How important is your website to prospects? Quite a bit.
According to HubSpot, 65% of consumers state that the experience they encounter on a website is a “very important” factor in recommending a brand. Also, 75% expect new technologies to create memorable and better experiences.
If you don’t want your website to turn away prospects before you even get to talk with them, how can you create memorable digital consumer experiences? Consider these five must-haves:
1) Answer prospects’ needs. It’s tempting to choose new technologies that seem great but have no impact on the prospect or client experience. Even worse, some new tech additions can make the digital experience worse or more complicated.
When considering adding new technologies, determine whether it addresses a specific need or improves the existing experience. If those needs are not being addressed, it may be better to continue your new technology search.
2) Make it measurable. While it can be challenging, it’s important to ensure measurements and key performance indicators are set up to determine whether the technology is effective for your audience.
Some measurements you can look at include how quickly a visitor gets to a completed action on the website, how easily information can be accessed (how many pages to get to content) and how often it is accessed, or even what options are available for additional contact (chat box, form, email or phone). Take the time to determine which measurements are the best fit for your business.
3) Keep changes simple. When it comes to adding new technologies, make one change at a time. This is important for several reasons. Too drastic of a change could impact how well the technology can be integrated into current platforms and cause current technologies to malfunction.
Introducing several changes at once can also make it difficult to determine what change caused either an enhancement or a friction point in the digital experience. It also can make the consumer overwhelmed with the new experience. Even improvements to the digital experience could be rejected by the visitor if there are too many changes at once. Be patient, and put in place smaller and simpler changes over time.
4) Understand the long-term impact. Changes to technologies can have longer types of impact. This goes beyond the digital experience and can affect whether you can incorporate future digital changes and new technologies coming on the horizon. When reviewing new technologies, are there options to modify or alter the technology so that the investment can grow and pivot with changes in the business, the economy or clients?
Also, will the organization providing the technology still be in business in a year, two years or five years? Can someone else, such as a third-party vendor or staff, support the technology if something were to happen? Understanding the cascading effects of choosing a new technology is vital.
5) When in doubt, ask your clients. There is no cost to a conversation. When there is any doubt, simply ask. Not sure what needs prospects have? Poll or create a focus group of clients and find out how they use the current technology and what improvements could be made. Wondering if the new technology is easy to implement and doesn’t have any potential pitfalls? Request references and ask hard questions about their experience, the implementation process and the impact of the technology.
This also goes for staff and asking how the technology may affect their workflow. Bringing all those impacted to the table is worth the effort. To avoid unnecessary expenses and headaches, take the time to gather information. By having this additional information, better decisions can be made on what technology is chosen and how effective it can be.
Digital experiences are more important than ever. Adding new technologies can enhance those experiences — or frustrate website visitors. By focusing on these must-haves, though, you can enable the right technology at the right time and allow your prospects and clients to contact you easily, better understand who you are as a financial advisor and what you can offer them.
Lisa Apolinski is an international speaker, digital strategist, author and founder of 3 Dog Write. She works with companies to develop and share their message using digital assets. For more information, visit 3dogwrite.com.
For more how technology impacts financial advisors:
3 easy steps for meeting HNW prospects
Ways to use gifts to say thank you — and drive referrals
Why clients don’t do more business with you