There’s never been a stronger focus on marketing ROI. You need to lower customer acquisition costs and maximise new customer conversions on digital channels. But what does that mean in practice? And what technologies can help you achieve this?

As lockdowns slowly begin to lift across the globe, most companies are looking at their bottom line and wondering where new revenue is going to come from. There’s lots of focus on acquiring new customers — but global consumer spending has dipped and consumer confidence is recovering only slowly. The pressure is on to deliver those new customers at the lowest-possible cost — and with limited recourse to face-to-face interactions, companies are having to rethink how they attract customers using digital channels only.

If you are a customer acquisition professional, you need to be at the top of your game: but what should you be looking at if you want to do so?

High Performing and Customer-Centric

Google ranks fast-loading pages more highly, boosting your chances of getting seen by prospects — and minimising the costs of doing so. A slow-loading page or mobile app is also one of the primary reasons why people will give up on a digital product or service. 

Once customers are on your site or mobile app, you need to make sure that their onboarding experience is as frictionless as possible. That can only be done by making the user journey the primary consideration in the design and build of your onboarding experience: you need to make it as simple as possible for them to do what they need to do and be on hand to help them when they get into trouble.

For example, digital banks that simply require new customers to scan a driver’s license to open a new account are obviously acquiring more customers than traditional banks that require a passport to be physically presented. In the same sector, research conducted by BuiltForMars found that creating a new bank account could be done in as few as 24 clicks but could take as many as 120! The longer the journey, the more likely it is that users will simply give up on the process.

But the number of clicks, as a proxy for customer effort, is not the only thing you need to look at to create frictionless journeys. There are inevitably parts of the onboarding experience customers may struggle with; so it’s also important to monitor drop-off rates at each stage in the process and take corrective action where needed.

If the problem results from bad design, then you should re-engineer the experience to eliminate this hurdle. If customers become confused with some part of the process, you might implement a chatbot that will guide them through it and answer their questions (rather than waiting for them to call an overburdened call centre that has a very limited capacity to help them).

But even if you know exactly what you need to do to convert new customers more effectively, all of it is, of course, more easily said than done.

An Agile and Consistent Approach to Digital CX Design

According to Sharyn Leaver, SVP of Research at Forrester.

“Brands can build a well of CX equity if they embrace a disciplined approach to envisioning, designing, and delivering a consistently high-quality experience. When consumer spending resumes, brands with experiences that engender customer loyalty will benefit the most.”

But that discipline will count for nothing if you don’t have the agility to quickly launch the applications and make the ongoing changes needed on them to remove friction and improve customer conversions. With traditional development methods making these changes could take anywhere between weeks or months. Launching entirely new applications or creating new journeys could take up to years. This is why companies are increasingly turning to high-speed development platforms like OutSystems.

With OutSystems, you can spin up your enterprise-grade digital onboarding journeys from scratch in only a couple of weeks — and you can make changes to them in hours or days. OutSystems uses visual development which is much faster than traditional coding. You can use it to create all the layers that make-up your digital onboarding experiences, without limits: UX/UI, business logic, data and  integrations to any existing system or third party service (like, for example, identity verification services).

It also comes with a host of pre-built components that allow you to implement common UX/UI interactions — such as for example, carousels to display your products or drop-down menus you can use in submission forms. These components, however, are by no means prescriptive: you can fully customize them to your unique needs like, for example, conforming to your company’s brand guidelines.

Importantly, with OutSystems the more you build, the less you have to build. Each component you create — whether it is a UI element, data integration with your CRM system or business logic — can be reused across all your applications and channels. This means that creating new applications becomes faster and changes and fixes to an element of your application can be done once and are replicated wherever it is used. A change in the code of your website chatbot can be added to the IVR system of your call centre or used as part of your voice assistant solution. So, when you want to introduce optimisations to reduce friction in the journey or you need to address  performance bottlenecks or problems with the onboarding process, these can be implemented quickly and importantly, consistently across all your apps and channels.

An Agile Enterprise

The pandemic and subsequent lockdown have put a premium on agility — and CX professionals are not exempt from this need to respond quickly in a very volatile business environment. A performant website and a great onboarding experience don’t come in a box — they are the product of the continuous investment of time, intelligence and resources. OutSystems is one of the critical mechanisms available to you to deliver on this with the speed and agility that these difficult times demand.