No business can survive without customers, whether online or offline. Therefore, it is essential that you treat your customers properly and place a strong focus on creating the best customer experience (CX) possible.
If you run an online business, you can quickly increase your profitability by offering excellent customer service. A great customer experience can be a differentiator, ultimately positioning you ahead of your competitors, as customers will remain loyal to your brand.
However, it is a challenging process to provide quality customer service. It costs money, time and resources.
Nevertheless, there are several tactics that you can leverage to create a positive online customer experience and multiply your sales.
But, before we proceed, let’s discuss what customer experience (CX) really means and its importance for your business.
What Is Customer Experience And Why Is It Important?
In a simple definition, customer experience is how your customers feel during and after purchasing goods or services from your business. It involves interactions before, during and after they buy your goods or services.
Happy customers are far more likely to recommend your brand to their peers, which can lead to an increase in customers. A recent Temkin Group study indicated 77 percent of customers will recommend a business after experiencing a positive CX.
In a similar vein, businesses with a CX mindset increase their revenue from between 4 – 8 percent over that of their competitors.
And it doesn’t stop there. A HubSpot study revealed that 68 percent of buyers will pay more to purchase goods/services from a business with a reputation for positive CX.
From these stats, it is evident that customer service affects customers’ buying behavior in various ways.
Unfortunately, bad customer experience will result in unhappy customers. Those unhappy customers can dissuade other prospective buyers online from making purchases.
With all that in mind, let’s look at how you can create a positive online CX and multiply sales.
How to Create a Positive Online CX & Multiply Sales
1. Understand your customers
Before interacting with customers, you should make efforts to understand them and their expectations. This will enable you to satisfy their expectations.
To better understand your customers, you should firstly put yourself in their shoes. If you were the customer, what would you expect from the business?
Conversely, you should conduct online surveys to collect answers directly from your customers.
You can also make use of customer relationship management (CRM) software to understand your customers. This will enable you to collect data and information about your customers for better analysis and interpretation.
2. Provide quality service
Customers value unique quality services, which will, in turn, lead to more referrals for you via word of mouth.
To meet your customer’s expectations, you should provide them with quality goods and services and then go above and beyond to ensure their happiness. Consumers can spend up to 17 percent more with businesses that deliver excellent services.
One thing you can do to say “thanks” to your customers for being loyal is to give out discounts in the form of free products or services now and then. You won’t find too many customers (no matter what demographic) will pass on a free offering.
For e-commerce businesses on platforms like Shopify can integrate great features, taking their customer experience to the next level can lead to increase in online sales. Focus on making the buying experience simple and smooth and providing top-notch support.
3. Treat customers with respect
Showing respect to your customers is essential to providing a positive online CX. As a sales-driven business, you should treat every customer as a VIP. This will make them feel special and respond accordingly by making repeat orders.
There are simple things you can do to show respect to your customers online. While sending emails or text messages, address them adequately with “Sir/Ma’am” and use courtesy words like ‘Please,’ ‘Thank You,’ ‘You’re welcome’ when appropriate. And if you have a marketing automation platform in place, make sure to customize messages as much as possible by segmenting lists and using people’s names in emails.
If you run an online business, you are less likely to have a face-to-face encounter with your customers. Keep in mind, however, that offline connections are possible, so if (or when) such a situation arises, make sure you show equal respect in person as you would online.
4. Fulfill promises
Another way to create a positive online CX is to fulfill business promises to your customers. If you can’t fulfill business promises, avoid making them.
When are you open for business? When will a particular (unavailable) product be available? How long does it take for a specific product to be delivered? What answer you give to these questions, be sure to follow through.
These are sample questions customers may ask you, but when you don’t live up to your promises, the failure could result in bad online reviews.
Conversely, your customer support team should be aware of critical business information to respond accurately to interested customers. Take the time to provide your reps with all the info and resources they need to provide the best answers and best CX possible.
By fulfilling your business promises, you can quickly gain your customers’ trust, thereby improving your CX.
5. Handle complaints promptly
Whenever a customer encounters an issue while doing business with you, he/she is likely to complain. Besides, an American Express survey revealed that 40 percent of customers want companies to handle their complaints quickly.
Therefore, you should set up efficient channels for handling all kinds of customer complaints.
Conversely, you can handle customer complaints through live chat, phone, email, or social media platforms. However, you should select the most convenient medium(s) for you to provide quick responses. Make sure you understand your resources so you don’t overwhelm your team and fall short.
For delivery-based businesses, you should provide an efficient channel that will enable customers to return purchased items for a replacement or refund. This is essential in cases where customers are not satisfied with a purchased item.
6. Monitor customer reviews
A bad review or comment on social media or review sites can significantly harm your business’s reputation. Not to mention, some competitors may post hurtful comments about your business online to derail prospective customers. No matter how negative…do not react defensively. Always seek to provide a solution.
That said, you can take active measures against bad business comments by utilizing reputation monitoring tools. Popular examples include Google Alerts, Hootsuite, Reputology, ReviewPush, ReviewTrackers, and others.
With any of these tools, you will be able to tackle adverse comments and also address actual issues experienced by your current customers. That way, you will be able to maintain your brand’s reputation, thereby creating a positive online CX.
If you’re really serious about growing your business, you must work towards improving your customer experience.
Nevertheless, any of the tips mentioned above will help you to provide both your current or prospective customers with positive customer experience, thereby multiplying your sales.
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