Customer experience is what matters most in an age of digital Darwinism
Author: Rory O' Connor
Source: Retail Customer Experience
The scalability of online shopping is any retailer’s dream. Any marketer will tell you that a happy and satisfied customer is your best weapon when it comes to success but the waters are muddy in the online world and the downsides are even more slippery.
When somebody buys from your online store they get an instant dopamine hit with even more coming as the anticipation builds over the following hours or days until delivery. Every brick and mortar shopper gets the same hit initially but by walking out with the item in hand that level of anticipation doesn’t hit in the same way.
In other words every customer that buys from your store is on a high from that moment all the way to when they are opening the package and then wearing/using the item. This is great news for eretailers but the downside of this is much steeper if you get this process wrong with customers being much more let down than by a poor in-store experience.
Positive customer experiences are an imperative for the sustained growth of a business, it builds customers brand loyalty, affinity as well as encourages them to refer their friends and interact positively with your brand. According to the American Express Customer Service Barometer people tell an average of 15 others about a poor service experience. This means that if you’re having issues with your supply chain, deliveries or any other part of your business you’re doing untold damage to your future sales and reputation with Forbes reporting that US companies lost $75 billion in 2018 due to poor customer service. On the other hand, according to Zendesk, as many as 42 percent of consumers will repeat purchase following a positive online experience.
So how might your business combat this?For online players the key focus has to be customer centric. Customers increasingly want next day or even same day delivery options with the ability to tailor times and locations accurately to their needs. To ensure this occurs having integrated systems that allow you to improve all facets of the digital customer experience is key, these include the user interface, mobile responsiveness and design along with clear communication methods and a way to relay real time data across all interactions with each customer.
Not only does this ensure a frictionless process for your customers but it ensures consistency on your end and open communication lines around all aspects of each delivery to ensure proper deliveries or fix any issues in real time. Companies in retail or in any other industry have been traditionally poor at fixing customer issues in real time and at the customers convenience.
This comes as no surprise that even now Harvard Business Review found that 64% have no dedicated system in place. All companies will have customer issues and while you should always strive to minimise these instances those who get them right are in a strong position to keep their customers satisfied and differentiate themselves all at the same time.
Winning new customers is very difficult and expensive. Harvard Business Review found that it is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one so it is yet only 49% of consumers say that companies provide good customer experiences. PWC also found customers spend up to 16% more with retailers who provide good customer experiences and are also more willing to share data with these companies also.
At this stage you would have hoped that online retailers would have gotten the memo about online customer experiences, satisfaction and relationships but it appears for many there’s a lot of work left to do to keep their customers dopamine flowing.