentivize them, people will be much more likely to interact with your brand and put effort into the reviews they leave. You could even gather some user-generated content to put into your subsequent ad campaigns. 

6. Create a Dedicated Website Page

Finally, if you want to make it as simple as possible for people to leave feedback on your website and for you to collect all of that information into one space, then create a review page on your website. This can double up as social proof for people who need additional evidence to buy from your brand. 

A review page could be as simple as a page on your website listing the latest comments that your customers have left. You can include a form at the bottom of the page where people can add their thoughts. Just make sure that you carefully review these posts before they’re submitted to your website if you want to prevent spam from getting through. 

You could also create a case study or portfolio page that showcases the work you’ve done with other companies like Fabrik Brands does here:

At the bottom of each case study, give your customers a unique email address they can reach out to if they want to be featured as your following case study. Or include a contact form where people can get in touch to discuss their own experiences. 

Having a dedicated review, case study, or testimonial page on your website could be enough to inspire more feedback from your customers. It’s also a fantastic way to demonstrate how credible your company is to potential buyers. 

Still, Struggling? Take the Customer Out of the Equation

If, even with all the suggestions above, you still can’t seem to convince your audience to give you some decent feedback, then take them out of the equation. You can learn things about your audience without asking them for information. Google Analytics and other tools will give you valuable insights into which of your blog pages get the most engagement and how many people click on individual buttons throughout your site. 

These fundamental insights might not be as good as valuable, contextual feedback from your audience, but they’re an excellent way to start figuring out how to invest in your future growth. 

Remember, feedback of any kind – even if it’s just statistics and numbers – gives your business the ability to grow and make informed decisions.

Gather as much feedback as you can, and make sure you use it!

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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The Internet facilitated a worldwide network that allowed people to connect with each other, while also being a source of information. The new concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) allows the Internet to be used as a communication medium for “Things” as well. This device interoperability between devices is allowing companies to leverage a myriad range of benefits.

The advent of IoT technology in any new organization not only allows the information and data to be used in field research and surveys but its applications are now being seen in more practical places. Accuracy, facts, and references are key to the development of any standard product-based organization. All can be achieved by IoT.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Not so long ago, customers only had a couple of ways to interact with brands. 

If you had an issue with a product or service, you could reach out through the customer service phone number or send an email. Occasionally, sites would introduce dedicated forms on their website that allowed consumers to send support tickets straight to the service desk – but that was it.

The problem with this kind of service was all the waiting. 

Send an email or ticket, and you have no idea when the company is going to get back to you. Customers end up refreshing their inbox all day, waiting for a response. Call the company, and 9 times out of 10, you’ll be placed on hold. You can’t exactly do much when you’re stuck listening to hold music, so customers are gradually getting more frustrated as they wait for a response. 

Fortunately, the evolving digital age has introduced a new solution: live chat.

Transforming Your CX With Live Chat

Live chat is a quick and convenient way for your customers to contact your business and get a response immediately. The result is happier clients, better customer satisfaction scores, and even opportunities for bigger sales. 

More than 41% of customers say they expect to see live chat on a site. 

Even if you don’t have an agent on hand to answer a chat message immediately, you can create an automated system that notifies your customer when someone is available. That means they can go and do other things while they’re waiting for a response. Live chat solutions with bots can even allow your customers to fix problems for themselves. That’s pretty convenient!

Widgets equipped with answers to commonly asked questions can automatically deal with customer queries or help them find solutions to their problems before passing them over to an agent. This means that your customer gets a solution faster, and your agents don’t have as much pressure to deal with. It’s a win-win – as long as you get it right. 

Unfortunately, a lot of companies don’t know how to implement live chat experiences correctly. 

Kayako’s study into 400 customers found that 47% couldn’t remember the last time they’d had a positive experience through a live chat tool.  

How to Upgrade Live Chat CX

The evidence shows that customers love the idea of live chat, but the reality of how businesses implement this technology isn’t always ideal. 

However, since 86% of customers say they’re willing to spend more on a better customer experience, it’s worth figuring out what separates a good live chat interaction from a bad one. 

1. Set Expectations Instantly

Setting the right expectations is crucial if you want to generate better satisfaction for your customers at a later date. When customers know what to expect from your live chat strategy, they can also make more informed decisions about which support channels they’re going to use, and whether they want to hang around for someone to answer their messages. 

The first thing you should do is showcase your agent’s availability. In this example from Help Scout, you can see whether the team is active, online, and ready to talk. The company also sets expectations for how quickly you can get an email response if you don’t want to chat.

