Businesses that seek to improve customer experience (CX) are poised for success. This kind of customer-centric mentality can drive new business, boost customer retention rates, and create new benchmarks for goals. CX will even impact your bottom line, as numbers show that 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better experience.
Customer experience comes into play along each step of the customer journey. This means that customer experience encompasses almost every customer touchpoint. CX includes customer service, website responsiveness, the checkout process, mobile friendliness, and any other way in which your customers interact with your business.
This article is your guide on how to improve customer experience in 2021. From understanding the basics and importance to identifying poor CX to strategies to improve customer experience, get the information you need to deliver an outstanding experience to your customers with each interaction.
What Is Customer Experience?
In the most basic terms, customer experience refers to anything that might influence a customer’s feelings and perceptions about a business. It is the sum of all interactions between the brand and the consumer and is essential at every step along the customer journey.
This means that customer experience is relevant in every interaction. Businesses and consumers have all kinds of ways to connect in 2021. You’ll find that customer experience often includes:
Visits to brick-and-mortar stores
Web chat or text messaging
Ads and marketing endeavors
A variety of factors encompass customer experience. This can include your business’s culture and people, your products and services, how you share information, all channels and touchpoints, as well as the technology you use.
All this means that customer experience is everywhere and is extremely important to your business or brand’s success.
Why Is Customer Experience Important?
There are a number of reasons why customer experience is important, but it all boils down to one basic reason: Customer experience impacts your bottom line. In fact, 75% of consumers say they are willing to spend more when a company provides a good customer experience.
Let’s look at a few things providing your customers with a good experience can do for your business.
- ### Boost conversions
It’s a fact — good CX boosts conversions. Providing your customers with a fully optimized customer experience makes it easy for them to move down the sales funnel. There are no bottlenecks in the process, consumers will feel confident sharing information, and conversions come easily. CX drives competitive advantage.
- ### Foster customer loyalty
More than half (52%) of consumers indicate they are willing to go out of their way to do business with brands to which they feel loyal. CX is what fosters that feeling, as customers that have a good experience are likely to return, refer your business to friends, and mention your business on social media.
- ### Improve client retention
Businesses with a solid CX strategy see greater retention rates and spend less time and money attracting new customers. Loyal customers are often “power customers,” and this means customer retention is a major course of revenue and growth for most businesses and brands. In fact, a 5% increase in customer retention more than doubles revenue in some industries.
What Are Examples of a Poor Customer Experience?
One way to improve the customer experience is to identify areas that you might need to correct. You’ll find that examples of a poor customer experience come in all shapes and sizes, but there are a few that stand out more than others.
Examples of a poor customer experience can include customer frustrations like:
Long wait times in queues
Poor online user experience
Agents who fail to understand your customer’s needs
Broken pages and links on a website
Unresolved questions and issues
Slow shipping and lack of shipping options
Overly automated interactions without human touch
Service that doesn’t feel individualized
Lack of payment options
Do any of the stress points above apply to your business? Don’t fret. It is possible to correct course and improve customer experience. You could start reaping the benefits immediately when you improve the customer experience.
How to Improve Customer Experience
There are many ways to improve the customer experience. Your business will likely find that a solid customer experience strategy will boost customer satisfaction while reducing churn and increasing revenue.
Let’s look at 11 strategies to keep in mind when thinking about how to improve customer experience.
Treat your employees well
Fact: Happy employees provide a better customer experience. Many studies have confirmed that employees who are treated well are more efficient, creative, and productive than those who are dissatisfied with their employer.
This means that happy employees are more equipped to provide a better customer experience. Happy employees are more likely to be engaged and consumer-focused, which is very likely to pay off in terms of happier customers.
You can improve the customer experience by fostering a positive and inclusive workplace culture for your employees. You’ll likely see less employee turnover and increased employee dedication to customer success.
Give employees the right tools
Technology plays a significant role in managing customer engagement.
This means it is crucial to equip your staff with the tools needed for success. The right customer engagement tools might include chat, knowledge bases, surveys, email marketing, social media, loyalty programs, and many other channels for consumer success.
Chatbots are a customer engagement tool that can support your CX team. By simulating human conversations with AI, chatbots can alleviate some stress on your employees. Chatbots can provide service at all hours, increase customer satisfaction, upsell customers, and even boost conversion rates.
Chatbots can handle simple customer service tasks when live agents are unavailable. Source
Offer omnichannel support
Your customers are everywhere. One way to improve customer experience is to meet them where they are. Omnichannel support lets you provide a seamless platform for selling and communicating with customers right where they need you.
Omnichannel support integrates all channels of communication to provide a consistent, connected, and improved customer experience. It will allow your sales, support, and marketing teams to easily access your customers’ information and pick things up right where they left off – no matter whether that was with a chatbot on your website or Facebook messenger, a live agent on the phone, or even an email.
