In the digital world, having a bad online reputation can cause the death of a business. With most people not even thinking about buying a product without first consulting the online reviews, a good customer experience is as important as having quality products.
It has taken far too long for businesses to appreciate how critical a positive experience is for their consumers. Many fail to see the true value of investing in quality exchanges with those they sell to. Now, more and more companies understand that keeping customers happy will impact their sales.
In this short guide, I share four reasons why customer experience is more important to the success of your online business now more than ever.
1. Happy customers buy more
Happy customers are far more likely to buy more of your products than those displeased with your service. Around 78% of consumers admit to abandoning a transaction as a result of poor service or user experience. Isn’t it time you started focusing your attention on making those customers happy?
But what do customers want? And what do we mean when we refer to customer service, when talking about online businesses?
For a physical shop it’s simple: perhaps the cashier is rude, maybe she’s more involved in her phone than helping you find what you’re looking for. We know this is bad customer service. But when we’re talking about customer service with regard to online businesses, it’s all about the user experience.
User experience refers to many different aspects of your site, and includes:
- Site navigation
- Form fills
- Delivery costs
- Page loading speed
- Many more
Modern consumers are used to having things quickly, with little hassle. If your customers struggle to use your site, feel dissatisfied with shipping costs, or frustrated by payment forms, then even those who love your products will quickly abandon their baskets.
To rectify this, always be thinking about the customer when building your online shop, or creating your online service. Cut down your payment process, throw in free shipping to loyal customers, reward customers spending over $100 with a free gift. These small favors don’t go unnoticed and will help to encourage your customers to complete their orders and come back for more.
2. Happy customers show their love
Whether you’re online or offline, positive customer reviews are integral to running a successful business in the modern age. With 90% of consumers reading online reviews before using a service or buying a product, and 88% of people trusting customer reviews as much as personal recommendations, securing positive reviews from your buyers should be at the top of your to-do list.
But how do we convince our customers to take the time to leave a review?
- By making feedback really easy
- By following up via email after purchase
- By giving such good service, customers just can’t shut up about it!
It has been found that customers are 11 times more likely to recommend a company if they experience excellent customer service. This shows that going above and beyond the call of duty for your customers is the ideal way to ensure they leave you great feedback. In turn, the more positive reviews you have, the more likely new customers will be driven to your site.
3. Happy customers are universal
Learning more about user experience by experimenting with side ventures is a great way to improve your business. Whether you sell jewelry, sports equipment, or pug related merchandise (see below), the same basic principles apply with regard to how your customers should be treated. Getting involved in other small business ventures can improve your understanding of customer service as a whole.
You may have one business that is close to your heart – if so, that’s all well and good. But for entrepreneurs who are willing to step out of their comfort zone, business (or website) flipping may be an exciting prospect for you.
Website flipping refers to the practice of taking over online businesses that are already set up and ready to go – perhaps already generating a profit. This allows entrepreneurs to buy and experiment with small businesses, without the need to set everything up yourself.
Some of the online stores available to buy via Exchange are so cheap, you could afford to buy a few and really hone your customer experience skills. The more expensive stores already have loyal customers, removing even more of the groundwork.
The point is: whatever the product, consumers respond to a good service and will happily return to any business that respects them as a customer.
Treat your customers right and you too could be a good boy. Pugster is available to buy on Exchange now.
4. Happy customers buy for life
The main goal for any business is ensuring repeat custom. Building a loyal fanbase is the best way to ensure a successful business. It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing one, and on average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.
Not only do loyal customers require a lot less convincing, they’ve experienced your products first hand and already know they love them. Loyal customers are the ones who will share their positive experiences and sing your praises with their networks, sharing your brand with broader audiences.
But how do you ensure your brand is the sort of business people keep returning to?
Consumers like brands they can trust. With so many options available, many people would prefer to have a handful of quality businesses to buy from regularly, taking the guesswork out of online shopping. That’s why you need to ensure your customer experience is better than any of your competitors.
Providing simple ways for your audience to give feedback is a great way to show your customers you are listening, while being clear and fair on return policies leaves no room for misinterpretation and disappointment.
Whether you are a new entrepreneur just starting out or an experienced business owner looking to improve your sales, focusing on giving your customers an excellent experience is the ideal way to ensure repeat custom and grow an audience that celebrates and promotes your brand.
Whether it’s as simple as offering free delivery, rewarding your loyal customers with discounts, or just taking the time to reply to feedback, treating your customers with kindness will have real lasting value, and will reflect in your sales.
Victoria Greene: Writer & Entrepreneur
When I’m not out walking my dog, you’ll find me at home writing! Whether it’s finding ways to enhance your social media presence or sharing tips on how to launch an online shop, I love using my insider knowledge to help other entrepreneurs get the most out of their businesses.