A positive customer experience is one of the most valuable things you can offer your audience. While your offerings are definitely central to success, strong customer service and a streamlined buying process can make a serious difference.
In fact, research shows that around 52% of customers are willing to pay more to shop with a brand that offers speedy and efficient customer service. A smaller but similar percentage said the same about brands with friendly and welcoming customer service.
With the right investments, any company can boost company customer experience (CX) and make interactions with the brand smoother and more enjoyable — potentially boosting brand loyalty and improving sales.
These five investments aren’t major — but they can make a big difference when it comes to improving CX.
1. A Mobile-First Approach
Around 50% of web traffic worldwide comes from mobile devices. If your website or online presence isn’t designed for smartphones and other mobile tech, you could be leaving a major chunk of your customer base behind.
Adopting a mobile-first design approach helps guarantee that your site and online storefront will be easy to use when accessed from a smartphone. Simple tweaks and design decisions — especially when made early in the web development process — can help make navigation much easier and more enjoyable on a mobile device.
2. Marketing and Storefront Personalization
The digital transformation of marketing and the pivot to online shopping means that you have a lot of data at your disposal.
The biggest names in online retail, like Amazon, collect massive volumes of information on consumer behavior and preferences. They use some of this information to improve product recommendations — personalizing emails and storefront recommendations, rather than hoping that generalized communications will be relevant to the customers that receive them.
Personalizing marketing and improving product recommendations can help ensure that, any time you’re suggesting a deal or item to a customer, it’s the most relevant possible item you could offer.
This can help improve the value of your emails and recommendations. Over time, this may make customers more likely to open emails and enjoy receiving updates from your company, as they’ll know that the products and deals advertised in an email are likely to be relevant to their needs and interests.
Depending on the tech you already use, you may not need to adopt any additional platforms or software. Several major ecommerce platforms offer personalization features out of the box and make it easy to automatically collect and apply customer behavior data to improve product recommendations.
3. In-Store Safety
Customers appreciate it when you take their health and safety seriously. Simple upgrades that improve store cleanliness and safety can provide big improvements to a customer’s peace of mind — and even offer some reassurance in uncertain times.
For example, you may offer hand sanitizing stations at entrances or exits, or near locations where customers may need to touch something in the store — like a shopping basket, cart or door handle. Customers who worry about germs on surfaces in public, high-traffic places will appreciate the gesture and the convenience of this kind of offering.
Similar small changes to store setup and business processes can also go a long way. If you anticipate serious weather, for example, you might use your site or in-store communication tools for proactive communication about the steps you’re taking to keep service available and protect customers and staff.
4. Feedback Capturing Tools
Customers often have strong opinions about what a business is doing well and what they could be doing better. However, they don’t always have a good line of communication to use if they want to provide their feedback.
Feedback capturing tools both allow you to see how customers are really using your site and interacting with customer service agents and also help you solicit and organize feedback directly from your customer base.
These tools won’t improve CX directly — instead, they’ll allow you to capture extremely valuable metrics from live chats and other interactions that you can use to boost customer experience.
These tools will also allow you to tie CX to specific interactions, services and customer service agents. Over time, this organization of data can help you see what tech may be holding your company back. It may also show you which\ team members are going the extra mile to make customers feel like they’re being heard.
You can also use surveys and other tools to solicit feedback directly from your customers. The insights they provide may be both surprising and valuable. The right response from the right customer can give you a sense where you can improve, as well as some ideas that the numbers alone may not be able to communicate.
5. Create Self-Service Content and Options
Let your customers help themselves. Self-service content like help pages and online product documentation have become somewhat of a baseline expectation on the modern web. Customers want to be able to try to solve their own problems before turning to a customer rep for help.
Many customers will appreciate it if they can use a help page or some online documentation to fix a problem or learn how to use a feature without having to call, send an email or make a post online asking for help.
If possible, increasing the number of steps in the purchasing process that a customer can do by themselves may also be valuable.
Younger customers especially prefer using form fields and online communication over methods like a phone call. Providing tech that allows them to, for example, get a quote without making a call could help streamline the purchasing process for these customers.
These Small Investments Can Boost CX
These small adjustments to your business can help seriously improve CX. Over time, this can encourage customers to stick with your business — and possible spend more than they would have otherwise.
Lexie is a UX content strategist and web designer. She enjoys copious amounts of coffee (with a dash of milk) and walking her goldendoodle. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.