How to create a frictionless customer journey

first_imgJust kidding!There’s no such thing as a Frictionless Customer Journey.  If you’re reading this because of the implicit promise in the title, then you’ve fallen for an age-old marketer’s tactic; an offer that’s too good to be ignored. If you’re an experienced marketer, you probably suspected the statement was false, but maybe you had a “What if?” moment and clicked through to read it on the off-chance it was true.So, why does this matter? It turns out that while we think of ourselves as rational beings, in reality, our subconscious makes emotional decisions that our rational brain then tries to justify. Unfortunately, similar emotional decisions by our members can work against us and create unnecessary friction in their purchasing journey just as easily.So, perhaps it’s fairer to say that this article discusses how to provide lower-friction customer journey at your credit union. Many of the techniques to remove such friction, from clearly written marketing messages to compelling multi-step calls to action, are really designed to remove the mental obstacles that prevent our prospective consumer from progressing to the next step along the desired sales journey. The Sales Journey often begins at the Targeted Message. Consider this scenario; after reviewing the data in our Customer Relationship Management(CRM) system we’ve come up with a list of members who have a mortgage to renew, or who are using the wrong kind of checking account. So, we decide to send out enticing targeted offers via email to the respective segments to renew their mortgage at a great low rate, or to switch to an unlimited checking account. We know these segments need these products, so we expect that the orders will come flowing in, but the flow is more of a trickle. Sound familiar? Clearly, despite all our careful planning, we’ve got some sticking points along the journey. We’ll have to do some work to smooth out the bumps, reduce friction, and turn that trickle into the expected flood.But what do we look for?Some of the more common points of friction to consider are:Cognitive DissonanceMessage LengthLevel of TrustCall to ActionEase of Completion 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Ray Williamson With 30+ years of industry experience, Ray has brought to market many solutions specifically for the online marketing and mobile marketing industry. Ray currently works as a Doxim Product Manager, … Web: Details Cognitive Dissonance, in a nutshell, refers to whether your copy makes sense. You as a writer might think you know what you mean. But your choice of words, phrasing, and the complexity of your sentence structure might not always be read or interpreted as intended.  I’ve often said to my wife. “If I say something that can be taken two ways and one of them makes you feel bad, then I meant the other one.” While that often gets me a smile, you won’t be given that same opportunity of a do-over with your written copy. Considering this, I suggest that you use simple sentence structure and then have it read and re-read by others.  If you have the time, sleep on it and read it again tomorrow. By the way, how is my article doing so far – does it walk the talk?Another topic to consider in relation to your copy is Appropriate Message Length. Studies have shown that the amount of copy that you put in a message should be proportional to the complexity and value of the offering. In other words, a simple or low value offer with a long explanation often makes the reader think they’re missing something and the offer might not be as inexpensive as the marketer intended. Conversely, a high-value offer or proposition with a description that’s too short might suggest to your prospective consumer that you’re hiding something. In this case, you want to be concise, but not so concise that you risk not providing enough information to help the reader make this particular high value decision.For example, it would be very unlikely that someone would sign up for an offer to change mortgage companies based on a simple offer like – “5 years at 1%!” with no other relevant information, because the risk is too high. But that same person might accept your “Unlimited Checking for just $10.00 a month!” offer even though they don’t use checks that often, because a $10.00-a-month decision is perceived as low-risk and most people trust their credit union is making a beneficial offer and not trying to take advantage of them. Trust, in a message or on a website, is conveyed in many ways. For the purposes of this article, though, I’ll share something that I’ve learned – trust is often built through consistency. You “trust” that the burger from one of the big chains is going to be good based on the consistency of your past experiences with them. Considering that, when presenting yourself to your members , everything from in-branch consistency, through to the brand consistency of your statements and marketing materials allows members to predict their overall experience, which in turn leads to a feeling of control and comfort. Pages, and even buttons that don’t match the overall brand of your credit union feel like separate islands and can create a moment of pause, or a point of friction that can slow the sales journey, regardless of the quality of the associated Call to Action.Calls to Action are often perceived as “Buy Now” or “Sign Up” actions. But on the most effective websites, calls to action include anything that can be measured which moves your member forward in their journey. In other words, effective calls to action are the properly worded and well-placed links that walk the member through your supporting pages and craft the story you want to tell. Ideally, they make your members want to order well before they get to the “Buy Now” button. In the context of mapping the entire member journey, these supporting links are just as important as the “Buy Now” button itself.So now we’ve achieved our goal and the member is ready to click the call to action and sign up. It’s a done deal, right? Not so fast. Ease of Completion can often make or break a deal.  We’ve all done it to ourselves… we have a willing buyer, and then we fall down because our contract is too complex, or the forms are long and cumbersome.Members expect that there is a little bit of paperwork involved in financial services, but if the process of completing the transaction is onerous, or involves switching channels, that can dictate whether or not you and your member move forward together.To reduce friction, make sure that your final paperwork matches the offer word-for-word, go paperless if you can, provide correctly completed, pre-filled forms and use large print to make them easier to read and to promote trust. Be mindful that people don’t Trust small print. Consider the adage –  “The large print giveth. The small print taketh away.”  While we’re talking about print size, this is a great spot to highlight large print as a key contributor towards Ease of Completion. We, as marketers, need to be aware that as our population ages, more and more people will be affected by vision degeneration. Credit unions can improve Ease of Completion for many of their members very simply by providing Visually Accessible documents, giving them a competitive advantage over financial institutions that don’t go the extra mile. Conversely, saving a few pennies by shrinking font to make a form print in fewer pages can potentially cost a lot more money in lost sales.  But enough on this point for now, I promise to share more on Accessibility in a future article.Finally, don’t just make guesses about your member experience – monitor the real-world behaviors of your members. By tracking the effectiveness of everything from your email to your online account opening application process, you can identify where things fall apart. Friction points can be identified by measuring the click-through rate of each step in the member journey. Using this technique, you can monitor and improve your results and progress towards the goal of a Low Friction Customer Journey for your members.last_img

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