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How to Elevate your Online Customer Experience in 5 Easy Steps

Customer service is the number one driver of customer experience. And at the heart of every great experience lies empathy. All of your customer’s interactions with your brand need to be spiked with it – whether it’s a genuine concern when listening to their complaints, having their best interests in mind when they navigate your website, or making the extra little effort to follow up with a message of thanks. Personalized, deep connections are the key to fostering great relationships between you and your customer, and this can only be done by humanizing your customer service.

Dimension Data reported that improved CX results in:

  • Increased customer loyalty (92%)
  • An uplift in revenue (84%)
  • Cost savings (79%)

Research shows the hard facts – improving customer experience drives revenue. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Customers who have a positive perception of a brand and an outstanding experience shopping there are more likely to purchase, return, and promote the brand to others. How many times have you had a casual discussion with friends about a brand who has taken a firm stance on a value and discussed how that’s impacted your choice to consume or not? Or perhaps a friend mentioned over lunch what a hassle and how much time they spent trying to resolve a relatively simple issue. These things make a difference. Here’s how to turn your online shoppers into lifelong customers.

1. Show Your Appreciation

Your customers appreciate being acknowledged. Say thank you anytime they visit you – whether they make a purchase or not. A quick email or text thanking them, coupled with an offer to incentivize them to return, will go a long way fostering customer loyalty. If your CRM allows it, sending a happy birthday message annually along with an offer is another thoughtful touch that will help make your customer feel valued by your company.

2. Listen to Feedback

Whether it’s complaints you hear on customer service calls, comments from those shopping in your physical store-front, or a passive aggressive-sounding subtweet, let them know that you’re listening and keep them up to date on action items you plan to improve upon them. Use the information your customers are freely giving and use it as an opportunity to improve. Let them know that their feedback is valued and that you’re working on course correction specifically for their problem. It can make the difference between them feeling at odds with a brand versus feeling at one with a brand.

3. Improve Your UX

One company, perplexed by low conversion rates, hired an external source to take a fresh look at their eCommerce site. They quickly realized that there was a glitch on the page that made checkout much more difficult. Naturally, as a result people were discouraged from troubleshooting and finding workarounds to complete their purchase. Sometimes when you’re inside an organization, it’s necessary to find fresh eyes who can point out obvious friction points. Ensure that your website is as simple as possible to navigate, and that users don’t have to go searching to find help when they need it.

In a time of uncertainty, many users who were resistant to shopping online now must adapt and educate themselves on using the internet. For those who are used to and prefer personalized attention and assistance, a video-enabled chat app can connect these customers to your in-store associates who can offer personalized advice face-to-face. Give your customers options for both self-service or personal shopping assistance.

4. Don’t Stick to the Script

Encourage your customer service team to spend as much time as needed to handle customer issues to ensure customers feel properly heard and understood. One bad customer service experience is enough to put a customer off your brand for life. Don’t treat them like a problem to be handled, treat them like you would anyone who you’d want to sustain a long, positive relationship with. Include emotional intelligence training in your on-boarding sessions so that customer service reps come across as empathetic, caring, and human.

5. Share Your Values

Individuals are increasingly choosing to align themselves with brands whose values reflect their own. In a period of time where consumers are increasingly socially conscious, they’re looking to “vote with their dollar” and won’t hesitate to drop brands who stay silent about important social issues. So speak up. If your company doesn’t have a specific platform, now’s the time to establish one. Choose a cause that means something to you and that you can give back to. Patagonia is a great example – their commitment to environmentalism means that in return for their elevated favorability in the public eye, they’re able to invest more in sustainability and activism.

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