“A business is simply an idea to make other people’s lives better.” – Sir Richard Branson
The business world today is the age of the customer, and it is in the best interest of companies to do whatever they can to improve customer experience on the company website, and every customer communication channel. Reports and research revealed that at least 89% companies would compete on customer experience more than any other factor, and the journey of a person with a company starts a long time before the person becomes an actual customer. This ‘introduction’ to the company / brand for a person would most likely be through the company website, and hence it is necessary for a company to ensure that the customer experience on the company website is top class and such that people want to come back and become actual buying customers. Research shows that even though 80% companies may believe that they deliver top service and customer experience, only 8% customers agree. This gap causes most of the problems between companies and customers.
Let us look at what companies can do to improve customer experience on the company website and further. We know that customers today are pampered with choices and options, and the amount of information they receive daily can become overwhelming. These factors have led customers to become impatient and have a shorter attention span, which means that if they are unable to find instantly the value proposition on the company website, the customer experience would be unsatisfactory and they would leave. Companies must check and re-check whether their website is effective, easily navigated, and whether the essence of the company comes through immediately.
Another popular method of getting the company’s message across and for improving customer experience, especially for repeat customers, is by creating personalized videos. Additionally, using customized, bright, and colourful photographs on the website to communicate the essence and ‘personality’ of the brand can exponentially improve customer experience – so much more can be communicated through pictures and photographs. Several social sites have released new features and tools to enable companies to provide great customer service and improve customer experience – since customers increasingly use social media to connect with brands and companies all the time.
Customers do not like to wait for service or information – if a company does not respond to the expectations, the customer experience is affected negatively. To ensure speedy and more effective service, live chats have become a great way to ‘convert visitor traffic’ to actual buying customers. When live chats work efficiently, customers are able to receive instant answers – almost as soon as they ‘land’ on the company website. Adding live chat to the website not only provides customers with another method of communication, but it can soon become the preferred mode of communication for them given its immediate and timely ‘nature’.
As we have mentioned several times, it is important for a company to understand its prospective and existing customers well before it can do anything for them. The better a company is able to understand from where the visitors to its website come from, and what they would expect, the more it would be able to improve customer experience. Irrespective of what a company’s website may communicate in the present, and how much success a company may get through it, the scope of improving customer experience will always remain. It would be prudent and necessary for a company to test consistently which pages on the website it can change and improve, in order to increase interest, engagement, and enhance the conversion rate.
The good news is that companies today have various tools at their disposal, which would enable them to gain feedback about what works and does not work on their website. These tools not only let companies know what is not working but also why, making it simpler for companies to make amends and thereby improve customer experience of their website. Something as simple as decreasing the number of ‘fields’ on a feedback or order form can significantly increase the customer experience, which in turn would encourage repeat visits and buys.
If a visitor does follow up the website visit with an email for information, it is necessary for a company to respond instantly. Not doing so amounts to poor customer experience, and it is unlikely that the customer would return. In addition, the website must visibly display all the possible phone numbers for the company, including ones for after office hours. The company must ensure that it is able to provide as personalized service as possible even via the phone – integrating the information from the website with the CRM systems would enable the company to tailor the conversations for the customer calling, which in turn would surely elevate the customer experience.
In addition to the above methods, leveraging on the strength and potency of social media to improve customer experience would surely be beneficial for a company. The company’s website ‘visitors’ must have access to all the social media sites the company operates, and these sites must be consistently monitored in order to respond to customers speedily. It is necessary for a company to encourage the visitors to explore the entire website by placing the benefits they would receive in a visible ‘place’ on the website. As much positivity a company can display, it would have a better chance of attracting and keeping visitors longer on the site. In addition, visitors must be able to clearly see and use the CTA button (call to action). The call to action must be clear, visible, and easy to understand – more than one call to action would mean that the company would need to re-look at its website.
Customers love information and content that they can readily use. Companies that provide this are better placed to improve the customer experience on the company website. Blogs and interesting articles add serious value to a website. The topics in these content pieces could range from industry information, to subjects related to the company’s offerings, or any other topic that would help the company to educate its audience, and give them more reasons to ‘visit’ and buy. Just as clearly spelling out what a company can do and provide, it is also necessary to ensure that what the company cannot / does not engage in, is also amply clear. The fact is that just as not all customers are good, all website traffic too, is not necessarily helpful. The idea should never be to try please everyone – this is neither possible nor necessary. Being specific and clear on the website will keep the useless leads away.
Whatever a company does to improve customer experience on the website will never be absolute or enough. It is necessary to consistently upgrade the website and keep it looking and ‘sounding’ fresh. People who shop online are impressed by visually appealing, contemporary looking websites with fresh and relevant content. Sites that seem old fashioned and dated can easily put prospective customers off for good. Consistent upgrading is necessary on a website in order for it to generate the revenue and results for a company as expected. In addition, constantly upgrading the website will ensure that the security features of the website remain intact too. To improve customer experience on your company website ensure that the functionality and features are amply clear, and that navigation is simple, fast, and secure – such a website is sure to gain more attention, customers, and revenue for the company.