Would it surprise you to learn that 63% of all customer shopping journeys begin online?
If you examine your own shopping behavior, you may only be surprised that the number is that low! Whether you are ultimately selling your products or services offline or online, it is time to start implementing ways to improve your customer experience for online shoppers.
Here is a 12 ways to improve your customer experience for online shoppers as well as people who are just searching for products and services like yours.
1. Page Experience
Speed matters. Make sure your site, pages, images, videos and forms load fast.
A great way to check your page experience is by examining your performance against the core web vitals. You can test your pages in a lab environment and get tips and recommendations to improve your user experience.
We have all heard that a picture is worth of 1,000 words.
Make sure your images are relevant and engaging and conveying the right message.
Also ensure they are sized properly and load quickly.
Your navigation should be easy to understand, highly visible and clear.
Don’t just tell your customer to move on to “next” … tell them where they are going.
Just in case they want to change a previous input, make sure it is easy for them to go back as well.
First, you need to work hard to get authentic great reviews. Next, make sure those reviews are relevant to the customer’s experience and easy to take in along their journey.
Don’t only bury them at the bottom of your pages; put them right where it is most powerful for your customer decision process to help them say YES!
Although everything matters in designing your customer experience, your choice of colors brings your business to life and conveys great meaning. Choose your colors wisely!
Don’t be afraid to use white space to allow your pages to breathe … and be very thoughtful in your design, colors and placement of call to action buttons as well.
One thing we can count on is lots and lots and lots of words to explain our customer experience. Take the time to make your content shorter.
Less is really more when people are skimming and scanning on the web. Every business could benefit by choosing the words they use both on the phone and in person more precise and clear as well.
Every customer experience needs to be supported by answers to their frequently asked questions. But why are we so lazy that we dump all of our FAQ’s on a single page and force our customers to go looking for answers. Why not conveniently place the answers to their questions at this stage of their journey?
If you want to go even further with your frequently asked questions, why not make them “Sexy FAQ’s” as Ann Handley suggests in Content Rules? That would create a better customer experience than a boring FAQ accordion!
8. Live Chat
Speaking of frequently asked questions, there is no better place to answer them then LIVE! It is easy and inexpensive to add a chatbot to your website and have your most knowledgeable customer service people standing by to answer your customer questions in real time.
Yo will need to make a bigger investment to implement artificial intellligence (AI) chatbot technology, but that’s a great way to bring your FAQ’s to live and put them to work for your business 24/7. Integrating your AI chatbot with live customer service is another step up the ladder in providing a phenomenal customer experience.
9. Easy Checkout
When it is time to buy, that’s the last place you want any barriers in your customer experience.
Take the time to make your checkout process as simple and easy as possible, both for first-time and repeat customers.
You will also want to give deep thought to your omnichannel customer experience at this stage of your customer journey.
You simply can’t afford cart abandonment because your checking out on your phone is a night and day difference from checking out on a desktop.
10. Free Shipping
A great way to add value to your customer experience is to provide free shipping. It’s a benefit our friends at Amazon have trained us to expect, so don’t fight the standards set by that 800 pound gorilla!
You can always offer the opportunity to pay for expedited shipping. It’s a great way to delight the “I need it now” crowd and a profitable way to pay for all of those orders you shipped for free. Our friends at Amazon taught all of us this little tidbit too!
11. Easy Contact
Here’s the easiest way to send your customers sprinting to your competition – make it hard to contact you. Seriously, is there anything more frustrating than screaming at an automated attendant … “LIVE PERSON!“
No matter how customers contact you, invest in making it easy for them to reach you. Nothing destroys the customer experience more than not being able to get service when you need it.
A companion of easy contact is availability. That does not mean that you have to be available 24/7 and answer every call on the first ring. You simply need to give people confidence that when they reach out to you that they can be confident you will respond.
One easy example is creating a portal where customers can communicate with you privately about their issues, questions and concerns. As long as they are confident, based on your actions, that you will respond promptly, most people are more than comfortable messaging inside the portal knowing someone will get back to them.