Small Business Brief

Customer Service

The Top 7 Ways to Improve Online Customer Experience

Are you embarrassed by your confusing or clunky website? Maybe you are perplexed as to why you are getting so few sales even though you have plenty of website traffic?

If the answer to either is yes, chances are you need to work on your online customer experience. Giving your customers an exceptional experience the moment they arrive on your website can transform your business growth.

In this guide, we’ll reveal the top seven ways you can improve your customer experience. That’s not only going to bring you more sales, but it will also get your buyers raving about you.

Keep reading to learn what you need to know.

#1: Optimize the Shopping Cart Experience

Before looking at your checkout and online shopping cart usability, first, analyze the online metrics you have to hand. Most importantly, the abandoned shopping cart rate. 

That will give you your first clue that shoppers are finding the checkout process frustrating. Improve this experience for customers, and it won’t just lead to happier buyers but more sales. 

It’s worth using tools that will analyze session replay to go through your current checkout experience to look for friction in the process.

Your aim should be to allow your customers to check out in the most seamless way possible. That means easy methods for entering their personal details, transparent pricing information, and few steps through to cart completion.

Don’t forget about the importance of email. Following up a purchase with an email provides reassurance to customers, as does a follow-up email when the product is shipped. 

#2: Personalized Offers

Providing customers with a personal experience improves your customer retention. 

However, as your business grows, providing an intimate one-to-one experience to your customers becomes more of a challenge. Fortunately, with advanced personalization tools, you can still achieve that personal touch. 

The easiest way to introduce personalization is with a personal welcome message when they log in to your website. You can also address them by their first name when sending emails (which most autoresponders allow you to do).

There are other ways you can make the customer’s experience more personal. For example, you can add recommendations when they arrive on your site based on their previous buying habits. 

Don’t forget about using key dates such as birthdays to add a personal touch. If you are capturing the date of birth when a customer registers with you, why not send them a special discount on their birthday? 

#3: Be Mobile Friendly

There is nothing more frustrating for customers when browsing websites on their phone, only to find they can’t close a pop-up or view a page properly. Or they can’t click a button as it is hidden under the page fold. 

Mobile use is growing, and that trend is set to continue. According to Statista, mobile now accounts for over half of all web browsing as of 2021, the first time it has overtaken desktop browsing. 

Always test your website on mobile before any new release. Keep the mobile design simple and optimized so that it runs fast on any small device.

You can also consider developing an app to help upgrade your customers’ experience. App development is becoming more manageable, with new app-building tools allowing you to create an app without coding.

#4: Invest in Your Customer Support Team

If you want the happiest customers on the planet, it stands to reason you need the best customer service team to match. So why not invest in training your customer support team to meet the growing demands of your business?

Think about areas of the business to improve your interaction with customers, such as email and phone. And make sure that any third parties, particularly delivery companies, offer equally good service.

You should also ensure that you invest in the proper support tools that your customers can access online when they need help.

For example, customer chatbots can be a helpful first line, especially for 24/7 support. And a live tracking system for deliveries can help customers who want to make sure they are at home when your delivery arrives.  

#5: Create a Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are a tried and tested way to bring you to repeat visitors to your website and for you to get happy repeat buyers to return to your store.

Surprisingly many online businesses skip loyalty programs in favor of discounts on new customers. Still, it’s a fact that repeat customers are far more likely to buy from you than someone who has never heard of you before. 

Loyalty schemes don’t have to be complicated. Start by offering a discount of a free gift to your most frequent customers, and go from there. 

The other great benefit of a customer loyalty program is that, given the right incentives, your customers will actually refer you to their friends and family. Get this right, and it can transform your business growth. 

#6: Offer Extended Product Support

As new online retail businesses emerge, customers have more choices than ever before. A customer can often find the same product for the same price on five or ten different retailer websites.

So how do you stand out and offer a better experience for your customers over the competition?

One idea is to introduce extended guarantees, support, or warranty on your products. By marketing this well, it can help you gain new customers and loyalty with your existing customers. It gives them peace of mind.

Make the terms clear and easy for people to find and a prominent sales feature. Don’t hide them away in the small print of your website terms and conditions.

#7: Survey Customers

Finally, the absolute best way for any business to improve the experience for customers is simply to ask them.

Conduct regular surveys, not just with recent purchases but people who have been on your email list for a while and may not have purchased from you.

The purpose here isn’t just to find out about the good experiences but also to delve deep into why people aren’t clicking the buy button.

Free tools such as Survey Monkey make it easy to create and send a survey. Do this regularly, and spend time reading the responses and actioning them.

Grow Your Business With an Exceptional Customer Experience

Giving your website visitors the best possible customer experience is the best way to grow your business and stand out from the competition. It takes time, commitment, and money to get things right, but you’ll reap the rewards. 

If you enjoyed this article and want to discover more ideas on how to grow your business, browse around our business section now for our recent posts to help you.