When customers land on your website, they expect a particular type of experience. The human attention span is short, and people don’t have the patience to figure out complicated navigation or sort through a lot of clutter. As a website owner, you must learn to look at your site through the eyes of your target audience and create an experience that’s both positive and productive.
A customer who has a negative experience on your site is 88 percent less likely to revisit your site in the future. It is worth it to take the time to ensure the customer experience (CX) is the absolute best it can be every time. Here are nine tips to help you do that.
1. Offer More Than Promotions
Site visitors aren’t always looking for product promotion. Sometimes they land on your page seeking resources that meet other needs. Perhaps they want specific information, to be entertained or are just browsing for a few spare minutes. Look at your content through the eyes of the consumer. What is missing that your site visitors might want?
Best Made started as a company building a better ax, but today have a line of sustainable and durable tools. Rather than only offering a link to the latest promotion, Best Made takes the time to look at what their target audience might be interested in and adds entertainment value through elements such as a suggested reading list and outdoor activity themes.
2. Focus on Emotion
When thinking about CX for your site, you must consider the emotions of site visitors — 70 percent of the customer experience is based on how they feel they are treated. If you figure out how to serve up warm and fuzzies, you’ll develop a loyal customer following. Tap into those universal emotions everyone experiences, such as sadness, joy and love.
3. Meet Basic Expectations
One of the first things your site should accomplish is meeting the basic expectations of your target audience. For most people, this means your site has features such as an easy-to-find navigation bar and that they can almost instinctively find the things they want to move through your site.
Does your logo link up to the home page? Is your navigation bar near the top? One of the best ways to ensure your site is meeting these needs is to have outside parties visit and tell you how the structure and even placement of features works for them.
The Amish Outlet Store has the elements customers seek when landing on an eCommerce site. For example, there is a “customer service” option in the nav bar, which speaks to both new and current customers. If a customer has an issue with a purchase, they can easily find help. On the other hand, new customers can ask questions or feel reassured that customer service is a priority for the company.
4. Reward Loyalty
Loyal customers aren’t easy to come by, but they will stick with your company through thick and thin and re-order from you consistently. Studies suggest a loyal customer is worth far more than a new lead — they’re five times as likely to buy again, five times more likely to forgive errors and four times as likely to refer others to your company.
5. Show Them How Things Work
Take the time to show your site visitors how the products and services you offer work. There are few things in life more frustrating than getting no directions for a new product. Some things aren’t easy to figure out, and a video or illustration on your website does wonders to alleviate this aggravation. Take the time to instruct your customers and offer insider tips.
Fifty Three sells creativity tools, such as digital pencils. One of the best features of this site is the clear indicators of what the Pencil does and how it works. This is accomplished through images, illustrations and with a bit of text mixed in. If someone is on the fence about whether to purchase the product, seeing what it does allows them to decide between buying or not.
6. Focus on Mobile
Increasingly more people access the Internet via their mobile devices these days. If your site doesn’t have a mobile first — or at least a mobile responsive — approach, you risk alienating these users and losing them to a competitor. If a site has a poor mobile design, 57 percent of consumers say they won’t recommend that website.
7. Share What Others Think
Online consumers tend to seek out the opinions of others through reviews and testimonials. You can make this process easier for them by including reviews and testimonials on your site. This keeps them on your page, rather than causing them to hop to another tab and possibly never return.
In fact, 85 percent of consumers read as many as 10 reviews before deciding whether to trust a business. They trust these reviews the same way they trust personal recommendations.
Marucci offers testimonials from professional players to highlight why their baseball bats are the best. The site is relatively simple, but as you scroll down, you’ll see direct quotes from players such as Andrew McCutchen. They also offer a series of videos with baseball players highlighting why they love the bats.
8. Add Artificial Intelligence
Can you simplify a process for your site visitors by adding artificial intelligence (AI)? Sometimes this means merely walking the site visitor through registration with a bot that intuitively fills in the blanks. Today, 80 percent of marketers believe AI is going to change the way we market in coming years. Of course, how you utilize AI depends on your industry and the features of your website, but it’s worth researching to improve the overall CX.
9. Go Above for Customer Service
What happens when a site visitor interacts with your customer service model? This is part of the overall experience of the customer, so you want it to be the absolute best experience possible. Make sure you have a strong, positive customer service philosophy in place and that you respond as quickly as possible to customers.
Try to connect with consumers in a variety of ways — live chat, email and toll-free numbers are all excellent places to start. If a customer orders, follow up with a thank you email and touch base from time to time. The added effort will pay off in the form of a better CX overall.
