26 Jul 8 Ways to get More Digital Customers
Want more customers?
Want great word of mouth advertising?
As the nights are drawing in, you can feel Autumn taking hold. The chilly days encourage people to be indoors, rather than on the high streets shopping. The end of the year is approaching quickly (Q4 is tomorrow) and I am sure you will be looking back at how your business has been doing in 2016; reviewing financial reports, analytics, conversion rate, customer satisfaction, etc.
In preparation for the New Year, what will be your strategy for 2017? Will one of the critical targets be getting new customers?
Have you ever thought that people with ‘special needs’ could be your new best customers and they will be excellent for your business growth strategy?
Have you thought about making your website more accessible and easy to use? Now is the time to make some intelligent decisions about digital access.
‘Making your site accessible is a great strategy to get new customers.’
The start of this journey begins by identifying the clients who you have forgotten. These groups may include:
· Senior Citizens
· Disabled customers
· Non-digital customers (not computer savvy)
Then by understanding your users and their needs you can have an intelligent plan to deliver a successful accessibility strategy.
Senior Citizens: 10 million people in the UK are over 65 years old, (which is 1 in 6 of the UK population) and by 2025 it will be 1 in 4. They may have issues around adopting and adapting to new technology such as computers, apps and wearables, as their dexterity, hearing and sight may deteriorate.
Some of their challenges include:
· They are not computer savvy or digital natives.
· Difficulties or inability to use their fingers or hands, which could affect the usage of a mouse or keyboard.
· Limited comprehension, memory loss, and attention deficit.
· Low attention span for cognitive overload (too much information).
· Difficulties hearing.
Disabled People – Team Para GB did exceptionally well in the 2016 Para Olympics Games. We are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of accessibility to sport in the UK. The question is now whether your business has a digital inclusion strategy as part of your business culture? Large companies, such as the BBC have adopted a Digital Strategy that emphasizes the accessibility of their websites.
Here are some key numbers that you need to take on board:
83% of the disabled community-acquired their disability later on in life, following an illness or an accident.
87 million people have sight loss (low vision and colour blindness) in the UK, which has a significant impact on their daily lives.
Some of their challenges include:
· They use assistive technology such as screen readers or screen magnifiers.
· They may use a braille device.
· They may not perceive the differences between some colours.
· They may need to make things bigger and cannot read text that has reduced contrast.
10 million in the UK has some hearing loss, which is 1 in 6 of the population. Hearing impairment makes it difficult to access online lectures or training, access multimedia content and participate in the discussion.
Some of the challenges they face include:
· Voice recognition software
· The use of BSL (British Sign Language) when other countries have different sign language even if they speak English.
· Access to audio
57% of disabled people in the UK have mobility issues, which will have an impact on their abilities to move, coordinate and control their movement when performing tasks on digital products or services.
Some of their challenges they face include:
· Difficulties or inability to use their hands which will affect usage of a mouse or keyboard.
· Slow movement that will require more time to complete a task.
· They may need to use an alternative to hands (feet, arm, elbow, head).
1.5 million people in the UK have learning difficulties. 1 in 4 will experience a mental health condition. Cognitive impairment includes memory, perception, problem-solving, conceptualisation and attention deficits (autism, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, dyslexia, mental retardation, etc.
Some of their challenges include:
· Low comprehension.
· Difficulties understanding content.
· Difficulties reading.
· Short term memory loss.
· Limited attention span.
Non Digital Users are a massive issue for companies seeking to get more customers. In the UK, at least 12 million adults lack basic digital skills. This means a huge part of the population is not able to use digital service or products on their own
Their challenges include:
· Lack of digital skills.
· Low confidence.
· No internet access (or broadband).
· No access to computer or devices.
· Need support by phone, web chat or face to face.
The critical success factor for your company, will be to make your products and services more accessible. Start by following these 8 top tips:
1. Adopt a Digital Strategy. The British Government has put in place a Governmental Digital Strategy that takes into consideration people with ‘special needs’. They have designated them ‘assisted digital’, which uses accessibility with an emphasis to develop awareness in the design and product development. Other organisations, such as BBC have their own guidelines (see links at end of this article) which are worth taking note in this context.
2. Plan Some User Testing. User testing sessions are ‘live’ one to one sessions between a researcher and a real user. Participants are asked to complete some tasks to capture evidence on how they behave, interact and react in front of the design, content, functionalities of a website, app or software. The researcher will then record and analyse the data. The findings of user testing are the starting point for this improvement.
3. Test Your Website with Real Users. This is essential to get objective results – using older, disabled and non-computer savvy users is critical. It is crucial to use real users, and they should NOT be involved in the design, development, marketing or any part of your business. Their feedback and behaviours will be influenced by their professional experience; you want your participants to be real customers.
4. Find Alternative Support Routes. One the key performance indicators is to plan assisted digital support via telephone, Web Chat and triage, to help your customers. These types of ‘alternative route’ to help your clients may be costly, but you could have someone specialised in assisted digital support, or work with an organisation or a team volunteers. Sometimes assisted digital users need support the first time they use a web site or App; they can then manage the access on their own from this point.
5. Make Your Site Responsive for Mobile Devices. Some users do not have access to a computer but will be more likely to own a smartphone. This means they may complete transactions through a smartphone interface. By 2018 more than 48 million people in the UK will be Smartphone users.
6. Have a Simple and Straight Forward User Journey. The user journey is the different steps that a user is following when interacting with your product, service or website. Make sure it is simple and clear for all your uses; test it and re-test for access.
7. Make it Easy for Everyone to Use. If you can make your digital product simple to use, then you have completed the most crucial element. It then needs understandable content, less jargon and simple, big fonts.
8. Accessible = More Clients. When your site is accessible to all, it is more likely that your first-time users will come back and tell their friends, family and associations, that your business great. This powerful word of mouth advertising is the best you can get.
If you take into consideration these 8 points you will increase your chances of getting new digital customers. It will also give a stronger image of the culture of your business, that is embracing digital inclusion.
‘Put your user at the heart of your product development’