Obaid Arshad

The Importance of Customer Experience in E-commerce

Why is this the case? 

Well, let’s think about it. 

In this digital world where every e-commerce business is striving to make online shopping easy and convenient, the competition to win the loyalty of customers is constantly rising, developing multiple options for customers to shop from. Therefore, for brands, giving customers a great experience is super important. Whether it’s answering their questions on the phone or chatting with them online, every interaction shapes how they feel about your brand.  According to a survey, 52% of customers usually switch to another company if they have a negative experience. That’s why focusing on making customers happy is key for e-commerce businesses. It not only keeps them satisfied but also attains their loyalty and drives revenue through positive word-of-mouth marketing.

Understanding customer experience

When we talk about customer experience, we’re looking at every part of customers’ journey with the brand. This includes everything from how they first hear about the brand to how they feel after they’ve bought something from them. Two main things make this experience i.e. customer support team and high-quality product. For example, if your products work well or if your customer support team is super helpful, your customers are more likely to have a great experience. So, when you are working on developing a good customer experience don’t just focus on product quality but also make your customer service extraordinary to excel.

A good customer experience can make customers loyal to your brand and make them recommend you to others. For this, it’s important to understand customers well via feedback mechanisms and build a strong relationship with them over time. By knowing who your customers are, you can give them personalized experiences at every step of their journey with your brand.

Investing in customer experience pays off. According to reports by Temkin Group, if a brand makes $1 billion a year, it can expect to make an extra $700 million within 3 years by focusing on customer experience. This shows how important it is to keep customers satisfied to generate good revenue in the long run.

Judging the level of customer experience

One of the most direct ways to measure customer experience is by analyzing data through feedback mechanisms directly from customers. 63% of customers wish that brands should get to know their needs, and preferences and serve accordingly. Brands can accomplish this by sending out surveys after customers have interacted with their business, whether it’s making a purchase, visiting their website, or using their services. These surveys usually include questions that customers answer. The results collected help to analyze the satisfaction level of customers and identify areas that need improvement.

Another way to measure customer experience is by analyzing data on customer interactions with the customer support team. This includes how long it takes to respond to customers’ queries, how often issues are resolved, and what customers say in their feedback. By keeping track of these details, companies can see how well their customer service is working. For example, if there are lots of problems that don’t get fixed quickly, or if it takes a long time to get a response, it means that things might need to change. Moreover, analyzing what customers say during these interactions can help to judge how happy they are and where improvements could be made.

According to recent data, 43% of customers emphasize the importance of receiving real-time support, with an effortless resolution of their issues. This highlights the significance of prompt and effective responses from the support team to meet customer expectations. Additionally, 39% of customers find long hold or wait times to be the most frustrating aspect of a poor customer service experience. This indicates the need for brands to monitor response times and ensure that customers can easily connect with support agents without experiencing lengthy delays.

Developing Standout Customer Experience

A great customer experience is all about making your customers feel valued, heard, and satisfied at every step. Here are some key strategies to deliver an exceptional customer experience and how brands can adopt them:

Efficiently respond and resolve

Customers expect fast and efficient solutions to their problems. Aim to address their concerns in one interaction and as quickly as possible. Use callback solutions and scheduled calls to minimize wait times and make support immediate.

Educate customer support staff

In a survey by PWC of 15,000 people across 12 countries, 42% of customers expressed a willingness to pay more for friendly customer service. This highlights the importance of equipping the customer support team with thorough product knowledge and understanding of common questions. By educating them comprehensively about the company and investing in system automation tools ecommerce businesses can streamline information sharing and can deliver exceptional customer service to enhance customer experience.

Share Detailed Notes Between Representatives

Ensure seamless handoffs between representatives by sharing detailed notes about the customer’s issue. Implement customer relationship management (CRM) software into your business system such as provided by Ginkgo Retail, Salesforce, and Hubspot to maintain records and facilitate smooth transitions. With CRM software brands can interact 85% better with their customers, improving customer experience.

Provide self-service options

Offering self-service options, e-commerce brands can empower customers to find answers to their questions independently, thereby enhancing the overall customer experience. Self-service options are becoming increasingly popular among customers, with 67% preferring self-service over speaking to a company representative. This trend is further supported by the fact that 91% of customers would utilize an online knowledge base tailored to their needs if available. To meet this demand, many companies are turning to Artificial Intelligence (AI). Over the past three years, the automation of customer interactions through AI and machine learning has increased from 25% to 40%. Therefore, investing in AI and chatbots will help to augment self-service capabilities but also keep human support as well when needed.

Multi-channel Support and Omnichannel Solution

Multi-channel support and omnichannel solutions play a crucial role in enhancing customer experience for businesses. By providing support across various channels such as websites, apps, text, phone, and in-person interactions, companies can smartly deal with the diverse preferences of their customers. Consistent and accessible information across all channels ensures a seamless experience and enhances user satisfaction regardless of how they choose to interact with the brand.

An interesting example of the benefits of multi-channel support is illustrated by IKEA. Whichever IKEA store you visit worldwide, you can expect the same consistent experience. IKEA heavily invests in customer experience by expanding its store network, improving home delivery services, and launching a user-friendly app. As a result, customers enjoy a cohesive experience across multiple touchpoints, leading to increased satisfaction and customer retention rates.

Research conducted by Adobe evaluates that brands implementing omnichannel solutions to their business system see significant growth, with a 10% increase in yearly revenue, a 10% boost in average order value, and a 25% rise in closing rates.

Human Touch

Research indicates that while customers don’t mind using AI by agents to speed up the resolution of their inquiries, they still value interactions with humans. A survey of 1,000 individuals revealed that nearly half of customers are not fond of using chatbots. Their main reasons include a preference for human interaction and a feeling that chatbots do not understand their queries like humans can do. Surprisingly, over half of customers prefer to talk to an agent through phone calls for complex customer service matters, compared to less than 20% who opt for live chat technology. This indicates that a balance between the use of AI and human interference should be maintained for a good customer experience.

Transformative Benefits of Embracing Customer Experience in E-commerce

It’s time for brands to focus on providing an exceptional shopping experience to their customers to shape the success and longevity of online businesses. 

Here’s why:

Competitive Edge

E-commerce is crowded with competitors, and everyone struggles at their best to catch the attention of the customer via providing exceptional customer experiences. Positive experiences lead to customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, repeat purchases.

Enhanced Brand Reputation

A seamless and enjoyable shopping journey promotes positive perceptions of a brand. It increases user engagement and customer retention rates. Satisfied customers are more likely to recommend the brand to others, leading to increased word-of-mouth marketing.

Reduced Cart Abandonment

A user-friendly and intuitive website interface, together with a streamlined checkout process, reduces friction in the online shopping journey. This minimizes the chances of cart abandonment and maximizes conversion rates generating good revenue.

Improved Customer Retention

By prioritizing customer experience, e-commerce businesses can maintain long-term relationships with customers. Engaged and satisfied customers are more likely to return for future purchases, contributing to sustained revenue growth.

Data-Driven Insights

Monitoring customer interactions and getting valuable insights into preferences, pain points, and trends through feedback mechanisms helps develop personalized customer experience. This data also allows businesses to make informed decisions and optimize processes effectively.

Brand Loyalty

Good customer experience helps to gain customer trust and loyalty. When customers feel valued and supported throughout their journey, they are more inclined to remain loyal to the brand, even though a brand has lots of competitors in the market.

Positive Reviews and Ratings

Delighted customers are more likely to leave positive reviews and ratings, strengthening the brand’s online reputation. Positive feedback serves as social proof, attracting new customers and keeping intact old customers’ trust in the brand.

Long-Term Growth

Investing in customer experience yields long-term benefits for e-commerce businesses. By focusing on delivering value and satisfaction at every touchpoint, businesses can sustain growth and adapt to changing market trends.

Brands Setting the Standard for Exceptional Customer Experiences

Let’s take a look at how some famous e-commerce brands are setting the bar high when it comes to customer experience:

Snug – The Sofa in a Box Company

Snug has mastered the art of customer experience right from the start. Their website provides a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience, while speedy updates on delivery status keep customers engaged. The epic unboxing experience, complete with funny notes from the cushions, adds a delightful touch. Snug’s thoughtful post-delivery approach, including follow-ups and feedback requests, ensures that the customer journey remains exceptional from beginning to end. This customer-centric approach stems from the company culture and a genuine commitment to quality, which has undoubtedly paid off.

Blume and Glossier

Blume excels in upselling opportunities during the purchasing process, effortlessly increasing the average order value (AOV) with gift packs and add-ons. Their seamless checkout process makes it easy for customers to add extra items to their cart, significantly boosting revenue. On the other hand, Glossier’s customer experience is driven by feedback from their loyal fanbase. By prioritizing customer feedback, Glossier has built a customer-centric ecosystem that develops strong relationships and word-of-mouth marketing. This optimized customer experience has led to impressive revenue growth, with 90% attributed to word-of-mouth referrals.

Go Above and Beyond

Brands must constantly look for opportunities to exceed customer expectations and turn negative experiences into positive ones. Make use of technology to predict, understand, and address customer needs proactively, demonstrating a commitment to exceptional customer experience.

Obaid Arshad

Obaid Arshad

CEO & Co-Founder

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