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The purpose of a website is to reach new customers and keep current ones engaged. Therefore, customer-first should be at the top of your list for design features. After all, without your clients, your business won’t grow or succeed.

Customer-first has been a buzzword for a few years now. In a nutshell, it’s easy to imagine what customer-first design means. The needs of consumers come before anything else. However, the concept isn’t quite as simple in practice. A lot of nuances enter the equation.

Just what does it mean to have a customer-first web design? What are the must-haves to reach users on their level and keep their attention for the long haul?

Embracing quality customer experiences has driven loyalty for as long as anyone can remember. However, we now live in a time of uncertainty, and when people leave companies on a dime if they’re dissatisfied with any aspect. So you must hit the high notes on every song – your website is your purest online persona and must engage users and keep them entertained.

Whether you embrace causes that matter to your customers and share information on them or tweak your design to meet accessibility guidelines, many factors come into play with a customer-centric design.

In a recent report, researchers found that about 88% of company leaders feel customer engagement impacts revenue. You can’t control every variable, but you can ensure your website hits all the strong points for a customer-first web design that grabs them and keeps them on your page.

Here are our favorite tips to create a customer-first approach. You may already be doing some of these things. Pick and choose what makes the most sense for your business model. Even small changes can have a big impact.

1. Know Your Customers

Before creating a website centered around your customers’ needs, you must know who they are. What are the demographics of your typical clients? Survey them and find out what their needs and expectations are. How can you best help them?

You may also want to survey them about your website. What’s missing that might help them? Is there anything they love? What do they hate? The more you know, the better your design can match their expectations. Create buyer personas based on their preferences.

At the same time, buyers will sometimes say one thing but actually feel another way. No one is quite sure why people do this when being surveyed. One way around that issue is to do some A/B testing to see how they actually feel about various changes. Do they respond the way you thought? What other adjustments need to be made?

2. Find the Right Color Palette

Different industries trend toward various hues. For example, businesses in the banking industry trend toward blues and occasionally reds. Blue elicits trust from users and has a calming effect. On the other hand, the fashion industry might tap into brighter shades, such as lime green. Think about what colors people expect in your industry, and then find your color palette.

Each hue has its emotional impact. For example, red is a color of power and can elicit excitement in the viewer. Choose your shades accordingly to get the most emotional punch possible.

3. Accept Feedback

One of the best ways to improve your site over time to match the needs and preferences of your audience is by allowing feedback. Add reviews, place a feedback form in your footer, and even send out requests for feedback to your mailing list.

It’s also a good idea to find a mentor who has been successful at running a business. Ask them to look at your site and give you advice. You might also enlist the help of a marketing professional.

4. Stick With the Familiar

Have you heard of Jakob’s Law? The rule of thumb states that people prefer common design patterns they’re most familiar with. So when they see a pattern they know, such as a navigation bar layout, it boosts their mood and improves their memory of the site.

When making edits, don’t make significant changes. Instead, implement minor adjustments over time to give your followers a chance to acclimate to the shift.

5. Cut the Clutter

If you want users to feel wowed by your page and engage, you have to limit their choices. Add in too many options, and they may not know where to go first.

Start by choosing an objective for the page. Cut anything that doesn’t point the user toward the goal. Ideally, you’d have a little info, an image, and a call to action (CTA) button. However, this may vary, depending on where your buyer is in the sales funnel and how much information they need to decide to go from browser to customer.

6. Choose Mobile Friendliness

Recent reports indicate about 90% of people use mobile devices to go online at times. With phones gaining greater capabilities and 5G bringing faster speeds to communities, expect people to use their mobile devices even more frequently for internet browsing.

Making sure your site translates well on smaller screens makes sense for your company and for your customers. Be sure to test everything. Click through all links. Fill in forms. Ensure images and text auto-adjust to the correct size, so people don’t have to scroll endlessly.

7. Make Multiple Landing Pages

Like most businesses, you probably have several buyer personas as you segment your audience. Don’t just create a single home page and expect it to fulfill the purpose of every reader. Instead, create unique pages for each persona to best meet their needs.

Make sure each landing page speaks in the natural language patterns of your specific audience. Think about the unique needs of each group. How do their pain points differ? How can you best meet their needs?

8. Keep Important Info Above the Fold

People are busy. They work, have families, and might visit your site on the 15-minute break they get in the afternoon. Most consumers want the information they need to decide and don’t want to dilly-dally around with other things.

Place the essential headlines and info they need above the fold, so they see it first. Make it as readable as possible by using headings and subheadings. Add in a few bullet points. People also absorb information easier in video format, so add a video highlighting your product’s or service’s main benefits.

You should also place a CTA button above the fold if it makes sense for your overall design. Keep in mind people may have visited and already read some of the information. Some users return just to sign up and want to find the CTA quickly.

Step Into Your Customers’ Shoes

Look at your site through the eyes of your audience. What works well? What needs to be adjusted? Over time, you’ll develop a customer-first web design that speaks to those most likely to buy from you. Then, keep making changes and tweaking your site until it hits the perfect balance for your customers.

 

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Live chat is one of the most powerful tools for customer experience in the current marketplace. 

In a world where customers are constantly connected to the online world, online chat is a reliable way of getting quick solutions to common problems. 

Today’s consumers prefer talking to an agent over chat to calling a contact center, and they often feel that live chat is less frustrating than waiting for the right person to answer the phone. 

Of course, like any digital tool, live chat is only effective when using it correctly. Today, we’re going to show you the crucial KPIs you need to consider if you want to ensure that your chat strategy is delivering a tangible return on investment. 

The Most Important Metrics to Measure for Live Chat

These days, implementing live chat tools is easier than ever. 

You don’t necessarily need to hire a professional developer unless you want a specialist widget with specific functions and unique branding. Many plugins and tools for sites built on Shopify and WooCommerce allow you to instantly access chat functions. 

