When you think of how a website improves customer experience (CX), you probably first think of the way the site looks. Is it visually appealing? Do the colors tap into the emotions you want your site visitors to feel? However, CX goes far beyond an engaging web design. Many elements work together to create a positive and memorable experience.
In a survey of 1,920 business professionals, researchers found the top priority for 45.9% of respondents was improving the customer experience. The drive to create positive CX went much further than tweaking a few images on a website, though. It went to the core values of the brand.
If improving CX is also your brand’s priority, you must consider and refine many factors. Here are our favorite ways to enhance your business CX in addition to creating a beautiful-looking site.
1. Educate Your Customers
The content of your site can be even more important than the appearance. Google’s algorithms look at the value your website brings to the world and whether the articles, videos, and information meet consumer intent.
For example, if someone searches for the phrase “best clothing to wear to a summer wedding,” Google pays attention to how well you answer the question for users. Likewise, if you have a video highlighting outfits you sell that look good for an outdoor event, you should also explain why each works.
Articles must offer a solution for consumer pain points. Think about why people seek out a site such as yours in the first place. What is the problem they need solving? How can you solve it through case studies, white papers, articles and videos?
2. Keep Things Simple
In an effort to be all things to all people, many companies cram way too much information on a webpage. However, experts cite 86% of buyers are much more likely to purchase if the experience is simple.
The customer experience is about more than just your website, however. Not only should the checkout process be intuitive online, but you want to streamline things if you have a brick-and-mortar location, too.
Take time to analyze all your processes. If a customer has to make more than three or four steps to checkout, it’s time to get rid of some stages of the buyer’s journey. What can be combined? Look to solutions such as third-party vendors to automatically input data, such as integrating with Facebook or Google.
3. Create an Omnichannel Experience
Around 28% of small businesses don’t have a website, but the majority do. Whether you already have a site or are building one, think through the different ways your customers contact you.
Even businesses that are 100% online may need to create opportunities for toll-free calling or live chat. If you also have a physical location, how do you handle orders, returns and cross-channel interactions?
The software you utilize can mean the difference between a great customer experience and a poor one. So invest in the best customer relationship management (CRM) platform you can afford.
For example, if a customer checks out your products on your website and engages in a conversation with a live agent, keep records of the interaction. When the person then shows up at the store and mentions the live chat, you should pull up the information and see exactly what product the person inquired about and how you can best meet their needs.
It frustrates most people to repeat the same information over and over to multiple agents. Keep careful records, so they don’t have to start from scratch with each new conversation.
4. Showcase Your Social Causes
What are you passionate about? Most companies have one or more charities they support. Think about what ties into your philosophy as a brand. For example, if the reason you started your business is because you were a single mom looking for a way to support your kids and spend more time with them, then your cause might be helping single moms.
Other people who also care about helping single moms will come alongside you and support your business. Companies such as Bombas created a model where they have a buy one give one rule. For example, if you buy a pair of socks, they donate a pair to a homeless shelter. While you don’t have to utilize the same approach, you should support the cause through every purchase.
Knowing part of the profit goes to helping others allows your customers to feel good about spending money with your brand. Choose social causes your target audience cares about, but make sure you’re authentic. Don’t pick something just because it’s popular. If you don’t care about it, you’ll come across as a shark and untrustworthy.
5. Make Yourself Available
Have you ever visited a website where there was zero contact information? People are unlikely to order from a company they can’t contact later for help. If there’s a problem with the purchase, how will you resolve it if there isn’t an email, phone number, live chat or another simple way to reach out?
Make your contact information easy to find and give users multiple options for getting in touch. A few of the options include:
- 1-800 number
- Live chat
- Support tickets
- In-person (include address)
- SMS chat
- Social media
You don’t have to offer every touchpoint, but you should give users two or three ways of getting in touch. Make sure you thoroughly train those who respond. They should know your company policies and your customer-centric approach. Customer service agents are the face of your brand, so make sure they represent you well.
6. Get Social
If you don’t already have an active presence on social media, start one today. Think about the platforms where your typical customer hangs out. Know the demographics for TikTok, Facebook and Twitter.
If you want to reach middle-aged homemakers, you might be better off on Pinterest or Facebook. On the other hand, if your audience is 20-somethings, TikTok or Snapchat may be your best choice.
Around 50% of people begin a search for a business online, even when looking for local companies. They much prefer to find someone through their search and then get in touch. When you have a social media page, you initiate the first point of contact and make life easier on your users, improving the CX before they even speak to you.
They can also read reviews from other customers, see what types of content you post and learn a lot about your company by looking through your social content.
7. Focus on Results
It doesn’t matter whether you sell a product or a service, your customers expect the finished result to be exactly what they wanted. If you want your users to walk away with an excellent CX, you must know what they want.
Survey current customers to find out why they sought out your company and if you met their expectations. Find your weaknesses and fix them before trying to expand to new customers. Your current customers are worth far more than a new one. They’re more likely to reorder and spend more money with you.
Once you’ve perfected your product and process with your current clients, expand your reach. Ask your fans to share online posts, your website address, and tell others about what you offer.
8. Follow Up
Take the time to reach out to customers once you fulfill the order. Are there any problems? Fix any issues immediately. Following up shows them you care about them even after they’ve parted with money. It signals you value them as customers and want their business again.
When you check in, and someone says they’re thrilled with the product, ask them to leave you a positive review online and share with others what they liked. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the best ways to grow your business. Positive CX helps you achieve WoM faster than anything else.
If someone has a complaint, do everything in your power to fix the issue. You want them to walk away feeling you went above and beyond for them. You may turn a negative into a positive when you do this. Someone who was unhappy and is suddenly thrilled is likely to sing your praises.
While the customer is not always right, you must make them think they are right and let them know how you will help them. You might need to get creative with your answers to find a satisfactory solution. If you cannot, consider refunding their money and parting ways. You may not gain a fan, but at least you’ll avoid negative reviews.
Remember Who You Serve
A great customer experience builds on the idea the customer comes first and is at the center of everything you do. Therefore, if you want to capture the hearts of your clients, you must think ahead and ask the right questions.
Get to know the people who buy from you and ask them for feedback. Implement new products that meet needs they may not have even realized they have. Think of the CX as something far more profound than the way your site looks or even how it functions. Put the customer’s needs first, and you’ll gain loyal followers who will stick with you for years.