Customer retention through digital transitions isn’t always easy.
Implementing change is usually a long-term project. From the initial idea to the planning, execution, and acceptance; it takes time for it to come full circle. Something like purchasing a new car is a pretty big life change. Finances aside, there is a lot of excitement, planning and emotion involved. While you might be excited about the added features of a newer vehicle, you still have to leave behind the old one — the memories, worn-in seats and cassette player included. It takes time to transition, but eventually you will prefer the new over the old. The same goes for website updates. Even though changes to your site may be designed to improve the user journey
, many users will automatically resist the change until they understand the strategy behind it.
Resistance to change hurts customer retention
A Pew Research Center study
from this past January polled users on how they update the applications on their smartphones. Updating is not necessarily at the forefront of every smartphone owner’s mind. The study found that 38% of users will only update apps when it is convenient and 10% never update the apps on their phones. Even with a groundbreaking change in software, it is not a given that people are going to buy into it right away. It is especially difficult to roll out changes to users that do not want to accept them. From a user perspective, it is easier to do things the old way and it takes too much time to learn a new process. Or, in the case of a total site redesign, it is downright overwhelming. Because of this innate desire to just keep things they way they were, a decrease in activity and customer engagement on your platform post-update is completely normal. Similar to growing accustomed to a new car, users have a transition period in which they need time to become familiar with the new site.
Top 4 Ways to Maintain Customer Retention During Software Updates
1. Trust Fuels Acceptance of Change
Users want to trust the site they’re using. And, when the site changes suddenly, their trust is compromised. Cyber-security skepticism is alive and well and many recent security breaches have put people on high alert. In order to maintain customer retention, make sure your customers are aware of any changes before they take place. Or, they might lose their trust in your site and look for a competitor elsewhere.
2. Do Your Research
Get to know your users and what they need and want out of your site. Beyond the things you may think are necessary changes, the new interface or features should enhance the experience and make it so the site is more intuitive for your customers. You may learn something during the research stage that completely revises your original plan for update. The customer’s best interest should always be kept at the forefront of any update.
3. Define Your Strategy and Involve the Customer Early on
Making site updates obviously requires a lot of strategy. Getting customer feedback throughout the process is an integral part of the planning. It is harder for a customer to give up if they are empowered and have a say in the changes. After getting that initial feedback, let them know your strategy. If they understand why certain changes are being made, they will be more accepting of them once they’re live on the site.
4. Offer a Helping Hand
When the changes are finally live, customers may need some help to reorient themselves to the platform. Some changes may be apparent right away, but offering guidance can make the transition much smoother. WalkMe’s Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) has the capability to give users a tour of the updates and it can call out specific strategic changes. This onscreen guidance provides assistance when and where the users will need it most. And, if they have the ability to receive this virtual help, they will be less likely to be frustrated by the updates. An informed customer is a happy customer. Updates are an inevitable part of the software industry, so following these strategies can help improve customer retention
and engagement during the transition.
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