Omnichannel support can help customers at any stage of the buying journey. It can even be especially useful during the checkout process and can prevent abandoned shopping carts.
JivoChat’s interface for setting up omnichannel communication. Source
Map the customer journey
There are multiple customer touchpoints across the customer journey. A touchpoint occurs at every interaction your brand has with a customer or potential customer. Each of these touchpoints is an opportunity to improve the customer experience.
Map the customer journey and be aware of each touchpoint to improve customer experience. Your map should include pre-purchase touchpoints like online ads or referrals, as well as touchpoints during a purchase, and post-purchase touchpoints.
You can use the information gained by mapping the customer journey to retain customers, drive purchases, and build loyalty to your brand. Doing so will help improve the customer experience.
Offer personalized experiences
You can improve customer experience by offering personalized content, recommendations, and offers. These individualized encounters can make customers feel exclusively catered to and increase their feelings of loyalty to your business.
Take advantage of the benefits of offering personalized experiences by using the data you collect from customer interactions. Consider greeting customers by name in chat interactions and marketing emails. Has a customer clicked on the same item seven times, but hasn’t made a purchase? Consider sending a personalized offer discount code to seal the deal.
JivoChat’s intelligence helps live agents identify site visitors immediately and offer personalized experiences. Source
Provide a knowledge base
Today’s customers are information-savvy and self-motivated. In many cases, customers prefer to find answers themselves rather than reach out to an agent. In fact, 66% of consumers prefer to use self-service tools when seeking information.
You can accommodate the preferences of this majority by providing a knowledge base. A knowledge base is a collection of information and tutorials that serves as a helpful guide and solves common issues.
Giving your consumers a knowledge base empowers them to seek assistance in their preferred medium and is a great way to improve the customer experience.
Ask customers for feedback
The feedback you get from customers speaks volumes about your business. Asking for feedback gives you information about how to improve the customer experience, and feedback carries a lot of weight with other consumers. By the numbers, 84% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
You might consider asking customers for feedback by SMS, live chat, on receipts and invoices, or via email. Making it easy for customers to share their thoughts can inspire others to do business with your brand. Following up on these reviews can give you a chance to further build your brand and improve the customer experience along the way.
Sometimes it is best to let the data do the talking. Reviewing analytics can show you the weak points in your sales funnel and let you improve customer experience at the same time.
Data from your CRM can let you analyze lost deals to show where the roadblock occurred. You can use this data to optimize and remove bottlenecks. Data from Google Analytics and similar e-commerce tracking tools can help you identify which pages aren’t performing well and can be improved.
Letting the numbers tell the story provides an accurate and trackable way to improve the customer experience.
JivoChat CRM insights. Source
Reward loyal customers
Repeat customers are likely your brand’s bread and butter. Not only is it easier to retain a customer than find a new one, but loyal customers tend to spend more.
How much does customer loyalty pay off? Studies show that customers spend 67% more after doing business with a company for three years than they did in the first six months of the business relationship.
You can reward loyal customers by providing a loyalty or points program, offering a sneak peek at a new product feature before launch, or even holding a flash sale for your most loyal consumers.
Conduct a UX audit
Your brand’s website sells your products and services to a world of online consumers. You can improve the customer experience by making sure your website is attractive, functions well, and keeps your business ahead of competitors.
Conduct a UX audit to look at site performance, end-user interaction, and other essential features. Make sure all pages load correctly, navigation is logical, and the right kind of content is in the right place. Consider consulting with stakeholders, soliciting customer feedback, checking analytics, and reviewing usability standards during your audit.
Great UX is great CX, and both hinge on a great experience.
Improve your checkout process
A smooth checkout process is essential to any online sale. Digital cart abandonment is a big deal, as up to 70% of customers leave their carts without making a purchase. You can improve customer experience by making the checkout process as easy and hassle-free as possible.
Consider improving the checkout process by being transparent about shipping, removing distractions, only asking for the most essential information, using trust badges and seals, and implementing other best practices.
How Will You Improve Customer Experience?
Improving customer experience is improving your bottom line. Even if your service or product is a great fit for a particular consumer, poor CX could stop the sale and send customers away.
Thankfully, there are many ways your brand can improve customer experience. Some ways to improve offer a quick fix; others take time for analysis and implementation.
Looking for an immediate way to improve customer experience? Consider opting for an omnichannel support solution. JivoChat is an omnichannel tool that you can install in minutes. This means you’ll be able to improve CX across platforms, collect feedback, get actionable data, and increase conversions with a robust and diverse tool.
Ready to see how JivoChat can go to work for you? Improve customer experience and get down to business with a strategic omnichannel tool on your side. Create a free account today.