After leading a dozen or so major website redesigns, I am familiar with the euphoric thrill of publishing and propagating a new website. It’s the realization of months of iterative discovery, creation and testing.
Many times, however, the celebration is short-lived as the reality of unanticipated technical issues and unexpected site visitor behavior comes into focus.
The complexity of today’s digital, mobile ecosystem almost guarantees that – when it comes to website redesigns – some aspect of your site will not perform as expected on some device using some browser somewhere in the world.
Your VoC should be integral to your website redesign
Your site analytics will provide insight into how your site is performing pre-redesign versus post-redesign. But you may be challenged in certain circumstances to figure out why your site is performing the way it is.
Enter today’s empowered consumer who will be quick to react to what’s wrong with your website redesign. This despite your good intentions, implementation of industry best practice, focus groups, user testing and the assurances of your UX team.
Tapping into the direct, indirect and inferred voice of your digital consumer can be a huge advantage in any site refresh. Read on to discover how to crowdsource the QA of your website redesign.
The value of direct feedback to your website redesign
Direct feedback from your digital consumers can be gleaned through a variety of channels. But the most effective during a website redesign is a pervasive path for consumer-initiated feedback from within the digital experience.
In other words, a way for site visitors to “raise their hand” during a specific moment in their digital journey across your redesigned experience to tell you what they’re experiencing and why.
This approach is what OpinionLab pioneered together with the important differentiator of collecting associated contextual metadata with every piece of consumer-initiated feedback.
So, if a consumer tells you something isn’t working for them on your redesigned site, you’ll have contextual data to diagnose and act on that feedback. Specifically, information such as web page, mobile device type, browser version and so on is critical given the complex digital, mobile ecosystem highlighted above.
Direct feedback can spur real business impact
Being able to see the forest and the trees – by diagnosing and acting on digital consumer feedback related to your website redesign – can create significant business impact.
Recently, one travel and hospitality business we work with launched a website redesign. Unbeknownst to the company, this included an error on the reservation calendar that severely limited new reservations – the lifeblood of the business. The error was not visible in staging or testing. Only when site visitors started commenting on the error was the web team able to diagnose, replicate and act to correct the post-launch error. Crucially, they were able to resolve it fast because they had the associated context. This fix meant the business avoided hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
Your website can be an effective channel through which to collect insight about non-digital channels. But non-website channels can also provide you valuable insight about your website redesign. This is because customers will always tell you about your website redesign without you asking them directly, however you provide them the opportunity to engage with you.
For example, an obvious channel to pick up direct feedback about your website redesign without directly asking your customers is social media.
— Joshua Carpenter (@jscarpe) December 14, 2016
Contact center, indirect feedback and how they can power your website redesign
Another less obvious channel is your contact center.
If your contact center is recording customer interactions and has the ability to run speech analytics, you might have a rich source of indirect feedback about your digital experience here. Or, if you have the foresight to build tight relationships between your digital and contact center teams prior to your website redesign, the value of this indirect feedback can be immediate and significant as information is exchanged efficiently.
One large retailer we work with launched a redesigned website and immediately started receiving sporadic contact center interactions from consumers indicating they were not able to place online orders. The alerts from the contact center to the digital team were initially frustrating as the site issues could not be replicated, but then using a combination of our data visualization and insights, the customer determined that a large pool of IP addresses had inadvertently been blocked effectively shutting down e-commerce in a large geography.
The indirect feedback gleaned from the contact center focused the right tools and resources on a significant website redesign issue. The result: the issue was resolved expeditiously and the company avoided millions in lost revenue and reduced margin.
Ironically, during a recent website redesign another company we work with buried its customer contact phone numbers deep in its website based on internal stakeholder feedback during discovery. The wrath of direct consumer feedback on this issue was immediate and furious and this business was able to quickly act to quell a significant consumer dis-satisfier. Moral of this story: consumers are empowered and they want to interact with you how and where they want to, independent of your internal business drivers.
Inferred customer feedback adds deeper insight layer
The digital channel also provides unique opportunities to tap into inferred feedback from consumers about your website redesign. That is, gaining an understanding of issues with and acceptance of your site redesign by observing the behavior of your site visitors.
Web session replay from providers such as IBM Tealeaf or Clicktale allows you to “watch over the shoulders” of your consumers when they navigate your site to identify friction points or high-performing areas. Session Replay is like a DVR that can record every single web session and provide a rich source of inferred insight into how visitors interact with your redesigned website.
The downside of session replay is that it can provide an immense amount of behavioral data that will overwhelm most digital teams, especially during a site redesign.
Binge-watching web sessions is not a great way to spend a weekend.
Consequently, many customers leverage our consumer-initiated direct feedback as a “lightning rod” to identify which specific web sessions hold clues about the performance of a site redesign.
Recently, a large financial services company completed a website redesign and started receiving direct feedback from their authenticated consumers regarding the ability to complete key tasks. Leveraging inferred feedback from Session Relay to track the on-page behavior of consumers who provided the direct feedback, the provider made changes to its redesigned digital CX that increased successful task completion by over 400%.
Direct, indirect and inferred consumer feedback will deliver great benefit as you launch your website redesign if you’re prepared to take advantage of it. Make sure you have the pieces in place early in your redesign planning stages to take full advantage and crowdsource your redesign QA.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how a digital feedback can power your website redesign, download the ebook: How to harness VoC to optimize your website redesign.