Revealing the Hidden Inconsistencies in Your Customer Experience

Written by Laura Roeder

On July 19, 2017

Are you creating a consistent experience for your audience?

Do you know?

Because inconsistent experiences are disorienting and unpleasant. What would your friends think if you invited them over for book club, but greeted them at the door wearing a luchador mask with heavy metal blasting in the background?

(We’ve seen it happen.)

Point is, inconsistencies in the audience experience are like mean signs taped to your back – it’s hard for you to notice them yourself, and they don’t make you look your best.

So how DO you find and weed out the inconsistencies in your business – especially if you aren’t sure where they might be in the first place?

Get to know yourself

Consistency doesn’t mean making your business conform to others – it means making it conform to its own identity.

And it’s surprisingly easy for that sense of identity to get a little lost over time.

You’re constantly adding to your biz! You might be sending out some automated emails that you wrote a year ago, along with others you wrote last week.

You might have a homepage you designed right when you launched, and a newsletter you redesigned a month ago.

When all these different assets you rely on don’t really match each other, it looks a little, well, off – and people notice.

If you want to notice them yourself, recreate that experience, and get to know your business from a stranger’s perspective.

Adopt one of your own personas and get ready to role-play like it’s Dungeons and Dragons night!

Fire up your browser’s incognito window and check yourself out from all angles. Visit your blog, read the homepage, heck, even buy something – you’re basically just paying yourself, you know?

Here are a few easy-to-miss places where you can really rock the user experience with a unified sense of self!

Get paid

Here’s a lesson that’s surprisingly easy to forget:

You actually deserve to get paid for what you do.

Not only that, but both you and your audience deserve a money exchange that feels good – and part of that good feeling comes from consistency.

This is when it’s time to take a fine-toothed comb to your website and process.

Do you have payment buttons on your sales pages, or do you ask your clients to contact you? If they’re contacting you, do you provide them with a form, or are you asking them to copy and paste an email address to get in touch? 

Whatever the case, make sure that the tone of this interaction matches everything else up to this point. Make the instructions clear, tell readers what to expect and when, and don’t get so business-y that you lose sight of the identity your audience has come to trust.

Stop playing digital phone tag

Have you ever been trapped in the constant back and forth of email trying to figure out a time to meet? It feels like watching a long tennis match with lob after lob of the ball, and no end in sight.

If you’re the type to get hands-on with your audience, or even your customers, automate your scheduling process so that it feels as seamlessly professional as possible.

Tools like Calendly make it easy to set this sort of thing up, and even if they seem slightly impersonal at first, they send a clear message about how much you value someone’s time – and your own. (Plus, even if manually scheduling stuff like this by yourself doesn’t seem too tough at first, scheduling systems like these make it easier for your business to scale as you get busier and busier.)

Roll out the red carpet

So you’re turning the people in your audience into customers – but what kind of message are you sending in your first post-conversion exchanges?

A welcome kit might come in handy.

Whether it’s a thank-you, a confirmation, or even a series of introductory emails, this is where you make sure nobody feels like they’re left hanging after becoming your customer.

And here’s the best part: a welcome kit can look like anything you want!

Wanna hook someone up with exclusive access to a private YouTube channel? Do it. Wanna attach some fancy schmancy PDFs to an email? Make it happen! 

A few things you might consider including in your welcome kit include:

  • Communication guidelines: how, when, and where they should connect with you (or your team)
  • Your availability: your general working hours, and/or how quickly you generally respond to inquiries
  • Main objectives: reiterate why they hired you, and what your goal is for your work together
  • Gratitude and grace: because this is a great opportunity for you both!

Your objective with your welcome kit is to show your new client how much they mean to you, and a huge part of that is answering any big questions before anyone even has to ask them. As you audit yourself for inconsistencies, consider what questions someone going through your onboarding process might have!

Wrap it up with a bow

Of course, improving the customer experience doesn’t end there.

We’ve talked about how you can get totally share-worthy testimonials before, and how important it is to ask for those as you’re wrapping up your project – but you can even take things one step further!

Remember that it’s possible to build a business on referrals, as long as your clients and customers know how to make that magic happen.

If you’re soliciting testimonials and/or referrals at any point in your process, carefully consider how you’re doing it – especially when it comes to the language you’re using.

Is it suddenly in a voice other than what your audience expects? Have you gone from fun to formal – or vice versa? This is one of the most valuable interactions you can have with a client or customer, so be sure that you’re representing yourself faithfully!

Where else have you found inconsistencies?

As you navigate your business from a stranger’s perspective, where else might you find some glaring inconsistencies?

Have you had an experience with a biz that seemed drastically out of character?

Share what you’ve seen in the comments below!

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