Regardless of whether you operate in brick-and-mortar retail or solely e-commerce, the customer experience you provide is paramount to your success.
Where the online realm is concerned, customer experience – or CX – is the controlling factor in how your business, product and service are perceived at both an individual and collective level. As such, it’s pretty important to get right.
Delivering good CX will get you:
- Better customer loyalty
- Better customer satisfaction
- Better organic marketing, reviews and recommendations
All the things you want to enjoy as an e-commerce business, no doubt. But how do you get your CX to where it needs to be?
Understand your audience and their needs
As Dan Conboy, e-commerce expert at Statement Agency, will tell you: “While it’s crucial to create momentum before launching your store, when you go live, it’s equally as important to deliver a great customer experience. Creating a positive first impression is fundamental to getting shoppers to return.”
To get that all important positive first impression, you need to understand your customer demographic and what they’ll be looking for when they arrive at your site. Of course, initially, this might be a process of trial and error based off broader market research in your sector. But as your business develops and you enjoy more customer interactions, you can begin to create customer profiles from those who have dealt with your customer support team.
Creating personas of the customers who’ve come directly to your business with complaints, suggestions or queries will help you shape your service and CX offering going forward in a more tailored, and inevitably successful, manner.
Create an emotional connection
There’s no stronger bond than an emotional one, and if you can create an emotionally driven link between your brand and your customers then you’re on to a winner.
How can you do this, though? Simple, common sense, empathetic moves are a good place to start. Take your customer service team for example: how do they deal with customer issues? If the answer is in black and white with zero context, you are likely heading in the wrong direction when it comes to handling your customers and manufacturing an emotional connection.
Take this excerpt from Super Office on the work of Zappos recently as a good example of exceptional, emotionally encouraging customer service:
A customer was late on returning a pair of shoes due to her mother passing away. When Zappos found out what happened, they took care of the return shipping and had a courier pick up the shoes without cost. But Zappos didn’t stop there. The next day, the customer arrived home to a bouquet of flowers with a note from the Zappos Customer Success team who sent their condolences.
According to a Harvard Business Review study, emotionally involved customers are:
- At least three times more likely to recommend your service
- Three times more likely to buy from you again
- Less likely to shop elsewhere
- Less likely to be concerned with your pricing
Value and utilise customer feedback
We’ve already talked about understanding customer experience and shaping your offering around it. This boils down to the fundamentals of taking on board and putting into action viable and valuable customer feedback.
E-commerce platforms are particularly efficient for capturing vital feedback, which can be done live via live chat tools, follow up emails and interaction surveys. Looking beyond the CX, taking the same value driven approach to your employee feedback will be equally as important to your wider infrastructure.
Using constructive criticisms and suggestions on both sides of the coin will enable you to not only create optimal CX solutions, but also aid your communication and problem-solving efforts. By interacting more readily with customers regarding their concerns and offering palpable solutions, your patrons are bound to feel more valued and more likely to offer that all important emotional connection to your brand.
We live in a customer centric era, and as the customer experience moves increasingly online, it’s imperative that your e-commerce CX delivers from the home page onwards. With the tips above, you can ensure you’re practicing the right behaviours to make that happen.