Customer experience is nothing new in business. What is new (and more importantly, what consumers appreciate) is a customer-centric approach where the customer is put at the centre of a business’ philosophy, operations and/or ideas.
A customer-centric business is one where your customers feel seen, understood, respected and appreciated.
This needs to occur during any interaction with your shoppers and customers, whether they purchase something or not.
A customer-centric business provides exceptional value and variety with the minimum of friction and stress. If you try to force customers to act or purchase in the way you want them to, you may lose them. It’s like the pesky retail attendant that follows you around the store, asking if you need help and pushing unwanted products onto you.
It can be hard and often forgotten to provide customer-centric service on a solely digital platform like eCommerce, but there are lots of ways a business can use technology to be (more) customer-centric.
The short answer is: more sales.
73% of 15,000 people from 12 countries surveyed said customer experience was an important factor in their purchasing decisions.
The long answer:
A positive experience with an online store is directly related to the way a shopper perceives your brand and considers your products.
A whopping 86% of consumers state that they would pay more for a product or service if they received better customer experience. This highlights that customer experience is valued higher than the price you charge for a product. A friendly, welcoming experience will see 42% of consumers paying more!
What eCommerce business doesn’t want to be more profitable from more customers and more sales?
54% of Australian online shoppers have at least some concerns regarding how retailers use data provided about them via a loyalty program or reward card, but concerns are reduced when consumers have a high level of trust with an individual retailer.
Amazing customer experiences build trust with your shopper. A shopper who trusts your company will share personal information with you. The more personal the information, the more personal and targeted your marketing campaigns can be.
Customers notice when their experience is exceptional and will tell their friends.
According to McKinsey, brand experience drives word of mouth more than any other factor.
Customers rarely praise a company when they receive an expected experience. Experiential word of mouth is the most common and powerful form, typically accounting to 50 to 80 percent of word-of-mouth activity in any given product category.
Creating customer-centric experiences does not only attract and retain more customers. From your business’ point of view, the flow-on benefits are outstanding: Businesses that exceed customer experience expectations have 1.5 times more engaged employees . Companies that deliver superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than their competitors.
Give your customers an above expectation, exceptional customer-centric experience, every time – and they’ll return to buy more and tell their friends and families.
Competing on price and products may not be an effective use of time and resources. What can set your online store apart from your competitors is turning your focus to your customers and the factors that matter most to them.
In a technology driven field such as eCommerce, how do you bring in a customer experience that is warm and fuzzy?
The very nature of automation in the digital space makes for transactions on a computer or smartphone that are efficient and smooth, but lack the warmth of humans.
So how do you make customer service a priority at every touch point?
Show respect and attention throughout your customer journey. Remember it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Use empathy and respond to their concerns, be humble and most importantly, show your appreciation of them.
Social media is a great way to welcome the human touch into eCommerce. Ditch automated responses. Interjecting your brand personality with team interaction and personalised messages can easily distinguish you from your competitors. Make it easy for shoppers to find you on social media from every web page, so if they have any concerns they can easily contact you.
Look at your online chat. Forget the standard FAQs. Teach your customer service staff to use friendlier terms, bring more chit chat into the conversation and ask open ended questions.
Remove sales driven language and use story-telling techniques across your content (copywriting, videos and images). Create content like it is for a trusted friend. Your shopper will feel understood, and your brand more relevant to them.
Turn your calls to action (CTA) into convincing action at each stage of the customer journey. Use a ‘compare features’ CTA early in the journey when your shopper is still browsing and use ‘shop the look’ when they have come across products they like! Make the customer centric experience a priority on every page.
Here is how some of our merchants use the human touch on their website:
Sincity Rims offer hundreds of wheels and rims. It could be easy for a visitor to get overwhelmed by choice. From the start of their journey, visitors can read handy tips to help direct them to the right rims for their vehicle.
Avalon By Nature sells books and more, and brings the physical shop to its online shoppers. They can book a video tour of the showroom to look at and discuss specific products with the owner.
Netflix are experts at personalisation. Viewers can pick up right from where they left off with a click to view movies and shows like ones they have loved and new shows are highlighted based on individual preferences.
While your customers are shopping, your online store can show best sellers by the shoppers’ location (especially useful for seasonal product purchases such as clothing, shoes and sporting goods).
Use the product-detail page to highlight similar products or brands to the ones consumers are browsing and use your up-selling skills here to promote higher priced items.
The browsing history of the product-detail page will help to direct returned shoppers to their favourite items. During marketing and remarketing campaigns, make use of personalisation in your approach to shoppers. Leverage the data and information you have about each customers and visitor, to create powerful emails that are targeted to them, their name, products and promotions that are relevant to their interests. Don’t forget to sign off the email from a person.
Our client, mattress.com.au, uses our customised interest-free finance to show consumers mattresses that are in their budget. Shoppers don’t waste their time browsing through mattresses that are way out of their budget.
If you make all your branding and marketing decisions customer-centric, you can’t go wrong!
As we’ve discussed in another blog, an average of 57% of Australian online shoppers discarded their carts sometimes or all the time. The top three reasons include hidden freight costs, a long checkout and having to set up an account. Don’t lose your customers because of these reasons, these are all easy fixes on your website.
Our co-branded finance options can integrate the finance payment as part of your shop, to reduce your checkout process as your customers continue on a branded journey.
No more surprise delivery charges. Look at our customers’ furniturre.com.au handy delivery calculator on every product-detail page. The cost of delivery for bulky items is at the top of mind for their customers. Furniturre make it easy for them to see how much the item will cost to ship before hitting the ‘buy now’.
With sophisticated eCommerce templates and clever web developers, there is no excuse to not have a customer-centric website.
As the popularity of online shopping continues to grow, customer experience will become more important as a competitive differentiator. Throw out cold technology, automation and sales driven language and develop your brand into a warm, comfortable space with a customer-centric experience your consumers will relish.
Curious about our customised interest-free finance can make a big difference to your customer's experience?
It's just a phone call to 1300-FAIRER (324 737) or an email to find out how.