However, just because implementing live chat is easy doesn’t mean that there aren’t countless ways for your strategy to go wrong. Keeping an eye on these crucial KPIs and metrics ensures you’re making the right impression with your chat strategy. 

1. First Response Time

First response time is a crucial live chat metric. This measures how long customers need to wait before someone responds to them. Technically, this metric only refers to how quickly an actual agent responds to your customer, so automated “thanks for getting in touch” messages don’t count. However, immediately responding with one of those messages can convince your audience to stick around for a little longer. 

The faster your agents can respond to messages and solve problems, the better your brand reputation becomes. The good news is that a good live chat strategy can lead to pretty quick response times. The average time for an agent to see a live chat message is around 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

To improve your FRT statistics, make sure you:

  • Invest in chatbots: AI chatbots can support customers 24/7 with handy, self-service functionality. These tools will also filter out the customers waiting for an agent who can find a solution to their problem on your FAQ page.
  • Prepare canned responses: Quick responses to common queries can help you to address a problem much faster. In addition, preparing canned responses will ensure that your team members can quickly respond to more customers. 
  • Increase your resources: Ensure you have the right hand and enough agents to handle peak demand.

2. Average Resolution Time

The first response rate only looks at how quickly someone responds to a customer’s message for the first time. However, it doesn’t show how rapidly you deal with client problems. Average Resolution Time is the metric that helps to measure customer satisfaction by seeing how long it takes to get to a point where your customer can close the chat. 

If it takes too long for your employees to solve problems, there’s an increased risk of your customers becoming annoyed and frustrated. Additionally, the longer agents take dealing with each individual chat, the more other consumers will have to wait for someone to become available. Finally, the longer it takes to resolve an issue, the more customer satisfaction decreases.

The key to success is ensuring that the right agent deals with the correct customer and that everyone on your team is empowered with the appropriate tools and information. Boost resolution time by:

  • Giving customers a quick self-service solution: For common questions, make sure that you have an FAQ section that you can direct your customers to. In addition, a chatbot that can offer quick canned responses to regular queries can save time. Plus, they’re great for reducing the pressure on your agents’ shoulders. 
  • Integrate CRM tools with live chat: Make sure your agents have access to information about each customer as soon as they start the conversation. This information should include the customer’s name, what they’ve purchased before, and if they’ve issued any support tickets. Integrating with the CRM makes it easier for agents to jump straight into the action without needing the customer to explain everything first. 
  • Keep resources handy: Your team members should have instant access to all the information they need to answer customer questions. Ensure that searchable data repositories are available for everyone on your live chat team. 

Remember, routing tools that automatically send customers to the agent with the proper knowledge or skills will also improve response times and reduce the number of times a customer needs to repeat themselves. 

3. Chat to Conversion Rate 

Live chat tools aren’t just an avenue for problem resolution. Although customers can get excellent service through live chat, they also look to chat to collect information before a potential purchase. Around 38% of customers say that they end up purchasing a positive live chat experience. 

The live chat app on your website can provide real-time assistance for sales queries, converting leads, and maximizing your return on investment. However, to determine how successful your chat system is at encouraging sales, you must look at the chat to conversion rate metric. 

Essentially, you measure the number of chats your company has been involved in, then compare that number to the total number of conversions from those customers. It might be helpful to narrow down your results here by using your data and analytics tools to separate your total number of live chats into those intended for sales information and those requiring assistance. 

If your chat to conversion rate isn’t as high as you would like, there are lots of things you can do to start making a positive impact:

  • Automatically launch a chat: As soon as someone comes to your website, launch a chat window with a bot that asks whether you can help your customer. You can even include a list of commonly asked questions so your customer can get help faster. 
  • Follow up on chat conversations: Make sure you follow up on any questions that customers ask on your chat widget with an email. This is a great way to reach out to customers that may have been distracted and ended up abandoning their cart.
  • Personalize suggestions: Use AI insights and information from your customer management tools to determine which products are most likely to appeal to each customer, then suggest those items. Remember to ensure that your tone of voice in the chat matches your brand too. 

Remember, the faster you can answer customer queries and address their concerns with your live chat strategy, the more likely the chat will lead to a sale. Ultimately, customers are convinced to purchase when they believe they can trust your business to deliver excellent experiences. 

4. Customer Satisfaction Score

The customer satisfaction score is probably one of the most critical metrics in any customer experience strategy. It directly measures customer satisfaction levels and gives you an insight into how well you’re doing from the perspective of your target audience. 

The best way to measure CSAT through live chat is to add a survey to the end of the chat session. For instance, you could ask, “How would you rate this session on a scale of 1 to 10”. Then, based on the score, you’d calculate a “Net Promotion Score.” Each score falls into one of three categories: “Detractors 0-6”, “Passives 6-8,” and “Promotors 9-10”.

The more information you collect about your CSAT score, the easier it will be to determine where you’re going wrong with your live chat strategy. On the other hand, if the score is pretty good after a chat session, you’re probably on the right track. To improve your overall score:

  • Encourage feedback: Getting people to leave feedback, even on a live chat app, can be difficult. Offering customers the chance to win something in exchange for their insights could help you to get more data. 
  • Follow up: Connect with your “detractors” to find out what you did wrong. Follow up in the live chat session by asking if they’d like to leave a more comprehensive review. Alternatively, you can send an email asking for additional information. 
  • Reach out to promotors: Connect with the people who give you the most favorable scores to ask them for their insights. Find out what they enjoyed most about the experience and request a review that you can place on your website for social proof. 

5. Missed Opportunities

The longer someone waits for you to answer their question in a live chat or respond to their initial message, the more likely they’ll give up on the conversation. Unfortunately, this means that your company ends up with missed opportunities. You lose the chance to potentially make a sale, delight a customer, and strengthen your brand reputation.

