Why Customer Experience Matters Now More Than Ever

Customer experience (CX) is far more than just a sale. It’s more than the product or service that you deliver. Customer experience spans through your customers’ entire interaction with your brand.

In any given business relationship, there’s essentially an ongoing feedback loop between the customer and the company. That loop contains a buying trigger, but then should return to some form of ongoing exposure. That feedback loop and ongoing exposure should ideally carry a blend of online and offline touchpoints, depending on the nature of your business.

Customer experience matters now more than ever. For one thing, businesses are riding the wave from one technology to the next for their marketing, and in store experiences. It’s incredibly important to make sure that these experiences are as seamless as possible for your customers.

But that’s not the whole picture, at least not in the midst of a pandemic. Customer experience matters right now because the consumer mindset is shifting. Your industry is likely competitive, and your customers will be looking for value in any place they can find it. They’re looking for knowledge, friendliness, and someone they can trust. They’re also looking for an uncomplicated process that doesn’t involve jumping through a lot of hoops.

A closer examination of the customer experience can help you to improve yours, and create a system that your customers will appreciate – especially during the pandemic. It can help you to decrease customer churn and maximize your revenue. Below are some considerations that can help you make the customer experience more efficient.

How to Streamline Your Customer Experience to Create a More Loyal Following:

Examine Every Touchpoint Both Online and Off

Maybe you’re dealing with a clunky online ordering system. Maybe it’s customer service representatives who could show a little more understanding. It’s time to examine any potential touchpoints that loyal customers, potential customers, and anyone else in your sales process may have. Identify which spots that are your strengths, and which are your weaknesses. How can you improve the areas that may cause people to drop out of your system?

When you can identify and fix these potential problem areas, you put yourself in a better position to fix them and improve the health of your business.

Invest in the Platforms that You Own

People are confined to their homes but that doesn’t mean that they’re not purchasing. It’s critical to ensure that your online platforms are ready for streamlined usage. Your website, company app, and any other online platform that you own is where you set the rules. It’s where you can display your brand image and messaging for all to see.

It’s critical that these platforms are in optimal shape. Below are some questions that can help you to improve these platforms.

  • How hard is it for customers to be able to find your website online?
  • Is your message exactly how you want it to be?
  • Are your customers getting bogged down in a slow online ordering system?
  • Is it hard for your customers to figure out how to purchase from you when they are on your website or app?

You don’t want to be leaving money on the table, especially now, when business may be down. When these platforms are in optimal shape, you’re making it easier for customers to do business with you, which will translate into higher revenues.

Optimize for Conversion

When your customers land on your website, web app, or other digital platforms, you can’t just assume they’ll know what to do next. The path toward purchasing or any conversion must be clearly laid out. This means a clean menu structure, an intuitive design, and contact information that’s displayed in multiple places across the platform.

Below are a few more tips to make conversion easier:

  • Make sure that you are using a responsive design so that the site is navigable from any type of mobile or desktop device.
  • Optimize graphics and photos so that the upload time for the site is reasonable.
  • Optimize your product descriptions for sites like Amazon or Walmart so that your product can be more easily discovered.
  • Serve users with the appropriate content so that they can more easily find what they are looking for on your site.

Step back and test and analyze the various pathways to conversion on your site. You could also ask a third party to test these and provide feedback so that you may better understand any obstacles in the process.

Optimize the Mobile Experience

No matter what industry you are in, your customers are likely finding you through a wide variety of devices. Mobile usage is higher than ever. In fact, 96 percent of Americans now own a smart phone – making internet access possible and more prominent from a device kept in the pocket at all times.

It’s crucial for businesses to make sure that their sites and applications are easily navigable on phones, tablets, watches, desktops, televisions, and more. When you have a responsive design, it automatically adjusts to fit the size of the screen that the customer is using, no matter what that means.

Build Opportunities for Personal Connection

At some point, the current circumstances of the pandemic will draw to an end. The companies that spend this time offering their customers a tremendous value during a difficult time period will find more success in the long run.

  • Is there a product or service that you can discount or give away during this time period?
  • Are there opportunities for delivery or at-home service that you previously didn’t offer?

 Finding creative ways to offer enhanced value may be the best way for you to stay in business through this difficult time. It’s a way to develop trust and strengthen your relationship as the circumstances around you grow more complex.

Create More Engaging Content

Your marketing content should do more than simply sell your product. It should also serve as an asset and help to provide your customers value. When you can provide valuable information to those interested in your industry, they’re more likely to remember you as they enter the buying cycle.

Make sure that you’re giving readers new ideas on how to use your product or service. Make sure they see the value in what you’re offering. When you can do this on a regular basis, you’re positioning your company as an industry expert. Improving your content marketing will help.

Capitalize on In-Store Opportunity

If you own a brick and mortar outlet, are you doing everything you can to merge the digital and in-person shopping experience? Here are a few ideas:

  • Make sure that your website and app are notifying customers of in-store discounts and sales.
  • Make sure that you are collecting emails and offering customers incentives to use your website and app, when they make an in-store purchase.
  • Make sure that your web application is integrated with your in-store loyalty programs so that customers can enjoy savings both online and in-person.
  • Allow customers to make online returns in the store.

More technology is emerging on a regular basis to merge the online and in-store shopping experience. Technologies like virtual or augmented reality, and RFID chips will continue to expand opportunity in this space.

Conclusion: Putting Customer Experience Front and Center

Much of your audience is likely feeling a financial stress due to the pandemic and impending recession. There is a great amount of uncertainty as to how the current situation will resolve and how long that might take. The companies that understand how to simplify the customer experience and provide the most value to their audience will fare the best during these challenging times.

If you’re looking for more ways to improve your customer experience, or would like to discuss a project, contact us today!