Other ways to set expectations include:

  • Showing your opening hours: List when team members are usually available to answer questions if you’re not currently online. 
  • Topics: Offer your customers some topics that they can ask about or use the welcome message on your chat tool to direct your customers to an FAQ page. 
  • Restrictions: If there’s anything you can’t deal with over live chat, like changing a customer’s password, let them know in advance so they don’t waste time.

2. Leverage Pre-Chat Forms

Pre-chat forms are some of the most important parts of the live chat experience. They ask your customer to explain their issue to your chatbot so that they can be directed towards the right agent. Using these forms correctly ensures that your agent has all the information they need to solve a problem fast. 

You can even set up automated systems that direct customers to different agents and teams based on their needs. For instance, the live chat app on Outgrow.co gives customers the option to fill out different forms depending on whether they want answers to a question, a demo, or something else.

The button you click on dictates which professional you’ll get through to. Although filling out a form can seem like an extra friction point for your customer at first, it helps to streamline the customer journey. After all, if you can direct the customer to the right agent the first time, there are fewer chances that they’ll need to explain their issue to various different people. 

Here are a few things you can ask for in the live chat form to make it more effective:

  • The customer’s name: This will help to personalize the conversation. It could also be an opportunity to track down any background information you have about an existing customer and the orders that they may want to speak to you about.
  • An email address: Having an email address will allow you to bring up a customer’s record on your CRM. It also means that you can send any information that the customer needs to their email inbox at the end of the conversation.
  • A brief explanation: Ask your customers to share what they’re reaching out to you about and use keywords in their message to assign the chat to the right agent or professional. You could even add a drop-down menu of topics for them to choose from. 

Remember, don’t ask for too much information straight away, or you’ll risk your clients feeling that the service experience is too complicated. 

3. Make Sure It Works Everywhere

We’ve reached the point now where every customer expects a brand’s website to be responsive on any device. Most web-building templates automatically work on mobile tablets and smartphones. Additionally, it’s becoming increasingly easy for companies to transform their website and online store experiences into dedicated apps too. 

However, while most businesses know that their site needs to be responsive, they often forget about the mobile element when it comes to live chat. If your live chat function is only available on the web browser version of your website, then this is going to end up making your mobile customers pretty unhappy. They don’t want to have to stop browsing on their phone just to connect with you. 

Ideally, you’ll want to create a separate component for your mobile app where your customers can easily access the same live chat functions they’d have on your browser-based site.

If you’re just offering live chat through a mobile version of your website, make sure that it’s easy for your customer to click into the chat section and send messages without accidentally ending up on a different tab or page. It might also be worth setting up functions that allow your chat app to send push notifications to your customer’s phone whenever they get a new message. 

Being able to put their smartphone down or switch to another app while they wait for a response will provide a much more intuitive experience for your audience. 

4. Make Sure You Support All the Right Languages

You’d think that this CX tip for live chat would be obvious, but it’s shocking how many companies fail to offer support for all the languages that their customers might use. If you’re selling your products throughout the world, and you know you have customers in China, then it doesn’t make much sense to only offer live chat in English. 

Some of the available live chat apps on the market today come with features that allow you to automatically translate languages when your agents are talking to foreign customers. For instance, LiveChat currently supports 45 languages

If you’re creating your own chat app from scratch, then you’re going to need to work with your developer or designer to make sure that the right languages are supported. Remember, you don’t have to cover everything, but at least make sure that you can connect with the most common groups of customers in your CRM. 

Ensure that if you are using multiple languages, your customers know how to switch to their preferred option too. Usually, the best way to do this is with a drop-down menu. You could also use little flag icons of the countries that you support. 

5. Find Ways to Reduce First Response Time

Speed is probably one of the biggest advantages of live chat, and the main reason that customers like it so much. According to the CMO council, fast response time is the number one thing that a customer looks at when measuring satisfaction. 

While you might not be able to have someone on-hand to answer your customers 24/7, you can improve the way they perceive your load times in a variety of ways. For instance, start by making it clear when your people are online to talk to your customers. Setting expectations on when you’ll be available to immediately respond should help to avoid frustration.

  • Keep all chats in the same place for agents: Having a combined contact center solution on the back-end makes responding to queries much easier for your agents. If they can see all of your brand’s live chat, social, and email conversations in one place, they don’t have to waste time jumping between different platforms and tabs. 
  • Set routing queues: Use an automated system to send every message you get to the most appropriate agent available. You can intelligently route conversations based on the issues that your customers have or the things they want to discuss. It’s also worth ensuring that your system prioritizes routing conversations to the first agent available. 
  • Send notifications: Make sure that you set your live chat system up to send push notifications to agents when a new message is waiting. It’s also with notifying your customer when they have a response, just in case they’ve switched to another tab. 