While you might assume that your customers will know you can’t be available to answer all of their questions immediately, that’s not the case. INC tells us that 51% of consumers believe a business should always be open. So every missed chat is another negative mark against your reputation. 

If you discover that your team is missing a lot of chat chances, this could be a sign that you don’t have enough resources available in this area. However, there are a few ways that you can reduce your chances of missed opportunities, such as:

  • Hiring more team members: If you know that there are times of the year or week when you have peaks in demand, ensure that you have the correct number of staff members available. 
  • Using chatbots: Chatbots won’t be able to answer all customer questions, but they can deliver quick responses to commonly asked queries and reduce the risk of lost opportunities.
  • Provide alternative forms of communication: if your customer can’t reach you on live chat, make sure that there are other options available, like a phone number and email address or a form where your customer can automatically submit a ticket. 

6. Total Number of Chats and Tickets

Keeping track of the total number of tickets your customers submit, alongside the number of chats your employees engage in, will give you helpful information. First, the total number of conversations shows how many customers are taking advantage of your live chat function on the website. 

You’ll also be able to compare your total number of chats to the number of resolved problems you deal with for your customers. For example, comparing your total number of chats to an unlimited number of tickets shows you how many customers have been left to rely on other sources of communication. You can also see how good your employees are at following up with tickets issued by customers. 

When you’re analyzing your number of tickets and chat sessions, you might notice that many of the queries you dealt with were connected to specific questions or topics. If that’s the case, you might be able to create a new FAQ page for your customers or provide your chatbot with extra information that it can use. 

If you’re getting more support tickets through alternative means than live chat, it might be time to ask yourself what’s wrong with your live chat performance and why your customers choose not to use it. 

Improving Live Chat CX for Your Business

Live chat can be a powerful tool for improving customer experience and an excellent way to strengthen your relationship with existing and potential clients.

Step into the shoes of your customer and discover what it feels like to walk through the whole live chat experience, from the moment that you send a request to the live chat team to the moment when you close down the chat with a solution to your problem. Other quick tips include:

  • Getting the software right: Make sure your live chat app is easy for your end customers and your employees. The chat app you use should be convenient and suit your brand. It also needs to collect information effectively without causing problems like GDPR and regulations. Get a developer involved if you think you have a problem with your chat functionality. 
  • Guide your team: Remember that your team needs to know how to use the live chat tools available effectively if they’re going to deliver the best results to your customers. Make sure you give your employees scripts to deal with problems if needed. In addition, chatbots that can quickly grab information from integrated CRM tools and other solutions could make your agents’ lives much more manageable. 
  • Pay attention to feedback: Ask your customers for feedback on their live chat experiences whenever you can. Ensure you pay attention to what they say they like and dislike about the encounter. If you can listen to your customer’s opinions, they’ll give you a lot of helpful information to work with when you’re enhancing and optimizing your live chat strategy. In addition, listening to your audience shows that you have their best interests at heart.

Remember, as well as customer feedback; you might be able to ask your employees for their insights into how you can improve live chat performance too. Employees also work with these tools regularly, so they know which features are more problematic than others. 

Measuring and Improving Live Chat

Live chat functionality isn’t something that you implement into your website and forget about. Instead, like any form of customer service or engagement tool, your live chat solution should be something you test regularly and constantly update to suit your customers’ needs. 

Knowing which metrics to measure when examining live chat functionality and performance will boost the experience you can give your audience and even open the door for better relationships with clients in the long term.

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Que ce soit pour stocker vos données, collaborer avec vos employés, avec vos partenaires ou pour booster votre croissance, le cloud constitue une option plus sûre par rapport à un déploiement sur site.

La transformation digitale s’est largement accélérée ces dernières années, notamment avec le Covid, poussant les entreprises à adopter une dynamique plus souple et davantage en phase avec les nouveaux enjeux commerciaux et humains. Le cloud s’est donc révélé être un véritable facilitateur en termes d’agilité, d’ouverture à l’international, de croissance et depuis, le marché du cloud est en pleine expansion. Mais le passage au cloud-only peut effrayer, notamment à cause des questions de cybersécurité.

Cybersécurité, de quoi parlons-nous ?

Aucun système n’est infaillible, et avec toutes les actualités concernant les cyberattaques, la question de la cybersécurité est légitime. Selon une étude de l’assureur spécialisé Hiscox, de 2020 à 2021, la proportion des entreprises françaises ciblées par une cyber-attaque est passée de 38% à 43%.

Tous les types d’organisations, et ce, quelle que soit leur taille, sont exposés à des incidents de cybersécurité. Ces derniers peuvent avoir des degrés de gravité divers mais également être de différentes natures. Les entreprises peuvent être victimes de vol de données, de fraude ou encore d’espionnage, des cyberattaques, mais elles peuvent également subir des incidents internes, comme des perturbations au sein de leur service cloud.

Le vol des données est sans doute l’un des sujets les plus brûlants de l’actualité. Pourtant, après enquête, l’examen révèle le plus souvent que les informations piratées n’étaient pas stockées dans le cloud mais conservées sur site.

Si des contrôles en interne sont effectués dans la plupart des entreprises, ils s’avèrent souvent insuffisants au vu des menaces existantes. La Global Digital Trust Insights 2022 révèle que seuls 40% des dirigeants comprennent parfaitement les risques liés à la cybercriminalité et à la protection de la vie privée de leurs tiers. L’étude démontre que les équipes dirigeantes actuelles peinent à déceler l’importance du sujet de la cybersécurité, une situation qui expose alors les entreprises à des risques accrus au regard de l’augmentation des cyberattaques.

Que ce soit pour stocker vos données, collaborer avec vos employés, avec vos partenaires ou pour booster votre croissance, le cloud constitue une option plus sûre par rapport à un déploiement sur site. Mais le degré de sécurité de votre système cloud dépend surtout de la manière dont il est déployé et de la personne chargée de sa gestion.

