By – Lynn Carr, Project Manager
The User Experience or UX as it is commonly known, is defined as the overall experience of a person using a website or app, especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use. In the ever-changing business landscape, the continued growth of e-commerce has transformed customer’s expectations of websites and apps. While most companies feel that their website looks the part, the question remains… does it act the part? Often, companies spend considerable time creating, designing, and maintaining their websites but not much time testing it from a user’s perspective.
Mystery Shopping the User Experience involves assessing and evaluating the experience of engaging with your website from your customer’s or user’s perspective. It evaluates everything from your website/app’s usability, effectiveness, customer service standards and general customer or user experience.
Online or User Experience Mystery Shops can be used in many ways to gain better insight into the effectiveness and usability of your website. The nature and objective of User Experience Mystery Shopping may vary. User Experience Mystery Shops can be conducted in a variety of different ways. The mystery shopper may simply explore and assess the website in detail, navigating its various features, pages, and functions. They may engage with contact forms, email addresses, live chats and associated social media accounts. Furthermore, they may purchase an item online, assessing the payment process, delivery timelines and even the returns procedure and experience. These elements of UX can be assessed individually or altogether, to provide a holistic view of the User Experience.
Online or UX Mystery Shopping can answer the following questions:
- Is your website easily located via search engine?
- Can customers easily find what they are looking for on your website?
- Is the user experience negatively affected by the device customers use?
- Does user experience vary drastically depending on whether they use a browser or your app?
- Why might potential customers choose to shop online on your competitor’s sites over yours?
- How responsive are your staff via live chat / email / social media?
- What is the quality of customer service provided via your online platforms?
- How easy is the process of making a purchase/order on your website?
- How efficient is your order fulfilment and returns process?
- How do customers rate your overall User Experience?
Whether User Experience Mystery Shopping is conducted its own or combined with a wider programme, such as analyzing the User Experience of your competitors and/or physical on-site Mystery Shopping, it has a multitude of benefits, including being a cost-effective method of monitoring and measuring website/online platform performance, identifying website improvements and sales opportunities, and providing insight and analysis into your competitors.
The above questions are tackled by Mystery Shopping the User Experience to give companies insight into what frustrations their online customers experience and also, where they are exceeding expectations and outperforming competitors. By Mystery Shopping the User Experience, you can ensure that your customers enjoy a professional, user-friendly, efficient, and welcoming online environment, as well as memorable online customer service.