For today’s online customers, delivering exceptional service is not an option. Thanks to ecommerce businesses like Amazon and Uber, both of which have raised the bar for delivering superior customer service, it is an expectation.
These companies have been at the forefront of creating a customer-centric market place, a market place which grants customers more leverage than ever before. They have mastered the ability to deliver consistently memorable experiences that drive sales, increase revenue and, of course, inspire long-term customer loyalty.
Of course, the breadth of customer experience capabilities available to Amazon and Uber are out of reach for many ecommerce businesses. Nevertheless, it is still relatively easy to design the sort of online experience today’s online customers have come to expect. By making a few smart, practical decisions about the customer experience you deliver, there is no question you can create a desirable experience that will attract customers, making your business more competitive.
3 Ways to Create Happy Customers
In today’s marketplace, winning over customers is tough, so how can a smaller online business compete with the giants? The following are 3 practical solutions smaller sites can make use of to create competitive, lasting, and profitable customer relationships.
1/ Be proactive, not reactive
Businesses which rely on reactive customer service are at a huge disadvantage, always solving problems on the fly, seemingly unable to anticipate what customers want or need.
The most efficient way to become proactive is to establish a regular, ongoing dialogue with customers. The more feedback a business has, the better positioned it will be to resolve potential pain points and meet future needs. Soliciting regular feedback not only demonstrates to customers that they are important but also that the business is invested in delivering an experience with the least amount of friction.
Customers will appreciate the effort. According to one study, 87% of customers say the number one way to win their loyalty is by offering proactive customer support. Thanks to feedback gathered via simple online surveys, companies can evaluate what customers most need, want, and value – all the information they must have to deliver a tailored experienced sure to impress.
2/ Know the power of personalization
Customers absolutely love the highly personalized experience they receive from Amazon and now expect a similar experience from every online store they chose to do business with. And businesses which can deliver this experience are seeing the pay off with a 45% increase in customer spending.
In order to provide a high level of relevant, tailored service, businesses must make use of customer insights gathered from a variety of channels. In fact, according to 29% of marketers, effective personalization requires the ability to draw customer knowledge from a variety of channels. For many marketers, the key to successful personalization is the ability to make use of an omnichannel approach that's ready to engage customers with the right content via the right channel at the right time.
Ultimately, the more connected a business is to its customers, their habits, and their needs, the better positioned it is to deliver an experience which drives lasting customer satisfaction and loyalty.
3/ Unify the customer experience across all channels
Customers are interacting with online businesses on both desktop and mobile devices which can complicate the process of collecting and unifying customer information. In fact, 54% of marketers cite not having a single view of customers across channels as the biggest obstacle to creating a successful cross-channel experience.
A simple but effective way to solve this problem is by investing in a CRM system that can provide a detailed record of which channels customers use, how often, and for what purpose, valuable insights which will provide a 360-degree view of each customer.
Investing in a flexible, reliable CRM will, no doubt, pay off. Considering that 65% of consumers complain about receiving inconsistent support across channels, incidentally one of the top reasons they decide to abandon a company, it is imperative that businesses provide the clear, seamless experience today’s customer expect.
Today’s Customers, Tomorrow’s Success
Identifying and fulfilling your customers’ needs is just the beginning. You also want to hold on to your customers for life. As Forbes reports in its findings from various studies:
- A simple 5% increase in customer retention has the potential to increase a company’s profitability by as much as 75%.
- 80% of a company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of its present customers.
- Attracting new customers costs 5 times more than keeping existing ones
If customers receive a positive experience the first time around, they are more likely to return without hesitation. Making use of simple but effective customer service tools will enable online businesses of any size to make sure every interaction is a positive one, ensuring customer happiness over the long term.