S’entourer d’experts, la meilleure des cybersécurités

La cybersécurité est bien plus qu’un simple sujet informatique et il semble aujourd’hui que le niveau de maturité des entreprises dans ce domaine soit encore trop faible.

Si la multiplication des cyberattaques et l’évolution des réglementations incitent les entreprises à prendre des mesures, les éléments développés ne protègent que partiellement des risques.

Il faut savoir que la cybersécurité s’acquiert en deux temps: aux prémices, au moment de la configuration puis tout au long de son utilisation, grâce à une surveillance continue.

Une configuration sécurisée est essentielle pour se protéger des cybercriminels, d’autant que lorsqu’elle est correctement déployée, il est bien plus facile de maintenir la conformité du système. Or, une seule erreur de configuration peut exposer les entreprises à une vulnérabilité et à des conséquences bien trop risquées pour être ignorées.

Il est donc essentiel de se faire accompagner par une société experte pour tirer profit des multiples avantages du cloud, et ce, en toute sécurité.

Lorsque nos clients choisissent de muter vers le cloud, c’est toute une équipe dédiée qui les amène sur les plateformes reconnues, sans qu’ils ne se risquent à faire des erreurs en configurant eux-mêmes leur système.

Et par la suite, être suivi par une société experte tout au long de son activité, c’est se garantir d’être entouré par un important écosystème qui s’assure de la sécurité d’infrastructure, du réseau, du système d’exploitation et de la base de données de manière transparente, et ce partout dans le monde.

L’objectif est clair, donner aux clients le plus haut niveau de fonctionnalité pour chaque fonction.

Grâce à une surveillance continue, la mise en place d’audits et l’élaboration de stratégies d’urgence, l’expertise du prestataire permet de mieux prédire, prévenir, détecter et réagir aux menaces. Ce choix, plus d’une centaine de nos clients l’ont déjà fait en France en 2021.

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Are you a creative person looking for the perfect career path to take? If so, there are not many more creative professions than that of a web designer.

However, becoming a web designer can be challenging, especially if you do not know where to start. For example, do you need to attend college to become a web designer? And what kind of computer and software do you need to own to be successful as a web designer?

This guide aims to answer all these questions and show you the steps you need to follow to build a career in web design.

Web Designer: Main Skills and Responsibilities

Generally speaking, a web designer is a professional who creates, manages, and maintains content for the web. Nothing is left out from designing pages and visual elements via programming languages and creating user-friendly websites.

Web Designer (Hard and Soft) Skills:

  • UX, UI, and visual design knowledge (web fonts, colors, etc.)
  • Management of design software (e.g., Adobe Photoshop)
  • Coding knowledge (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.)
  • Time management
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving and teamwork skills
  • Research skills

Web Designer Responsibilities:

  • Plan and create web pages
  • Design appealing layouts
  • Use codes to create user-friendly pages
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Listen and advise clients
  • Able to work as part of a team and effectively solve occurring problems
  • Analyze the client’s niche, explore new web design opportunities/ innovative digital marketing approaches

If you feel overwhelmed reading this table, don’t be! You do not have to master all of the above skills. No one expects you to either. Becoming a top-notch web designer takes some dedication, but ultimately it’s nothing more than a series of steps. Let’s dive deeper into them.

Becoming a Web Designer: 7 Essential Steps

1. Gaining the Knowledge Needed: Theory and Certifications

Let’s start with the most common question, “Do I need to go to college to become a web designer?” Research shows that more than 65% of web designers are self-taught (fully or partially). Of course, that does not mean you can jump into design from the start.

Instead, we recommend that you learn some essential web design elements and how to use them in your future projects. This includes UX (user experience), UI (user interface), protocols, and patterns. The same goes for technical knowledge like programming languages, frameworks, and design software.

2. Developing Certain Skills

So, there are numerous aspects you can explore regarding technical skills. To be specific, your first steps in web design include developing the following skills: 

  1. Theory and certifications: Learning the theory to understand how the web and the market work
  2. Web design tools: Finding the web design tools you need to start designing (.e.g Webflow, Sketch, Figma). This will allow you to learn how to prototype web design mock-ups.
  3. Graphic design tools: Becoming familiar with software like Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.
  4. Programming languages: Especially if you think of becoming a freelance web designer, you should at least learn how to use fundamental languages (HTML, JavaScript, CSS).
  5. SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Learning how to optimize your web pages to rank on search engines is crucial.  

3. Mastering Web Design Software 

What software do you need as a beginner to start creating web designs? There are numerous apps that will help you gradually enter the fascinating world of web design. 

When it comes to CMS platforms, WordPress is by far the most popular in the market. The good thing about WordPress is that it is very beginner-friendly and comes with thousands of pre-built themes and plugins that you can use when creating a website.

But the same is true for InVision Studio. Unlike WordPress, InVision Studio is specifically designed to help web designers prototype and design a website. Finally, when it comes to graphic design software, we recommend you start with Photoshop (for creating visual samples and prints) and Sketch (for UI designs). 

4. Learning How Much Computing Power you Need

Although online CMS platforms like WordPress do not require special hardware, that’s not true for web design and graphic design software. To be precise, both InVision Studio and Photoshop have quite demanding system requirements. 

Still, a mid-range desktop or an entry-level gaming laptop can easily handle such applications. You need a reliable CPU, 8 GB RAM, and a dedicated graphics card.

I find working with two screens perfect when it comes to prototyping. You do not need to spend thousands of dollars to buy a laptop or desktop for web design.

5. Practice, Practice, and Practice

As with any other profession, practice makes perfect in web design. Therefore, the good idea is to get involved with personal web design projects before you start seeking clients or applying for job offers. This way, you can gradually acquire the technical skills you need.

Also, by working on some personal projects first, you can build a professional portfolio.

6. Creating a Professional Portfolio

If you want to draw attention to your talent, you should have a comprehensive portfolio as a web designer. This way, potential customers to trust you by having a look at your work and previous experience.

