In today's competitive shopping environment, customer experience is key to success. In fact, it can make or break an eCommerce store. With the rise of social media and online review sites like TrustPilot, Yotpo, Feefo, and Kiyoh shoppers are becoming more and more vocal about how they're being treated throughout the buying process.
A company's reputation is truly in the hands of its customers - which is why providing an exceptional customer experience is more important than it's ever been.
Today, creating an excellent customer experience is key to retaining customers and building customer loyalty.
While there is no single magic formula for creating great customer experiences, there are a few key tactics that businesses can employ to improve customer satisfaction and create a seamless and effortless experience.
In this article, we'll explore the different strategies and techniques that businesses can use to create an exceptional customer experience.
Customer experience (CX) is a term used to describe the totality of interactions and experiences that customers have with your brand.
At its core, CX is about creating personalized and memorable experiences that set your brand apart from competitors and foster long-term loyalty from your customers. One way of visualizing CX would be to measure customer satisfaction (CSAT) at all touchpoints that a customer has with a company, from browsing a website to receiving after-sales service.
In other words, your CX is the sum total of customer happiness across all of those interactions.
As eCommerce marketers, CX is particularly important because those touchpoints are the primary way in which customers interact with your brand. So, if you fail to provide excellent CX, customers are more likely to take their business elsewhere.
Over the years, CX has evolved and changed to meet the needs of consumers and businesses.
PwC notes that consumer behaviors have changed toward technology in the shopping experience. 59% say that brands have lost touch with their needs and 82% of the individuals surveyed said that they wanted more human interaction in the buying process.
The success of these new trends will depend on how marketers can adapt to changing consumer preferences and create unique experiences that stand out in the increasingly crowded digital marketplace.
Customer experience has been around as long as businesses have existed.
However, it was not until the mid-20th century that companies began to focus on customer satisfaction as a way to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
In the past, businesses relied on face-to-face interactions to build relationships with their customers.
However, with the rise of technology, the way customers interact with businesses has changed. Today's customers expect a seamless experience across multiple channels. They want personalized experiences that cater to their needs and preferences. As a result, businesses that used to use chatbots and other workflow logic tools have begun to make the switch to conversational commerce platforms like Humankind.
Humankind is the only software on the market that allows a 1:1 human connection between shoppers and product experts unique to your brand. This gives customers access to truly personalized shopping experiences tailored to their wants and needs as well as human connection while interacting with your brand.
The emotional component of customer experience is how a customer feels when interacting with a business - and every purchase is emotional.
Customers buy with their feelings. These include feelings of satisfaction, frustration, happiness, or anger. To create an emotional connection with customers, businesses must understand their needs and pain points and take the necessary actions to address them so that customers feel seen.
The next factor is the physical one. "Physical," refers to the tangible aspects of a customer's interaction with a business.
Things like site design, store ambiance, and ease of navigation are all part of the physical component. Physical aspects have a strong impact on customer experience and can make or break a brand's reputation.
Also included in the physical component is quality. Providing high-quality products and services is vital for creating a great customer experience - if that's what your brand stands for, obviously things like "fast fashion" sell on price, which is another factor, and leads us to the psychological component.
The psychological component of customer experience refers to the subconscious factors that influence a customer's perception of a business.
Think about the last time you considered purchasing a handbag. Do you remember what inspired your search? Maybe you saw the bag on social media being carried by a celebrity that you're a fan of, or maybe you read a positive review of the product.
These are examples of the psychological factors that can influence a customer's experience with a business.
To create an engaging customer experience, businesses must understand these subconscious elements and leverage them to build relationships with their customers. Don't forget that the psychological factor includes your brand's reputation, the perceived value of the product or service, and how it relates to your customer's own beliefs and biases.
These are all things that you must take into account when assessing your CX.
To create a truly memorable customer experience, eCommerce marketers must have a deep understanding of their customer's needs and preferences. At Humankind, this is achieved through an opening survey that allows the customer to define what they want and need.
Then, they're connected with an online personal shopper who will walk them through a tailored experience based on their initial feedback, making recommendations that are personal to them and their needs.
This whole process allows us to collect rich, zero-party data- which is data that the customer willingly gives us to create a better shopping experience for them. The data collected, as well as preferences and purchase history, are saved to tailor and personalize recommendations that the customer receives in the future.
You can also get to know your customer through ICP research, data, and customer analytics. Using tools such as Google Analytics and Answer the Public and others, businesses can gain valuable insights into their customers' behavior and preferences.
Frankly, it's easy to say, "We want to increase sales by 25% next quarter," what's hard is executing a realistic roadmap. This includes setting targets for sales, customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty.
Using metrics such as Conversion Rates (CVRs), Average Order Value (AOV), Lifetime Customer Value (LTV), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), and Net Promoter Score (NPS), businesses can measure not only their sales impact but also their customers' loyalty and satisfaction levels.
Your customer experience strategy should outline the actions that you will take to achieve the brand's goals and objectives. This includes identifying touchpoints, mapping customer journeys, and implementing tactics to improve the customer experience at each interaction.
This could be anything from increasing website speed, improving your customer service, or deploying a remote concierge program to create personalized shopping experiences.
Once the strategy is ready to execute, It's important to consistently review your strategy and make adjustments when needed - after all, the customer experience landscape is constantly changing.
Creating a great customer experience for your customers isn't just about providing a nice product or service; it’s about providing the perfect experience to go along with it.
