Customer experience is essential for e-commerce businesses to find success in today’s digital-first world.
87% of today’s companies say that traditional experiences no longer fulfill customer expectations. So, how can you create a Customer Experience (CX) strategy that beats the competition?
In this post we’ll touch on 15 ways to improve your customer experience now.
1. Know who your customers are
You need to know who your customers are to understand what they need. Everyone in your business who interacts with your customers should have an understanding of your customers. Who they are, how they talk, what are their typical concerns, and why they need your product.
Once you understand your customers, you can start to develop a strategy for capturing their attention. One sure-fire way to understand your customers is to ask them how they like to interact with your business by asking for reviews. Read our post on the importance of reviews and how to get them for more info.
2. Understand the difference between CX and CS
Customer service is just one part of the Customer Experience. Whereas CS refers to a specific touchpoint with a customer, CX refers to every touchpoint a customer has ever had with your company. The customer experience is effectively what a customer feels and thinks about your brand when they do interact with you.
3. Create a connection with your customers
A business that connects emotionally with their customers, outperforms the competition by 85% in terms of sales growth. You need to respond to the emotions of your customers and be as personable and reactive as you can, within the boundaries of your brand’s personality.
If a customer reveals some personal information to a member of staff, this can be an opportunity to tailor an offer to that particular person. While it might be seen as trivial, making that emotional connection makes your customers three times more likely to re-purchase and less price sensitive.
4. Listen to your customers
You will hear a lot from customers when running a retail business, but the key to sustained success is in listening to them. By listening to the true problem that the customer is facing when they contact your customer service, you can start to improve your customer experience and reduce the strain on your CS teams in the future.
Conduct surveys with your customers or ask for feedback after a customer interacts with one of your staff. They might not always reply, but when they do, that piece of information can allow you to optimize to increase loyalty, sales, and revenue.
5. Gather traditional CX measurement scores from your feedback loop
There are four key metrics in the gathering of customer experience data:
- Customer Effect Score (CES)
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
- Time To Resolution (TTR)
These metrics involve asking users questions like: “On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this product/company to a friend or colleague?”. You can learn more about how to use and gather each of these metrics (often in a customer email asking them a question) on Hotjar’s guide to CX.
6. Go omnichannel and reduce customer friction
By creating an omnichannel experience, you allow your customers to interact with you across a multitude of channels. Eliminate systems which don’t communicate with each other and create one fully communicative system to run your business
Integrated e-commerce is the first step towards an omnichannel retail business. Read more about integrated e-commerce and discover how WebSell can help you achieve omnichannel retail.
7. Engage with your customers on social media
The easiest way to engage with your customers is through social media. If you know your customers are on a social channel, or are likely to be, then engaging with them on those social channels is a surefire way to build customer loyalty and attract returning business.
Use social media to build meaningful and emotional connections with your customers so you can build a loyal follower base. We created an extensive guide to social commerce which you can download for free here.
8. Reward your engaged customers
To continue to drive sales-focused traffic back to your store, you need to consistently reward your most engaged customers to show what being a valuable customer means to your business. These rewards can be both public and private (social or email).
Either way, encourage those engaged customers to reach out to their friends by sharing their offers or promotions with others. The value of these customers is also clear with engaged customers spending on average 60% more per transaction.
9. Audit the customer experience internally
You need to understand your customer experience from every department’s point of view to get a clear view of how your different customers are currently using your site. Each department, from marketing to sales, will each have a different view on the customer experience and may have different priorities.
As well as this, getting the opinions of everyone within your business works as a focus group that can deliver fast and responsive results.
10. Remove ineffective design early on
The design of your website has a huge impact on your overall customer experience. A consistent and rewarding customer experience will come from a fully mobile responsive site where users get a site that scales to whatever device they are browsing from.
A great site design considers all aspects of the customer journey, from discovery through to purchase. Making your site easy-to-use and responsive to the emotions of your customers is key to creating an online store that delivers sales.
Learn more about WebSell’s design services and how we can improve your design to make it look great on every device.
11. Allow your customers to assist themselves
Today’s customers want to help themselves if they can. Reports have shown that 45% of companies that offer self-service report an increase in site traffic and reduced phone inquiries.
Use the internal knowledge in your business to create FAQ or resource pages which can help your customer service team to solve issues quickly, reduce CS time, and allow customers to help themselves without needing to contact your team directly.
12. Research the competition
When looking to improve on or beat the competition, analysing the competition and understanding where they are succeeding or failing is always a good strategy. This analysis will help you to find where the potential gap in the market is, and where your customer experience can stand out.
This analysis can be useful for defining goals and objectives for your customer experience audit and improvement as they are measurable tactics when compared with the competition.
13. Define the experience you want to deliver and always refer back to it
As with setting goals for your customer experience project, you need to define what the ideal customer experience looks like to you. By creating this ultimate version of CX, you will understand what steps you need to take to make it a reality.
Create your conclusion, and work backwards through the customer journey.
When you are optimizing your CX along the way, consistently referring back to your mission statement or goal will ensure you stay on track. If it isn’t a part of that ultimate customer experience, then is it worthwhile?
14. Align your customer service with your brand
Remember that every customer touchpoint should be consistent from a brand perspective to deliver a unified retail experience. You brand’s personality should be reflected across the business, including customer service responses.
If your brand has a playful tone, then it wouldn’t be out of place to drop words that reflect this personality into CS responses. In fact, it can even boost your brand’s strength.
When a customer gets through to your business, they will want a swift response, but you can still respond in a way that matches the personality of your brand.
15. Install a live chat service on-site to always be alert
A live chat plugin for your site shows customers that you are responsive and available to respond to queries quickly. You can also set specific hours for your live chat so it only appears on your site when you are ready to respond to messages.
WebSell supports and recommends Chatify as a live chat service that functions well on WebSell webstores.