Customer Experience Design: Part One: The Basics to Building a More Profitable Web Site

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Find out how customer experience design leads to better and more profitable Web sites. Increase your customer acquisition and retention by incorporating these four components.

The Web revolutionized human interaction. In a decade, the Web evolved from a curiosity to the most important communications medium on Earth. Entering its second decade, the Web’s increasing economic and social impact will skyrocket due to the emergence of a new trend in Web design and development called Customer Experience Design. (http://www.brookgroup.com/customer)

The sudden expansion that marked the Web’s first decade drove a continuous improvement cycle in Web technology, and in understanding how to use the medium as a way to acquire new customers, communicate with existing customers, and convert “surfers” to customers. Organizations realized that they needed to think like retailers, putting the customer first, both leading them and reacting to their needs. Customer experience design is a framework for integrating all aspects of a Web site to build relationships that will translate to a profitable experience for the customer and the Web site owner.

Accomplishing this requires the integration of a variety of factors, including branding, content, marketing, and measurement.

Branding Defines the Experience

Brands are no longer just logos and taglines. Marketers know that branding embodies the entire customer experience, composed of every interaction a person has with a company. Apple isn’t a strong brand just because of its logo and high-gloss design. It produces clear, consistent, messages that match its products and speak to its customers’ sense of what they want from their technology. And that has instilled a passion in its customers. A brand is a promise fulfilled. (http://www.brookgroup.com/branding)

Marketing Is the Bait

Web marketing encompasses a gamut of strategies, including public relations, feeder sites, pay-per-click advertising, and search engine optimization. Experiential marketing combines these in a holistic approach that blends marketing into the overall customer experience. Web marketing is the initial step in customer experience design: establishing the relationship. (http://www.brookgroup.com/webmarketing)

Content Is the Meat

A byproduct of the ubiquitous Web is information overload. Zealous site owners have inundated customers with Web pages. Sites that work use content to enhance the customer experience by clearly presenting the information the customer needs. Web content needs to underscore the brand message, support marketing programs, and increase customer acquisition through search engine optimization and a customized experience. (http://www.brookgroup.com/content)

Measurement Provides the Proof

The only way to know whether customer experience design methods work is to monitor site performance. In building relationships, a company must listen to its customers. Never before has commercial activity been so interactive, and with this comes the ability to converse with customers more easily. Web tracking systems and online customer communications guarantee that a company knows which techniques are working, and how to tune them for optimum performance. (http://www.brookgroup.com/measurement)

Successful CEOs know it. Retail managers know it. Web designers are finally getting it. The customer comes first. Customer experience design, an integrated approach to providing Web sites that better serve their customers, will result in increased customer acquisition and retention, but most importantly, sales.

About the Author

Kara Brook is the founder and president of Brook Group, LTD. To learn more about her innovative customer experience design strategies, visit http://www.brookgroup.com/customer. For more FREE resources, visit http://www.brookgroup.com/resources.

About Brook Group

Brook Group, LTD (http://www.brookgroup.com) is a strategic Customer Experience Design firm, near Washington, DC, specializing in Web design, content management, and application usability engineering. Brook Group provides information architecture and user experience solutions that help organizations streamline internal efficiencies and increase market share. Established in 1983, the firm has earned its impressive reputation with over 20 years of innovating customized communications and Web “experienceware” solutions that help businesses, non-profits and federal clients reduce costs and increase productivity. Brook Group also provides best of breed branding, Search Engine Optimization and Internet marketing.

Major Clients include: Ameritrade, America Online, VeriSign, The Executive Office of the President of the United States and the White House Office of Management and Budget.

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Kari White
Brook Group
410-465-7805
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