How to Improve Your Customer Experience
2018 is the year of the customer experience. All retailers want to increase sales, and to do this, you will need to shift your focus from individual customer touchpoints to improving the end-to-end customer journey.
Keep in mind the following principles to improve your customer experience:
Make it omnichannel.
You can't control how customers get to your site, but you can make certain that there are several paths available and that customers have a cohesive brand experience no matter which path they choose. Place timely content where your demographic spends time online or in real life, and segment your audience to reach customers with the content most relevant to them.
Because the customer experience spans multiple channels, it is also crucial for retailers to emphasize customer satisfaction at each touchpoint. The customer may be satisfied with the social media post alerting them of a sale or the answer they received from customer service on a particular question, but that does not guarantee overall satisfaction throughout their journey to checkout. Maybe the product detail page for the item they wanted took too long to load, or a customer service representative did not get back to them for two days, or the navigation of the site was confusing. All of these elements add to the customer’s perception of the brand. Whether customers are shopping online, through a catalog, or in a brick-and-mortar store, they perceive each channel as part of one brand experience, and they expect this experience to be frictionless, making it crucial, for example, for your back-end systems to be integrated seamlessly with your online storefront, or for your catalog to be shoppable on your site.
Make it personalized.
Now more than ever, customers are demanding unique, personalized shopping experiences in exchange for their brand loyalty. This principle of personalization goes beyond allowing customers to customize their own products–it means allowing them to control their own shopping experience. Optimizing your site for mobile, providing relevant cross-sells, and even implementing loyalty programs can all contribute to a more personalized customer experience.
Suggest timely content for the customer through curated cross-sells specific to the items in their cart. Let the customer manage their own shopping experience by offering a variety of unique product filters, beyond price and color. For example, would your customers prefer to shop using attributes like skirt length, heel height, or fabric?
Of course, when implementing any type of personalization, it's important to be aware of your customer's privacy concerns and be transparent about the data collected. A customer loyalty program that rewards repeat shoppers with points and special deals can help retailers gain consumer insights while giving those customers visibility into what information is being used.
Make it valuable.
At every step in their shopping experience, customers expect additional value. The customer experience should involve a constant exchange between retailer and customer, whether that comes in the form of a coupon in their inbox when they sign up for emails or a loyalty reward if they leave a product review. Additionally, providing customers with a low-friction checkout and hassle-free return policy can save time and frustration throughout their journey.
Ensuring a positive customer experience is an investment. It involves taking a step back and considering your customers' experience holistically, and it requires commitment from all team members. However, given the benefits–customer loyalty, reduced churn, increased revenue, and higher employee satisfaction–it's a worthwhile investment.