The products and services that your business delivers may be at the core of what brings customers to your brand, and why it appeals, but it’s not the only thing that keeps them coming. To understand why online businesses succeed and keep succeeding, you also need to look at their digital customer experience.
Here, we’re going to look at what customer experience is, why it matters, and a few different ways you can incorporate it into your business’s next digital transformation.
What is Customer Experience?
Often called “cx” for short, customer experience is often mistaken for or used interchangeably with customer service, but that’s taking a narrow view of what it really is. The customer experience is the sum of all the different interactions that happen between the brand and the customer. This can mean from interacting with it on the website, getting in touch through social media, what emails they receive, and even how they find it through social media.
Too many businesses have too narrow a focus on how they interact with online customers by, for instance, looking only at their interactions on the website or through one customer service channel. Customer experience is about working to create more positive reactions at every opportunity, leading to a higher likelihood that they become loyal repeat customers.
Make your site a welcoming home of the brand
A key aspect of customer experience is looking at how you can improve every touchpoint of the brand. Online, the most important of all will be your website. It can look professional and carry across your brand well, but if it isn’t user-friendly, it can create a confusing, frustrating experience.
Think about what your customers really want from your site. Whether it’s more details and an easy path to buy products and services, business information, contact details, or otherwise, focus on ensuring navigation is clear and they know how to get there as soon as possible. Consider using on-site customer service tools like live chat software that can keep it connected and make it easier for them to get help when they need it, too.
Keep your information updated, accurate, and clear
Wherever your business information is supplied online, you need to look to ensure that it’s accurate and up to date. This includes not just your website, but your Google business listing, Google maps, social media profiles, and any other listings you might use like Yelp. If you don’t have any listings outside of the website, consider creating them and have a policy to check and update them each month.
Ensure your search marketing knows how to direct them
From your SEO to your search marketing network ads, you’re likely to have a more successful marketing campaign if you’re focusing on what, specifically, your customers are looking for. Highlighting specific products and answering specific questions directly answer customer needs as opposed to a broader focus on the advantages of your brand over the others.
However, if they follow a search ad, only to find themselves on your home page, it adds an extra step between them and what they want. Make sure that your search ads have a specific aim and take them to the page that will help them fulfil that aim. Ensure that language and keywords used between the ad and the page it takes them too are consistent, too. Otherwise, they can end up thinking they’ve landed in the wrong place, abandoning the search halfway through.
Watch your reputation
When customers search for your brand, what are they likely to find? Often, it’s not solely how your company represents itself, it’s also how others are responding to it. Reading other customer reviews and opinions is another customer experience and, without your intervention, it can be a negative one.
It’s important for online businesses to have their finger on the pulse of their reputation, listening to feedback and finding the negative reviews that can stand out. Taking an interventionalist approach, getting in touch through review sites to offer direct support, and getting online feedback on your site can be great for a variety of reasons. You might be able to directly resolve some of the most easily seen negative reputation builders, but even if you can’t, it shows customers that you’re engaged, you are listening, and you are taking their experience seriously. Customers like seeing their feedback being taken seriously.
Make sure you’re socially active
Social media is shaping more and more customer experiences online. People like interacting with brands they support. Not only does it often act as a customer service channel, but it’s a great place to keeping them updated on news, offers, and new product or service launches. Many businesses also use it as a channel to deliver content that’s educational, informative, or otherwise engaging.
If you don’t already have a social media strategy, it’s time to think of one. Do some research on which platforms your audience is likely to be using and start putting together a social content and engagement strategy that helps you connect with them.
Be available on mobile devices
More and more customers are using their smartphones and tablets to interact with brands and it’s important to be ready for them. Updating your website to make sure that it’s responsive and loads quickly on mobile devices should be the first step but it’s not the only one.
Looking for other platforms used by mobile users, such as specific social media platforms like Snapchat and Twitter, is just as important. If you’re missing this importance touchpoints, then you’re missing a chance to shape the customer experience of a significant portion of your audience.
Bring the customer experience to your next digital transformation
With the tips above, hopefully, you understand that customer experience is worth taking the time for. It can take some investment and a lot of time looking at every touch point you have with your customers, but the customer loyalty, retention, and word-of-mouth that can be gained as a result can more than make up for it.