The customer experience is everything in your ecommerce business. About 86% of customers are willing to pay more money for a better experience. On top of that, nearly a third of customers will stop doing business with you after one bad experience.
The pressure is on to make sure your customers are happy. They’ll stay loyal and they’ll spend more money. How can you make that happen in your ecommerce business?
Read on to learn how to improve the ecommerce customer experience and create a thriving business.
Defining Customer Experience
What exactly is the customer experience? Some ecommerce business owners may think of it as customer service or how people use their website.
That’s sort of true.
The customer experience is every single interaction a person has with your brand. That can be a social media post comment, a message response, an Instagram story, or a Facebook Live post.
These micro-experiences add up to create a perception of your brand. A positive perception is likely to generate sales. A negative perception will leave you scrambling for new customers because your retention rates are low.
Audit the Customer Experience
Do you know what your current customer experience is? Now is the time to assess how customers experience your brand.
You want to look at your website, social media accounts, order fulfillment, and customer service. You can look at each part on your own and get feedback from your customers.
It’s helpful to look beyond web analytics when you’re auditing your ecommerce site. Analytics provide some information, but they don’t tell the whole story.
You’ll see what’s driving traffic to your site, conversion rates, and pages visited. What you don’t see is how people use your site.
Heatmaps can do that. A heatmap shows you exactly where people go when they use your site. For example, on a landing page, a heatmap shows you what elements draw their attention. On a long landing page, you can see how far down the page visitors go.
You can see how people interact with your page. The latest feature of heatmap software is the incorporation of artificial intelligence. That helps you distill a large amount of data into actionable items.
Create a Customer Experience Map
Did you find areas to improve the customer experience? Now is the time to add them to the customer experience map.
People who interact with your brand are at different stages of the buying cycle. Some are loyal customers, and others are just doing research.
A customer experience map takes this into account. You map out the steps a person takes all along the customer journey and the experience touchpoints along the way.
It’s easy to treat all of your customers and potential customers the same. The problem with that is that you’re sending out information that’s not relevant to people.
Ecommerce businesses frequently make this mistake. They have one large email list and everyone gets the same information and discounts. That information isn’t relevant to half of your list.
By segmenting your lists, you provide your customers with information that’s relevant to them. You won’t waste their time with content that doesn’t apply to them. They’ll unsubscribe from your list after a while.
Doing the same on your website help you improve the online customer experience. There are apps and plugins that will help you accomplish that.
Simplify Your Website
More people are making purchases on mobile devices, which means that your site has to be easy to use. About a quarter of Black Friday’s online purchases were on mobile devices.
Customers should be able to go to your site and find what they need in a couple of clicks. Anything more than that means that you’re making it difficult for them to make a purchase.
Make Customer Contact Easy
Customers want to have multiple ways to contact your customer service team. If you only give your phone number, you’re missing out on a big opportunity.
Customers want live chat, messaging, email, and text options. That’s because they don’t want to be on hold for a while to talk to someone.
Always Ask for Feedback
Customers are willing to refer people to your business and provide feedback. Waiting for them to do it on their own isn’t going to work.
You have to be proactive and ask them. Survey tools like Qualtrics send out customer surveys and ask for feedback.
You can use this feedback to improve performance. Asking customers how you can do better also strengthens the bond between you and your customers because it shows that you value their opinion.
Create Systems Around the Customer Experience
Do you find that your teams have a lot of repetitive tasks? You don’t have to turn your business upside down to provide a better customer experience.
You can use chatbots to lessen the load on your customer service team and answer customer questions in just a few minutes.
You should also have policies in place that determine when calls get escalated to supervisors or transferred. The goal is to lower your customer response time and give customers what they need.
Create an Unforgettable Ecommerce Customer Experience
With so much competition in the marketplace, customers can get what you have to offer from at least a dozen other places. What’s the one thing that you can do to set your business apart?
Provide an unforgettable ecommerce customer experience. You have to know what makes your customers tick and what they want. Look at every customer touchpoint and see where you can improve.
You can leverage the power of tools and systems to personalize and automate parts of the customer experience. That will help your team provide better service that people will come to love.
Head over to the Technology section of this site to learn more about using technology in your business.