Solid customer experience is paramount to growing your business. If a customer comes to your site and isn’t happy with what they experience, they will leave. If they make a purchase and aren’t satisfied after the sale, they will likely tell all of their friends (and the internet). So it’s essential to make sure that you treat your customers well. This article will tell you about that from the perspective of the digital customer experience.
There are many ways to create rock-solid experiences that will drive your customers to purchase time and time again. Excellent digital customer experience can ultimately increase your average order value, customer retention rate, and customer lifetime value.
Customer experience directly impacts revenue. Approximately 42% of companies with “mature” customer experience (companies that put customers at the heart of everything they do, often more so than profit) reported revenues over $100 million.
Digital customer experience (CX) trends are not something you can ignore if you expect to succeed in a world of distracted customers. Today’s customers want to buy on their terms. To be successful, you need to honor that.
So, how do you approach the trend toward digital customer experience? Using tools like personalized experiences, augmented reality, and virtual assistants/chatbots can help.
A Touch of Personalization Goes a Long Way
When customers walk into a retail store, the shopping experience can be custom-tailored to them. They interact with a store associate who likely gains an understanding of what the customer is looking for and tailors any “presentation” of the product to that customer’s specific motivations and pain points.
The customer can also ask specific questions and get personalized responses. A thoughtful associate will ensure that their answers match the customer’s particular goals for entering the store.
The experience created by an in-store associate is one advantage of shopping in-store versus shopping online, but it doesn’t have to be. There is a great opportunity to learn about customers and create experiences that align with the details you’ve collected. To address this, personalize the site based on whether the customer has been to your site before, what campaign drove them to the site, prior shopping history, or any other factors.
With only 1% of revenue invested in personalization, there is a significant opportunity for improvement. Pair that with the fact that research from Adweek has shown that personalization can reduce acquisition costs by 50%.
How can you create this type of experience for your customer? Here are a few ideas to start:
- Personalization based on RFM Scores
- Personalization based on cookies
- Personalization based on location
- Personalization based on browser history
- Personalization based on device
- Personalization based on website behavior
Also, you can use personalization as a customer retention strategy. This type of personalization can extend beyond your site and into emails, SMS, and other forms of communication. As well, it will have a significant impact on both conversion rates and retention rates. Both of those can help you have a strong bottom line.
Remember this: one-size-fits-all baseball caps are great. One-size-fits-all websites are not.
Augmented Reality OR Seeing How Puppies and Other Things You Want Look in Your House
Leveraging augmented reality is one way to gain your customer’s confidence. If they can see their purchase in their home, they are more likely to find the right thing to buy.
Be honest, would you be strong enough to resist seeing this little pup in your home?
French Bulldogs aside, around 60% of consumers want to be able to see how a product fits into their life before they buy it. Most smartphones have baked-in technology that makes this possible.
There are tons of examples of companies that are letting their customers engage with their products without leaving the comfort of their own home. Here are a few for inspiration:
How can you make your product feel more “real” for your customer? That may be the ticket to improving your customer’s experience.
EaaT: Experience as a Tool for Retention
If done well, robust digital customer experience will drive consistency (and likely even increases) in customer retention. So, it’s important to consider this as part of your overall customer retention strategy.
The more you cater to your customer’s needs on their schedule, the more they’ll like and trust you. The most they like and trust you, the more they buy, buy, and buy again.
That’s not necessarily rocket science, but it’s important to keep in mind so that you can remember why you’re embarking on this journey. That will keep you moving forward, even if it takes a bit to see results from your efforts.
According to a study conducted in 2019 by Omniconvert on 450 eCommerce professionals, only 34% of them are monitoring their Customer Retention Rate; however, eCommerce owners are increasingly aware that they are losing customers on the go.
Chatbots = Super Cheap Salespeople
Live chat has long been a reliable conversion driver for years. Many customers prefer using live chat to other methods of getting in touch with companies. When chatting, they don’t have to worry about the typical pain points that come with contacting a company. The less pain your customer faces while transacting with you (or even after the sale), the greater the likelihood of them becoming a customer.
One digital customer experience trend that is gaining popularity is the use of chatbots. Like with live chat, customers have a painless way to get questions answered, but the bots can work hard for you, whether you’re around or not. You can program the bot to engage the customer in meaningful conversation. Even social media platforms, like Facebook, have gotten into the chatbot game. Visit any popular brand’s Facebook page, and you’ll see the prompts for conversation via Messenger.
Are you worried that your customers wouldn’t want to engage with a chatbot? Research from Hubspot shows that 47% of people would be open to buying from a chatbot. 47%?!! That’s a huge number. It’s a clear indicator that there is an opportunity (and an open mind) to rolling out chatbots to connect with your customer base further.
To further clarify, 2017 research from ubisend showed that 35% of customers believe that they SHOULD be interacting with chatbots.
It sounds like you needed to put these in place yesterday.
Keep Your People’s Data Safe
A big part of staying up-to-date on CX trends is making sure that you know how to “wow” your customers while also keeping their data safe. In many cases, customers are willing to give up a bit of their private information to have a better experience with a brand they trust.
That trust is key, and you must hold up your end of the bargain if you expect to maintain that level of trust. How can you do that? Four rules:
- Don’t sell, give away, barter, or do anything that would cause you to give your customer’s data to another individual or business.
- If you collect data to improve your customer’s experience, use it for that only. Someone sharing data about themselves for a better experience doesn’t mean they’ve opted in to your newsletter. Don’t SPAM your customers.
- Give people a way to stop sharing information. At some point, people deserve to reclaim their information. Let them.
Overall, treat your customer’s data like you’d want your data to be treated. With R-E-S-P-E-C-T!
How Do You Know If It’s Working?
There are some ways to determine the effectiveness of your digital customer experience program:
Net Promoter Score: This is the most common and (arguably) most accurate measure. It gives you quick and dirty insights into who’s in love with your brand and who needs some love. Pro tip: Work in advance to strategize on improving the experience for the ones who need some love (detractors).
Deploy other surveys (aside from NPS): Learn more about your customers and their likes and dislikes. You won’t be able to please everyone; however, take the exercise and the results seriously and make improvements where you can.
Look at return trends/reasons: If something fails after the customer makes a purchase, you should monitor the pattern and understand what your role was in that customer’s dissatisfaction. Then work to correct it.
Aside from the above, watch your revenue, average order value, and customer retention rate. If your customers are pleased with the experience, they will “vote” with their dollars. So, if you see positive results from either of those metrics, you can also assume you are doing the right thing.
What things have you tried to enhance the digital customer experience? Are there specific customer experience trends that are on your radar that I didn’t cover? Share in comments.
About the author: This is the guest post by Elise Connors collaborating with Omniconvert; her expertise is in crafting complex digital strategies, with a focus on Conversion Rate Optimization.
Title image from Clip pack in Ouch library of vector illustrations
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