The notifications you send to your agents could come with access to a customer’s CRM file, so that your agent can go into a conversation with the context they need. Agents that instantly get context on a conversation don’t have to waste as much time tracking down the right information. Giving your agents context also means that they don’t have to ask repetitive questions, which could annoy your customer. 

6. Make the Chat Experience On-Brand

Every company wants to give their customer a slick experience with live chat. The solution you build needs to be easy to use, and responsive across every device. However, it also needs to be something that your customer associates with your brand. 

Companies generally have a lot of options for how a live chat window can look. You can adjust the appearance to suit your brand by picking specific colors, tweaking button shapes, and even changing the available fonts. 

Working the visual elements of your brand into the design of the live chat experience is the best way to make your customers feel comfortable and confident that they’re dealing with your company. For instance, Hubspot uses matching colors, rounded edges on chat bubbles, and even a fun illustration to make their chat experience more “branded.”

Remember, when you’re creating a Live Chat experience that’s “on brand”, it’s also a good idea to think about things like voice and tone. Infusing live chat with the unique personality of your brand will make the experience more memorable. 

If you usually stick with informal language and use a lot of slang, then it makes sense to continue that in live chat – even when you’re sending automated messages. To make sure your brand identity really shines through:

  • Write scripts for your automated messages in your brand’s tone of voice
  • Write guidance scripts for employees that highlight your tone for agents
  • Provide training on brand tone of voice for your support team
  • Encourage support agents to connect with customers on a personal level
  • Remember to set guidelines on how to use things like gifs, slang, and emojis too!

7. Make a Checklist For Security and Tech Issues

One of the most significant things that will affect the experience your customer has with your live chat service, is technical and security issues. Choose the right developer or designer to help with your app, and the risk of problems dwindle. You can also address the issue of having to constantly maintain, check, and update your live chat experience by using a pre-existing solution, like Intercom.

No matter how you choose to approach live chat, these are the things you’ll need to check for most:

  • Page load times: Page load times are crucial for user experience and SEO, so you should be taking them seriously already. Check your web chat software isn’t dragging down the performance of your page or causing unnecessary problems.
  • Cross-channel conversations: If your website has various subdomains, make sure that moving through these in chat won’t mean you lose the session. Customers don’t want to have to repeat themselves!
  • Functionality with browsers: Your chat app needs to work just as well on every browser and operating system – including mobile devices. 
  • Data management: Under things like GDPR, you need to ensure that you’re controlling user information safely. Ensure you have a DPA in place, and make sure that your web channel doesn’t affect any PCI-DSS compliance systems you have in place. Your chat solution may need to automatically mask credit card information, for instance.

Time to Enhance Your Live Chat Strategy

Ultimately, whether you like it or not, your customers love live chat technology, and they’re not going to stop looking for it on your website. Today’s consumers expect you to serve their interests by delivering customer support on the channels that they choose. Unfortunately, most companies just aren’t living up to expectations.

Following the tips above could help you to transform the way that you interact with your clients and improve your chances of better satisfaction overall.

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Technical leaders and senior developers often ask me about any specific books in software architecture and websites they should read to start working as software architects. I think that the developer is mature enough to develop a technical solution and he or she needs only some additional soft skills.

So, I hope that this list of books will be useful for any technology stack and domain. These books and websites give general information about architecture patterns, technical documentation, techniques to get non-functional requirements and develop soft skills.

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Content is the king of the digital world. This is an undisputed fact among marketers and business owners alike.

However, not all content is created equal. Interactive content is a more immersive form of marketing specifically intended for the digital age. Great for companies that need to develop deeper relationships with their audience. 

There are various kinds of interactive content for brands to explore these days. For example, you can create a poll where your customers vote for certain answers to questions. In addition, some companies hire developers to build immersive gaming experiences with prizes and rewards. 

Even standard content like blogs and articles can become more interactive with things like animations, buttons, and elements that ask visitors to do something. 

One of the most valuable forms of interactive content is the quiz. So, how can companies use quizzes to engage their audience effectively? Let’s find out…

The Benefits of Quizzes in Interactive Content

According to studies, 93% of marketers believe interactive content is extremely effective for educating and entertaining customers. Interactive content is meaningful because it’s engaging, and many marketers state that creating engaging content is one of their toughest challenges. 

In an environment where the average attention span is constantly dwindling, interactive content reduces the risk that your customer will end up being distracted by something else before they have a chance to convert on your website. 