When creating a portfolio, make sure to showcase all aspects of your work and make it user-friendly. In other words, think of your online portfolio representing your talent and treat it accordingly.

7. Choosing the Web Designer Type That Best Suits Your Needs and Preferences

Last but not least, before working as a web designer, you should know that there are three main types of web designers: Freelance web designers, Agency web designers, and In-house web designers.

If you prefer to be self-employed and believe that you have the required soft skills, freelancing is probably the best path.

On the other hand, working for an agency or a company is usually easier (especially for beginners) and will provide you with a stable income. But, in the end, it all depends on your needs and preferences.

Wrap Up

Being a web designer can be an exciting career. As long as you have the necessary dedication and willingness, nothing will stand in your way.

Learning different aspects of the profession and mastering specific software will only make you better. All you need to do is respond positively to (and ask for) incoming feedback and practice!

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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Do you find yourself stuck when finding new web design clients? Whether you own a web design company or work as a freelancer, expanding your audience and attracting clients can be challenging.

Talking from experience: there are times when I can not find people interested in my work. If that’s the case for you right now, let me tell you not to worry.

This guide will analyze the best practices I use to attract new web design clients and how you can easily customize them to fit your needs and preferences. First, we will explore why it’s essential to use more than one way to acquire clients in 2022.

Why Should You Seek Innovative Ways to Attract Clients?

Let’s start with a personal conviction: There are enough customers to cover our niche’s supply. A common mistake most web designers make is looking in the wrong place.

Do not get me wrong, the quality of your work is always the most important thing. The better your services are, the more clients you will eventually get. But if you want to prove your talent online, you need to expand your audience.

Remember that the market is highly competitive. And so you need to follow certain steps and choose the best platforms. 

7 Best Ways To Attract Web Design Clients in 2022

Although there are many ways to attract web design clients online, some prove to be more effective than others. Let us explore them one by one:

1. Use Marketplaces for Freelancers Such as Upwork, Indeed

Whether you own your web studio or are just getting acquainted with being a freelance web designer, marketplaces for freelancers are a great way to attract new clients. The same goes for well-known web design job boards like Dribbble, Twine, and WordPress Jobs

But in general, marketplaces for freelancers are more effective as these platforms attract thousands of buyers/clients every day. The best way to attract clients is to create and polish your profile and respond to relevant job offers.

However, it is equally important to choose a platform that is not exploitative but also has numerous clients in the web design niche. Although Upwork and Indeed are the two most popular, several other platforms meet these requirements, including Freelancer, 99 Designs, Guru, Upstack, TopTal, and PeoplePerHour.

2. Search on LinkedIn

Many would argue that social media platforms are the best way to attract web design clients these days. While this is true to a certain extent, not all social networks have the same impact on professionals. I have found that LinkedIn is the number one platform that a web designer should invest time and effort into.

The reason is simple; the platform’s goal is to bring professionals together. So, if you create a top-notch LinkedIn profile, you can quickly expand your audience and find people interested in buying services. The process is quite simple because all you need to do is:

  1. Create a professional bio: Mention what you do and who are the people you can help via your services.
  2. Optimize your profile’s About (personal info, website and portfolio info, etc.) and Experience (previous projects) sections.
  3. Use the LinkedIn filters to connect with individuals and companies. 
  4. Personalize your invitations and respond via DMs to people inviting you.

This may sound like a lot of work, and believe me, it is. Still, if you want to attract more clients via social media platforms, LinkedIn is the best way to go. 

3. Pay Attention to your Portfolio and Website

Regardless of how many connections you have on LinkedIn, clients need to trust that you are the best person for a project before hiring you. And there’s no better way to do that than to have a comprehensive portfolio and website.

Websites like Dribble and WordPress allow you to create portfolio websites quickly and efficiently. As a web designer, you can treat your website like a personal project and use your UI and UX knowledge to outshine your competitors.

4. Create Social Proof

In a few words, social proof is a way to prove to new clients that they should mimic the behavior of your existing clients by hiring you for their project.

To do this, you can create a page with Google reviews, collect testimonials/references, take screenshots of your conversations with clients and capture their feedback. Then all you need to do is present them on your portfolio website, in your social media posts/stories, etc.

5. Use Word of Mouth

Apart from asking your existing clients for referrals, you should try to build a deep professional relationship with them. This will automatically help them to recommend your services through word of mouth.

In many cases, word of mouth has proven to be much more reliable than traditional advertising methods (email marketing, SEO tactics).

6. Speak at Events and Podcasts

Say you are an experienced web designer, and all you need is to expand your target audience. In this case, speaking at events is a fantastic way to build authority. Of course, becoming a public speaker is not easy, especially if you’re a beginner.

This is where podcasts come in handy. By appearing as a guest on podcasts (or webinars), you can easily get your name out there, connect with people interested in web design, and eventually attract new clients.

Start by finding communities (e.g., Facebook groups for web design) and communicate with active (or just interested) people in the web design niche.

7. Offer Free Advice to your Audience

Don’t get me wrong, I know that offering something for free is not the best thing. Still, by creating free content and offering free advice, you can make people take notice of your talent.

Likewise, answering questions on social media platforms and creating valuable content is a great way to convert your website/social media visitors into customers.

Wrap Up

Remember that the most important thing in attracting new clients is the quality of your work. This may sound obvious, but believe me, it’s more than just a rookie mistake.

Let’s close with this; the tips listed above will allow you to work harder but smarter. After all, that’s all you need to build authority as a web designer and attract new clients.

 

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Most of us are concerned about our public image, right? It matters a lot how people see and think of us. Export the same sentiment to a brand instead of a person. That’s what brand reputation is all about!  

Yes, it’s that simple – the public’s perception of a brand constitutes its brand reputation. And since the internet plays a significant role in public perception nowadays, a brand’s online reputation essentially drives brand perception.

