- Want to know the real secret to setting up a successful business that consistently converts customers?
- Want to know how your company can still beat your competitors, even if your price point is higher or your products are not as great?
- Want to know what will keep your customers coming back over and over again?
It’s simple: offer a great customer experience (CX) on your website.
According to a recent study from PWC, the CX is so incredibly influential that 73% of shoppers cite it as the main deciding factor in whether or not they purchase something. Forty-three percent of consumers would be willing to pay more for a better experience – and shockingly, 30% of customers will abandon their carts after a single negative experience with a brand website.
So, this of course begs the question of what truly makes for a better experience, and how can companies ensure that they are offering a great one to their customers?
Unfortunately, this is where many companies get things wrong. So many are focused on integrating the latest technology or trying to guess at what will make the online experience better - while totally missing the mark!
In fact, according to the same PWC study, more than half of all customers are unsatisfied with the CX from most businesses.
But the answer to the CX problem is a lot simpler than it might seem.
To cite the PWC report one more time, what mattered most to customers was efficiency, convenience, and service.
The reason why some CX changes have greater results than others is because they are directly related to these important factors. So, by focusing on convenience, service, and efficiency, e-commerce businesses can certainly improve the shopping experience and build better relationships with their customers.
Here are three simple ways that are proven to do just that.
1.Faster and More Personal Service Options
Customer service has been (and always will be) a major player in the CX. If you’ve ever been to a restaurant with terrible service, you will agree that no matter how great the food, was you most likely had an awful experience - and are unlikely to return.
Again, this is often where many online companies fail to deliver.
Since they are not speaking to customers face-to-face, it makes offering great service quickly much more difficult. The key here is to focus on the customer service factors that matter the most to your customers, which are timely assistance, personalized and friendly support, as well as knowledgeable support members who are able to effectively and efficiently resolve issues.
One of the most straightforward ways for ecommerce companies to fulfill all three of these needs in one go is by incorporating live chat and chatbot services on their website. Salesforce’s Chatbots Report found that while 43% of customers would prefer to speak to a real person for assistance, many are warming up to the idea of interacting with an AI bot for instant assistance.
The things that customers appreciate most about chatbots is the fact that they are available 24/7 and can answer quick questions. This can be incredibly useful during busy times, such as during the holidays when more customer support will be needed.
Although an AI chatbot may not be able to answer every single question and inquiry, it can help to answer common questions and also direct a customer to the right person for help.
For example, Mind Hero’s chatbot uses friendly banter to ask customers what they can help them with that day, such as an issue with their latest purchase
Customers can then select the option to speak to a human representative or resolve the issue with the chatbot. This makes the interaction far more personal, while giving the customer an option to reach out to an available representative for further assistance.
2.Use Customer Reviews for Important Changes
If you have any questions about how your company can improve the CX, look no further than your online reviews. One major mistake that many online businesses make is only using online reviews for marketing purposes. Now of course, feedback and ratings can be incredibly helpful for attracting new customers and building trust – but that should not be their only purpose.
In order to really gather deeper insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your current CX, you may want to use a feedback system that digs a little deeper than the traditional star rating. For example, these Trustpilot reviews ask customers to share both the pros and cons of their experience, as well as rate other features like customer support and usability.
The company then uses this feedback to guide the changes they make to their business to improve the CX. They even announced on their Facebook page that their brand revamp was inspired by feedback that came directly from their customers.
3.Don’t Forget about the Mobile Experience
Today, a large percentage - if not the majority of your first-time visitors - will not be arriving to your website on their laptop; it will be through a mobile device. Plus, 40% of all online purchases are now made on a smart phone with 80% of shoppers reportedly using their mobile device to browse store selections before making a purchase.
If your website’s features are limited on the smaller screen or not optimized for mobile, it could drive away a lot of sales. According to research from Google (published on AdWeek), 73% of mobile searchers will actually leave for an alternative search result if your website is not mobile-friendly.
Since the mobile experience is becoming such a critical part of the customer journey from start to finish, e-commerce brands need to be aware of ways to elevate the experience on any type of screen.
A smart starting place is to use an e-commerce platform with responsive design so your website’s layout automatically adjusts depending on the user’s screen. It is important that your website doesn’t just shrink to fit; this can really hurt the UX and make it very frustrating to navigate. Instead, it is better to focus on the main CTAs and use drop down menus for other tabs.
Another option that some online stores should consider is creating an app specifically for mobile shoppers. Many retail brands have gone this route to encourage mobile shopping – some even incentivize users to download and purchase through the app with an additional coupon for doing so.
For example, the clothing retailer Garage offers shoppers an additional 10% off if they download the app to help create a loyalty program. You can also notice key differences between their mobile version and the app’s layout.
The “secret” to improving the CX is really simple: just give your customers what they want. Of course, figuring out the small details that factor in is the real trick.
It is best to start with the most obvious fixes by making the changes that are proven to have a positive effect on the CX, such as improving service and optimizing your website for mobile shoppers. Lastly, always be ready and willing to listen/change by asking customers directly for feedback on where things stand currently.
I'm Vivek, Local SEO Marketing Consultant at E2M (https://www.e2msolutions.com), one of the fastest growing digital marketing agencies in India. We are committed to meeting the highest ethical standards of digital marketing services to drive strategic and sustainable business growth.