We are currently in the midst of a very unusual situation. The ongoing global crisis has left many companies searching for ways to attract new customers while also holding on to existing ones. This situation has – as a result – means that now is a more critical time than ever for these same companies to distinguish themselves from the competition. Just recently, we had a video call with CRO specialist Martin van Kranenburg to discuss conversion optimisation in 2020, how this will be affected and what businesses can do to stay ahead.
In this article, we will – together with advice from Martin – shed some light on why feedback is essential to your CRO strategy in 2020 and beyond.
Everyone is looking for ways to continue to engage with customers and turn them into loyal ambassadors. It is therefore important – at this time – that companies don’t just sit back but rather take action. You can only increase conversion if you work structurally and follow the input consistently.
Who is Martin?
Martin van Kranenburg came to Mopinion nearly four years ago, asking us to share our knowledge about online feedback with Thuiswinkel.org’s e-Academy (an organisation that holds a series of workshops about conversion optimisation for digital marketers). Ever since, we’ve held regular meetings whereby we share our knowledge and expertise with one other.
Image: Mopinion colleagues Mi-choe, Erin and Udesh speaking with Martin
Often we see that organisations have recognised that CRO is an important factor for success. Unfortunately, however, many of these same companies lack meaningful customer insights which can easily be obtained from online customer feedback.
Let’s start at the beginning and see what CRO stands for and why more and more organizations are actively involved in this.
What is CRO?
CRO stands for Conversion Rate Optimisation. The goal of CRO is to increase your turnover and get the most out of your visitors.
Some examples of conversions include:
- Placing an order,
- Subscribing to the newsletter,
- Downloading a file,
- Filling out a form, etc.
CRO is aimed at structurally listening to your customer and anticipating this. By listening carefully to your visitors, you can remove obstacles and ensure that visitors convert. You gain this insight by, among other things, collecting targeted customer feedback.
Martin: “A customer only converts when he/she finds their way on your website without any problems. In a time where the attention span of a website visitor has halved compared to a few years ago, it is therefore crucial to immediately attract attention and maintain for as long as necessary. Your visitors want to think as little as possible about every action they perform online.”
Tip: This concept is so crucial, in fact, that author Steve Krug even wrote a book about it called Don’t make me think.
“And that’s why CRO is now more important than ever. Your website visitors want to achieve their online goals in a few seconds, meaning every obstacle is one too many. Do you want to know how you can gain sight into what those obstacles are, so that you can remove them as quickly as possible? This is where collecting feedback comes into play”Martin van Kranenburg, CRO and Online Persuasion Expert
Why is collecting customer feedback important?
Customer feedback is one way to gain insight into the online behavior of your customers. It is becoming more common to see feedback forms appear on websites, mobile apps, or in email campaigns. This means that as a visitor or user, it has become easier for you to share your opinion or feedback with an organisation via these channels.
Martin: “Collecting feedback ensures that you get to the core of customer behavior. These insights are extremely important when you start working with CRO. After all, this is exactly what you need to know in order to optimise the conversion. What are the obstacles visitors face online? Why does someone drop out just before the order is completed?”
Martin strongly supports CRO and emphasizes that without customer feedback, CRO really makes no sense. Feedback is an essential ingredient for a successful CRO strategy.
During our call, we asked Martin to share some of his best, most practical CRO tips, so that you can excel in your profession as a digital marketer.
Keep in mind: it is important that you learn and understand the intentions of your customer as soon as possible, so that you can show the desired content and keep them on your website.
Free White Paper: A Digital Feedback-Fueled Approach to Personalisation
A guide to Personalising the Digital Customer Experience (CX) with Online Feedback.
3 Practical Tips for Customer Feedback and Successful CRO
1. Use a Customer Insight Calendar as a guide
2. Experiment 24/7
3. Turn Visitors into Fans with customer feedback
1. Use a Customer Insight Calendar as a guide
You can use a Customer Insight Calendar to get a grip on the CRO process. By combining the right tools and insights you can achieve online growth. This calendar functions as a guideline for your marketing efforts and ensures that you as a Marketer maintain the right focus.
- What are your visitors doing? With an analytics tool, you can measure what your visitors are doing on your website. Find out which pages are frequently visited and which pages are drop offs are occurring on.
- What is the reason for the behaviour? With the help of customer feedback software and tools such as web analytics and A/B testing, you can gain insight into how your customers experience your website and why they make certain choices.
- What do they say about you? By strategically placing feedback forms across your website, you can collect meaningful responses from customers.
