To maximize customer satisfaction, auditing frameworks have long emphasized touchpoints. But this siloed focus on individual channels misses the big picture: the customer’s end-to-end journey.
In order to perform prefatory audits on omnichannel digital products, we will analyze the customer lifecycle over the marketing effort during the previous quarter, which gives us a fair idea of seasonal initiatives of a given brand. We will break down the five stages of the omnichannel customer lifecycle and focus on crucial UIUX points and their corresponding metrics.
The customer lifecycle refers to the process people go through to learn about, engage with, and buy from a company. Its stages fall under the processes of attracting, engaging, and delighting customers, and the main steps involve awareness, conversion, purchase, loyalty, and advocacy.
We want to determine:
How well each channel is performing individually
Whether the omnichannel experience is aligned with the business goals
To what degree the user experience is fragmented
How best to optimize for each stage of the customer lifecycle
How best to optimize conversion rate and sales-cycle length
Standard auditing tools
Typical auditing tools focus on revealing technical flaws and SEO hindrance in order to help you get found easier online. There are a variety of off-the-shelf tools you can use for measuring SEO, SEM and Site Search, Hubspot free tool, Screaming frog, to name a few.
Although optimizing ranking on search engines is crucial for the visibility of your brand, effective SEO involves more than optimizing a URL. Furthermore a much larger chunk of the activation happens nowadays at the periphery of your site (social media, WeChat OA, off-line events), much of which may even happen outside the realm of interactions with your brand and standard auditing tools can only scratch the surface of an omnichannel customer lifecycle.
A broader scope
Considering the above, we need a framework with a much larger scope that takes in consideration the entire brand ecosystem, not just the web app, and can reveal low hanging fruits to be addressed without getting too deeply involved into the business mechanics, like highest priorities issues for optimizing online presence and achieving business goals. In other word, a channel agnostic framework that focuses on key metrics and keeps your eyes on the conversion rate.
The Omniscient realm
Assuming a given app is the central nervous system of a business, encoded with its logic and reflecting the blueprint/DNA of an organization’s brand, we perform prefatory audits against its marketing funnel. With a focus on analytics & design, we scrutinize performance at converting every step of the customer lifecycle which can be broken down into five main stages: awareness, conversion, purchase, loyalty, and advocacy.
During this first stage, your customers become aware of your product or brand by doing online research, word of mouth, referral, blog posts, videos, or on social media. The brand should present attractive features and demonstrate core value.
We want to measure how a digital product performs in reaching its key audience, spreading content, bringing marketing campaigns to qualified customers, and more generally ensuring resources are readily available.
Search engine optimization — Basically the capacity to rank favorably on organic traffic. Running a technical SEO audit can reveal numerous flaws in the HTML structure: duplicate and missing H1, missing meta descriptions, non-translated tags.
Inbound link structure — Backlinks and capacity to rank favorably on referral traffic.
Customer acquisition ratio — Subscription CTA’s and lead magnets.
Marketing campaigns — Direct, branded keywords, paid or unpaid initiatives.
Social media reach — Social traffic, WeChat OA, followers, KOL.
Content organization — Topic cluster and pillar pages.
At this stage, your customers have learned about you. You should nurture them with content offers until they reach a point where they are qualified to talk to your sales team.
How is the digital product responding to a user’s growing interest with valuable content and help them make informed choices prior to purchasing. This encompasses each interaction with the brand (events, content review, newsletter subscription, visit to a physical store) where the brand should help the customer access more resources and make it easy to adopt your product.
Recommendation engines — Product list clickthrough rate (CTR).
Information architecture — Drop-off before Product description page.
PDP elements — Front-end interactions (add to wishlist, add to cart without purchase, video hosting, map integration) could prevent users from progressing onto the purchase phase.
Performance & Responsiveness — Exit rate/drop-off/churn and speed performance for both mobile/desktop traffic.
Social login & Guest mode — Drop-off and purchase rate.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) — Survey for customer base.
During purchasing stage, the brand should keep proving and demonstrating value by providing proactive customer success management, responding to their customer, and, making it easier for customers to buy. Hurdles are the enemy — remove as many as you can.
How does the digital product perform throughout the purchase funnel and ensures a seamless experience every step of the way, from “add to cart” to making a successful transaction, finally having the goods delivered, and purchasing again.
Account creation UX — Account creation rate.
Upsell widget — Tracking behaviors that suggest customer is ready to purchase again.
Product suggestions — Average purchase per order.
Conversion funnel — Conversion rate/drop-off. Consider whether your sales process could be easier to navigate.
Omnichannel re-engagement — Purchase completion rate after re-engagement.
Marketing automation — First purchase re-engagement, abandonment rate.
How does the website perform in bringing customers back to the brand after a purchase is made and building the foundations of a long-lasting relationship by moving them back into the sales funnel.
At this stage, the brand should maintain close communication with customers, providing education and resources to prevent common roadblocks that lead customers to churn. You want
them to engage regularly with the brand on social networks and increase activation with loyalty programs and targeted benefits. Make sure your customers are familiar with the benefits of being a member of your loyalty program so they can be rewarded for being customers.
Customer service — Identify holes in your customer service early by checking conversations with positive outcomes.
Loyalty/membership program — Customer lifetime value, redeem rate.
Ads and retargeting — Ads conversion rate.
Post-purchase engagement — Returning rate (transactional messages, notifications, newsletter…) Re-engagement functionalities that bring users back and built loyalty.
Social login with WeChat — Tie a member ID to a social account, and enable WeChat notifications. Measuring return rate, notification open rate and customer lifetime value.
Social media engagement — Conversations with positive outcomes, @mentions.
This stage is all about continuing to delight your existing customers to improve their satisfaction, increase their loyalty, and build a word-of-mouth engine that fuels the “Awareness” stage and brings in new customers. The strategic focus should be on igniting brand heat — starting with influencers or KOL (Key opinion leaders), which will cascade to all consumers. Through word-of-mouth marketing, writing reviews, and participation to events, your happiest customers become the brand’s best sales rep.
Which digital features enable brand advocates to share brand content and leverage their own channels? How does a brand build a core segment of customers capable of recommending and amplifying your brand message.
Loyalty/membership program UX — Customer lifetime value (CLV)
Content shareability — How easily can a user share brand content. Integrating WeChat sharing functionalities and WeChat cards for link sharing and measuring content share ratios.
Product Instagramability — WeChat group or moments shares ratio (viral rate).
Affiliate program — Partner’s invitation rate.
WeChat groups cascading messages — WeChat keyword search by categories.
Let the user choose their path
Because customer behavior is Omnichannel, all paths lead to conversion. The best long-term approach is obviously to provide multiple paths for your prospects to convert, but this omnichannel paradigm, by nature, multiplies opportunities at each lifecycle stage and may increase churn rate.
In order to tighten the nods on each one of these opportunities and reap the benefits of an omnichannel setup, it becomes more crucial than ever to identify which metrics can drive alignment and accountability within your team.
“Thinking like customers think” and measuring key metrics along the customer lifecycle reveal the insights needed to improve customer centricity.