“Customer experience isn’t an expense. Managing customer experience bolsters your brand.” – Stan Phelps
73% of people point to customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions.
Customer experience (CX) covers the entire journey of a customer's interactions with a brand, right from discovering & researching the product, then purchasing, using, and finally reviewing it. This important metric gives you a concise view about how people feel about a brand based on their interaction and experience with every touchpoint.
Providing the best customer experience is how you gain loyal customers, which are the backbone of any retail business to survive. Whether your customers are getting in touch with a brand using a physical store, website or a social media channel, customers expect a consistent and quality experience wherever they go.
A clear and consistent customer experience should be maintained across all platforms, regardless of the communication channel preferred by the customer. The solution is omnichannel customer service, which manages a brand's visibility by integrating text, social media, email, and instant messaging systems.
Here are some tried-and-tested ways to improve omnichannel consumer experience:
1. Create suitable content<digit>1<digit>
“Remember that the best content attracts, informs, and engages your audience, while also promoting your brand” — Bryson Runser
To define a suitable content, retail businesses need to understand:
- Who are the customers?
- What are their areas of interest?
- What are their preferred products?
- Where do they prefer to shop?
- Challenges with online/offline shopping
- How do the customers interact with the brand?
Answers to these are crucial for a brand to chart out clear objectives for its content. Brands can then convey a message that interests, educates & engages their audience. The message or content can be in interesting forms like a blog, video, product description, FAQs, and how consumers would benefit using them.
When it comes to connecting with the audiences on social media channels, it is recommended to personalize & develop unique content for each channel to appeal to their followers.
What kind of content performs exceptionally well on social media channels<digit>2<digit>?
Facebook has the highest organic engagements on video posts.
High quality images, short form & long form video content perform brilliantly on Instagram.
Twitter is perfect for sharing ideas, asking questions, creating polls, and promoting events & web content.
Pinterest uses a pin that includes an image, infographic or video that makes it a great channel to drive traffic to your website.
YouTube is used to watch billions of hours of vlogs, live streams, recipes, educational videos and other video content.
Despite the changes in formats across channels and devices, brands should strive to maintain a consistent message throughout for a consistent consumer experience.
2. Provide a consistent experience through all channels
An important research study says that companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, compared with the 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies.
Smartphones account for 69% of retail site visits globally and almost 24% of the top 1 million popular websites in the world are not mobile friendly. People often experience problems with mobile sites like incorrect layout, difficulty in navigation and viewing content.
More and more customers desire easy access to products, services and customer support using their smartphones. So, make sure the brand website is mobile friendly and the customer journey is seamless.
Consumers prefer a unified customer support across all channels for a brand. Brands must make sure the consumers are getting the same experience in reaching out to the customer support on whichever platform they chose. It is important for the brands to train its team in a manner that ensures coherent service for the customers.
Retail brands must also make sure that the information accessible on any channel remains updated and consistent even if the customer switches the channel, such as, coming to the brand website from an email, SMS text or social media weblink. If the information differs on different channels, customers distrust the brand and the credibility of the channels.
3. Use social media to build personal communication with customers
A crucial data from Sprout Social Index lists down the actions taken by consumers when they follow brands on different social media channels. Here are some critical findings:
- 91% consumers visit the brand website/app
- 90% buy from the brand
- 86% visit the brands physical store
- 85% buy from that brand more often
- 76% reach out for customer support
- 76% read the brand’s blog or site content
- 73% engage with that brand on social
The data shows that new customers acquired from social media are highly responsive, active and offer a big opportunity for businesses to boost retail sales. This is a strong case for retailers looking for an ideal platform for developing deep bonds with the end customer.
Social media is the only spot on the internet where customers get to interact with the brands personally. Brands must leverage it to build its visibility and generate a buzz.
To have a healthy relationship with their customers, brands must actively respond to and engage with customer queries in a timely manner as quick responses result in more loyal customers.
4. Map your customer journey
Knowing the end-to-end customer journey helps a brand to provide the best shopping experience.
Creating a customer journey strategy begins with charting the consumer's path to purchase a product. This process may become complicated as customers interact with the brands using numerous touchpoints like websites, live chat, chatbots, events, social media, phone calls, product demos and a lot more.
Despite these interactions, customers rarely make a purchase after one interaction. They search an average of 6 times before making an actual purchase.
Applying analytics to the customer journey can help business better understand customer interaction and reveal interesting details like:
- Why have customers increased shopping frequency on some touchpoints while neglecting the others?
- What precise efforts can be made to optimise the business processes for reducing customer dissatisfaction, eliminate the process gaps, and constantly nudge the clients to complete the shopping process?
Benefits of mapping customer journey<digit>3<digit>
Predict customer behaviour: Customer journey maps help in forecasting buyer behaviour as they progress through the sales funnel. You can observe their behavioural patterns and predict which ones are more likely to convert.
Cost Reduction: Mapping the journey eventually cuts down the cost of customer service. Brands that manage customer journeys grow at a rate of 21% year over year, while those that do not experience a 2.2% drop.
Boost Sales: Such brands have an average sales cycle that is 18 times faster with 56% more revenue from upselling and cross-selling efforts.
Today's market is more competitive than ever and customer experience is a critical component to retail business. With the growing trend of omnichannel customer expectations, it is important for retailers to learn how to improve the customer experience from start to finish.
The tips offered in this blog help you create a better customer experience and gain a competitive edge over your competitors.