The right team is essential to delivering an exceptional customer experience.
If your customer interacts with people who aren't passionate about your products or don't enjoy interacting with shoppers, they can spoil the customer's experience.
This is why it's important to make sure that you hire people who are passionate, helpful, and knowledgeable about your products and services. Hiring employees with the right skills, attitudes, and values can put a positive spin on what your customers experience.
Once you've found the right people, you also need to provide comprehensive training systems so they know how to deal with various situations effectively and efficiently. Training staff on customer service best practices and empowering them to make decisions can go a long way in creating a positive customer experience.
Humankind separates itself from its competitors by providing training and enablement programs for online personal shoppers and remote concierges inside your brand, but also identifies and trains new people as you grow. This means that our solution scales without losing personalization and the human touch.
Technology is changing rapidly. In fact, with the recent developments in artificial intelligence in machine learning, some say, it's exponentially growing every quarter.
New tools and trends can greatly impact customer experience. This is why staying up-to-date with the latest advancements and innovations in technology and consumer behavior can help eCommerce stores stay ahead of the competition…
But, just staying ahead isn't going to give you that much of an edge in today's world, there are many ways you can utilize new technologies and trends to increase customer engagement and satisfaction.
Here are some examples you should consider:
One of the biggest new trends we’re seeing in eCommerce is the way customers and influencers interact with brands. There are many ways to increase customer engagement, but here are a few of our favorites:
These are all ways that you can turn current trends and tech innovations into an engaging customer experience. There isn’t one silver bullet for improving your brand's CX, it’s more about finding the right combination that resonates with your target audience.
However, we’ve consistently found that the 1:1 human connection is what's missing from most of the rapidly developing advancements in CX, and if you can add this element into your eCommerce experience, you'll see incredible results.
Empathy is something that we don't talk about much in the sales experience anymore - but a customer is looking to be understood before they're looking to be sold.
People want to feel like they are seen, that their concerns have been addressed, and that they have been heard before making a purchase decision, as you can imagine, it's hard for a chatbot to convey this sentiment.
Empathy and understanding are critical components of a great customer experience because they allow the customer to feel like they're more than a transaction to you. This means putting yourself in their shoes, understanding their needs and pain points, and taking the necessary actions to address them.
We have more access to wealth and credit than at any previous time in history. That means that we now have several categories of shoppers.
ClickZ posted a great article on this a few years ago called The Five Types of Shoppers and How to Win Their Hearts - in which they mention "...The Bargain Hunter; The Armchair Analyst; The Early Adopter; The Impulse Shopper; and The Experiential Shopper..."
Customers appreciate a personalized experience that makes them feel valued. This includes tailoring products and services to their needs and preferences and paying attention to the small details that can make a big difference.
Using customer data to create this curated customer experience through marketing messages, bundles, and offering personalized product recommendations can enhance the customer experience and show your customers you're paying attention to them.
None of us like to wait. But even more than that, we don't like to wait on someone we're paying to deliver a solution... and with so many options we don't have to anymore.
Consumers have become incredibly spoiled by the plethora of eCommerce stores, brands, and digital platforms that now exist to make their lives easier. They expect quick responses, speedy delivery, and the highest quality product or service available.
It's important to ensure that customer-facing teams are equipped with the right tools to get back to customers quickly and efficiently. This means having a system in place for tracking customer inquiries, ensuring they're responded to at a reasonable time.
Timeliness and responsiveness are key to providing a great customer experience. This means being prompt in addressing customer inquiries, resolving issues quickly, and keeping customers informed throughout the process.
Millennials and GenZ are far less brand loyal than previous generations - possibly because they're used to getting everything they want at the click of a button and don't feel inclined to stick with one brand.
This means that companies have to work harder than ever to win over new customers - and even harder to keep them coming back. A great customer experience is essential for keeping long-term customers, as it demonstrates that you're willing to go the extra mile and make them feel special.
Providing a great customer experience is a powerful tool for retaining customers.
Customers are more likely to remain loyal to a brand if they have a positive experience, which can lead to repeat purchases and increased revenue through additional sales and lower customer acquisition costs (CAC).
A happy customer tells one person, an unhappy customer tells ten people - it's an old adage but rings true today more than ever. With the advent of social media, reviews have become even more important in influencing potential customers.
By providing a great customer experience, companies will build an outstanding reputation that can improve their branding and help attract more customers.
People are much more likely to purchase from a company with positive reviews than one with negative ones.
Positive reviews and word-of-mouth referrals can attract new customers, while negative reviews can damage a brand's image and turn potential customers away.
Finally, customer experience can have a significant impact on a business's revenue growth. By providing a great customer experience, customers are more likely to trust the brand and be open to other products or services.
Highly satisfied customers will often become advocates for the brand, referring their friends and family - resulting in even more revenue growth.
Providing a good customer experience isn't just the right thing to do - it's also an effective way to increase revenue - with conversational commerce software like Humankind, eCommerce stores can create those connected experiences that keep customers coming back for more.
To explain profitable growth, there are two ways to approach it: increasing sales and reducing expenses.
Providing an excellent customer experience allows you to do both. Satisfied customers will buy more and return more often - and the lower customer acquisition costs that come from repeat customers can dramatically reduce marketing expenses.
It's clear that customer experience should be a strategic priority for an eCommerce brand - it has the potential to boost revenue growth, build loyalty, and create an overall positive brand image.