- Are you customers able to achieve their goals? Make sure that your website is well-organised and working properly so that visitors can navigate without obstacles. With feedback software, for example, you can measure Goal Completion Rate (GCR) and learn why customers aren’t achieving their goals.
How do you make a Customer Insight Calendar?
You can start by collecting answers to the following questions:
Martin: “The most important part of the Customer Insight Calendar isn’t the statistics, but what you do with the insights. What have you seen in terms of conversion on the different channels and what will you do with this information?”
2. Experimenting 24/7
Additionally, it’s important to continuously experiment. As Martin says, “Experimenting never stops. You have to have the drive to want to ‘tweak’ constantly.”
You can experiment by performing A/B testing, so that you can immediately see where your visitors’ preferences are. It’s all about doing. Even if you don’t have A/B testing at your disposal, try making small tweaks to your website and measure (after a week or so) whether or not the change yields results. If the answer is yes, it was a good decision. Experimenting is about adjusting, measuring the results and taking action and it’s a never ending process.
3. Turn Visitors into Fans with Customer Feedback
Martin enthusiastically talks about how simple optimisation can be. In fact, he recently installed the customer feedback software from Mopinion for a fashion webshop.
“It quickly became apparent that many mobile website visitors were getting stuck in the funnel. In the office, the focus was on the functionality of the different browsers, so no one paid attention to mobile usability. After collecting mobile customer feedback, I alerted the organisation and the problem was quickly resolved. In this way, you immediately recoup the costs of a feedback tool.”
Martin also shares that he quickly realised that visitors like to leave a comment, to let out their frustrations and experience with the website or mobile app. This is really meaningful input. By acting on these particular types of feedback items and making the appropriate improvements to your website, you’ll be certain to turn visitors into fans.
Changes to come…
Martin goes on to explain that marketers should always keep asking themselves questions: Who are my customers? What are their needs and which hurdles do they come across?
“It’s important to take on the role of your customers and start a conversation. Ask yourself about everything: How can I make it easier for the visitor to XX… People drop off when they run into obstacles. Therefore, everything has to be simple and fast. In fact, the attention span of website visitors has halved in recent years, so it’s critical to prevent visitors from dropping out if they do not immediately find what they came for.”
When asked whether marketing today is different compared to a few years ago, Martin immediately said ‘yes’.
“The marketing profession has changed in recent years. Marketing today can no longer be compared to a few years ago,” says Martin. “Previously you came a long way with paid online ads with, for example, Google Adwords, whereas now you now see a striking tilt. Entrepreneurs have a much smaller budget at their disposal, and as a result, advertising has shifted to the background and the role of their website itself has become much more prominent. Before, only a fraction of the marketing budget used to be spent on CRO and usability, while the majority went to successful SEA campaigns. However, since then, CRO has taken the stage. ”
Businesses really need to understand their customers if they want to convert and dialogue with the customer has to be at the top of their list.”Martin van Kranenburg, CRO en Online Persuasion Expert
Udesh Jadnanansing, Chief Revenue & Growth at Mopinion, recognises this development. He shares that the demand for a progressive customer feedback software is really taking off:
“Companies are noticing that online competition is continuing to grow and that customers are increasing their expectations. That being said, the only way to distinguish your company is by knowing what your customers really want and by pairing customer feedback with your CRO strategy, that is certainly within reach.”Udesh Jadnanansing, Chief Revenue & Growth at Mopinion
As you can see, adding feedback to your CRO strategy is a big step in the right direction. But CRO can only really be valuable if it is a permanent part of the digital strategy. You will reap the benefits of a successful CRO approach, if you do not base your CRO on luck, but also on the dedication of you and your team.
Embed CRO in your organisation
CRO can only be successful if it really lives within an organisation. Try to be active with CRO, so that it does not become watered down, but gets a permanent place within your digital strategy.
For example, organise a “Conversion Friday” meeting on a quarterly basis and then go through all the input from the Customer Insight Calendar. Have your website tested by a few people (internal or external) every quarter. A usability test is easy to implement and this way you can really listen to your customers.
And lastly,be sure to take a look at this customer story about Allianz for inspiration. Allianz is a good practical example of a company that is actively engaged in conversion optimisation and also achieves positive results..
Now you know why feedback plays an essential role in CRO and how you can use it in practice. We hope Martin’s tips will help you shape and embed your CRO in the organisation, in order to collectively gain valuable insights.
Do you want to know more about how to embed online customer feedback within your CRO strategy?