A great customer experience is dependent on both customer expectations and the industry you’re in. Essentially it’s relative to the end user.
As a result, giving customers what they want can be very difficult because it’s subjective. Plus your perspective is skewed by the fact that you need to generate revenue from your customers.
Whereas your customers can just go elsewhere if they don’t get the customer experience they want or expect.
With competition increasing the balance in the relationship between you and your customers has shifted. They no longer have to tolerate a poor customer experience because there are other websites out there.
Unhappy customers are bad for your business in more ways than one. Not only have you lost out on that and any future sales with that customer. You now have to spend money to acquire a new one, who will spend almost 70% less than the repeat customer you just lost.
While there is no catch-all solution to providing a greater customer experience, there are key areas that you should focus your time, attention and budget on.
Doing so will improve the experience you provide, nurture your customer base and increase your sales.
Keep it Simple
Great customer experience relies on simplicity. Not least because to provide a well-rounded customer experience there will be a lot of moving parts. The simpler things are at their core, the easier it will be to administrate, track and report.
But simplicity extends to the user experience of your website too. The easier your website is to navigate the easier your customers can find things.
Simple and clear navigation is essential. You want to help your customers find what they want as quickly as possible. A frustrating experience increases the chances of your customers not only exiting without purchasing but not coming back.
Also, consider investing in a robust and reliable search function. The vast majority of Amazon’s sales come via its search function. This is hardly surprising considering their vast product offering.
However, Amazon’s search algorithm is sophisticated enough to not only show users what they asked for but related products too.
You don’t need to have Amazon’s level of sophistication but your search function does need to work and work well.
This applies to any industry. Whether you’re in eCommerce, banking or even sports betting, a robust search function helps users find what they need.
Poor search functionality will make your website seem broken. Or, worst still, that your organisation is unprofessional and unable to afford reliable search.
This will undermine customer confidence and drive them from your website.
Adding to Cart and Checking Out
Cart abandonment is an issue that impacts all transactional websites. In the majority of cases, customers hesitate because they don’t feel ready to buy. The second most common reason is high or unexpected shipping costs.
The easier you make this process the more confident users feel and, therefore, the less likely they are to abandon their basket.
Consider giving users the option of checking out as a guest. Also, make sure that the checkout process is as seamless as possible.
The longer the checkout process takes the poorer the customer experience becomes. And there are more opportunities for your customers to either change their minds or shop around.
Consider adding the one-click purchase option to product pages so signed-in customers are able to place orders instantly.
Shipping is a more contentious issue. Your average order value and the average margin you make on each order will give you an idea of where the threshold for free shipping will sit.
However, the lower that threshold sits the more enticing you will be to your customers.
Tailor your Customer Experience
One of the advantages of having a simple user experience is that it makes it easier to create a tailored experience.
Your customers’ expectations have never been higher. They want an end-to-end personalised experience. While a cheerful welcome back message is pleasant enough, it’s not going to wow anyone.
When a customer logs in to your website they should be presented with products and offers that reflect their buying habits. Hero banners, top picks, sale recommendations and promotions should all reflect how each customer likes to shop.
The good news is that a tailored customer experience is well within your power to grant.
You have a large repository of customer data at your disposal. Everything from demographical data to purchase history and product information.
Unify and Segment Customer Data
To create a tailored customer experience you need to bring all your data together under a single roof.
Between your website, CRM, stock management platform and other tools, you have all the data you need to create a unique experience.
Unifying the data is the key to unlocking the kind of experience your customers are searching for.
Creating a Single Customer View using a customer data platform will allow you to see all the data you have on each customer.
The more data you’ve captured, the better a profile you’ll have to draw upon.
Knowing the products they like is useful. Knowing if your customer is married and has dependents is next level.
With that information, you can create seasonal messages and product recommendations that only they – and customers like them – will see.
This segmentation is what makes a CDP so powerful. Tagging your customers in this way along with the more obvious attributes like product types, colour and size help to create a more rounded customer experience.
So, come the holidays those customers you’ve tagged as having children will see the children’s toys hero banner. Those without, won’t.
Where you can get clever is to create a rule that states anyone who has purchased toys will still see toy recommendations. But only those with children will get the hard sell.
Closing the Customer Experience Loop
A personalised experience online is a great way to win and retain customers. The more they shop with you the more data you have to draw on. And, therefore, the customer experience becomes ever more personalised.
However, that forms just one part of a great customer experience.
To keep your customers engaged and coming back for more your communications need to be personalised too.
In short, you apply the data and the insight you already have in your Single Customer View to communications too.
The good news is that you only need to do the data ingestion, analysis and unification once. As soon as the data is consolidated into your customer data platform then you won’t need to do it again. Any new data just gets ingested into the CDP via your various data sources.
The objective here is to create an all-encompassing customer experience. So every time a customer comes into contact with your brand they receive a personalised message that’s relevant and timely.
If you have physical stores you can even leverage geo-fencing technology to send your customers a welcome message. The data is there and the technology exists, you just need to take advantage of it.
The Right Campaign for the Job
Because you have the Single Customer View for each of your customers you can tailor everything from an SMS to an email.
Moreover, you can build highly sophisticated, multi-stage, campaigns depending on what you want to communicate or achieve.
Using a journey planner will allow you to map out each stage of your campaigns including triggers, timings and what conversions you want to track.
No two campaigns are the same so it’s important to identify what success looks like before you get too deep into planning.
Building out personalised campaigns for email is something your customers are crying out for. The generic email blasts turn customers off and make them feel like you don’t understand them.
It stops your customers from engaging with you beyond placing an order every few weeks.
Engagement starts with that key understanding. And because you’ve consolidated your customer data, you have that level of insight. This means you can deliver that next-level customer experience as a result.
Take the time to identify what campaigns you want to deliver and which channels you want to leverage. Then you can start building out the customer journey to deliver the most value.
Timely and Relevant
Ultimately, the objective is to deliver a timely and relevant multi-channel experience for your customers. Whether it’s the website or a multi-layered, multi-stage communication strategy.
Whatever platforms are available to you, you can make good on that ambition providing you are making use of your data in the right way.
As a result, you can deliver the most relevant messaging to the right customer at the right time. Whether that’s product recommendations or an offer to entice back lapsed customers.
To learn more about how you can create a great customer experience with a customer data platform, get in touch with us today to request a demo.
Xtremepush is the world’s leading customer data and engagement data platform. We work with various top brands within the eCommerce industry. Schedule a personalised demo of our platform to learn more about how we can help your brand drive repeat customers and increase revenue.