Creating a positive customer experience for those who want to visit your website and, ideally, want to buy from you, is vital if you want to gain sales. If a potential customer is happy with the way they can interact with you, the service they get from you, and the goods themselves, they are sure to come back and they will also let others know about the positive experience they had with you, growing your business even more. Bad customer experience will have the opposite effect, and you can easily lose a lot of business because of it. Therefore, it is crucial that you can work on your customer experience and make it a good one. Here are some ways to do it.
Know Your Customers
If you are going to have any chance of providing your customers with an excellent experience when they come to you, you need to know who they are and what they want. This connection with your customers is what is going to make you stand apart from everyone else; knowing your customers well will also help you to sell to them in a way that will ensure they want to buy, so it is doubly important to know as much about them as possible.
The best way to do this is to carry out in-depth market research. You can do this yourself or hire a third party to do it, but the outcome must be that you know exactly who your target market is.
Understanding the likes and dislikes, the age, the gender, even the geographical location of your customers will help you to quickly and easily improve their customer experience. You would sell to an elderly person in a different way than you would sell to a teenager, for example. Or if your goods are more suited to children and you need to target parents, you would sell differently than if you wanted to sell to single professionals. Knowing your customers means you can tailor the experience to them.
Create An Emotional Connection
People like to buy from people, not from nameless and faceless corporations, so creating an emotional connection with your customers is important. They will be far more likely to enjoy the experience if they feel a connection – they will want to come back because they feel that they are understood and liked by you.
This means trying to find out the story behind the purchase if at all possible. Once you know why someone wants to buy something from you, you can more easily engage with them. Reasons for buying can be anything:
Buying for a loved one
Buying for a special occasion
Buying for themselves
Buying to fulfill a need
For example, they might be buying a gift for a loved one, in which case you can talk to them about their family, and about yours. Whatever the reason behind the purchase, try to find an emotional connection that you can talk about. It will make the experience much more memorable and positive.
Make It Easy
Whatever you can do to make the customer experience when buying from you not only a positive one but an easy one as well, you should do it. There are a number of different ways of going about this. For one thing, you should make your website as simple and clean as possible – people want to click onto it and understand at once what it is you do, and how to buy your products. They don’t need and won’t want anything more.
Adding client portals will also help and make things easier for a returning customer, particularly if you offer services as well as (or instead of) products, as you will be able to instantly and professionally share information with them. Of course, making the purchasing procedure on your website a simple thing to do will help immensely – the fewer clicks that need to be made, the better.
Focus on making the experience an easy one for your customers, and they will be happy to return, tell other people about you, and even give you a testimonial or review, which is extremely helpful in gaining new customers.
Ask For Customer Feedback
Something that should never be forgotten when it comes to making the customer experience in your business a more positive one is feedback. Unless you know what works and what doesn’t, there is no way for you to change things for the better and improve upon what you are doing. Being in amongst the business can mean that you are too close to what is happening to be able to see what needs to be changed objectively, which is why asking for customer feedback and – importantly – acting on it can be vital.
You can ask directly what your customer’s thoughts and feelings are about your business, your products, and the way you work, and you can also send out feedback forms. Not everyone is going to take the time to complete these, and you may want to add an incentive such as a money off coupon if they do because the information you can gather from these forms can be the difference between a good and bad customer experience.
Ask For Employee Feedback
As we’ve already seen, feedback from customers is hugely important and will allow you to get the customer experience just right. To add to that, it is also a good idea to speak to your employees and get their feedback too. They are the ones who are interacting directly with your customers, and they will be able to see what makes them happy and what doesn’t. These are things that the customers themselves might not mention, but a good employee will notice and report back to you.
Once you have a fuller picture, it will be a lot easier to put a customer experience plan into place.
Ask for feedback from your staff on a regular basis, and ensure that they can always get hold of you if they need to tell you something. You might want to call weekly staff meetings, or have a suggestion box in the break room, for example. The key is to act on the advice given when possible and when it makes sense to do so.