By Lexie Lu
Meeting customer needs is about more than just providing the best product. Service is also key. Customer experience is a catch-all term used to describe the interactions and experiences a customer has with your brand. The phrase encompasses the level of service your support team provides. It also includes how easy and enjoyable it is to navigate your website and online storefront.
Poor customer experience can have a serious negative impact on your sales — and good customer experience can encourage consumers to keep coming back.
Here are three reasons why your online business should invest more in customer experience:
1. A Single Bad Experience Can Cost You a Customer
Modern customers have plenty of options — which means it doesn’t take much for them to start looking at other brands for the things they need.
According to data from PwC, 59% of American consumers will walk away from a brand after a string of bad experiences. Additionally, 17% will leave after just one.
The numbers are worse worldwide, with 32% of all consumers saying a single bad experience is enough for them to drop a business. If your approach to customer experience isn’t robust enough, you can increase the risk of these poor incidents. While most customers are a little forgiving, they won’t stick around forever.
Data can help you keep track of bad or less-than-good customer experiences. Email surveys sent after successful purchases, web analytics like bounce rate or visit time and reviews can let you know where your brand might be going wrong. If you aren’t already tracking information about customer experience, investing time or money in simple analytics and data-collecting processes can be beneficial.
2. People Will Pay More for Good Experiences
Interestingly enough, the opposite is also true. Customers who have good experiences with a brand are willing to pay a premium for that quality of service — and they are more loyal, too. The actual amount varies depending on the industry, but survey data from the same PwC report shows brands can win a price premium of up to 16% for excellent service.
Most businesses — and especially ecommerce companies — rely on loyal repeat customers. Great service and customer experience are some of the best ways to secure these buyers.
If you want to create opportunities for enjoyable experiences, one place to start is with your web presence, which is the cornerstone of your online customer service strategy. Design your site for a quality user journey.
For example, much of today’s web traffic comes from mobile devices, but many websites still aren’t optimized for mobile. The result can be a frustrating and difficult browsing experience. You can redesign your site for mobile and take advantage of passwordless access, increased personalization and other mobile user experience (UX) design innovations to revamp your web presence for mobile.
3. Word-of-Mouth Is a Powerful Advertising Tool
Customers talk to their friends and family about where they shop and what experiences they have. Even with the growth of advertising platforms like social media, online reviews and recommendations, many customers still rely on word-of-mouth recommendations from family and friends to decide where to shop.
If you want to create word-of-mouth buzz, you should start with understanding your customers as much as possible. If you aren’t already collecting and using demographic data, this info will help you better anticipate your clients’ needs, plan new offerings and make your services a better fit for them.
For example, your customers may be all about cutting-edge tech and culture. They may want the fastest possible customer service and detailed answers to their questions above all else. Other brands may have customers that prefer a more personal touch and will respond better to customer service that emphasizes authenticity and individual connection.
Knowing is different from implementing, but having a firm idea of what your customer base wants is one of the best ways to start improving their experiences.
You can find out more about your customers by using several methods, but most will involve directly asking them or tracking them using analytics platforms and other tech.
How Your Brand Can Improve Customer Experience
Providing good customer experience is one of the best ways to grow your customer base. For online businesses, data will be essential if you want to upgrade your UX. Knowing who your shoppers are — what they want, what they need and how they feel about your brand right now — will give you the info needed to enhance their journey with your business.
Lexie is a digital nomad and graphic designer. She enjoys hiking with her goldendoodle and creating new cookie recipes. Visit her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.