Bringing Back CX Basics – Why Chasing Tech Trends Doesn’t Equal a Better Customer Experience
By Nate Ginesi, Director of Experience Architecture at Whereoware
Digital trends like the metaverse are new and exciting. It’s no wonder many retailers are clamoring to be first-adopters in the latest digital spaces.
However, when you are chasing bleeding-edge technology trends, you may lose sight of your audiences’ needs altogether. That’s a problem, particularly in a world where consumers are increasingly open to new brands, and nearly 40% of formerly-loyal shoppers switched brands in the last two years.
Instead of investing heavily in the newest technology, brands should first ensure they’re delivering the best possible customer experience on their owned channels. You must meet customer experience (CX) basics first, before refocusing your energy and resources on unproven channels or technologies.
Fortunately, getting back to basics needn’t require too heavy a lift. It all comes down to one simple rule: remaining steadfastly focused on your customers.
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Follow this three-step framework to refamiliarize yourself with the basics — and reconnect with your customer.
Step 1: Zero in on your customers’ goals and challenges
To deliver the best customer experience, you must first take a step back and remember every customer is simply a person seeking to achieve an outcome. Maybe they want to buy something, answer a question, get inspired, or subscribe to future communications. What is their goal and how can you help them achieve it?
To find out, you must step into their shoes to understand their needs and desires — and how you can best fulfill them.
How do you do this? Start with user research and behavioral analytics. The best way to know what your customers want is to ask them, through surveys, focus groups, and even social media threads. What are their pain points? What do they like or dislike about your competitors?
Then, dive deeper by analyzing available behavioral data, like where your customers click, explore, and engage. Where are they getting lost and what is keeping them from achieving their goal?
Then, layer on your own goals – what do you want customers to do and what’s currently getting in their way? Review your site analytics to identify top exit pages and resolve potential issues. Monitor call and chat abandonment rates and explore related conversations with sales reps or customer service to find common sticking points.
Step 2: Focus on Ease
Once you understand your customers’ goals, hone in on how to make it easier for each customer to achieve that outcome.
This may include:
- enhancing the searchability of your site, so it’s easier to find information
- simplifying your checkout process to enable customers to buy faster
- integrating chat to make it easy for customers to ask questions
- adding product recommendations to aid product discovery
- personalizing website content to reflect what you know about customers
These typical goals are low-hanging fruit that all businesses should evaluate and fix to improve the customer experience. An easier customer experience is better both for customers and brands.
For example, adding product recommendations is a great way to help visitors find the right item. Making it easy pays off – visitors who engage with a product recommendation have 70% higher conversion rates. Even those who don’t end up buying anything after that initial recommendation are 20% more likely to return, suggesting that a positive customer experience can yield returns later on.
On the other end of the spectrum, neglecting to resolve points of friction that sour the customer experience can cost a brand customers and revenue. One in four customers will abandon a checkout that is too long or complicated and over half of website visitors will leave a website that takes longer than three seconds to load.
Step 2 is all about creating an easier customer experience, either by adding enhancements or removing obstacles — or, most likely, by doing a bit of both. From there, it’s all about ensuring consistency across channels.
Step 3: Use Data to Create Consistency
Customers interact across a lot of channels and expect a consistent omnichannel experience but, less than half of businesses successfully deliver.
Data silos are frequently the culprit, reducing visibility across the customer journey. Break down silos to connect data across all touchpoints and make these valuable insights accessible across your entire MarTech stack.
If this is done correctly, you can improve all aspects of the customer experience. For example:
- Marketing triggers personalized content and campaigns, based on recent activity data.
- Sales gains insights into customers’ recent actions and can tailor sales meetings to be more valuable.
- When a customer calls your customer service line or messages your chatbot, the agent already knows who they are and can dig right into the solution, whether that’s processing a return or offering a product suggestion.
Every customer interaction becomes an extension of the previous experience, across any channel. This approach builds loyalty – nearly 80% of consumers say that speed, convenience, and friendly service are the most important elements of a positive customer experience.
What if you don’t have the data needed to build these experiences or are hampered by growing privacy restrictions? Build a content strategy to earn loyalty from customers and gain owned data to prepare for the end of third-party cookies.
Focus on creating helpful content (like demos, templates, research articles, and more) that users engage with and will, in turn, be happy to share their information.
Then, leverage the data you’ve collected to understand your audience, deliver on your promises, and incrementally improve their overall customer experience.
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Deliver an Outstanding Customer Experience With These CX Basics
It’s never too late to make better CX a focus for future success. Invest in better ways to understand your customer whether through interviews, research or improved data management for a more holistic view of the cross-channel user journey.
Without the basics, flashy new tech simply can’t deliver. Nail these CX basics now, and you’ll have the insights and the revenue you need to succeed, both in the real world and in the metaverse.