Your Customers Deserve More Than “Good Enough”
Improving Customer Experience for the New, Attuned Customer
Now that most businesses have an online presence, they’ve also realized how important it is to adopt a customer experience mindset. There are many benefits to going online and getting information about a product or service. Similarly, online shopping has many benefits too.
When you switch to online shopping, you don’t have to drive through traffic or terrible weather conditions. You don’t have to hunt for the exact size and color you want, only to find that it’s unavailable in the store. And you don’t have to stand in line to make payments. Shopping online makes a customer’s life a lot easier.
And even if the customer is only going online to get information about the product and not actually shopping, this is still an important service that they’re able to receive via the company’s website. Plus, going online now enables people to look at reviews that other people have written about a product, service or company and this is also valuable information to many people.
So if you want to add value to the lives of your customers, you need to make sure that you give them a good experience when they come to your website, blog and social media pages. Your marketing attempts should be people-focused. You need to recognize the thoughts and emotions going through the minds of your potential customers. And you need to make sure that these thoughts and emotions are positive in nature, at least if you want to convert more viewers into customers.
Improving Customer Experience: Information, Content, Images
What can you do in order to improve customer experience? What would help to convert a viewer of your website into a customer? There are many options. The most obvious one is to have a well-organized website where the customer will be able to find the information they are looking for. You can also work on your images and content to give your customer what they’re looking for.
- Covering the Basics: Usually, the customer only needs basic information about a product. But you’d be surprised how many companies make it quite difficult to find. When you work at a company making a certain product or providing a certain service, the specs of that product or service become second nature to you. So you may not even realize that a customer needs to be given all this information.
- Informational, Accessible Content: You can start with the basics. Figure out what the customer wants to know. Do a survey. It doesn’t have to be a survey on a grand scale; it can just include a few people. Get some feedback and then use it to write your website content. Also make sure that your content is written in an accessible manner so that it will be understood by the majority of people.
- Improving Visual Experience: Images can also do a lot to improve customer experience. Most people respond well to clear, bright, beautiful images. Of course, your images have to be relevant to your business. So you can’t post an image of a beach when you’re selling real estate (unless the real estate is located on a beach). You can use images of your products and people using your products.
- PayPal and Customer Experience: For example, consider the images used by PayPal. Now, PayPal provides an intangible service. How do you portray the transfer of money in images? PayPal solves this problem by just showing you how people are adding value to their lives with money—by buying things that they enjoy or by buying gifts for others. Each image shows people smiling. And the people portrayed belong to various races and cultures, not just one, which makes them more relatable. The result is a greatly improved customer experience.
Adding the Personal Touch via Live Chat
Going online to get information is very convenient. So is online shopping. However, if there’s one thing missing in the online experience, it’s the personal touch. Often, you can’t ask anyone for help. If you need the answer to a question, you have to refer to generic FAQs or send an email which it will take quite some time for the company to answer. This can lead to a drop in customer experience.
However, the problem is rectified by using live chat. It’s almost the same thing as talking to someone. And since most people are used to typing these days, on their keyboards as well as their phones, live chat becomes as convenient, if not more so, than actually talking to someone over the phone.
The live chat prompt which shows up in a corner of the screen is unobtrusive. And assuming that the customer service representative on the other end of the line knows their stuff, this can help to improve customer experience greatly. You can get answers to all your questions right away, without having to go through FAQs and Site Maps. Plus, the answer is personalized; it addresses the exact question that the customer has, and not generic questions that other customers might have posed in the past.
This can be helpful when the customer is still making up their mind about buying the product as well as later on, if they’re having any issues using the product. So customer experience is enhanced throughout the process of buying, owning and using the product. And more and more companies are becoming conscious of the fact that they need to keep track of the customer’s experience throughout the product’s lifetime, if they want to have repeat customers, referrals etc.
Fulfilling the Needs of the Attuned Customer
Today, a company can no longer afford to aim for “good enough,” not just because their competitors may be aiming higher but also because customers have become more savvy. There’s a difference between content which is promotional and content that is informational and customers have come to prefer the latter. This is especially true of customers who are passionate about certain products or services.
Customers have always wanted products and services that genuinely fulfill their needs. The difference is that they’ve learned to distinguish between companies which are genuinely trying to fulfill their needs and companies which are just trying to turn a profit. In other words, they’ve become more attuned to sincerity.
So the solution is not just to convince them that you’re interested in improving their experience but to give them what you promise as well. Working a little harder to improve customer experience won’t just give you a grateful customer in the short term; it will help to build your company reputation as well.