Offering high-quality products – and a freebie or two to sweeten the deal – is a great way to ensure repeat business and grow a following of loyal customers.
That said, no matter how great the goods you provide, today’s consumer wants to feel taken care of throughout their purchasing journey. Failing to ensure your customers have an exceptional experience when they interact with your brand is shockingly bad for business.
If you want to remain competitive in your market, you’ll need to ensure that your customers have an outstanding experience from interest and awareness to post-purchase business.
Keep reading to find out how you can guarantee this by creating a solid customer experience.
The power of positive customer experiences
Simply put, customer experience is the view that your target audience and customers have of your brand. It starts taking shape from the moment a potential buyer first hears about your business and continues long after they’ve made a purchase.
A good customer experience is critical for sustainable business growth. It helps to promote brand loyalty to drive positive word-of-mouth marketing (widely agreed to be the most effective form of promotion) and customer retention.
This increased brand loyalty and advocacy helps to reduce customer acquisition costs and increase customer lifetime value. Both of which go towards improving your business’s bottom line.
Where to invest for the greatest customer experience impact
Every interaction your business has with customers will affect how they feel about your brand. Which can make it a little overwhelming to know where to start with improving CX (that’s short for customer experience) – especially if the customer journey is a long and winding one.
Fortunately, there are a few areas you can focus on to ensure that your audience has a positive impression of your business.
The accessibility and convenience of these platforms allows customers to connect with businesses instantly, allowing you to provide support, address queries and interact in real time. All of which helps to grow your reach and strengthen the bond you have with your existing community.
Sharing regular updates and interacting with customers in an easily accessible public space also promotes transparency, which builds trust and credibility. What’s more, it opens up the opportunity for social listening. This is an invaluable tool for helping you understand what people are saying about your brand and products, and how you may be able to improve your offering.
Then there are the opportunities for personalisation and targeted advertising. Using the data and insights that these platforms provide can help you to shape marketing campaigns and serve your content to the users who will value it the most.
A well-designed, secure website is practically guaranteed to improve CX. An on-brand, easily navigable, fast-loading site that works across a range of devices makes it quick and easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for, while slow, poorly designed pages can lead to an impaired experience.
More than half of all traffic on the internet is from mobile devices. Plus, nearly three-quarters of users prefer a mobile-friendly site and most are unlikely to recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. Which means that your website needs to be accessible and usable on these devices. In other words, it needs to be responsive.
Security also comes into play here. Inadequate data policies and protection measures have driven around half of adults to cut off a relationship with a brand. That said, 61% of consumers will sacrifice some data privacy in exchange for improving their CX (e.g. storing credit card or shipping information).
Responsiveness and security might matter, but page load speed is by far the most important factor here. Website conversion rates drop by 4.42% with each second of load time that passes and 53% of mobile users will leave a page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
Customer service and support
This might seem like an obvious one, but it’s incredibly important: providing great service and outstanding support is essential for creating a good customer experience. Almost all customers will stop interacting with your brand because of bad service.
What drives poor customer service and support? Failure to provide guidance on how to use your products, self-service tools and easily accessible support are the big three. Slow response times, not being able to speak to a human, poorly trained support staff and businesses not fulfilling promises are a few other factors.
Dissatisfied customers are inclined to share a bad experience online and in person – more often than those who will share a good one. And once negative sentiment starts circulating, it’s difficult to subdue. On average, it takes 40 positive customer experiences to make up for one bad review.
How to improve your customer experience
Enhancing your CX can help to boost your brand reputation and foster loyalty to give your business the competitive edge it needs to attract more buyers and drive revenue growth.
Here are a few tried-and-true strategies you can use to ensure your customers are completely satisfied at every stage of their buying journey:
- Get active on social media: The sheer amount of time that potential customers spend on social media means it will probably be their first port of call when they’re sussing out your products or looking for support. Aside from having at least one person on your team dedicated to answering questions and gauging community sentiment, you’ll also want to ensure you take advantage of automations to help customers during the hours you’re not online. Also consider how influencer marketing can help improve your customer journey.
- Optimise your website: Three-quarters of customers make judgments about a company’s credibility – and ability to provide great service – based on the design of its website. Ensuring your site’s look and feel aligns with your brand image is an important factor. Responsiveness in another. Page speed is yet another. There are a variety of ways to ensure peak performance in each of these areas, but your strategy should be informed by the most up to date web design best practices.
- Make yourself available: Offer multiple touchpoints where customers can get hold of you to ask questions, register complaints (or compliments!) and find out more about your products or services. Live chat integrations on your website and application, email, social media and support phone lines are all great options here. Just be sure you use infrastructure that ensures you’re able to provide customers with a consistent experience regardless of where they contact you.
- Be proactive with your customer service approach: Anticipating your customers’ needs and offering solutions to potential problems before they arise is a great way to improve their experience. Keeping your buyers informed about product updates and new features (and sharing other helpful information) will help to reduce uncertainty and build trust. Both of which are major wins for increasing customer satisfaction and retention as well as goodwill for your business.
- Invest in employee training: Ensuring your employees understand the products your business sells will empower them to resolve customer queries quickly and efficiently. Plus, customer service training can help to ensure those clients that need assistance receive empathetic support that can turn a potentially poor experience into an outstanding one.
Never give up on the good times
Changing needs and sentiments – along with increasing demands – can make it challenging to consistently deliver exceptional customer service.
So, how do you ensure the good times keep coming?
First and foremost, you’ll want to ask your customers for feedback. Good or bad, knowing what your customers think about your products, brand and customer service will help you to understand where your customer journey is joyful and where it falls short.
Once you have this data at hand, you can start to implement improvements, monitor your progress and stay ahead of your competition.
How can we help you?
Delivering an exceptional customer experience at every stage of the purchasing journey can forge deeper connections with your customers to set your brand apart from the competition and improve your bottom line.
The best customer experiences are driven by knowing who your customers are and understanding how your products can help them solve their problems.
But figuring that out is often easier said than done. So, before you ask your customers ‘How can we help you?’, let us do the same for you. Get in touch with our team, and let’s explore how we can help optimise your entire digital marketing experience.