The web is nowhere near as clunky as it was 10 years ago, but it’s still incredibly frustrating for consumers.
For example, I was trying to buy ski passes a couple of months ago, and I kept running into walls—no amount of clicking could free me. You rarely walk into a brick-and-mortar store and have to walk around in circles before you get to the cashier. Yet we’re expected to do that on the web.
In the same way, brands expect us to stay loyal and love what they’re offering. But, more often than not, they aren’t showing their customers the same in return. As consumers, we need to continue to have high expectations to keep brands in check. Many brands still have a long way to go before they have created truly delightful digital experiences.
As a marketing team, our first step before any plan is to consider our customers first and then figure out how to show them the love we want in return.
What loving your customers means
Loving your customers means putting yourself in their shoes and empathizing with what they’re experiencing.
When we do this, we’re able to create products that are useful and in demand. It helps us determine which features are important and how the product can best alleviate worries, problems, and challenges.
We spend so much time agonizing over the words, the images, the font, and the colors that represent us that it all becomes overly familiar. We think we know exactly what we mean when we write copy for our website. But the original, core concepts from which the most recent promotion or product sprang can easily get lost.
Loving our customers means taking a step back and letting them drive our journey forward—keeping their experience in mind with both the products we build and the words we use.
How Hotjar keeps customer love at the center of everything
We are constantly on the hunt for customer feedback. There are a lot of surveys on our website, and we regularly dive into heatmaps and recordings to understand what’s working and what’s not.
This information is used to drive every feature change so the product keeps in step with what our customers want and need. We also make a point of talking to customers frequently.
We’ll jump on calls with them to ask:
How did you hear about Hotjar?
What’s your first impression of the product?
What do you understand about it?
Is the product delivering on its promises?
What do you need from us to make the most of the product?
Customers are compensated for their time, and we make a point of getting to know them on a one-on-one basis through these calls. That’s the only way we can truly get better (and, therefore, make their experience better).
We’re not our customers, so we have to ask them what’s working for them and what’s not working. This qualitative data is captured alongside quantitative data from Hotjar to see how they behave when they come to our site. There’s a very real chance they might say one thing and do another, so we cross-reference this data to make sure it’s consistent.
It’s surprising how often you assume you know what customers want, but when armed with real-life data, it turns out your assumptions are completely wrong. It’s a humbling experience, but enlightening and insightful.
Hotjar was designed to help brands put their customers first
Hotjar was designed to put customers first and show them the love they crave (and deserve!). It enables you to see your website from the customer’s viewpoint, which is invaluable insight to have. But it also helps you scale your efforts.
When you have just one or two people in your company, it’s easy to reach out to customers for feedback. You may have a couple of core customers whom you speak with often and who guide the development of your product. As you get bigger and grow to 50, 100, or even 1,000 team members, you don’t have the same ability or resources to process that feedback or talk to customers in the same depth.
That’s where a product like Hotjar is so useful. It enables you to scale your customer empathy capability by seeing how people use your website.
How to treat your customers as more than numbers on a spreadsheet
Everyone starts with numbers on a spreadsheet. The numbers tell us how many people came to the site, how many people left, and what pages they visited in between. The problem with numbers on a spreadsheet is they don’t tell you why.
1. Address the ‘why gap’
We often talk about the ‘why gap’ at Hotjar. Data shows us what’s happening on the site and gives us potential actions that might solve an issue—but ultimately, we need to close the gap and understand why it’s happening.
Until we’re sure of the context behind the actions our customers are taking, we don’t know which potential fix or action is the best choice. For example, if people are coming to your site but bouncing in seconds and you don’t know why, try watching recordings of them using the site. See if they’re trying to click the wrong button or scroll in a different way than expected.
When you watch customers using your site, it becomes easier to understand the whys behind the data—and the more you understand their behavior, the easier it is to serve them a delightful experience.
2. Implement an ongoing feedback program
Getting constant feedback is the key to loving your customers. Every fresh opinion brings you a step closer to the experience they want and can make your site or product far less frustrating to use.
For example, the Marketing team holds regular customer interviews. The main source of interviews is a programmatic email campaign, which invites users to schedule a 30-minute research call.
The campaign currently targets users who have been with Hotjar for 30-37 days, have installed the tracking code, and have logged in at least three times. Each time a call is scheduled, it will automatically (via Calendly) be scheduled on a Marketing team member’s calendar.
This process is going on behind the scenes every day, and we collect a large amount of customer feedback from those who are willing to get on a call with us. At our size, this process has to be automated—it would take up too much time to do it manually. But if you’re a smaller brand, you can do this yourself.
When a customer agrees to share their feedback, we direct them to a Calendly link to find someone in the marketing team they can chat with. Our goal is to talk to customers every week so we’ve got a consistent flow of feedback coming in.
3. Constantly look for the next friction point
The best way to show you care about customers is to deliver value to them. Make your product excellent, reduce frustration and friction, and make features that are useful.
Once you know what’s happening through quantitative data and are armed with the ‘why’ through qualitative data, you can launch changes to your site or product. After you’ve done that, go back to the start of the loop and measure whether the change actually improved the product or site. If necessary, you can keep tweaking and testing in this way until you have a flawless experience your customers love.
Show your customers the love they deserve
Loving your customers means providing a frustration-free experience.
There are so many friction points online today. People are tired of endlessly clicking with no results and hitting a brick wall over and over again. Eliminate these frustrations by learning who your customers are, how they behave, and why they behave that way. Use this information to build a product they love and an experience that is light years ahead of the rest of the web.
Want to give your customers the same love they give you?
Use Hotjar to understand how real users are experiencing your website or app—then improve it for them!
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