If we come at it from a slightly different angle, it’s the sum of all ideas and emotions a customer or client associates with a brand while interacting with it at any stage. It includes everything, from what kind of customer services they get when purchasing goods or services to after-sales services the company provides. Reputation management is usually done via social media, emails, and online chats.

(Remember, you shouldn’t confine brand reputation only to a brand’s customers or end-users. It includes all stakeholders’ opinions of a brand. It can be anyone from customers to retailers and shippers to manufacturers.)

In short, brand reputation is the most vital intangible asset for any organization striving to make it big in today’s cutthroat market.

What’s The Importance Of A Strong Brand Reputation For Today’s Businesses?

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that nothing affects every stage of the marketing and sales funnel, like a brand’s reputation. Whether it’s awareness, interest, evaluation, commitment, sales, or reputation, a strong brand reputation will only supplement it.

Recent research reveals that about 94% of consumers say that their likelihood of frequenting a business increases if it has positive reviews. Conversely, 92% say that their chance of patronizing a business decreases if it has negative reviews.

Now, let’s look at various factors that make working on your brand reputation important.

Market Trust

Strengthening brand reputation earns your business the trust factor, making your brand a more viable choice for existing and prospective customers. It helps them place their faith in you, believing that your brand is here to thrive and fulfill any promises it makes.

Moreover, it’s a fact that people prefer buying goods and services from a brand that enjoys a solid reputation, especially if people in their social circle use its products.  

Higher Sales

You can’t be far from the truth if you believe brand reputation only yields intangible business gains. It lends you tangible improvements as well, most importantly, in the form of higher sales volume, which translates as higher profits.

All this can’t be achieved without the push from a strong brand reputation, helping the brand carve a niche for itself amongst tough competition.

Customer Loyalty

When a brand succeeds in earning a higher trust level and a positive reputation, the customers are more likely to remain loyal. And, will continue to buy products and services from it, refuting various incentives by the competition, such as discount packages & low prices.

Customer loyalty also leads a brand to a host of other fringe benefits, i.e., demanding a premium price after some time.

Competitive Edge

One thing is for sure, the level of competition in the market is always going to soar higher and higher. And it’s almost impossible for a business to make its way through it without a competitive edge. That’s where a positive brand reputation can make a business’s life easier.

Having the edge over the competition means your potential for catching new customers increases exponentially, helping your brand claim more of the market share.

Word of Mouth

Happy customers remain one of the most significant assets of a brand, especially in this digital era. They serve as brand ambassadors, and if they’re happy and satisfied, they’ll pass the word on, advocating for the brand for free.

It not only leads to increased brand awareness in the market, but it also paves the way for a business to improve its sales and profit margins over time.

What Are The Best Strategies For Managing Your Brand’s Reputation Online?

We’ll keep our focus on the ones proven to be the most effective, starting with:

Staying Ahead of The Curve

Being proactive is among the primary requisites for today’s brand managers. They should be thinking ahead of their competitors and the target audience. While branding online, the margin of error is relatively low, and any slipup can lead to a ripple effect in nullifying the brand’s positive image.

The best way to cope with such a situation is to embrace the mistake quickly and be upbeat enough to resolve the issue immediately rather than have a wait-and-see attitude.

Be Specific About The Deliverables

Social media has played a phenomenal role in educating today’s customers, making them very intelligent and demanding at the same time. It has opened up infinite mediums and channels to get alternatives for almost everything.

That’s why brands need to be very specific in delivery time and after-sales services to avoid earning themselves a bad name in the market. Most experts recommend the “under promise and over deliver” approach to avoid disappointing your customers.

Establish Yourself as An Authority

If you have complete faith in your offerings as a business, knowing that you’re the best in the market, you better be loud and clear about it. It will help you catch immediate attention from your target audience, increasing your brand awareness and your potential to bag more sales and revenue.

Let’s talk about the quality of the product as an example. If you believe that the quality of your product is the unique selling prospect, you must let people know about it. Flaunt this factor with full force, vigor, and authority.

It will help you establish your brand in the market as an authority, and your target market will start looking up to you for the best and the latest on it.

Be Consistent and Assertive

As they say, consistency is the key. If you do it right, your brand reputation will go beyond the lifespan of your brand. People will relate to your brand positively even after your business shuts down.

However, this demands the next level of consistency from your business. You have to make sure you deliver your best in all aspects of branding your business, from the quality of the products and services to the level of customer service you offer.

It doesn’t work well if you outperform your competition by miles for the first time and then step back from delivering those high service standards. You roll your sleeves up and get to compete yourself if you believe you’re outdoing your competition so well.

Deliver on Your Promises

You cannot overstate the significance of delivering on your promises if you want to make the most of your brand reputation. Nothing brands your business better than a bunch of happy and satisfied customers.

And, delivering on your promises consistently is the least of what you need to do to win over your customers to the level they turn into your unofficial brand ambassadors.

Value Feedback

It would be best if you realign your thinking this way. 

Who are you producing your products/services for? Your clients/customers, of course!

What if it’s not working well for them?

Redo your product/service to the requirements and likings of your customers. Otherwise, your business will earn you nothing but a bad name in the market.

You have to realize the importance of listening to your customers, gathering customers’ opinions about what’s not working for them and what areas they would like to see improved. 

Learn to accept and respect your customers’ grievances, praises, issues, tips, or any feedback they give you about your product or service.

You’ll upscale your brand’s reputation considerably if you start doing this.

How Can Influencer Marketing Help You Grow Your Brand’s Reach

Influencer marketing is the concept of branding your business through influential people and opinion leaders in the industry rather than engaging your business directly in doing so. They also brand indirectly, setting a practical example rather than advocating verbally for it.

Research reveals that 94% of marketers using influencer marketing find it highly effective, potentially increasing the ROI 11% times higher than conventional marketing.

