The most frustrating things for consumers to encounter along their buyer’s journey are the unnecessary roadblocks. These friction points can take many forms, can happen at every stage of the transaction, and are some of the primary obstacles companies face when trying to attain higher conversion rates. As audiences have become more accustomed to lightning-fast response times and highly optimized web experiences, friction points that once represented minor issues in otherwise sound customer engagement strategies can now make or break an overall strategy.
There are, however, a few easy ways to identify and eliminate these friction points, boosting your overall engagement and conversion rates by a significant margin. We put together a list of the three best strategies for overcoming these points and improving your processes all along the sales funnel.
Identifying the Friction Points
Before you begin the process of eliminating friction points, you have to find them. The most reliable way to achieve this is to simply identify which stage of the journey experiences the most abandonment, as this is the number one symptom of a glaring friction point. Perhaps it’s the checkout stage, or maybe it’s where you put in a data capture form to collect email addresses.
You can find these abandonment points by looking closely at your data, but many businesses find it helpful to directly ask their clients for feedback on their journey. This can not only help to reinforce conclusions you might draw from the data, but also give you other valuable insight into the consumer’s experience, and may clue you into strengths or weaknesses that would go unnoticed otherwise.
Three Ways to Eliminate Friction
1: Optimize Web Performance
A majority of the consumer’s journey will be spent carefully reading and navigating your website to gain the information they need, so this is where the bulk of your work lies. If your website performance is suffering, you’ll probably have trouble converting at a high rate. You may have seen a sharp rise in the emphasis on UX design and writing over recent years. This important aspect of web performance is a direct result of the “digital native” generations representing a larger and larger segment of your audience.
Some webpage performance issues can be fixed in-house, such as resizing images and ensuring that code is correctly formatted. If you’re having more serious issues, though, find a professional who can do a complete diagnostic check of your website and give expert advice on improving its overall health and performance. Depending on the skills of your internal teams and the severity of the issues you face, one of these web gurus could save you a lot of time and resources.
Optimization also means ensuring that your website and all connected applications perform just as well on mobile devices as they do on desktop computers. Everything from ads to navigation between applications should support mobile, as it’s one of the primary avenues for your audience to encounter your messaging.
2: Improve Clarity
Especially for FIs, clarity can be a major issue. Striking the correct balance between client-friendly, concise language and in-depth information can be a major challenge. Lean too much in one direction or the other, and you risk alienating a large portion of your audience.
Ensuring that your design and language communicate an easy-to-understand, transparent message can help reduce friction at all stages of the customer’s journey. When FIs provide more precise information up front, it can help consumers decide what they need quickly, and prevent your team from wasting time rehashing information that your audience should already know. You can read more about this in our article about Marketing Language for Financial Institutions.
Clarity can also help reduce friction after the completion of the sales process by ensuring you spend less time backtracking with potentially dissatisfied consumers. Confused visitors not only reflect poorly on an FI’s processes, but they also clog communication channels and prevent potential new consumers from receiving the speediest service possible.
3: Empower Your Team
Touchpoints occur at every stage of the sales journey, but they also occur at every level within your organization. Members and customers are understandably frustrated when they’re stonewalled by internal bureaucratic processes. Why can’t this person approve my loan? Why can’t this person figure out what’s wrong with my digital banking app? It’s even worse when there’s no really good answer for them (“that’s just the way things are” doesn’t cut it.)
Ensuring that your team members have the power to assist users (or at least swiftly move them along to departments that do) can prevent much of the friction people fear when dealing directly with an FI. Imagine the difference between being pleasantly surprised by your local branch’s technical knowledge and eagerness to help, and a typical call center experience where you endure a half-hour wait only to learn you’ll have to wait until Tuesday for a real answer.
Putting more power and knowledge in the hands of your team members helps prevent potential members from experiencing friction, and can help your team feel more inspired as well.
Prisma Campaigns is here to ensure that you experience smooth sailing from here on out. Our comprehensive marketing automation solution is tailored to the needs of modern financial institutions, allowing them to take advantage of automation and personalization in their marketing outreach while streamlining processes and blending seamlessly with existing tech stacks.
Request a demo with Prisma Campaigns today, and see how the right partner can make marketing work better for you.
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