Let's face it: everyone wants to feel cared for as we adjust to a new way of living in this stressful time of uncertainty. As your wheels of commerce continue to turn, it's important not to lose focus on the most crucial part of your business: your customers.
Customer experience, also known as CX, is your shopper's perception of their exposure to your brand. Most importantly, it has a clear correlation to sales. According to research by Temkin Group, 22% of customers decreased their spending after a bad experience with a company, while 19% stopped doing their business with that company entirely. However, a positive experience left customers 3.5 times more likely to make additional purchases.
If you want to make the most out of what you invest in your company, a great place to start is examining how you manage your customer relationships. Read on for an overview of crucial CX pointers so you can retain valued customers during this time of change.
A deepened customer relationship can inspire shoppers to buy more, make repeat purchases, and increase brand awareness through word of mouth. But how can you take this relationship to the next level?
Begin by looking at your shoppers' pain points: is it with shipping costs, delivery times, inconvenient returns, unresolved issues, difficulty contacting customer service, or something else? Once you've identified known problem areas, start by tackling a change that will result in a positive effect and scale up if it's successful. Remember, you're playing the long game, so it may take some time to see the results, but the efforts will be worth it, and you may notice immediate benefits as well.
React to Change
Customer behaviors have changed since the beginning of the pandemic. With stores reopening and additional risks associated with public spaces, more shoppers are buying online. To adapt to shifting shopping patterns, audit your customer experience journey and see if modifications need to be made. For example, if more of your customers are now ordering online, do you have a customer service team available to assist them virtually? By pivoting to their new needs, your customers will see that you're there for them and are a brand they can trust.
Create a Multichannel Approach
Consumers don't just engage with brands at one touchpoint. They're on their phones or computers or watching TV, and they browse social media, news sites, and print magazines. To deliver the information they're searching for, where they're looking for it, consider a multichannel approach. This will allow you to implement your strategy across multiple platforms to maximize your customer's likelihood of engaging with your brand. When they find you, make sure your messaging is optimized to the particular forum and their need states, such as a banner ad about your cleaning product on a home or cooking website or an Instagram post about gift suggestions before the holidays.
Analyze Customer Data
To help understand who your customers are and break down their behavior patterns, categorize your targeted audience by groupings such as gender, age, location, likes, dislikes, etc. It's also helpful to know their channel preference: do they spend a lot of time browsing social media, email, or watching TV? Once you start to understand this data, you can think about how to target messaging that makes sense to them.
Measure Return on Investment (ROI)
Another way to track your CX performance is through ROI metrics such as Customer Lifetime Value, Churn Rate, and Average Transaction Size. Over time, this data will provide a clearer idea of their behavior and show trends, such as whether your CX experience is improving or declining. With real data, you can put it to work and improve the ROI of your CX initiatives.
Learn From the Past
When evaluating your customer experience, see what data you can pull from the past. When did you see an uptick in sales? Did something trigger a drop in customers? With the majority of shopping now online, there are new advancements to capitalize on that can help you deliver the experience customers seek as their habits change.
Keep Loyal Customers
While growing your customer base is good for business, it's also highly valuable to retain the customers you already have. One study from Lumoa showed that it can cost five times more to find a new customer than keep a current one and that the probability of selling to a new prospect is between five and 20% while selling to an existing customer is between 60 to 70%.
With that in mind, consider establishing a loyalty program if you don't already have one, and reward your most loyal customers with perks like exclusive offers and discount codes that make them feel valued.
Prioritize Online Marketing
As shoppers' buying habits shift to online shopping, so should your focus on your online CX experience. Social media usage is up, as is online shopping, so spend your marketing budgets where your shoppers are. By marketing effectively through engaging social media content and targeted ads, you can increase your online presence and deliver the most optimal online experience to inspire your customers to convert.
Remember, without customers, you don't have a business, so it's imperative to provide them with a winning experience. When your customers enjoy significant interaction with your brand, they'll be more likely to become loyal, spread word-of-mouth, and have a higher retention rate. These positive experiences can have short-term benefits and beneficial long-term effects on your company, so it's worth your investment always to put the customer first.