Brands that indulge in influencer marketing associate themselves with influential personalities resonating with their message, driving it across their target market in a manner that a large number of people develop an affiliation toward it.

Influencer campaigns help brands tap into an existing community comprising their influencer’s dedicated followers, compelling them to tilt toward a brand they use. Most of us have observed how renowned YouTubers, Tiktokers, and bloggers proactively advertise different brands to their followers.

The increased penetration of a rapidly growing number of social media platforms also helps the influencers garner a solid following and significantly impact the communities that follow them.

They are like a part of the family for their followers, who value their opinion and try to imitate them in what they do and how they do it.

Conclusion

With the competition getting steeper every passing day, earning the trust and business of your target market is becoming a challenging task for most companies. It makes branding even more imperative.

Make a great customer experience your top priority, also keeping a focus on the customer and employee retention and customer feedback to establish yourself as a customer-centric brand. 

Though it might take some time, it will surely help you grab your target market’s attention and respect in the long run. Once you achieve that, you’ll see sales and profits soaring accordingly.

 

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Micro-interactions effectively communicate brand identity and ethos while strengthening ties with the customer. These habit-forming tools make for a fun and seamless user experience. Facebook’s ‘likes’ and Tinder’s ‘swipes’ are two classic examples. 

Micro-interactions originated with the need to guide customers who had hit a snag while using a service or a product. The goal was to ease customers into being more product-savvy via subtle reassurance and feedback. Micro-interactions are now employed by everything from washing machines, to coffee makers.

Along with feedback, prompts, and recommendations, they can also present customers with an appealing visual reward upon finishing a task. When used optimally, micro-interactions drastically enhance the navigation and simplify how users interact with sites and apps.

How Micro-Interactions Work

Here are the four structural elements to a simple micro-interaction: triggers, rules, feedback, and loops. Every micro-interaction has a significant component to organize the operational cycle. It lets you control feedback and runs, so the users understand the consequences of their performance and feel motivated to follow through.

Triggers

This feature begins micro-interactions of both the user-initiated (prompted by user) and system-initiated (driven by the system) kind. For example, a click, scroll, swipe, tap, and pull are common triggers that users carry out. So making a payment, booking a cab, and clicking or tapping on the hamburger menu all fall under this category. On the flip side, the user’s alert prompt upon entering a wrong password is a classic system-generated trigger. 

Rules

This element determines what happens after the user sets a prompt into motion via tapping, clicking, scrolling, or swiping. Rules refer to the fact that apps decide the triggers that users employ — Tinder’s ‘swipe’ feature illustrates this point. These rules gradually become a habit-forming action that users get accustomed to while regularly engaging with an app.

Feedback

During this process stage, the system informs the user via auditory, visual, or haptic cues. It engages the users and encourages them to proceed further in their process. For example, the progress bar of a download, the visual representation of steps cleared in a circle, or the visual, aural, and tactile indication upon the success or failure of payment are all a part of the feedback mechanism.

Loop/Modes

This final stage entails tiny meta-rules of the process and determines the frequency and duration. A classic example from an ecommerce app is the ‘Buy Now’ transformed to ‘Buy Another’ Before the user loses interest in the app, the app typically uses such a loop to get them to re-engage with the app. 

How to Use Micro-Interactions

We’ve established that micro-interactions are fabulous, but not every UX interaction on your app or site needs one throughout the wireframe. Overusing this tool could saturate the overall creative experience your design may want to offer. Worse, it might even end up confusing the information hierarchy. It undermines the design and unbalances the user experience of discomfort and irritability. So it’s crucial to know when exactly to use them.

Let’s find out how few quick tips on micro-interactions can elevate and humanize your mobile user experience:

  • Swipe right or left: A signature move made entirely on swiping micro-interaction featured in the famous Tinder app. Swiping is an easier action than clicking or tapping.
  • Call-to-action:  As part of the last step during payment or order, place a ‘Confirm Order’ or ‘Book Now’ prompt, which gives the task a sense of urgency. As a result, having acted on it feels like a minor achievement. 
  • System status: Your app user wants to know what’s happening. System status lets them know they are moving in the right direction and helps avoid confusion. Sometimes, users even run out of patience while uploading a picture, downloading a file, or filling up the registration form.
  • Classic notifications: Users need a quick reminder of products selected/wishlist in their abandoned cart with a reduced attention span. A simple notification can nudge them toward finalizing the purchase. 
  • Button animation: Animated buttons are not only cute, but they also help users navigate the mobile app swiftly. Try out attractive colors, fonts, sizes, shapes, and clipart elements corresponding to the animation and create that cool button to pop up when tapped or hovered on. 
  • Animated text inputs:  A simple process of a likable element like zooming in while entering data into a form or filling up card details for payment can enhance the user experience.
  • Reward an achievement:  Especially true for educational and health apps, micro-interactions celebrating big and small milestones with a badge or a compliment of encouragement can strengthen a user’s engagement with the app. 

Benefits of Micro-Interactions

  • Brand communication: A successful brand ensures that the transmission to the buyer is engaging, positive, and hassle-free. When micro-interactions show a process status clearly, it creates and reinforces a positive image for your brand.
  • Higher user engagement: Experts say micro-interactions engage users better. These tiny elements subconsciously create the urge to keep interacting with your app. For example, each push or nudge notification acts toward redirecting your customers back to your app.
  • Enhanced user experience: From shopping to banking to traveling to learning to staying healthy, there’s an app for everything. A wide range of activities elevates the overall user experience and stays ahead in the game. Micro-interactions can work that magic for your brand. 
  • Prompt feedback: It’s frustrating not to know what’s happening behind the blank screen, especially during a purchase. Instant feedback via visual, sound, or vibrating notifications makes for a pleasant user experience. 
  • Visual harmony: Micro-interactions initiated even with a tap, swipe, typing, or scrolling are all a part of the UX design’s overall appeal. The trick is to keep all the interface elements in perfect sync with the app’s visual features.

