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 need​​to ​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.

Gary Thompson
Owner, OnMerit Marketing

About the Author

Gary is OnMerit Marketing’s owner and blog writer. A Brand Designer and Internet Marketing Specialist, he has a passion for helping small businesses look great and grow their businesses online. Follow Gary on Twitter @onmerit, or Facebook: