11 Small Changes for a Big Boost to Your Customer Experience
Want to increase eCommerce sales? Start by improving your customer experience. Here’s a guest post from Chattermill’s Lisa Xu on what steps to follow.
For any sales-oriented business, customer experience is the key to success, now more than ever. In fact, 95% of people say that customer service is important for brand loyalty. On the other hand, poor customer service costs U.S. businesses about $1.6 trillion annually. These numbers show it’s clear that customer experience is one area you can’t afford to neglect.
But optimizing your customer experience doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Even if you don’t have the resources to implement major changes, taking small steps to improve customer satisfaction can have significant results. Here are 11 small changes that will boost your customer experience.
1. Offer Multichannel or Omnichannel Support
The first step to optimal customer service is making sure your customers can easily contact you when they need assistance. Multichannel support involves offering a variety of support channels so that customers can pick the option that is most convenient for them. These channels might include live chat, emails and phone calls.
Omnichannel support provides smooth integration so a customer can be easily transferred between different channels. For example, if an issue turns out to be more difficult than anticipated, a customer should be able to seamlessly switch from a live chat to a phone call.
Even with multichannel or omnichannel support, recognize when a customer should be kept on a single channel. For example, a customer who is not very tech-savvy may find it frustrating to have to switch between channels.
2. Strategize Wait Times
No one likes to be kept waiting. And although it may be unavoidable in some customer service situations, you can still minimize customer frustration by creating a strategic system for prioritizing customer support requests. For example, ensure that pressing issues such as a demo malfunctioning are prioritized over a customer’s general questions about a product.
3. Provide Self-Help Options
Many customers would prefer to try to fix their own problems with the product rather than enlisting the help of a customer service representative. You can help customers resolve their own issues quickly while also easing the burden on your support team by providing resources such as a blog, forum or FAQ page addressing common customer concerns and offering step-by-step tutorials on how to resolve them.
4. Personalize Customer Interactions
When engaging with a customer, it’s essential to make them feel heard and valued. Create a connection by addressing the customer by their first name, and listen well to the customer in order to understand their needs and predicament. Make sure to thoroughly answer all of their questions. Also, once the issue is resolved, ask if there is anything else you can personally assist them with.
5. Handle Customer Mistakes Graciously
Everyone makes mistakes, including your customers. Maybe they accidentally ordered the wrong product or forgot to enter a promo code during checkout. Regardless, don’t miss the opportunity to turn the situation into a positive and memorable experience.
As a baseline, make sure your refund policy is clear and fair, and that customers can navigate the process without frustration. To improve the customer’s experience, send prepaid packaging slips and postage to streamline the process of returning misorders. You can also go above and beyond by including a personalized message or a discount code for another product.
6. Interact on Social Media
Social media is an effective tool for engaging with both current and prospective customers, although its results can be positive or negative. To ensure it’s having a positive effect on your business, keep your social media accounts active and respond to customers promptly and professionally. When complaints arise, be sure to address and resolve them as quickly and graciously as possible.
7. Reward Customer Loyalty
Long-term customers appreciate the feeling of being included in an exclusive community. Show your appreciation for loyal customers by offering them rewards such as free treats and exclusive discounts. Another way to foster customer loyalty is through sending newsletters or emails to your most loyal customers. These newsletters should include exclusive, insider information such as new product updates that these top customers can provide feedback on.
8. Collect Data
To determine how effective your customer service is, collect as much quantitative and qualitative data as you can on your customer experience. Quantitative data includes wait times, the length of calls, and how long it takes for issues to be resolved. Qualitative data includes surveys, reviews, and other forms of customer feedback. Track the data over monthly or yearly periods so you can see if improvements are being made, and take action on problem areas.
9. Review and Share Feedback
Never ignore customer feedback, whether positive, negative or neutral. Document and review all feedback and look for patterns you can address and improve. In order to make sure feedback issues are properly and consistently addressed, share feedback patterns across teams and departments to find the best solutions and keep everyone on the same page.
10. Train Employees Continuously
Provide ongoing training for your customer support team to make sure they are able to connect with your customers on an emotional level and make each customer feel valued. This could be as simple as distributing recent articles on topics like empathy and emotional intelligence.
Additionally, make sure your customer service representatives understand your product, how it benefits your customers and what differentiates it from competitors. Make sure the team is also up to speed with your CX tools and processes.
11. Increase Employee Satisfaction
Finally, employee satisfaction positively correlates with customer satisfaction. In other words, employees who are highly engaged in their work and care about your company will have more positive interactions with shoppers and provide them a better customer experience. Improve your employee satisfaction by recognizing or rewarding employees who go above and beyond, acting on employee feedback, and setting clear, realistic expectations.
Ways to Boost Customer Experience: Final Thoughts
Even starting small by implementing a few of these changes will result in big boosts to your customer experience and improve customer retention. The infographic below summarizes the tips to increase customer satisfaction.
This article has been a guest post from Chattermill’s Lisa Xu. Chattermill provides unified customer feedback analytics for some of the world’s fastest growing companies. To learn more, click here.
And remember, Replyco exists to help eCommerce sellers improve customer experience with centralized messaging and better customer service. Plus, our robust tools such as templates, auto-responders and more can help you cut time spent on customer service in HALF.