Do you want to create a positive online customer experience (CX)? Read on!
Customers are who sustain a company’s existence. An endless supply of customers will ensure the longevity of your business. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that you create a positive online CX whether your company is online or offline with a substantial online presence.
Customers will reach out for transactions, questions, inquiries, suggestions, etc. and their experience will decide whether they will continue to engage with your company or not. You don't want your customers to have a negative customer experience.
In this post, we will highlight effective techniques you can apply to create a positive online customer experience. But before we start, let’s show the basics of online CX, how it works, and areas for interacting with your customers.
Understanding Online CX
Online customer experience is the next significant term in the digital marketing industry. Every goal-driven company is focusing on it. The world is more digital now, and people prefer making transactions online rather than offline due to the convenience and swiftness involved.
To understand online CX and offer your customers the best service, you need to know how customers interact with your company on the internet.
Here are six major areas customers can interact with your company:
The first area to note is reachability. Your customers need to have access to you online through one way or another. This can be through your website, social media platforms, mobile app, or many others. You have to decide which medium is best for your customers to reach you, and to do this there are factors to consider.
First, you need to figure out which platform(s) your customers or target audience are most active on.
Next, you should figure out the features available. How does the platform work?
This will determine the methods by which your customers will contact you.
2. Service Convenience
Service convenience is how easily your customers can access your services. Nowadays, most customers prefer self-serving. They want to get answers to their questions by themselves from available resources.
This is one reason why businesses put up 'FAQ' and 'About' pages on their websites. It's a convenient way customers can visit to get help anytime, without any need to contact the customer service team directly.
In terms of direct contact with customer service, service convenience deals with when the service is available. Customers will always prefer a 24/7 service. Not all companies can provide this, but if you can, you should.
This area has to do with companies that run online stores, offer paid online services, or any business that requires making payment online. No one jokes with money, and the majority of customers would stay off a payment cycle that comes with hassles. The faster customers can make payments on your platform, the better.
To make purchases convenient for your customers, you should utilize safe and swift payment gateways. There are many payment gateways you can use.
Your site structure also plays a part here. Customers should be able to add items/services to cart, prices should be displayed clearly, so they don’t miss it. Likewise, you should provide rich information about the items/services.
One major area of online customer experience you should focus on is service personalization. The more customers can personally relate to your services, the better their experience. Customers view personalization as a form of relationship between themselves and the companies. They believe a company that understands them will be able to offer the best.
For personalization, data plays a huge role. There are several tools for tracking your customers’ demographics, thereby acquiring necessary information for personalization.
For your website, Google Analytics is enough, and social media platforms do feature built-in analytics tools. Details like name, location, date of birth, etc. will go a long way in personalizing your service to customers.
For your customers to have a positive experience on your online platform, it needs to be simplified and easy to use. Here, you would consider how easily information and service channels can be accessed.
Will customers navigate through several steps? Or is the process straightforward? The latter should be the case, so you can ensure that your site is user-friendly.
Your online platform should be optimized for various device types - mobile, desktop,and tablet. It shouldn’t be easy to navigate on one platform and then a hassle on the other. Mobile and desktop platforms require much focus as they are the most used platforms today.
Most companies make the mistake of singling out service channels on various platforms. If you offer services across multiple online channels, the channels should be flexible with one another. This implies adopting an Omni-channel strategy.
For example, let's say you engage customers on Twitter and Facebook. Whatever is offered to the Twitter audience should also be provided to Facebook customers.
The customer journey across the platforms should be the same, so it doesn’t seem like one audience is getting more while the other is left out. Also, each channel should be able to direct customers to the main channel i.e. your business website.
How To Create A Positive Online CX
With an understanding of the areas involved in online CX, developing a working strategy should be a cakewalk process.
Here are some techniques you can apply to plot the online CX graph in a positive direction:
Offer Timely Service
Time is money. For a customer to enjoy your offered services, it should be fast and should not waste their time. Making service fast is not always easy, but if you can achieve it, you’ll be on top of your competitors.
Customers don't mind paying higher for a fast service rather than settling down with a sluggish one, no matter how small the price. Your service channels should be able to handle customers’ requests, questions, etc. promptly.
In terms of support, various mediums can be used like email, phone, and live chat. Capitalize on the ideal ones you can respond to at a faster rate and recommend customers to utilize them. If customers are to purchase items on your platform, the delivery time should be the fastest possible. Make a seamless online tracking channel so customers can track their items and know when to expect them.
Employ Customer-Centric Staff
Staff who relate to your customers should have the core qualities of an excellent customer service staff. This includes communication skills, patience, ability to handle customer requests, and more. A service staff that lacks any of the core qualities will not be able to facilitate positive customer service for your customers.
It is the work of the customer service staff to convert regular customers to loyal ones. Moreover, a loyal customer is more important than ten purchases made by one-off customers because they’ll always come back.
Employ quality staff to handle all your service channels - email, phone, live chat, social media, etc. Likewise, ensure the support staff skilled in making use of the assigned support channel.
Respond Timely To Issues And Questions
It would help if you did not fail to respond to customers’ requests. Leaving customer issues and questions unattended gives them the feeling that they are unimportant. To show that they do matter, you should reply even if you are in a tight situation.
First of all, you should not make fulfillment promises you can’t keep up with. If you can’t offer 24/7 support, don't say that you can and then leave customers’ requests pending for hours. You need to consider how your customers feel because if you were in their position, you wouldn’t be happy.
To ensure you don't miss any critical requests from customers, you should constantly check your mailbox most especially spam folders. For social media channels, their built-in notifications are enough to alert you. Also, you can make use of reputation management platforms to monitor your online reputation in real-time.
Don't Overuse Automation
Of course, we are in a digital age where there are several automation softwaresfor customer service management. While automation is a must-use for digital marketing, it should not be overused. Customers also want to interact with humans at some point or the other.
You can automate customer service by using live chat bots on your website or social media. However, this is only advised for straightforward requests and questions. Sometimes, customers may state their requests in a way AI chat bots fail to understand. In such cases, it may give wrong responses that can frustrate the customer.
Therefore, you should use automation rules to route requests that chat bots cannot handle to real individuals. Also, some channels might not need automation at all - like phone calls.
Always Listen To Customers
There’s a business saying that customers are always right. Although this does not apply to all cases, it implies that you should listen to your customers so as to understand what they’re saying. Whenever there is a service error or something similar on your service platforms, you’re likely to get notified first by a customer. If you do not listen to them, you will miss these helpful moments of feedback.
Lookout for feedback and reviews from customers on the goods/services you offer. From their complaints, you can figure out what needs to be improved to make their experience better.
Creating a positive online CX requires the right customer management strategies. It may take time, so you shouldn't expect to see results immediately.
First of all, understand the areas involved in online CX and implement the techniques. As a business owner, your customer base will grow every day, and you should never stop learning about them. That way, you can use better mediums of communication with your customers.
Sunday, May 17, 2020
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