5 Ways to Improve your Online Customer Experience

Good user experience means more satisfied customers

This is a guest post.

In the digital landscape, customers have more choice than ever.

What influences their decision?

It’s customer experience. With negative brand interactions spreading to twice as many people as positive ones, it’s the customer experience that can increase conversion rates and turn customers into brand advocates. Similarly, it could be why your customers switch to your competitors. 

To make shopping a pleasant experience, customer-centric marketers use all kinds of strategies and tricks to understand their customers better. 

Let’s dive in.

5 Ways to Improve your Online Customer Experience

1- Focus on market analysis

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses” – Henry Ford

Unlike Henry Ford’s era, intuition no longer works because the market is flooded with innovation daily. What may seem like a breakthrough product may fail to capture the attention of your target audience. For achieving success, brands need to fulfill the void and address every online market need.

Enter market analysis.

It’s a process for assessing and finding out internal and external factors affecting a market’s needs. It helps you understand the market size, customer segments, buying patterns, economic environment, and position of your competitors. Market analysis also helps uncover barriers to entry. In short, it gives you insights on developing products and services a customer is likely to appreciate. 

For example, you launch an exquisite online jewelry store selling the most delicate diamond rings and necklaces. Still, your online store fails to live up to its expectation because customers of this segment prefer buying diamond jewelry in-store. Had you conducted market analysis before launching your store, you could have saved the embarrassment of failure. The analysis revealed that online shoppers hesitate to punch their card details when the invoice exceeds a certain amount and they also worry about safe delivery of such costly products.

That’s the power of marketing analysis, and that’s where a market analysis template comes in. 

This template provides a starting point, helps in competitor analysis and lets you develop strategies to attract your brand. This helps to give your customer a great online experience.

Benefits of Marketing Analysis 

  • Help uncover opportunities
  • Guides communication with customers
  • Measures brand reputation
  • Help establish market trends
  • Help in delivering your promise

2- Give Importance to Live Engagement Marketing

With the internet flooded with thousands of similar products, giving discounts and providing a clean transactional journey no longer suffices. Today, customers prefer brands that offer real-time conversations with customers at every stage of the marketing funnel. Whether your customer visits your website for the first time, or is about to convert into a paying customer, or is a returning customer, live engagement marketing helps brands deliver above the customers’ bare-bone experience. 

Before making a purchase, a customer is likely to read blogs you posted several months ago or watch videos you recorded a few years back. Though you’re engaging with customers, it’s not happening in real-time. That’s why live engagement is gaining traction in the online marketing world.

From live videos to chatbots and one-to-one selling platforms, brands that leverage live engagement are the ones who will supercharge their conversion rates and taste success in the long run. 

For example, let’s say a potential customer who visits your website wants to understand the process and pricing for a service. Instead of wasting time searching for information, a customer can ask the chatbot and get clarification. The chatbot can later redirect the customer to the booking widget to book an appointment in seconds.

Benefits of Live Engagement Marketing

  • Ensure direct engagement
  • Enhance sales conversions
  • Build trust and brand awareness
  • Work as a lead accelerator
  • Increase customer experience

3- Embrace Online Appointment Scheduling

In the digital landscape where customer experience surpasses price and products as crucial differentiators, online appointment scheduling is a sure way to enhance customer loyalty, engagement, and retention. 

customers can book an appointment in 3 clicks

With 8 in 10 customers willing to pay more for a better customer experience, an appointment scheduling tool could be the difference between failure and success.

Such a tool ensures your online business is open 24/7 and provides customers with a self-service option to schedule and reschedule their appointment from any device. Using a scheduling tool, you can even automate recurring appointments. It also allows scheduling appointments through your website, Facebook and Instagram.

It works as an assistant you always wished you hired, and it helps transform customer experience beyond expectations. 

Benefits of Online Appointment Scheduling

  • Provide seamless communication with customers
  • Improve customer flow
  • Storehouse of important information such as appointment history, payment, etc.
  • Help delivers customized marketing
  • Boost customer relationships
  • Gives employees extra time to prepare for the appointments 

4- Ensure a Fast-Loading Website

With 200Mbps of internet speed being the new normal, having a slow loading website is similar to not having a website at all. For online brands, the biggest roadblock isn’t their competitors. It’s the back button on their website. 

With bounce rate being 9% for websites that load within two seconds and a whopping 38% for websites that take more than five seconds – having a fast-loading website is one of the most critical customer experience strategies in your arsenal. 

A one-second difference could be a reason why your conversion rates are low and why your customers are shifting to your competitors. 

Therefore, it’s imperative to have a fast-loading website while maintaining all mobile functionalities. For keeping potential customers on your web page, you need to optimize your website to ensure fast-loading speed and maximum performance irrespective of the internet speed of customers. When your website loads slowly, a customer will not blame their internet connection. Instead, they blame the performance of your website. 

From using website caching to reducing plugins and moving to a different host, leave no stone unturned when it comes to to increasing your website’s loading speed. 

Benefits of a Fast Loading Website

  • Enhanced user-experience
  • Better SEO ranking
  • Increase in website conversions
  • Increase in customer retention
  • Enhanced scalability and credibility
  • Enhanced mobile usability

5- Collect Customer Feedback

How do you know you’re delivering a WOW experience to your customers?

You need to ask them directly and in real-time. Top-performing companies understand the importance of feedback, and they make every effort to understand their customers’ voices. However, very rarely a customer comes knocking on your door giving feedback. 

When it comes to collecting feedback, brands have to take the initiative. Use live chat tools or follow-up emails to understand what customers are liking and disliking. You can even use monthly surveys to gain further insights. 

Irrespective of the feedback you receive, don’t take it to heart. It’s fine to receive negative reviews. Consider these reviews as a learning opportunity and try implementing as much feedback as possible in your product or service. 

Furthermore, providing a seamless customer experience means understanding what each customer values and wants. In the current digital world, brands that leverage the importance of customer feedback are the ones that remain at the top of the minds of their customers. You should search for customer opinions on social media platforms and look for reviews on websites designed for collecting feedback. This may include websites like G2, Capterra, TripAdvisor, Trustpilot and other similar websites. 

The rule here is simple: if you want to stay ahead of your competition, never stop listening to the voice of your customers. 

Benefits of Collecting Customer Feedback

  • Improve products and services
  • Measure customer satisfaction
  • Create a seamless customer experience
  • Increase customer retention
  • Work as a reliable information source for other customers
  • Build trust
  • Make customers feel valued

Final Thoughts on Improving the Customer Experience

Success mantra for 2021: For providing a superior customer experience, you need a customer-centric mindset. 

With customer expectations higher than ever, brands need to focus on nurturing and taking care of their customer’s requirements. 

Irrespective of how exceptional your product is, customers are less likely to return if the overall customer experience is terrible. As a brand, you may promise hundreds of things to your customers, but it’s your customer who decides whether you delivered that promise or not. The level of customer experience you provide could shift the ball in your court. 

However, customer experience is not limited to just collecting feedback; it’s much more than that. It entails market analysis, live engagement marketing, online scheduling, and building a fast-loading website. 

How did you improve the online customer experience? Did any of our strategies come in handy? Do tell us in the comments section. 

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