Samuel Moore Walton, founder of the retail behemoth, Walmart, incidentally one of the biggest private employer in the world, says this about customer service-“The goal of a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary”. A timeless quote from a legend who epitomized business success and whose company is a beaming icon in providing the best customer experience.
There is such a huge competition today when selling online that e-commerce companies are fighting with each other by showering discounts and freebies to potential customers while burning investor’s cash all in the hope that the offers will keep customers loyal. In fact, it is a norm today wherein customers expect to be pampered and you cannot blame them for expecting so either. A study says that 71% of shoppers believe they will get a good deal online than when buying from a retail store.
When there is a huge frenzy for online shopping since you can buy everything from salt to robots, it is imperative that there will be many players trying to grab a share of the pie. This is why being one or two steps ahead of your competitor to put up a better customer experience on your website will put you in good stead.
9 strategies to enhance your Customer Experience on Website
Here are some effective ways to improve the customer experience on website, to encourage customers to spend more on your E-commerce portal:
1. Identify the Personality of Your Brand
Even if you are not a big company with the resources and wherewithal to spend on ingenious marketing, you still can come across as interesting and impress your customers if you put your creative juices to work. To identify the brand personality that you want to have, it makes sense for you to ask questions to self about your business. A few simple questions can give you the required inspiration to craft your brand personality.
Here are some questions that will help you identify your brand personality:
- What makes you special? Is there a particular ingredient or a feature that makes you a standout?
- What do you want customers to think about you as?
- Think about the products/services that you sell, is there a way you can find a unifying theme or mascot for it? Develop this idea to create a brand personality.
- Copy your competitors; there is nothing wrong about piggybacking on the ideas that your competitors work on. In fact, it is smart.
2. Make the Website Load Faster
Now this is one vital step to improve your customer experience on websites. A few extra seconds taken to load your website could mean catastrophic effects in terms of revenue. In fact, let us shock you with some numbers here, a one-second delay in page load time could mean the following:
- 11% fewer page views
- 7% loss in conversions
- 16% decrease in customer satisfaction
The above numbers are huge. In fact, it is catastrophic, as mentioned above in this article. What does this mean? This means there is very little time for you to impress your potential customers who will leave your store if you can’t grab their attention. Another study says that more than 47% of customers expect a website to load in less than 2 seconds and 40% will abandon a page if it takes 3 or more seconds, a statistic that is even scarier.
Here are some tips for you to speed up the load time:
Reduce the number of HTTP requests your site makes. When a webpage loads, it downloads different kinds of pages like images, scripts, etc. An HTTP request is made for each of these elements. Therefore, more the number of elements, higher the page load time. Reduce the number of requests and you are good to go.
Reduce your server response time: The amount of time your DNS lookup takes can affect how quickly your page loads. Use a DNS speed comparison test to get an idea of how fast your provider is. Search for DNS providers that offer higher speeds if yours is found lacking. Using a slower DNS increases the time it takes for your website to load.
3. Focus on Design Aspects
Content is king and design is the queen! Blend them in the best possible way to enhance your customer experience on website. Here’s why you should consider it.
You might have the most valuable content available on your website, but if it is housed in designs that can be considered mediocre at best, you would never inspire your customers to take action. Gone are the days where users expected the bare minimum when it came to user experience. People like hanging around in websites that are sleek, stylish and packs a punch. A small misspelling can spell doom for you if gone unchecked for a long time. Using the wrong color or having the wrong layout can make a lot of difference to the discerning eye. Adobe says that 38% people will stop browsing through a website if the layout is unattractive.
Look out for designs in the same niche as yours that come across as modern, takes almost zero time to load, has all the color schemes set, include modern design elements into the website and make sure they are only used to enhance the experience for the customer. All the standard best design practices should be followed to the T.
Some other pointers when it comes to the website design and layout that you need to keep in mind are:
- Make sure the company’s contact information is prominently visible in many places
- Your logo should be visible no matter which pages a potential customer is on
- Have a design that is easy on the eyes
- Make sure the colors used are not distracting but just backs up the content
- Encourage people to compare products
4. Make Navigating on the Site Easy and Smooth
Reduce unnecessary clicks on your website nor should you use features like auto-scrolling or random pop-ups which spoil the experience for your potential customer. Customers should find it incredibly easy to navigate in your website and be able to find anything they want in a jiffy.
Ko Marketing says that more than 47% of website visitors check out the company’s products/services page before exploring any other section. Your site’s usability goes a long way in helping your customers have a fantastic experience. A HubSpot survey says that more than 76% of the people surveyed opined that the most important factor in the design of a website according to them was-“The website makes it easy for me to find what I want”.
The ability to make navigation smooth is to organize the site and make as many categories as possible. The visitors will get upset if you make it difficult for them to traverse through the website and not help them find what they want. Remember one bad customer experience on website is capable of tarnishing growth.
5. Seduce Your Customers with Long-form Content
What is wrong with content that is only 500-700 words? Well, you can only pack so much information when you write fewer words. Give more to your customers in terms of content that will help them make a purchase decision. More customers will discover you through the content that you distribute on various platforms including your social media handles, newsletters, and other places.
