A simple shopping experience is what customers are looking for. You have far too much invested in both time and money to allow your customers to just walk away from the sale, even though they actually want to buy your products and services. The effort of yourself and everyone in your organization will have been wasted when the consumer is literally on your site in your sales process and runs into a road block that stops the sale. You have to get it right, because, after just one negative experience, 51% of customers report they will never do business with that company again. No company that has customers or clients is immune to the effects of a negative or even difficult customer experience. In fact, as a whole U.S. companies have lost more than $62 billion annually due to negative customer experience.
Yes, that was $62 billion per year.
There are several ways this happens to your company and you need to know what they are.
As you know, people talk. And they will talk about a negative customer experience that they’ve had with your company.
Having been in business for any length of time, you already know that word of mouth is your best advertising.
Well, as it turns out, it can also be your worst advertising as well.
You’re On A Mission
It’s not just your job.
Because you’re successful, you’re highly driven to grow your company into the best or biggest in your industry.
If you want to have any chance at doing this whatsoever, you must stop the negative leakage.
You can’t afford disgruntled customers spreading the word to 15 potential new ones.
If not dealt with effectively, it will start to become a drain on every area of your company, with two of the biggest being customer acquisition costs along with retention and of course profits.
The OVERALL costs to your company cannot be overstated in this area.
Harvard Business review stated that:
It is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.Harvard Business, https://hbr.org/2014/10/the-value-of-keeping-the-right-customers
Not to mention the fact that you lose the main benefits to retaining a customer in the first place, such as recurring revenue and upsells.
Customer retention equals profitability.
According to recent data harvested and compiled by Bain & Company:
Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits anywhere from 25% to 95%.https://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/the-economics-of-e-loyalty
Most of this is due to the fact you saw above.
Because the majority of your costs are in customer acquisition, even a small movement in that number compounds itself throughout nearly every area of your business.
The holy grail of your business.
You might be surprised to discover that customer experience is one of the largest change factors in your numbers for both above and below the line accounting.
It massively affects your gross revenues, and it also affects the amount of pure profit your business earns from every dollar you take in.
As the Temkin Group states in their recent Customer Experience Assessment report:
A moderate increase in Customer Experience generates an average revenue increase of $823 million over three years for a company with $1 billion in annual revenues.Temkin’s Group https://experiencematters.wordpress.com/2016/10/24/report-roi-of-customer-experience-2016/
That’s over 27% of the revenue generated per year!
27% of a company’s revenue is enough to make ANY executive or accountant sit up take notice and take notes.
With numbers like that, this becomes a ‘must control’ area of your business.
Because, with net profit margins thinning and competition increasing, having a single area of your business that can move the big numbers this fast cannot be overlooked even in the slightest.
Here Are Solutions You Can Implement Right Away
Knowing full well that you face many, if not all of the problems we have discussed, it’s time to start talking about solutions.
You need solutions that not only work, but that are practical and easy to understand so that you can hand them off to others for implementation if need be.
Here are a few great solutions that can have a major impact on your customer experience and therefore your business immediately.
On Site Search
This is a statistic that you really must pay attention to, as it has a major impact that you can change both easily and right away.
79% of people who don’t like what they find on one site will go back and search for another site.https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-strategies/app-and-mobile/what-users-want-most-from-mobile-sites-today/
Let that sink in for a moment.
That means that; nearly 80% of YOUR customers will leave your site to go find what they want on your competitors site, if they can’t find it on your site.
The solution is simple.
You must improve your customers ability to find what they want on your site in the fastest and easiest way possible.
Because, as you’ll see below, wasting their time is another top customer experience sticking point.
This becomes even more critical with site search performed on mobile devices.
As you know, typing all kinds of keywords into a tiny little search bar only to get garbage results is seriously frustrating.
Fact: Feeling unappreciated is the #1 reason customers switch away from products and services (Gartner, newvoicemedia.com)
The solution to this is to interact and appreciate your customers a great deal more than your competitors do.
A few easy ways you can do this are;
- Have customer service agents do call backs.
- After a customer buys your product, the agent calls them to check in and make sure they are happy after the appropriate number of days.
- Set up a Facebook group or schedule webinars if appropriate so that your customers can interact with you and other customers.
This solves 2 human needs effectively.
A) They can get personal interaction with you or your appointed staff while minimizing your time by handling a large group at once.
B) They satisfy their social needs such as social proof because they see all the other people using your products or services.
Then, questions answered by you or your staff that are accepted socially (by the group), carry much a greater weight of acceptance by those who are asking the question.
Reading Your Customers Minds
When done properly, these easy to implement tactics will have your customers feeling as if you can nearly read their minds and know what they want before they do.
*Use surveys in a unique manner.
As an example: George R.R. Martin the author of Games Of Thrones is constantly surveying his book and television audience.
He asks them what they want him to write and what they want to see. He gets their opinions and reactions on ideas before he even writes them.
This is brilliant when you think about it. It’s nearly like interactive TV.
It allows him to deliver, with relative certainty, exactly what his target audience wants.
*Your Facebook group and customer interactions can play a huge key in understanding the evolving nature of your customers.
Gather data from your Facebook group, your customer service agents, FAQ’s and more.
Then, look at that data to determine what your customers want and what their problems are.
As an example: NutriHarmony did this exact thing and found that customers literally hated the small opening on their small size protein powder container.
With no additional cost to the company, they acquired a different container for the next batch and sales increased by 11% over a 3-month span for this product.
Value Their Time
Forrester recently stated that:
The majority (66%) of adults feel that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer experience.https://go.forrester.com/blogs/12-06-20-consumers_drive_channel_preference_to_achieve_effortless_customer_service/
No one likes to have their time wasted and your customers are no exception.
A couple of solutions that you can implement are;
- Give your customers much faster access to a live agent or use online chat to help with this.
The reason this is important is that 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent.
And customer satisfaction ratings for live chat are generally much higher than other support methods because of its speed and conversational tone.
- Improve your email response times.
As stated by Forrester: Email is still the number one customer service channel, with over 54% of respondents siting having used it over the last one year.
However, the vast majority of customers feel that email response times are too long and think they should be kept under 1 hour.
Keep Them On Your Site
You’ll have far greater selling opportunities when you keep your customers on your site vs them leaving to resolve their issues or answer questions.
When a customer leaves your site to search Google for an answer, you may have lost them forever.
A couple of solutions that will help keep them on your site and thereby buying your products or services are;
- Implement a live chat if you don’t already have one.
The reason is, they can get the right answer without leaving your site and interrupting their buying process.
- Keep your FAQ up to date and easy to use.
Customers prefer instant answers, and as such, your FAQ page can give them what they want and keep them on your site.
- Upgrade your onsite search.
When a customer can find what they want quickly and easily, they have a tendency to follow through with the purchase and typically have a higher sales total as well.
The benefits of implementing systems that improve customer experience are many fold. Here are just a few:
- The word of mouth about your company is improved and the damaging negative statements are diminished.
- Customer loyalty and retention go up.
- Both sales and profits rise.
- Your expenses go down.
- Both you and your customer feel better about your relationship.
- In truth, there are hundreds of reasons this needs to be a priority in your business.
Now all you need to do is, take it step by step and begin.