Ever been to a bank website and played around with their online mortgage or loan calculators? If you’ve borrowed money for anything over the years, chances are you’ve utilized one of these tools for your research. An online calculator tool can be a massive benefit to any business for a lot of reasons:
- It’s the source of engagement. Many people are searching the web looking for answers to a particular question: ‘how much?’ and a calculator tool can give them that answer right there on the screen without them needing to talk to anyone.
- Because of this engagement, it makes the website more sticky. Sticky websites are good for many reasons but most importantly because Google likes sticky websites.
- It can generate leads
- It can be promoted.
User Experience Mistakes To Avoid
Calculators are relatively easy things to build with a basic web development knowledge. If you can’t do it yourself, your developer should be able to quote on a build for you. But there are some big user experience mistakes to avoid when building them.
Don’t ask for details in order to use it
That’s going to put people off right away because of FOS – Fear Of Spam. There’s a value in giving someone your email address – does using a calculator really warrant that?
Separate the calculator and application
Don’t make the calculator part of the application process. It needs to be a standalone tool that people can play with so they don’t feel they’re half-way through an application when they’ve finished.
Don’t force them to give you an email for the results
This one is so, so tempting. And quite frankly, there are strong arguments for both sides of this. The key word here is ‘force’. You can give them the option to email themselves the results but also allow them to see them on the screen. And remember if they do email themselves the results, that doesn’t automatically add them to your database to send EDMS to.
Allow it to be reset and reused easily
People like to play with these sorts of tools online and the longer you keep them engaged, the more likely they are to buy from you. So allowing users to reset and reuse the tool easily enough is vital. If they have to leave the page and come back or go through some process to restart the tool, you’ll lose them very quickly. And thus lose the chance for a sale.
BMW Calculator Tool
Another example of a poorly done tool is the BMW one. To even start using it, you have to give them your email address just to get into the system. No exciting flash new car is going to make you want to do that until you’re absolutely ready to buy.
Loans.com.au Calculator Tool
In contrast, this is much better from loans.com.au. It’s easy to play with and adjust to however you want. There are still some question marks around the purpose of the loan amount/vehicle purchase price/initial deposit values and how they interact with each other, plus the awkward ‘less options’ option that is unclear as to its purpose without using, but on the whole, much better
Calculators on websites can be very powerful engagement and user experience tools for your visitors, building loyalty and repeat visits. If your business can develop something to allow customers to easily play with purchase options, then it could be a big boost to your digital lead generation.