There are several ways in which you can produce long-form content. It could be “how-to” tutorials, white papers, product comparison guides, guidebooks and more. You can add a lot of elements like pictures, videos, audio files, screengrabs and more which will make it more appealing to the end consumer.
Long-form content helps with search engine rankings and research says that a lot more people tend to share since it is packed with value. Search Engine Land says that the average word count for the top ten search results were articles that had a minimum of 2000 words. Long-form content will also have a higher number of backlinks. People are more likely to enjoy the long-form content as there is an opportunity to add truckloads of value to them vis-à-vis short-form content. Informative content means better user experience on website. People are more likely to share the content as they are highly informative. More shares mean more visibility to you thus putting you on a path to gain more customers.
6. Ensure that the Content on the Site is Top-notch
Even if it might not seem that way, customers are paying attention. A small misspelling might be enough for you to become the laughing stock among your ‘target market’ on social media. People are less likely to trust a company that makes basic mistakes including information or spelling. Although there are tools that you can use to mitigate any mistakes, it is better to hire a professional proofreader to meet your needs.
Check the grammar of your website copy as well. It has to be error-free and simple enough that it could be understood in a single reading. Break down the content you want to be written into simple ideas and then draft them accordingly. The website copy should not be bland either, the more interesting the better. In the content, tell your customers how your product can make a difference in their lives. Good content is undoubtedly a great way to improve customer experience on website and generate more sales.
7. Simplify the Check-out process
There is nothing more off-putting than complicated online transactions and believe it or not a major section of buyers abandon their cart. Well, can’t blame them. No one likes to wait on and on to complete a payment procedure when they can jump on to another site that offers hassle-free online transactions. But worry not. There are ways to smoothen your check-out process:
Ask for information that pertains to the process.
Avoid irrelevant forms or questions at all costs. Remember that your prime goal is to guide your customers through the check-out process. Your customers don’t have the whole day with them and an influx of irrelevant questions might irk them causing them to leave the page mid-way.
Provide quick solutions to fix errors
It’s natural to make errors while filling out forms. When such a thing takes place, do not make the sinister mistake of just notifying your customers. You can usher them through quick ways to fix the errors, like highlighting the particular field that has encountered an error. Let’s say, your customer wants to pay you through Paypal but your website does not have such an option. You lose a big point there. Do offer multiple payment options so that the check-out process is as breezy as it should be!
Sign-up forms should not affect workflow
A lot of e-commerce platforms come up with a sign-up form just before or why, even in between the check-out process. Such a step intrudes the workflow, leaving the customer annoyed and I needn’t specify what happens later. Let the customer complete the process as a guest and then, you could ask him/her to sign up.
Now, who would think the check-out process, one of the last steps towards buying a product would have such an impact on customer experience !
8. Enhance your Customer Service
Customer Service is, was and will be pivotal in providing an exemplary customer experience, be it on websites or stores; irrespective of the channel. Well, you don’t have to personally attend to them every single time as was the conventional way. Today, most of the customers prefer a self-service customer support system, where they can follow certain guidelines and troubleshoot on their own. This not only offloads your staff and reduce the overhead expenses on customer service but also saves the customer the trouble of waiting on the other end of the line for a representative to attend to him.
FAQs also facilitate self-service, which is why you should see to it that the particular segment is not bombarded with unwanted information. Make sure FAQs are to the point. But all this doesn’t entirely mean every customer would like that. There is a section that would still likes a personal touch and opt for phone calls, and emails. When that’s the case,you should train your team accordingly. They need to empathize with your customer, listen intently, learn more about their problem and be able to provide instant solutions.
9. Emphasize on Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are yet another way of improving your customer experience on website. According to studies, 88% of consumers rely on, and trust online reviews like they do personal recommendations. This whopping number rightfully indicates the significance that reviews have today. In fact, Google observes that pages with reviews that hold a keyword mention or the city name tends to have higher rankings in the local pack.
You need to make sure that reviews are placed tactically in the product page so that your customers can easily view it. By doing so, you are assisting your customers to make better buying decisions. And simultaneously, by providing a provision to post their reviews, customers feel valued, strengthens the credibility of your brand and this increases customer loyalty. What’s more? You get to understand your customers better. You can assess their likes, dislikes, requirements and more, thanks to the invaluable reviews.
Your online business will succeed if you make it a point to satisfy your customers with the best product and after-sales service available. But your customer experience on website while buying should also be smooth enough for the customer to come to your e-commerce shop over and over again. A research by Gartner says that more than 89% of companies compete on customer experience.
Your website is the primary source of information for your potential customers and in most cases, it is the point of sale as well. As a responsible business that wants to thrive, you want to ensure that the customers enjoy a visit to your online store. And if that is what you ultimately need then you need to put dedicated efforts to improve your customer experience on website.
The happier you keep your customers, they are going to come back to you and are going to recommend you to their friends as well in turn bringing you more customers. Simple things like responding poorly to customer service emails can make your customers snap at you as they expect the highest level of service possible, especially because your immediate competitor is ready to give it your customer.
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