Customer experience is a term mentioned frequently in the e-commerce space. We hear a lot about the importance of good customer experience and how to create a seamless customer journey. But what does this mean? And, are brands living up to customer expectations?
While many brands claim to recognise the importance of customer experience and the customer journey, they do not always practice what they preach. Whether it be from operating in silos or not embracing an omni-channel approach, many brands are missing out on potential sales.
In this article, we’re going to explore why customer experience is so important, and how to improve the experience customers have with your brand. Read on to find out more.
What is Customer Experience?
Customer experience is the response consumers have to any interaction with your company. Interactions can be direct, i.e. when purchasing your products. Or indirect, i.e. hearing about someone else’s experience with your brand.
Customer experience considers how shoppers feel at each touchpoint throughout their buying journey with your brand – from navigating your website or physical store to their interactions with customer services and, of course, receiving your product.
Why is Customer Experience Important?
Good customer experience creates a simple, seamless path to purchase and results in a positive customer buying journey. If a customer has a positive experience with a brand, they are more likely to shop with that brand again. Essentially, happy customers become loyal customers.
Let’s take a look at some key customer experience stats below:
- According to SuperOffice 80% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience
- Slideshare says 67% of consumers cite bad customer experience as a reason for churn
- PWC say 32% of consumers will walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience
- Same PWC report says that 73% of consumers indicated that customer experience plays an important role in their purchasing decisions
- And 80% of US Customers consumers say speed, convenience, knowledgeable help and friendly service are the most important elements of a positive customer experience. (source PWC).
Benefits of Good Customer Experience
Now that we’ve covered the importance of good customer experience, let’s take a look at some of the benefits.
When customers have a positive experience with a brand, they remember it. Good customer experience creates customer loyalty and also promotes retention. Research from PwC found that customers are also more likely to try additional services or products from brands that provide a superior customer experience.
A well-designed, customer-centric website creates better trust between brands and buyers. Consumers are getting savvier, so if your website does not seem trustworthy, they will exit and buy from a website that does. Additionally, creating personalised experiences for customers will also help form long-lasting relationships and build trust.
Encourages Word-of-Mouth Advertising
There is no better advertisement than word-of-mouth – and shoppers will often talk about exceptional customer experience. According to Esteban Kolsky, 72% of consumers will share a positive experience with six or more people. This means that if a customer has a particularly good experience with your brand, it’s highly likely they will share this with their friends, family and colleagues, which will lead to new customer acquisition. And, if you provide your new customers with a positive experience, the cycle will continue.
Helps You Stand Out From Competitors
Good customer experience goes a long way. Customers expect a positive experience, and they will stay away if they receive a poor one. Going the extra mile will help your brand to stand out against its competitors. According to PwC, 54% of US consumers say customer experience at most companies needs improvement, so providing a superior customer experience certainly won’t go unnoticed. The free next-day delivery or responsive customer service you offer will be remembered!
Increases Conversion Rate
The better your customer experience and buying journey, the better your chance of converting browsers into buyers. Creating relationships with your customers that actually help them on their buying journey will increase conversion rate. Providing detailed product pages, customer reviews, a simple path to purchase and efficient delivery will all aid in the relationship you create with new and existing customers.
How to Improve Customer Experience:
According to PwC, the secret to first-class customer experience combines the following five factors:
- Human touch
Creating an experience that combines these elements, with minimal friction and stress, will increase customer loyalty and retention.
Alex Rodríguez, Senior UX Designer at Hatch, offers the following tips to brands who want to improve their online user experience:
1. Know Your Audience
Understanding who you are selling to and creating a user-centred website will improve your overall customer experience.
2. Keep It Simple
Creating a simple path to purchase will make the customer buying journey much more positive. The more complex your website, the higher the user drop-off rate will be.
3. Carry Out A/B Testing
Finding out what converts browsers into buyers and where consumers exit your website can help improve your online customer experience. Carrying out A/B tests is a great way to do this.
4. Understand CTA Placement
Call to action positioning is very important. Think about the best CTA placement for a high conversion rate. Make sure CTAs are positioned in a visible place, i.e. above the fold.
Customer Experience Guide
Want to learn more? We’ve prepared a basic guide to user experience for brands and businesses looking to improve online customer experience.