Micro-Interaction Best Practices

Here are a few basic principles you should follow when you introduce a micro-interaction to the user experience.

1. Keep it simple, stupid (KISS)

KISS is a famous design principle that becomes even more important in the case of micro-interactions. The goal is to make the user journey delightful and not be a distraction.

2. Keep it Short

It has ‘micro’ in the name itself. But, again, micro-interactions aren’t supposed to be show stars, and a lengthy micro-interaction only distracts the user. 

3. Pick the Right Place

You should always consider the options carefully before choosing the spot for any micro-interaction. The widely used user-interaction designs are popular for a reason. Many people have already approved them, so you can safely continue with them. The use of micro-interaction should also sit well with your brand image. 

See also if the placement of a micro-interaction is reaching your ideal customer or not. And even consider whether you need a micro-interaction to begin with. 

And That’s a Wrap!

As UX designers, we can profoundly impact the overall design of sites and apps, the user’s journey, their interactions with our product/service, their connection with the brand, and the ease of doing a transaction.

We want customers to connect to our brand, love our products, and experience our exceptional customer service. But most of all, we want to earn their trust and loyalty.

 

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The email channel is known for multiple advantages. It is convenient to implement practically, offers many options, and has a fantastic ROI of up to 4200%.

But we also face problems, the most disappointing of which is people ignore emails, not performing the desired action, or worst of all unsubscribing. Why does it happen?

The web is constantly progressing. It offers many tools like modern HTML template builders, ESP services, and other digital assistants that help us at all stages. But even the best tools are not enough; the secret of success still rests with us.

In this post we’ll cover the 7 cardinal sins of email marketing, to help you avoid them.

1. Being Too Late

I can define this mistake as probably the worst. It’s worse than broken links, incorrect dates, or prices. Even more harmful than ugly design.

We lose a lot when postponing email strategy implementation. Beginners often focus all their attention on the content, social media activities, SEO issues… All that is important, right. But ignoring email campaigns is a hard fail.

Thousands of visitors never come again to your website. In other words, they leave the very first levels of the marketing funnel. While regular emailing keeps them engaged and prevents churn.

So delays here are only profitable for competitors. Don’t wait until you collect “enough” contacts. Start as soon as possible. 

Frequency matters too. Don’t bomb people with emails; it annoys and causes unsubscribes. Email frequency is an individual parameter depending on many factors.

2. Disregarding Clients’ Expectations

A fundamental axiom: people unsubscribe when emails are irrelevant. The same goes for neglected expectations. Even the best content with next-gen features won’t save the situation.

I mentioned the email frequency a bit above. Notice that if you announce the weekly emails but send them every day, this is an example of ignoring expectations. Be honest with readers.

Another typical issue is off-topic. If your subscribers are waiting for content related to smartphones, send them newsletters about smartphones, not dresses or domestic turtles :)

But in some cases, getting off-topic can be good. It all depends on the target audience, actual situation, and communication style. 

3. Bad Segmentation 

Once again, relevance is vital. So we must avoid generic emails. Instead, especially if your contact list is extensive enough, apply all the possible parameters: age, gender, location, customers history, etc.

Where to get the respective data? A typical solution is to use update preferences forms in emails or on the website. Let clients choose the topics that are interesting for them.

Use surveys, sign-in forms, AI-based techniques of segmentation… Smart algorithms are great helpers that track clients’ behavior and then process the data for segmentation purposes. 

The better we know our subscribers, the deeper we segment the contact list. It allows sending precisely targeted newsletters to respective segments.

4. Insufficient Personalization 

As Hubspot stats say, personalized emails’ open rate is 26% higher, and their click-through rate is 14% better. But even besides index data, poor personalization is just nonsense today.

Clients are looking for content that matches their preferences, so marketers have to consider these expectations. Segmentation and dynamic range are essential here, but they are not the only techniques.

Everything is much more sophisticated here, in addition to personalized subjects and content. Another solution is to generate recommendations that include the previously browsed products.

AI-powered automation comes to help. Machines will upgrade the classical personalization to the next level called hyper-personalization.

5. Underestimating Mobile-Friendliness 

It’s simply unacceptable to send non-responsive emails today. With so many people opening email on different devices, this is a huge fail.

The modern world is full of gadgets and devices. Email has been opened on smartphones more frequently than on desktop PCs and notebooks in recent years. Up to 70% of readers will read messages on mobiles very soon. No wonder that responsivity turned into a mobile priority.

Regarding layout and design, there are no problems: modern template editors are featured with automated responsivity. But mobile-first means not only layout/design adjustment for mobiles, full-width buttons, or larger fonts. We have to work with content too. Don’t overwrite text remember that recipients read inbox emails on the run. 

Just imagine yourself reading emails in the cafe or cab. And ask yourself: is everything convenient? Would you take the desired action on the run?

6. Non-Professional Approach 

People are quite skeptical of new brands. We need to do our best to attract them. So everything must be done professionally.

The best solution: be a perfectionist. If newsletters look amateurish, they are likely to repel.  

Being amateurish will also ruin your brand identity and reduce customers’ trust. Pay close attention to design, stick to your corporate style, analyze each detail in the context of overall harmony.

7. Overlooking Tests and Improvements 

Testing is vital. Before sending an email campaign, check it via Litmus or Email on Acid to be sure that message looks just as planned. These tools allow testing email rendering by +90 combinations of email clients, devices, and OS.

Knowledge is power. Always try and test your marketing strategies. Are you satisfied with your actual performance? Run A/B tests and focus on the most significant wins and failures. 

Summing Up

Of course, threats are not limited to these seven failures. The last piece of advice: never ignore trends. 

Accessibility? Don’t forget about clients with special requirements. Get whitelisted and incorporate these technologies in your campaigns.

And constantly strive for perfection. With this doctrine, you’ll win!

 

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