The customer experience (CX) is becoming a growing concern for online businesses since there is no mistaking the fact that good customer experience keeps bringing more customers to your store.
For business owners, providing an excellent customer experience runs in tandem with the product quality itself. Leading brands the world over are utilizing customer experience strategies to drive more customers, ensure retention, and get more referrals to their stores.
In 2017, Gartner reported that 81% of companies would compete based on Customer Experience (CX). A year later, Accenture said that 87% of companies believe that traditional experiences are no longer satisfactory to customers. And just last year, Gartner surveyed 244 organizations worldwide, 75% out of whom they found had increased their CX spending in the previous year.
The CX phenomenon is in full swing. The question is, how can you utilize that potential for your business in 2020? Well, keep on reading, and you’ll find out.
Hacking the Customer Experience: 7 Important Strategies You Need to Implement
The modern CX strategy is complicated yet exciting.
In direct contrast to the traditional CX models, where the focus was primarily geared towards singular purchasing channels, modern CX is an interplay of multiple channels.
When implemented correctly, a good CX strategy is a combination of multiple channels, ranging from your brick and mortar establishment, your eCommerce platform, to the mobile versions of said platforms, and your social media presence.
That said, here are some of the best ways to improve CX for your store in 2020.
1.Ensure Transparency with Data Collection and Security
Customer data is the main pillar around which most CX strategies revolve.
Successful collection and analysis of data helps you segment and target your audience more effectively. But while useful, the data collection process has its share of ethical considerations that you need to take into account.
According to Parks Associate, 79% of consumers aren’t that keen to share their personal data online. The primary culprit behind it being the myriad of news about cybersecurity breaches.
Digital protection is a major issue for customers the world over. Your CX strategy is going to suffer if you do not convince customers of your legitimacy and give them the peace of mind to purchase from your store.
To do that, you need to be as transparent with your customers as possible. Providing them with regular security updates, solving security issues related to your business, and making the data collection process optional to them can go a long way in convincing your customers of their security.
Additional Reading: How to Secure Your Business from Cyber Attacks
2.The Dynamic Duo: Self-Service and Customer Experience
There is no denying the fact that self-service is here to stay. According to a survey conducted by Nuance, it was shown that 75% of customers give preference to self-help. The same survey also found that 67% of them focus on using agent-support to solve them.
Pretty close figures, but self-service took the lead. The reasoning behind this is simple. Self-service gives users more control over their decisions. Anything from an FAQ section to knowledge-bases articles, video content, blog content, and the like can prove beneficial to providing an efficient, self-serving CX.
If you have employed live chat customer service representatives, don’t try to let go of them. They are an essential complement to your self-service strategies. If the customer faces a problem that the self-help cannot solve, they can always have the alternative of asking a customer support agent for help.
Either way, self-service not only raises customer satisfaction but also alleviates several pain points for customer-facing employees who, in turn, can refer customers to the self-help material.
3.Subscription Modelling as A Core Part of Customer Experience
For small to medium-sized businesses, a subscription-based business model can help you gain more customers and visibility for their brand. It also helps you create a database that is ready to be targeted at any time.
If your product quality is good, and customers are coming to buy your products on a recurring basis, then integrating a subscription-model to your store can prove beneficial in your customer retention efforts as well.
Subscription can also prove beneficial to your CX strategy. The more convenient it is to buy from a store, the more customers will purchase from it.
If your business utilizes the WordPress CMS, WooCommerce Subscriptions is a good choice for a subscription plugin that can help you get up and running in no time. If you want to add additional functionality to that plugin, then there are also plugins available like Subscriptions Add-On for WooCommerce.
4.Omni-Channel Strategies and The Impact of Influencer Marketing for Customer Experience
This strategy applies to B2B organizations looking to create a multichannel strategy to fire-up sales and boost the Customer Experience for their business. Forrester Research recommends businesses to create a multichannel model that focuses on a combination of social media marketing and influencing, the regular product ordering channels, and the subscription models mentioned in the previous strategy.
As far as the influencers are concerned, it is a broad category of building business relationships that encompass affiliate agents, strategic alliances, brand advocacy, referrals, and more.
An important factor in this entire equation is selecting the right channel through which you can gain more customers. For some influencer, marketing might not work, and they might have to rely on affiliate channels to sell their products. Some might have to bank on referrals. There are plenty of ways you can go about creating a multichannel strategy for your business.
Regardless of the channels, you select, what’s important is that through such strategies, you will be getting more customers to your business. From there, it’s up to you to ensure that the product quality is good enough to enable those customers to keep coming back.
5.Identifying Important Customer Experience Metrics for Your Business
Analyzing the right metrics can prove extremely beneficial for the data analysis of your CX activities. Factors such as CX quality, best-performing channels, and funnel mapping can help you gain significant insights on the customer experience and help improve it for the future.
But the metrics aren’t just restricted to the ones we have talked about here. Depending on your business, there are plenty of metrics you can choose from. It could be a self-made KPI, churn rates, retention rates, or customer efforts score.
If you can’t find one that gives you the insights, you can always conduct A/B tests to see which one fits best.
6.Combining AI with Marketing: Future-Proofing Your Customer Experience
AI is the revolutionary technology that’s helped shape business and marketing for the better. Marketers can utilize the power of AI in tandem with customer data to gain more specific insights, data patterns, and outliers. Equipped with such data, they can significantly redefine the CX for their respective brands and businesses.
With AI being the dynamic technology that it has become, they can even utilize that rich, real-time data of customers and develop on-the-spot strategies to take the right course of action.
Because let’s face the facts: all the data that you can gain from customers has its place in developing an effective CX strategy. But it more or less plays second-fiddle to the massive power of AI-generated customer data.
7.Using Hyper-Personalization to Improve the Customer Experience
The days of providing a generic customer experience are over. Though that doesn’t hold true for modern times since it’s been over for a while now. But there are some who still prefer to stick with the traditional models rather than embracing the future.
A survey by Accenture found that 75% of consumers are more inclined to buy a product from a company if the said company knows their name, preferences, and shows them products based on their purchase history.
We are in the era where companies like Amazon, Netflix, among others, are using terms like “Also Recommended” and “You Would Also Like” to gently push you towards products that are closer to our interest.
In a world dominated by preference-based product/service providers, the traditional model can barely shine.
Such personalization is akin to a handshake you receive from your local store owner when you visit their store. In terms of modern business practices, having such functionality in your store is very beneficial since it makes the user feel that the business cares for them and is looking out for their best interest.
What to Take Away from This Article?
CX is definitely having its moment in 2020. With all that we’ve discussed above, let’s boil the article down to a few key takeaways.
- Make data privacy an important business concern and take the essential steps to ensure the security of your customers’ data
- Self-service is a modern business consideration. Make it a reality for your business
- Subscription modeling promises return customers and improved CX
- For B2B, a multichannel strategy can reap significant benefits
- Utilize the power of AI in marketing
- Identify the major CX success metrics for your business.
- Hyper personalization with CX is the way into the future.
And there you have it, folks! All the strategies neatly bundled into seven important takeaways. All of the recommendations we’ve talked about in this article are doorstep into the future. We hope that this article will help you pave your way into making your business future proof for now.