Customer experience (CX) has become a widely-used term in the business world and for good reason: it represents almost every touchpoint your client has with your company. The broad range of CX, however, may cause you to scratch your head: What is customer experience? Why improve the customer experience? And how do you improve your customer experience?
I’ve personally been part of the digital commerce growth journey for the past 9 years. It’s been an interesting ride with plenty of variation and challenges. I’ve worked with clients who were struggling to prioritize investments for digital commerce while others were investing more and more on a yearly basis. The difference between the two decreased significantly during the pandemic as the brick-and-mortar selling model took a hit. During that time, everyone began investing in digital commerce.
The pandemic saw certain digital commerce players rise above the rest. These digital merchants had one thing in common: they placed a strong focus on CX. While everyone understands that CX is important, not everyone knows how to perfect their CX and which elements to concentrate on for success. To get CX right, we can’t and shouldn’t boil the ocean.
I want to share a few tips on perfecting your CX that will empower you to maximize ROI and grow your business.
What is Customer Experience?
Harvard Business Review states that “customer experience is the internal and subjective response customers have to any direct or indirect contact with a company.” Still, many businesses struggle to understand the wide-ranging definition.
At a glance, CX encompasses a multitude of elements within an organization – from customer service, to the online search function, all the way to advertising and packaging. Customers’ preference for omnichannel shopping, means that CX must be consistent and uniform across all touchpoints for customers.
Why Should You Improve Customer Experience?
The adage “the customer is always right” rings true in the case of the modern CX. A survey by Forbes showed that 74% of customers are at least somewhat likely to make a purchase based only on their experience with the brand.
Customers expect a positive experience at a minimum, and they will flock to the online store that offers them a memorable and consistent CX. Want to boost sales? Start from your CX.
Speaking of sales, customer retention and customer loyalty go hand-in-hand with a tailored CX. Improving your customer experience is vital for both, attracting new customers and giving your current customers a reason to return.
I’ve helped many businesses succeed in the digital marketplace in my last 9 years with Vaimo. I want to help you boost your CX and steer it in the right direction by detailing 4 methods to improve your CX.
How to Improve Customer Experience?
1. Create a Unified Omnichannel Experience
An omnichannel experience is an absolute necessity for a successful modern CX. Customers expect to meet you across touchpoints, whether that’s Instagram chat to ask about product size, then jumping to your website on mobile to make a purchase, and calling customer service later. Your omnichannel experience should provide a unified, consistent experience regardless of the touchpoint, with a seamless transition between communication methods.
A seamless journey across channels, online and offline, is vital to improving your CX.
Here are a few key elements to look out for:
- Ensure your online store is mobile-friendly
- Map your customer journey thoroughly
- Segment your customers using behavior-based data
- Provide customer support across channels
- Jump on the shoppable posts trend
- Match your content with the right channel
- Investigate which channels your customers are actually using
Relate reading: Seamless Customer Experience: Why it Matters and How to Deliver
2. Provide Exceptional Customer Service
To deliver great CX, you must first analyze every second your customer interacts with your company. That means providing exceptional customer service that puts the needs of the customer first and foremost. Good customer service boosts customer satisfaction. In turn, satisfied customers talk about your brand and spread the word. A great way to enhance your customer service is through real-time support. With help from digital engagement tools, you can bring the virtual chat to life and boost the overall CX.
Improve your Customer Service by:
- Tailoring your interactions with customers with help from video chat solutions.
- Using live chat and responding to their queries as fast as possible. By syncing with customers right away, you can resolve issues quickly and avoid losing potential customers.
- Ensuring that you provide a consistent customer service experience regardless of the channel. A customer calling your helpline should receive the same service as the customer on the live chat and the third customer on Facebook messenger.
3. Combine Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Human Expertise
Ecommerce businesses are using the power of AI to provide an improved CX. The Harvard Business Review found that looking at AI from a business perspective rather than a technological viewpoint is beneficial. From that angle, AI is able to automate business processes, provide insight through data analysis, and support engagement with customers and employees.
At a quick glance, AI can do the following in the aforementioned fields:
- Business process automation: transferring and updating customer data from customer service portals to systems of record; updating records and managing customer communications; resolving billing issues
- Data analysis: predict what a customer will likely purchase; identify credit fraud in real-time; automate tailored targeting of digital ads
- Engagement: Chatbots that are available around the clock and are able to deal with a wide range of issues; personalized product and service recommendation systems
With the right support from AI, you could introduce another level of efficiency and customer satisfaction to your business. With the right insights and automation, you will achieve yet another way to improve your CX.
Related reading: AI in Ecommerce: How it Adds Value
4. Think of Ways to Deeply Personalize Your CX
A tailored CX will bring your customers back for more. Use the data you have on existing customers to make them feel valued. Small acts of personalization will go a long way to forging a unique relationship with your customer, building loyalty, and creating positive associations with your brand.
Consequently, personalization also helps drive sales. A report from Accenture found that 91% of consumers from around the world are more likely to purchase from brands that remember them and offer them relevant recommendations.
Here are a few ways to dive into a personalized CX:
- Customer Journey: The customer journey contains all the intersection points a customer has with your business. It includes the first time they Googled your business, their correspondence with customer service, reviews they left, their checkout experience, and more. By analyzing these intersection points, you can build a profile for each customer, predict their future purchases, make relevant recommendations, and personalize their overall experience.
- Micro-Segmentation: Top-down segmentation is a thing of the past; now, customers expect more than just product recommendations based on their single purchase with you. Customers expect to be treated as an individual, not as a statistic within a group. With micro-segmentation, businesses can merge purchase history with browsing statistics to microsegment a customer and create deeply accurate and personalized experiences.
- Relevance: Building on the last point, customers don’t want to receive product recommendations that are relevant to a group they may or may not belong to; rather, they want product recommendations tailored to them. Companies like Amazon have raised the bar very high for tailored experiences, by greeting the customer by name, providing immediate access to recent purchases, and showcasing products that might interest only them. Focus on providing timely, meaningful interactions to your customers rather than bombarding them with vague recommendations.
Drive Success with CX
A prevalent theme in digital commerce today sees businesses mobilize behind a seemingly beneficial trend, only to completely butcher the approach. A survey by Marketing Charts revealed that the lack of a relevant strategy is the most critical challenge related to delivering an exceptional CX. It’s crucial to take a deep dive into your CX, understand your pain points, and craft a strategy that will delight your customers, and drive your success.