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This is truly the bottom line to success in any type of business – and the customer experience will only continue to become more of a major selling point for consumers. This year, it is expected that customers will care more about the experience a company offers than the price point of their products/services. Moreover, 86% of shoppers would be willing to pay more for better CX.
But while 64% of business leaders state that their primary objective is improving the CX, 44% still find it to be their greatest challenge. It even outranks the challenges of increasing engagement and conversions.
Unfortunately, this is a challenge that companies need to surmount if they are going to reel in customers in the future.
And one of the reasons why improving the digital CX is so challenging is because people often times do not know where to start. There are thousands of articles online with pieces of advice on how to fix your CX issues – but what strategies actually have the greatest impact and make the biggest difference?
The key here (as always) should be to delight the customer by making things easier and/or better for them. So, let’s break down some of the best ways to do just that and improve your business’s online CX.
1. Combine Old School with New School
New school technology has certainly made it easier to improve the CX and offer customers the types of interactions that benefit them.
But be sure that you are using the technology to improve old school methods, too– like building trust with your customers. This can be done in several ways, such as using better security systems to prevent data hacks and keep your customers’ information safe.
Another way is to use a review management system that filters out fraudulent reviews and provides customers with a trustworthy rating score.
IDG’s report found that 44% of companies have already made the move towards a digital-first approach when it comes to improving the CX – by integrating AI into every interaction.
While this is certainly all well and good, it is important that you are not solely relying on the latest technology to solve your CX problems. Human-to-human support is still very important. AI can certainly be used to improve customer service and field common questions; it should not overshadow your company’s ability to create real relationships. People generally like to buy from people, not robots.
2. Focus Heavily on Service
Nothing can turn around a negative experience faster than a great interaction with a helpful representative – which is why customer service is undoubtedly one of the most important elements of the CX.
According to PwC’s study, up to 50% of consumers will stop interacting with a company they love after a single bad experience and nearly 60% will leave after several.
Of course, technology can step in here to resolve some of the most common customer service issues, including:
- Lags in receiving service can be fixed with instant AI chatbots
- Having to repeat information and situational details to each representative can be improved with an integrated CRM
- Limited options for receiving help can be addressed with self-help services
Unfortunately, this same PwC study also found that 59% of consumers think that businesses have “lost touch with the human element of the customer experience” due to technology.
So, while you may be optimizing your department with new tech like integrated CRM systems and AI chatbots, be sure that you can still add the personal touch in these experiences. For example, use chatbots with a friendly “personality” and always make sure that human assistance is just a few clicks away.
3. Utilize Heat Mapping for Better Layouts
A sloppy website design is an obvious kink in the CX, but even an unoptimized page layout can have a negative impact on a customer’s impression of your company. In fact, 38% of customers will exit a website simply because it is unattractive. In order to create a website that is not just beautiful – but also functional – it is best to use a data-driven approach to the layout.
What are your customers looking for when they arrive on the page?
What catches their eye?
Instead of merely following clicks, use heat mapping technology to understand how customers process your pages for an optimized layout.
This is so they can easily find products or links they want to click on and important CTAs are more prominently displayed. Additionally, it creates a more attractive webpage which can impact the CX in a positive way by eliminating the guesswork of layout design.
4. Be Proactive on Data Privacy
Consumers are extremely aware of the dangers of sharing private information online – due to so many companies experiencing data leaks and hacks. If they feel at any point that their private information is in danger, they are going to leave your site and never return.
To improve the experience and give customers peace of mind, be sure to use the latest technology for data privacy and security assurances – just make sure that this is not overly complicating the CX.
For example, many companies have resorted to using reCAPTCHA on their sites to protect from bots. However, there are several CX issues with this type of security measure.
First of all, it makes websites less accessible, particularly for users with visual impairments.
Secondly, the test is often rather annoying or even purposefully tricky, so some customers may change their mind on following through with a purchase because of this additional step. Customers are quite likely to abandon their cart if the checkout process is too long or complicated – so security measures like reCAPTCHA could cost you conversions.
However, it’s important to note that having reCAPTCHA on your site is going to do a lot to keep users safe. At the end of the day, omitting safety procedures to catch a few more conversions could cost you big in the long run.
Additionally, your site should be using security measures like firewalls and AI-powered security systems that detect unusual behavior and keep private data safely encrypted. And of course, let your customers know that they are safe by posting trust badges at the bottom of the page.
Solving the customer experience puzzle is not as difficult as you may think. The real secret to improving the CX is giving customers exactly what they want when interacting with your business – so eliminate anything slowing them down and make the process as easy as possible for them.
By focusing on the elements that are most important to consumers (like service and security) and integrating technology where it can be most useful, you can make vast improvements that will delight your customers.