Quizzes are an excellent form of interactive content, but many marketers don’t take full advantage of them yet. Quizzes, like some other forms of interactive content, can come in different styles. For example, you could have a personality quiz that tells your customer what kind of vegetable they would be. That might sound odd, but it helps to give your customer a sense of belonging, gives them a feeling of being understood, and offers entertainment. 

Some quizzes can answer questions for your customer. 

For instance, a quiz on “what to buy your dad for father’s day” is an excellent way to solve a customer’s problem while guiding them towards potential products that you sell. 

Z Gallerie, a retail company, launched a quiz called “What is your Z Gallerie Style personality?” The quiz offers a personalized recommendation experience on what to purchase for every current and potential customer. 

The personality quiz became a great way of bringing product recommendations to leads without being pushy. Z Gallerie could, therefore, consistently provide a unique experience to each customer based on their results. 

So, how do you make a quiz that’s really effective for your content marketing plan?

Step 1: Creating the Quiz

Quizzes are a kind of interactive content that can almost feel like a conversation with a brand. They’re an opportunity for you to show your audience how well you understand them. 

According to TryInteract, people take quizzes because they want to know themselves better or want to confirm what they think they already know about themselves. These content solutions solve problems, even if they’re handling a person’s curiosity about what kind of celebrity they’re most like. 

Before you start making your quiz, you need to know your goal and what you’re trying to do for your audience. If your goal is to get more people to feel more attuned to your company, you might need to create something that demonstrates how well you know your visitors.

The goal for the company is to demonstrate a deep knowledge of the industry and target market. If the quiz is helpful and informative, it adds to the brand’s credibility and makes it more likely that customers will want to continue purchasing.

Before you build your quiz, ask yourself:

  • What do you want to get out of your audience taking this quiz? (More conversions, better brand loyalty, improved engagement?)
  • Why would your audience want to take the quiz? (Is it relevant to their interests, will it give them some vital information?)

Knowing exactly what you and your audience should accomplish with the quiz will give you a good platform to begin building on. 

Step 2: Choose the Title and Quiz Type

Titles are important in any content marketing. 80% of readers decide whether to check out an article based on its title. The same process is common for people who want to decide whether they should take a quiz or not. 

There are a lot of great ways to pique your visitor’s attention with a quiz title. For instance, you could challenge your audience to prove their knowledge with the word “actually.” For instance, “How much do you actually know about Kale?” That kind of title immediately appeals to the competitive nature of the human being. 

Another great example of a challenging title is to tell your audience that they can’t do something. Buzzfeed did that with its millennial quiz. The great thing about this quiz title is that it speaks to the competitive nature of the reader but also gives that reader a chance to show that they belong to a specific community. 

Another option could be to ask a question and hope that curiosity will do the rest of the work for you. For instance, “Which celebrity chef are you most like?” The key to success here is understanding your audience and knowing exactly what they most want to know. 

Once you’ve figured out the title, choosing the kind of quiz you want to create is the next step. For instance, you can try:

  • Personality quizzes: People like hearing good things about themselves because of a psychological phenomenon called self-serving bias. A personality quiz that recognizes the features your customers like about themselves will make them feel happier and more connected to your brand.
  • The knowledge test: Commonly found on social media, these quizzes challenge a person’s knowledge on a specific subject. The benefit here is that your audience can learn something and share their knowledge with their friends for social points. This quiz from Unicef is an excellent example of the “knowledge” style quiz.

Step 3: Crafting Quiz Questions

Once you have a good idea of the kind of quiz you want to create and the title you’re going to put alongside it, you’ll need to begin bringing your interactive content to life. That means designing the right questions. 

Writing questions for a quiz is just like creating any excellent content. First, you need to keep your target audience in mind. Next, think about the kind of personality you’re trying to appeal to. Breathing some life into your quiz by injecting your unique sense of personality into it will be an excellent way to strengthen your bond with your customers. 

Other tips for making the most of your quiz questions include:

  • Use visuals in your questions: Having text-only questions is fine in some cases, but it’s worth looking into images too. Using pictures helps to keep things relevant and interesting and makes your quiz feel a lot more immersive. 
  • Don’t make questions too long: In-depth and complicated questions will only scare your audience away. Remember that they’re looking for something fun and lighthearted to do. This means that your questions should be as short as possible. 
  • Make it interesting: Don’t just ask basic questions like “what’s your favorite color” try to go beyond what your customers usually see on quizzes and make it relevant to the quiz topic. Again, this is your chance to show your audience how much you know.

