Nothing is more annoying than trying to register with a user-unfriendly website.
They want your email address, your telephone number, the name of your first pet, your password from some transaction years ago, your country (with the U.S. and UK located at the bottom of the scrolling list) and your company size if you’re B2B.
It’s bad enough if you’re merely trying to subscribe to their email list or download a paper. It’s worse if you’re attempting to make a purchase — it contributes to high rates of cart abandonment.
Did it ever occur to you that the time to register might be a deal-killer?
Take the area of B2B credit services. A new report from Experian states that 51% of customers are fed up with slow sign-up processes, and that many will abandon their applications.
Yet 28% of businesses are not sure they are offering a friction-free service, although 74% realize it is critical. Only 35% are using automation tools that can speed things up.
“Losing a customer because your application process is too complicated or long-winded can be so damaging,” states Tom Blacksell, managing director of B2B at Experian.
Blacksell adds: "We continue to live through a period of significant economic and political uncertainty and that is putting extra pressure on organizations to make more efficient and effective decisions to help customers."
So how do you make this process agreeable to the customer?
One thing to do is make sure people can sign up on mobile devices. Research by the onboarding firm Registria shows that 52% of owners will register products they have bought when offered a mobile option.
“This strategic shift has transformed product registration from a transactional event to a value-added onboarding experience. We attribute the undeniable power of mobile to provide a frictionless and engaging first experience which creates more immediate value for brands.” Chris McDonald, founder, Registria.
This process can be tracked using key performance indicators including abandonment and registration rates, speed, accuracy of email addresses and phone numbers, the company says.
Registria also urges firms to add incentives. These can improve registration rates by 10% to 15%, it says.
Accuracy is another factor, and this can be dependent on the quality of your sign-up forms.
"The biggest problem is in the column to the left of Contact A: What does the word 'name' mean?" says Bernice Grossman, president of DMRS Group, a B2B consultancy. "Think of the way people talk. If you’re introduced to Bob, you might ask for his last name. Forms don’t do that. Don’t assume that people know what you mean. You need to ask for the first and last name. This is a very big deal — it’s critical."
Grossman adds: “Very few companies have software behind the forms. Similarly, I don’t know what "VP" means. I would almost prefer you leave it blank unless you’re looking for C-level people. And definitely specify that you want the business email. If I fill out a form to get a white paper and I use an AOL address, it will reject it — "this is not a business email."