Always Strive for a Better Customer Experience
Customers who have an enjoyable experience on your website are more likely to tell their friends and revisit your site. However, word about both good and bad experiences spread across the Internet at lightning speed. Take the time to ensure your customers are 100 percent happy, and you’ll see the payoff in sales and reduced customer churn.
Improving the CX of your eCommerce Site
More than likely, you truly want to provide the best customer experience (CX) possible to the visitors who land on your website. However, in a rapidly changing digital world, it can be difficult to know just what strategies you should use to create a positive experience.
Experts estimate by 2020, CX will be the most important factor in branding, even topping price and the product. Seventy percent of why customers decide to buy a product is based on their perception of the way the company treats them. Taking time to invest in your customer service model is one thing you can do to stand out from the competition.
1. Consistent Experience
Whether you’re conducting business online or offline, offering a consistent service experience that spans the reach of your business allows customers to embrace your brand, no matter how they prefer to shop. For example, if you have an email list, you might send out a coupon code people can use either on your website or in a store. If a customer comes into your store and you are out of their size or the color they want, you provide a kiosk they can order from.
AutoZone has gotten on board with that consistent user experience. If you go in their store, they can help you, but you can also go online, figure out what you need and pick it up in the store the very same day. Customers can quickly see which locations near them have the part they’re looking for.
2. Target Audience
Before you begin to focus on CX, you must fully understand who your target customer is and how to meet their needs. You can figure out the demographics of the people visiting your site by studying analytics, taking polls and studying buying patterns. Once you have a grasp of your typical site visitor, create a user persona based on that model. This persona is who you will plan everything around. You can have more than one persona for your brand, too.
3. Anticipating Customer Questions
When a consumer chooses to visit your site, he or she likely has a specific purpose in mind. Think through what the different purposes might be and how you can anticipate any questions the user will have. If you get a lot of emails asking the same question about your products, or if you offer a certain feature, this is a good place to start. You’ll provide the answer before the customer ever has to ask you.
Notice how Nitterhouse Masonry Products anticipates customers visiting their site might have one of three product types in mind: architectural, contractor or residential. By narrowing down the choices, they anticipate their different users’ needs and direct them to more information on the specific area.
4. Omni-Channel Customer Service Reps
When someone visits your website, you likely have a variety of options for contacting your company. You might offer live chat, email and even a toll-free number. Is a customer who calls your company getting the same answer you provide via live chat or email? Making sure you not only provide consistent answers, but that you keep a record of customer contacts, is vital to making the customer feel valued.
Customers get annoyed when they must repeat a problem they have with your product to three or four different people. About 89 percent of customers state this frustrates them, and about as many feel brands should try harder to create a consistent customer service experience.
5. Mobile Matters
You’ve heard this one before, but it is worth repeating, because more and more people are using their smartphones to access the Internet. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, or doesn’t provide the main features of your website, you are going to have a lot of irritated users. If the mobile site is not up to par, about 52 percent of consumers are less likely to engage with the brand.
Elf on the Shelf is one of those trends you either love or think is creepy, but their website is a good one to study for how to create a great mobile CX. When you land on their page, you have two choices based on whether you are an adult or a child. Their landing page is very simple and to the point.
6. Customer Service Philosophy
Train your customer service reps thoroughly in your customer service philosophy. It can take an additional 12 positive experiences to make up for one bad experience with service. If your customer is dissatisfied, hurry to minimize the damage and turn a negative into a positive. Make sure everyone who has any contact with your customers understands the value of every customer. Likewise, that they reflect that in their interactions.
7. Social Media
If your site isn’t integrated with social media, you might be missing out on traffic. More than 62 percent of people in North America use Facebook. Integrating your e-commerce site with social media is simple. First, you need to mention your social media channels and make it easy to access them. Second, point your social media followers to specials, sales and new arrivals on your site. Of course, there is a lot more involved with marketing on social media, but understanding the importance of a presence is enough to get you started.
8. Gain the Consumer’s Trust
One of the key components of successful CX is that customers feel they can trust your brand. If you receive a question, do you answer promptly? Did you make your contact information easy to find? Other things you can do to gain consumers’ trust is to add any certificates you hold or positive ratings, and adding customer testimonials.
Optimizing your site’s CX takes time and perseverance. Pay attention to any complaints you receive. When do consumers bounce away from your website? Can you improve their experience and reduce your bounce rate? Putting the time and effort into continually improving your CX will pay off in happy customers who frequent your business time and time again.