Take my money: Building trust during transactions

Take my money: Building trust during transactions

This is a talk I gave during Confab Central in Minneapolis. A big shout out to Scott Kubie and Megan Whalin who worked on these projects with me.

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Michael J. Metts

May 21, 2015
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Transcript

  1. Building trust during transactions Michael J. Metts | @mjmetts |

    mjmetts.com Take my money Slides need narrative, so I’ll scatter notes like this throughout the presentation to give you a sense of what I was saying during the talk.
  2. I became a content strategist almost by accident, and my

    approach has always been very hands-on.
  3. Content strategy is about finding what works for your organization.

    Everyone does content strategy differently. Don’t get hung up on specifics. Find what’s right for your work.
  4. Transactions affect everyone. Companies are doing business in the digital

    space. Customers aren’t handing someone paper currency anymore. This can mean we’re losing some of the humanity of in-person transactions.
  5. What’s a transaction?

  6. Transactions involve giving and receiving. Sometimes it’s money for a

    product. It could also be an email address in exchange for permission to send marketing emails. The key: Transactions are very personal and private.
  7. Order confirmation emails Billing history Order forms Privacy policies Shopping

    carts Error messages Sign-in pages Account management Transactional systems are very complex and are largely text-based, which means content strategists are in the perfect position to make them better.
  8. It’s about trust. If you want customers to give you

    their personal, private information, you have to create an environment of trust.
  9. Your customers want you to pay attention to them. Start

    with research. Figure out what your customers need and how they’re feeling.
  10. Start with the words. A lot of transactional systems can

    be vastly improved by writing better interface copy.
  11. Two privacy policy notification emails To illustrate how these improvements

    can happen, I want to show you two privacy policy emails. The first one is terrible, and the second one is much more trustworthy.
  12. I'm writing to let you know that the AuctionLand User

    Agreement and AuctionLand Privacy Policy have been updated, effective immediately for users registering as of May 16, 2007, and on July 9, 2007, for current users. The rules and dispute resolution policies you originally agreed to in the User Agreement have not changed in any substantive way. We've made some changes to this agreement to make sure our legal documents are consistent with the ways our sites and services are evolving and to better meet the needs of our user community. You'll notice some changes to our "Content License" and "Abusing AuctionLand" sections to that effect.
  13. 2015 is in full swing, and here at SuperStream we're

    looking forward to our most exciting year yet. As we continually strive to bring you the best viewing experience anywhere, we want to ensure that we keep you informed about practices related to our relationship with you, our viewer. We respect your privacy and want to be transparent about what we do with your information. We have updated our Privacy Policy to clarify what information from or about you we collect, use and share.
  14. 1. Believe in your product. This sounds idealistic because it

    is. I’m okay with that.
  15. If you don’t believe your product is valuable, how will

    you convince customers to buy it? Customers can tell when your enthusiasm is false. Your passion is directly linked to your writing.
  16. You are directly responsible for what you put into the

    world. Yet every day designers all over the world work on projects without giving any thought or consideration to the impact that work has on the world around them. This needs to change. - Mike Monteiro
  17. Do you feel good about your work? If you don’t

    like where your product or business is, then find ways to make it better. If you can’t do that, maybe it’s time to look for other opportunities.
  18. 1. Believe in your product. 2. Audit the experience. Auditing

    is a very “content strategy” thing to do, and it’s incredibly important if you want to improve a transactional experience.
  19. Some of the words might be hiding. The words you

    want to improve may be hidden in error states, popovers, different user accounts, and other places you don’t even know about yet.
  20. This is one of our checkout pages. It may seem

    pretty straightforward, but what if we start clicking around… All kind of things are lying in wait.
  21. None
  22. None
  23. None
  24. None
  25. None
  26. It’s one screen with many states. We have to find

    a way to capture all that content. To figure out what states are there, talk to your developers.
  27. Maybe a spreadsheet isn’t the best tool. We use Axure

    to capture screenshots of different states and lay them out for our audits. There are a lot of other great tools out there, as well.
  28. These seven screens represent the different states of our “update

    billing” function.
  29. It helps to lay out the flow as well so

    someone looking at this later understands how it works.
  30. I made a visual inventory of our billing system emails.

