It’s pretty obvious that without customers, you don’t have a business. And sure, with digital marketing, you can always find new ones; but wouldn’t it be great to also keep the customers you have coming back time and time again? A solid customer experience strategy will do this.
“Exceed your customer’s expectations. If you do, they’ll come back over and over. Give them what they want—and a little more.”
– Sam Walton, American Businessman and Entrepreneur.
Customer experience is the opinion your customers have of your business based on their experience throughout their buyer journey. Every person in your business affects this, either directly or indirectly, so it’s important to be able to map the journey and iron out any wrinkles causing any problems. Again, a customer experience strategy will help you find the wrinkles a lot easier as you can see where someone is falling off the trail.
Plotting your buyer’s journey and the different levels of your business takes time. However, there are some basic things every business should be doing to give their customers the best possible experience throughout every phase. Discover how easy it is to take your customer experience to the next level with our seven easy tips.
The pre-interaction phase is also known as the awareness stage. This is when people are researching goods and services, exploring how you (or your competitors) can fulfill their needs. Now is when you really need to make a good impression to encourage them to become an active customer; which is where user experience (UX) comes into play.
UX is the experience people have with your website, app or other technologies. If your website is difficult to use, they’re probably going to move on. In fact, 40% of people say they move onto another website if it’s not mobile responsive, which is almost halving your potential customers all because of the look and functionality of your website. So, what should you do about it?
Make Your Website Mobile Responsive
As you saw above, a non-responsive website is a massive no-no. It’s also not great for your search engine optimisation (but that’s not why we’re here).
What is a responsive website? Basically, websites display differently on desktop and devices, and a responsive website can adapt to computers, phones and tablets. You’ve probably already guessed websites aren’t automatically responsive, so how do you know if yours is?
Honestly, the easiest way is to have someone audit your website. You could look at the code yourself and search for responsive or mobile tags, but if you’ve ever looked at HTML, you’ll know why we don’t recommend it. However, the most important step you can take is looking at your website on a range of devices.
Imagine you are someone who has never heard of your brand. Visit your website on your computer and your phone and ask yourself these questions:
- Does the website, content and images load quickly?
- Are your pages easy to navigate, i.e. easy to find what you need?
- On mobile, is anything cut off so you have to scroll left or right?
We could go on and on, but you get the point. If there’s anything amiss, get in touch with a professional website designer and developer.
Make It Easy For People to Buy Online or Contact You
The whole point of a website is normally to generate leads or make sales. Improving your user experience is all about making it easier for people to use your website, including how they can shop with you or get in touch.
Ensure your website:
- Displays contact information at the top of every page.
- Has a form on your contact page (or relevant pages), so people don’t have to leave your website to send you a message.
- Uses call to actions linked to your contact page, click-to-call for mobile, a new email window or online store.
If You’re Running Ads, Link to Landing Pages
Imagine you see an ad for a product or service you just must have! You click on the ad and it takes you to their homepage. With a groan, you search for where on the website this particular thing you want is located. This isn’t a good move on the business’s behalf, so how do you avoid it?
If you have Google, Facebook, Instagram, Bing or any other type of ad campaigns running, link to landing pages. A landing page is specifically created about that product or service with the benefits, how they can get it and more.
For example, you’re advertising the latest summer skirts on Google. Instead of linking to your home page or a view of all clothes, link directly to the page with filters already set to display summer skirts.
Active Customer Experience
Congratulations! A browser just became a new lead or customer. However, this is a very easy to stage to lose customers as they’re actively engaging with your business. It’s pretty obvious having a bright and cheery person on the phone, providing prompt service and help when needed will help, but the little touches can make all the different.
Personalise the Experience
A good experience for a customer will make a good impression, but a WOW experience will make them come back and be loyal to your brand. Here are a few little things you can do today to turn an okay into amazing:
- Add handwritten notes to online orders.
- Include discount codes for their next online order.
- Use ad-free music if you have a location.
- Call, email or text the following day after a service has been provided to ensure everything is okay.
Don’t Leave People Waiting
How many times have you heard someone say they prefer to text, instant message or email over a phone call? The only problem is, you’re left waiting for a reply when you don’t call. If you give users the option to message you, have an autoresponder to let them know when they can expect a response, and how to contact you if the matter is urgent.
Post-Transaction Customer Nurturing
What happens after a customer interacts with your business is very important. It’s like a first date. You think it goes well but you don’t receive a message the next day…or the one after that…or the one after that. Sure, they may get in touch with you but they’re more likely to continue the relationship if you make the next move. But what move do you make?
Ask for Feedback
People love feeling like their opinion is valued—especially if something hasn’t gone right. A reputation manager can help you do this easily by sending an email out to recently customers asking for their feedback. If they respond with a star rating of 7 or less, they will be prompted to fill out a survey to sent to you. Star ratings of 7 or more are encouraged to leave you a review.
You’ll then be able to make a good impression in the first phase, as well as make post-transaction customers feel valued.
Use Direct Marketing
Hopefully you’re using a customer relationship management (CRM) system to store your customers’ details, such as their emails. If not, you can learn about why you need a CRM here. What were we saying? Oh yeah, using customer data for direct marketing.
While you can send email and SMS offers to any old subscriber, existing customers are 60 to 70% more likely to convert than a new lead. A tried-and-tested method is the customer-loyalty offer. A day or two before releasing a sale, give your existing customers a code to thank them for their loyalty. They get a warm fuzzy feeling and their first pick of sale items, and you make a sale.
At the end of the day, your customers dictate how you do business. If they like it, you keep going, if they don’t…well, we won’t go there. Talk to your customers (see Ask for Feedback). What didn’t they like? What did they love? As long as they’re happy, you’re on a good path.