Wednesday, October 24, 2018

How to Create a Superb Customer Experience on the Web

Image courtesy of Pixabay
Today I'm pleased to share another guest post by Lexie Lu of Design Roast.

If you want customers to return to your site, you have to create an amazing customer experience (CX). People tend to remember how your site makes them feel over the specific elements of the site. Everything from the overall design of the pages to customer service to overall functionality plays into CX.

Out of the companies working actively to improve customer experience, about 84 percent saw an increase in revenue. If you want to focus on CX and improve your image with your customers, here are 11 key steps.

1. Show That You Care
Seventy-nine percent of people want to know that a brand cares before they buy something. Brands that show they understand what the customer needs and that have a strong commitment to delivering a solution attract loyal followers. Be upfront about your policies and the attention to detail you offer to make sure your customers are happy. In addition, remember that testimonials are a great way to show that you already have happy customers.

2. Interact with Your Customers
Most people are on at least one social media platform. Social media creates a culture where people expect interaction, including interactions with brands. For B2B businesses, the stakes are higher, with many business buyers expecting a brand to interact with them immediately. Not to mention, most consumers expect a real-time response, as well.

3. Know Your Target Audience
This advice appears over and over because it's so vital to successful branding and the overall customer experience. You can't create a positive experience if you don't understand what your typical customer wants and needs. Knowing your target audience involves studying general data and then digging deeper and learning about purchase history as well as polling current customers to see where your services could improve.

4. Revamp Your Website
For many of your leads, your website is the first impression they have of your brand. If your website loads slowly, is ugly, or has broken links, the user experience suffers. Take the time to audit your website and see what needs updating. Make sure the site matches your overall branding efforts and that customers get a consistent experience whether they visit your website or see you on social media.

5. Offer a Guarantee
People want a positive experience from brands. About 55 percent of customers say they'd pay more if they were guaranteed a good experience. Think about what kind of guarantee you can offer to your customers. What about your brand stands out from all the other brands out there? How can you turn that into a promise?

6. Focus on Mobile
More and more people demand a positive mobile experience. About 56 percent of people said they felt disappointment if they liked a brand but the mobile site wasn't a good experience. On top of that, if the experience on mobile was bad, then 52 percent became less likely to engage with that brand going forward.

It's a smart use of your resources to invest in the mobile version of your site. Test it thoroughly, and make sure it looks good and functions properly on smaller screens.

7. Remain Consistent
Omni-channel is a buzzword these days and simply means that you offer the same or similar customer experience across different platforms. If a customer phones you and asks a question, they should get the same answer as if they walk into a store or talk to an agent via live chat on your website.

In addition, you should track conversations so that customer service reps can review the previous contact from that customer. Eighty-nine percent of individuals dislike repeating the same issue to multiple people. Make them explain the problem only once, even if you have to transfer them to another department.

8. Speed up Customer Service
Around 77 percent of people think it takes too long to get in touch with a live agent. Don't leave your customers on hold. If you need to hire more customer service agents to keep up with volume, prioritize this task. The longer a customer waits, the more likely they are to grow frustrated. If someone contacts you, they likely already have an issue and are frustrated. Making them wait only magnifies the problem.

9. Get Customers Involved on Social Media
Encourage your customers to get involved with your brand on social media. Ask a question, take a poll, or run a contest where users share their own content, such as a picture of them using your product along with a specific hashtag. Figure out ways to keep them engaged, even when they aren't making a purchase. If you develop a relationship with your customers, they're more likely to remember your brand the next time they need to make a purchase.

10. Make Their Lives Better
Is your brand seen as one of the better brands out there? In the United States, 62 percent of people think the brands they love make their lives better in some way. How can your brand make the customer experience better overall?

Create a follow-up program where you contact the customer after the sale to make sure they're satisfied. Keep the order form simple and easy to complete, saving the consumer time. Figure out other problems your target audience faces, and create solutions for those issues, too.

11. Start a Loyalty Program
Loyal customers are five times as likely to buy from you again and more likely to forgive an error on your part. Building loyalty takes time and commitment. You must first build that relationship with your customers, but starting a loyalty program is a good first step. Reward customers who buy from you over and over or refer others to you.

A Better Customer Experience
Creating a better customer experience doesn't have to be rocket science. Look at your website and brand through the eyes of your typical site visitor. What elements work well, and what needs to be fixed? The more seamlessly your site functions, the better your customer experience, and the more loyal your users.

Lexie is a web designer and typography enthusiast. She spends most of her days surrounded by some HTML and a goldendoodle at her feet. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and follow Lexie on Twitter


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