These fatal flaws kill your brand reputation. Here’s how.

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Businesses are starting to look at how best to meet customer preferences and expectations next year. Every customer has individual wants and needs, and many express a desire for an exceptional online experience when using a brand’s website.

With each passing year these desires increase and it is important to evolve congruently. More than 65% of customers say their experience on a website or app is one important factor in their willingness to recommend a brand. Several bad choices are detrimental to the CX (customer experience), so this is what companies should stop doing on digital platforms in 2023.

Related: the relationship between reputation and brand

1. Prioritize web/desktop over mobile

In the U.S, 65% of all online traffic comes from a smartphone or tablet – a trend that continues to increase year after year – but many brands are not prioritizing mobile-first initiatives. Companies that push for a desktop-driven UX (user experience) are doomed to crumble. Overall, 85% of users believe a company’s website should be just as good, if not better, on a phone than on a desktop site. All websites should have one responsive web design which adjusts its pages based on the pixel width for each device used.

2. Ignoring inconsistencies

A brand’s website must balance the uniqueness that sets it apart from the competition while maintaining broad accessibility and technical efficiency. Inconsistencies that are compounded or left unchecked can cause serious damage, such as:

  • Overlooking technical issues: While it can be tempting to ignore minor technical errors, the smallest glitches, such as a broken link or misplaced button, can lead to thousands of lost revenue if left unresolved. Using digital experience intelligence (DXI) platforms can help pinpoint these issues and alert teams so they can fix them in real time.
  • Allow aesthetic differences: Branding must feel absolutely consistent across all channels that fall under the corporate umbrella: mobile apps, websites, social media, and in person. An optimized omnichannel experience gives its customers the same aesthetic, feel and service no matter where they are, giving users the feeling that they are always in the right place.

Related: What customers expect from their digital experience

3. Lack of transparency

Businesses need to inspire trust and be ultra-transparent when it comes to privacy and security. Customers always need to know how their data is being used, and there is a growing demand for: 87% of consumers will not do business with a company if they are concerned about the website’s security practices. To meet this demand, brands need to be clear and definitive about user safety and provide privacy policies in an effortless way. Better yet, an extra step should be to give customers the option to opt out of tracking or data collection.

In addition, customers need to know the exact cost of their purchases. Hidden costs feel like tricks: 48% of customers abandoned their shopping cart because additional costs — shipping, taxes, service charges, etc. — are too high. Being candid about total costs builds trust with a brand.

4. Trust in people

AI tools are becoming a must for businesses to maintain a competitive edge. Humans cannot do everything at once in the same way that AI can. Embracing technology to perform various tasks allows a brand to prioritize business. Integrating AI can help with:

  • Customer communication: An AI chatbot can queue users for customer service, answer basic questions, solve problems, or direct them to the right pages.
  • Reduce errors: AI can be used to detect anomalies and report them to IT to stop problems at source before they do more damage.

Related: 7 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Brand Reputation and Recognition

5. Treat every customer the same

Personalization is becoming increasingly important for users. According to McKinsey, 71% of customers expect personalized interactions when visiting a website, and 76% become frustrated when they don’t get a personalized experience. Brands that don’t deliver personalized customer experiences by 2023 will see customer loyalty, customer satisfaction and overall revenue suffer. Personalization issues can include:

  • Override accessibility: As 73% of consumers affected by a disability in some way, digital platforms need to make the online experience as accessible as possible to improve the overall user experience. This adds to a brand’s profits when the platform is user-friendly for the entire population. Simply ensuring accessibility of subtitles for videos for the deaf and hard of hearing, improving contrast for the visually impaired, or providing a dynamic interface that allows users to choose their preferred experience goes a long way.
  • Mandatory account creation: Forcing users to create an account before joining a brand’s websites leaves a bad taste in their mouths. While companies may think it helps with retargeting and lead generation, it often leads to cart abandonment. Brands should let visitors choose the benefit of creating an account.
  • Limitation of self-service options: When customers are looking for solutions, they want an immediate answer. Providing users with a web-based self-service model is both cost effective and saves time and energy for a brand and its customers. Increasing self-service options where possible gives customers the tools they need to thrive on their own.

6. Get rid of simplicity

Simplicity is the key to usability. More often than not, an overly complex design makes a website harder for users to find what they need. While trying to stand out might sound good on paper, peacocking can frustrate users and lead to long-term retention and revenue problems.

Overloading a web page with images, animations, or other unnecessary additions of the wrong format causes slow loading times. Research shows 40% of users leave a site that takes more than three seconds to load. Bombarding your customers with popups, music, autoplay videos, and more will drive them away. Keeping pages simple and impactful while optimizing design elements ensures a fast loading response and limits customers who are offensive with offensive clutter.

By approaching a design that is clean and efficient, users can reach their desired destination within three clicks. With easily distinguishable menus for streamlined navigation, an extensive footer page and more, users can easily get where they want to go.

Related: Why Your Business’s Online Reputation Matters

A New Year’s resolution

Let the approaching new year be a reminder to prioritize a positive customer experience across your channels. Digital experiences are becoming increasingly important to any company’s users, and one wrong move can dismiss them forever.

As many make New Year’s resolutions to shed bad habits, brands too can commit to making the right changes that will help them stand out in the hyper-competitive landscape.