Due to the extraordinary circumstances last year, online sales grew by 46% in 2020 when compared to the previous year. However, retail overall actually fell by 1.9% in terms of volume due to the closing of non-essential businesses.
As businesses continue to struggle to open over a year after the start of the pandemic and the decline of the High Street has been given an even greater push as a result, it’s clear that businesses (where possible) need to continue to concentrate on and strengthen their online presence and in particular the customer experience (CX) to make sure you’re front and centre when your target audience needs what you offer.
Consumers align their loyalty less on price or product these days. More recently, consumer behaviour has leant towards loyalty correlated to the experience they receive from a brand or business and choosing to ignore the importance of this could be catastrophic.
What is Customer Experience?
Fundamentally, customer experience (or CX) is the result of a consumer’s engagement with a brand/business and how they feel about interacting with a business touch-point eg, browsing a website, using an app, shopping and transacting, garnering information or unpacking an order.
Ultimately, the customer’s experience of any one of these factors can result in a lasting relationship if it’s done right and the consumer comes away from the interaction having had a positive experience and could even lead to multiple interactions if they spread the word ina positive way. Not only do consumers who have had a good experience return to your business, they recommend it and are encouraged to spend more.
What do customers care about?
There are a few main points that customers care about which you need to have in your mind at all times.
- Functionality – how easy it is to interact with your business.
- How engaging with your brand makes the customer feel.
- How your product/service can improve the customer’s life in some way.
Things to consider when addressing your business’s CX.
- Consistency is key. Cross-device shopping via a huge range of channels is now the norm and companies need to maintain consistency and regularly update process and technology to stay on top of the competition.
- Know your customers! There are lots of ways to understand your customer base better using your data and defining and refining their wants and needs.
- List your customer touchpoints. Work through the list to make sure that at every step of the way, your customers are getting the optimal experience.
- Understand what your customers value the most and optimise your processes to maximise your offering.
- Ask your customers for feedback. You can use the data available to you but sometimes it’s best to just ask directly.
Once you’re armed with this information you can continually update your customer experience to offer the best and set yourself apart from the competition. This process is invaluable and is more important than ever before. Incremental improvements in how your brand is discovered, experienced and spoken about and should not be underestimated. Competition is fierce and if this still sounds unmanageable to you we’re happy to chat and see how we can help.