Step 4: Creating Results That People Want to Share

If you want to design a quiz that really blows your audience away, then the results are one of the most important things to focus on. The results you offer your customers dictate whether they enjoy your quiz so much that they want to share it with other people. Creating share-worthy results is how you boost your chances of finding new customers and even going viral. 

So, how do you design results that people want to share? Start by helping your customers to feel positive about themselves. The results should make them feel like a better person or confirm the good things they already believe about themselves. Research tells us that positive emotions are more likely to promote sharing

For instance, this quiz from the PBS company makes people feel good by demonstrating that they know their books. This confirms a customer’s idea that they are well-read.

Using share-worthy images is another way to improve your chances of designing results that people want to share. You’ll need to use interesting pictures here that speak to your audience. Bright and entertaining pictures will make results more eye-catching on a social media feed. 

Don’t forget to include a call-to-action on your results page too. It’s always helpful to give your audience a nudge in the direction you want them to move in. Providing a call-to-action that asks your customers to share their results increases your chances of positive sharing behavior. 

Step 5: Know How to Distribute Your Quiz

Once you’ve put all of the essential components of your quiz together, the next step is ensuring you can distribute that quiz and share it with as many people as possible. For instance, you can promote your quiz on social media to reach more possible customers. Twitter and Facebook are always great places to get started but don’t be afraid to experiment elsewhere. 

Sharing snippets of the quiz experience in an Instagram Story could be a great way to generate engagement or posting a picture on your Instagram feed. 

When promoting your interactive content on social media, use an attractive image to highlight the experience and ensure you make that captivating headline stand out. Share both the caption and image with a shortened link to measure results. Shorter links are more likely to attract audience attention and encourage sharing later. If your links are too long, they can end up looking spammy or unprofessional. That’s not the image you want to build with your quiz content. 

If you need an extra boost for your quiz, promoting through Facebook advertising could be the ideal solution. Paid ads are a great way to get extra attention, but you need to choose your target audience carefully. Select your audience according to demographics, behaviors, connections, and locations. 

Remember that Facebook gives you plenty of opportunities to track down the kind of customers you want to speak to. Creating a custom audience could be a handy step too. This is always useful if you have a lot of information from an email list or a collection of contacts you’ve generated over time.

Step 6: Following Up on Your Quiz

Once you’ve successfully attracted people to your quiz experience, the next step is to follow up on the leads you’ve hopefully collected. When designing a quiz, it’s always a good idea to ask your customer for their email addresses before you give their results. This ensures that you can collect plenty of leads in the long term for nurturing purposes. 

Marketing company, The Foundation, designed a quiz that asked customers whether they had an entrepreneurial mindset. The quiz was based on an existing eBook offered by the company. The quiz, combined with a Facebook ad campaign, helped the business collect new leads to advertise their ebook. The Foundation managed to reduce its cost per lead from $6 to $3.80 using this method. 

When following up on your quiz experience, make sure that you get the tone right. The first thing you need to do is thank your audience for taking the quiz in the first place. After someone opts in and offers their email address, send a quick email that shares their results and says “thanks.” 

After a couple of days, you can follow up on your thank you email by asking your audience to retake the quiz or take a new one. Encourage these repeat customers to share their testimonials and gradually introduce more interesting content you have that’s connected to your quiz. For instance, if you create a quiz to determine whether someone has an entrepreneurial mind, you could advertise articles that cover similar topics. 

Finally, after regular engagement from your audience, you can begin to implement strategies that might convince your audience to purchase your products. This could mean showing off your entrepreneurial eBook, asking someone to sign up for a webinar, or something else entirely.

Don’t forget to track the performance of every quiz too. Examining metrics like click-through rates for your quiz advertisements and conversion rates will help you see which quizzes generate the most attention and action from your intended audience. 

Time to Add Quizzes to Your Interactive Content Strategy?

A content marketing strategy is one of the best ways to engage with your audience and strengthen your position in any industry. The right content demonstrates your knowledge, develops trust, and helps you to attract new customers. With interactive content, you can take the relationship you build with your audience to the next level. It’s your chance to engage with your customers and create an emotional relationship. 

Quizzes are one of the most effective forms of interactive content, and they’re also one of the easiest to implement into your existing strategy. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to create a good quiz, and you can usually find tools online to help you with things like structure and formatting. You could even hire a professional to design a quiz for you. 

Once you’ve got the kind of quiz that’s really going to interest your target audience, the next step is distributing it in a way that generates as much attention as possible. Remember, you can advertise on social media and various other channels. However, it’s also helpful to pay attention to your options for helping do your promotion for you. For example, many customers will be more than happy to share quiz results that confirm the identity they’re trying to build online.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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