Today’s consumers have more power than ever before. Thanks to innovations like the internet, consumers have immediate access to thousands of companies selling the products and services they need while social media and review sites, provide consumers with a platform to voice their opinions which can greatly influence your brand. With this amount of purchasing power and influence, it becomes essential for businesses to provide a positive customer experience.
What is Customer Experience?
Customer experience is best defined as how customers feel when interacting (online or in-person) with your brand from the time of initial discovery (i.e. visiting your website, walking in your store, etc) until they’ve purchased their desired products and services. Ideally, it is the impression that your company, products/services, website, and staff leave behind with every interaction.
Why This is Important?
How your brand is perceived by your target customers is essential to the continued success and growth of your business. When customers have a positive experience, they become loyal to your brand, invest in your products and services, and are more inclined to share this with others. This, in turn, boosts your brand’s reputation and creates an environment for you to generate new leads and boost sales.
How to Improve Customer Experience Online
Now that you’re aware of what customer experience is and why it is important to your company’s growth and success, it’s time to implement practices to meet and/or exceed the expectations of today’s modern shopper. When a customer comes in contact with your site, how do you create a lasting and positive experience? Here are some suggestions below:
- User-Friendly Website – When a potential customer visits your site, they should be able to clearly comprehend and easily navigate the site to find the products/services they want. You can improve customer experience on your site by incorporating categories for your products and services, search tools for convenient product search, and clear product descriptions and pricing information.
- Easy Checkout Process – Once your customers have found what they’re looking for, they’re ready to check out. If it takes a lot of time or effort to checkout, customers are likely to abandon their carts and visit another service provider. To improve their experience, your checkout process needs to be convenient, simple to follow, and secure. Shopping carts should be easy to manage and visible at all times. Businesses should also utilize reputable payment service providers like Blue Snap to provide online customers with several options for making secure payments (i.e. credit card, debit card, or checks).
- Personalized Experiences – More than putting your customer’s name in a promotional email, personalization is essential to positive customer experience. When customers visit your site, is it customized to meet and/or appeal to their needs? Some ideas might include recommending complementary products/services during the checkout process, having product recommendations based on previous purchase and search history, and customizing advertisements that appeal to the customer’s immediate needs or desires.
- Customer Support – Whether a customer has a question about a product or service or they’re having an issue that they need addressed, it is imperative that you have multiple methods of communication for them to reach out and get the assistance they need. Make sure your site clearly has several avenues for customer support including a phone number, company email address, social media page, forums, or online chat.
The experience consumers have when visiting your eCommerce site matters greatly to the success of your brand. If your site is difficult to comprehend, complicated to use, impersonal, or lacks customer support, you’ll find that visitors become dissatisfied and take their business elsewhere (while also sharing their negative experiences with others). To improve their online experience, it is, therefore, necessary to make sure that your site meets or exceeds the needs and expectations of today’s modern consumer.