    Clicking on a square takes the viewer to a screenshot of the email.
  31. I color coded the emails by type and also included

    numbered IDs so we could quickly reference them.
  32. 1. Believe in your product. 2. Audit the experience. 3.

    Fix broken policies. Higher-level decisions that might seem good for business can derail your customer experience and ultimately harm your bottom line.
  33. Make the money, don’t let the money make you. -

    Macklemore Don’t compromise your values to make a quick buck. You’ll lose a lot more money in the long run.
  34. “We don’t want our customers to do that.” If you

    don’t want customers to cancel their subscriptions, making the “cancel” button harder to find won’t help. It will only make your customers more upset.
  35. “That should be required.” Everything that doesn’t add value to

    a customer’s life is taking away from it. Be careful about introducing things that are only good for the business.
  36. “I don’t think we really need to explain that.” A

    confused customer is far more likely to stop interacting with you than an informed one. Take the time to give customers the information they need.
  37. STARTUPERIFIC This is a short story about a fake company

    called Startuperific. They launched their SaaS product and because they didn’t want to spend a lot of time on development, they didn’t build in a way for customers to downgrade their plan automatically.
  38. PLUS BASIC SUPER RECOMMENDED! $15/mo $25/mo $50/mo Select Select Select

    STARTUPERIFIC A customer went ahead and purchased the “PLUS” plan (because it was recommended).
  39. PLUS BASIC SUPER RECOMMENDED! $15/mo $25/mo $50/mo Select Your Plan

    Select STARTUPERIFIC Later, they decided they didn’t need all the features of the “PLUS” plan and tried to downgrade to the “BASIC” plan.
  40. STARTUPERIFIC Change Paid Subscription In order to change your subscription,

    please cancel your current plan, then select a new one. Go to your account As a result, the customer got an error message. However, once they canceled their current plan, they still had time left on the “PLUS” plan, and they didn’t remember to resubscribe.
  41. STARTUPERIFIC Change Paid Subscription In order to change your subscription,

    please cancel your current plan, then select a new one. Go to your account It may seem like you’re saving time and money with certain policy decisions, but they end up costing you over time.
  42. Be annoying. Fight bad policies by keeping them in front

    of decision- makers and telling stories about customer experiences.
  43. 1. Believe in your product. 2. Audit the experience. 3.

    Fix broken policies. 4. Design with words.
  44. Writing is design. You are a designer. Viewing yourself as

    a designer is incredibly important because it allows you to get involved in the process sooner and shape the project you’re working on.
  45. Create guidelines. (and make sure they work for your team)

    Some people print out guidelines. Ours live in an internal wiki. Find what works for your organization.
  46. Voice and tone guidelines: Even if you’re only creating voice

    and tone guidelines for one project, it’s time well spent.
  47. Communication guidelines: Sometimes we create one- off communication guides for

    particular products.
  48. Topical guidelines: We also create general UX recommendations for different

    topics. This is a portion of our guide for emails.
  49. Read copy out loud. (and help others learn to do

    it too) It’s even better if you can do this when you’re in a meeting with stakeholders. If the copy sounds bad, several people will notice.
  50. This interface is so bad, but if someone took the

    time to read it out loud, it never would have made it to production.
  51. Don’t be misleading.

  52. Please read this notice carefully, print and retain for your

    records. At a time when consumers are carefully considering their spending and how they manage credit, promotional financing offers from Synchrony Bank may make more sense than ever… Subject: Important information regarding your HOME DESIGN - CE/APPL account This is a classic bait and switch. It’s a terrible thing to do to your customers and it will aggravate them.
  53. Clarity over brevity. If the information isn’t clear, it will

    actually take your customers longer to go through the process since they have to go off and look for answers.
  54. Your order should ship from our facility in about 5-7

    business days. If you scheduled your delivery, then it will arrive on your scheduled date. Otherwise, once it’s on the delivery truck, it’ll take 1-2 business days if you’re on the West Coast or about 5 business days if you’re on the East Coast. We’ll update you in a separate email with a tracking number when each package ships. This is a great example of clarity from Tuft and Needle. They articulate clearly and conversationally how long it will take for your mattress to arrive.
  55. 1. Believe in your product. 2. Audit the experience. 3.

    Fix broken policies. 4. Design with words. Here’s the framework. Let’s go build better transactional experiences!
  56. Thank you! Michael J. Metts | @mjmetts | mjmetts.com