Five Strategies to Improve Customer Experience on Your Website
The idea of customer experience is nothing new for most of us, especially as it’s become an incredibly powerful way for businesses to create a competitive advantage.
The easiest way to define customer experience (CX) is to think of every interaction that someone has with your business. Each one of those touchpoints makes up their overall customer experience.
The customer’s experience often starts with someone checking out your website and then continues throughout the entirety of their dealings with your business. You need to ensure that customers have the best experience possible regardless of where they’re interacting with your brand, meaning you can’t afford to overlook your website in your CX plans.
Customer Service Versus Customer Experience:
What’s The Difference?
Although they sort of sound the same, customer service and customer experience are two separate things.
Customer service is a transactional action. It’s an individual experience where your employees are providing service to a customer for a specific moment. Once that moment is over, the transaction is done.
Customer experience is all of the touchpoints a customer has when dealing with your business. It includes all of your marketing, packaging, ads, product and service and your website.
When working on an overarching CX strategy, all facets of your business and how they connect with a current or potential customer have to be examined.
More than ever, the difference between customer service and CX matters. Consumers are no longer looking at just a “one and done” type relationship, and they have expectations about their overall experience from start to finish. Seeing a friendly face and having a positive moment with an employee at the register may leave a good impression, but everything before and after that one transaction impacts their choice to do business with you again.
With information being only a few clicks away, customers are doing their research long before you have the opportunity to actively engage with them. In many cases first interaction with your business will happen online, so that first impression of your brand via your website is critical.
Here are five strategies to help improve customer experience on your website:
#1. Delivering Ongoing Value to Visitors
Many times we look at our website as a static online version of a brochure. Your website needs to do much, much more than provide basic information.
The goal of your website isn’t just to inform, but to deliver ongoing value to visitors. One of the best ways to do this is by integrating email marketing into your website.
An easy way to engage your site visitors is by offering what’s called an email opt-in. Your opt-in is a way to gather email addresses for future correspondence, and in return, you offer something useful and relevant, like a checklist, quickstart guide or even a coupon related to your business.
After the opt-in you may want to consider having a series of emails that provides your new subscriber with valuable information while building the know, like and trust factor so they feel confident spending their money with you.
Finally, once you have a list of email subscribers, consider sending out a newsletter or email at a regular interval. This is the perfect way to stay connected with your customer base and keep them engaged with what’s happening in your business.
#2. Offer Self-Service Options
One of the biggest frustrations visitors have with websites is not being able to find the details or information they need. This is where self-service options can help enhance your CX.
A good example of a self-service option is adding a frequently asked questions page to your site. By providing this information, your would-be or existing customers have the ability to get information as they need it.
Keep in mind with any self-serve option that you need to ensure information isn’t incomplete, unclear or downright confusing. (This is a surefire way to create frustration and possibly turn a potential customer away from your site.)
To ensure your self-service resources are as comprehensive as possible, engage people from all areas of your company to provide feedback.
Different customer touchpoints will have different issues, so making sure that these questions and concerns are ALL addressed in one place is critical.
#3. Have a Social Media Strategy
Whether you’re promoting your business on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter, when it comes to social media, you needto be paying attention. The people on your company’s social media are talking, sharing and even promoting your business to potential customers.
What they’re saying matters, and part of your CX strategy should involve monitoring what is being said and ensuring people are getting responses.
For example, Facebook tracks how quickly a Business page responds to messages and posts that information on your page. From a consumer’s perspective, you’re going to be more likely to choose the organization that responds in a timely manner.
Look at social media as an extension of your website and part of your overall CX, and plan accordingly.
#4. Provide Consistent Support Across All Channels
If your customers have more than one option for how to interact with your business, consistency is a must. A common complaint from consumers is that their experience is different depending on which channel they use.
As an organization, the goal should be to create consistency between all of your channels.
What visitors see on your website and what they see elsewhere (like on social media or your printed materials) should have a common look and feel.
Color schemes, fonts, imagery and style of writing are all things that help demonstrate consistency, which means your CX will translate across all of your platforms.
#5. Ensure Your Website is Mobile Optimized
It’s no surprise that in a world where just about everyone has a smartphone there’s an expectation that your website performs well on a mobile device.
When customers navigate to your site from their phone they need the experience to be seamless and not be stuck with a site that doesn’t work on mobile. How your website displays on a smartphone can have a drastic impact on their overall experience and perception of your business.
If your site is older and not mobile-friendly it may be time for a refresh, and if your site is newer, it may need an update to stay abreast of mobile advancements.
Your website is a key part of your overall CX and needs to be treated as such. Realistically, it may not be feasible to adopt and implement every one of these strategies at once, but starting with just one can have a significant impact on your overall customer experience.