How do I detect Customer Experience Problems?

When something in your business is not going right, the symptoms are very obvious: 

It all starts with the problem of customers not converting on your website, and the ones that do convert, don’t repeat or don’t use your service (or at least not as often as you would like to). And the ones that do sign up for your free trial and use it, are nowhere to be found when the trial period ends… but it doesn’t end there. The worst part is when customers that do sign up for the paid version of your product or service are quick to hit that “Unsubscribe” button right when your next billing cycle is about to start. 

It feels like a never ending vicious circle of convincing customers to stay with you, to give you another chance, for one more month. The sad reality is that most companies are in this cycle and can’t figure out how to end it and move to the other side where customers could not get through the month without your product or service. A world where they would gladly give you their money, month after month, no questions asked.

The secret sauce is no longer secret. It is all about the EXPERIENCE that customers go through while using your product or service.The easier and faster, the better to get the job done. The job they came to you for. The need they are trying to satisfy. 

But before you can find the cure to the symptoms when they start manifesting, you have to find the right illness to tackle. Here are 3 ways to detect customer experience issues:

1.- Ask your Customer Support Team: The best source of information when trying to understand what your customers are struggling with is your Customer Support team or person. These people spend the entirety of their time talking to customers and helping them navigate through their struggles. They are in the best position to point you to the issues that cause the most frustration / questions / confusions. Even the simplest copy changes can highly improve the customer’s perception and experience, which in turn will result in a reduction of the number of calls or emails your team might receive when tackled appropriately.

2.- Look at your site metrics: Another great source of information is your web analytics. Understanding how customers are behaving on your site or application is essential to detect opportunities for improvements. How much time are visitors spending in certain pages? How do they interact with them? Where are losing the highest amount of potential customers? How often are they deviating from the flow you intended for them to follow? How often are they being blocked by error messages? What is the Made it Rate (MIR) of every page or section? All of these answers will provide valuable insights on where to focus your attention as you embark in this journey of understand what is happening on your site.

3.- Watch someone use your website/service: Schedule a video call with your customers (or potential customers that match your target audience) and ask them to share their screen and their thoughts out loud while they use your website or product. Make sure you make a recording for further analysis later. Before the call, prepare very specific tasks like “Find [X] info on the website” or “Choose a program and sign up for it” and watch carefully as they perform each task to see how they think, what they need and how your product or service meets that very specific need. 

The worst mistake you can make as a business is to focus on A when the real problem is at B. Before you make any investment in improving your customer experience, make sure you have gathered enough data to understand where the biggest opportunities lie.