With the rise of personalized customer servicing and user experience (UX) trends, customers are no longer satisfied with just a straightforward purchase. Whether you are a business with retail storefronts or a strictly digital company, the customer experience (CX) services you provide for your customers matter quite a bit.
According to Great America, 70% of buying experiences revolve around the customer’s feelings and journey from a casual onlooker to a brand promoter. This makes it pivotal for businesses to offer adequate CX services to both new and recurring buyers. With that in mind, let’s take a look at several steps and guidelines which can help you design your website to be optimized for customer experience servicing and better support in general.
Benefits of great customer experience
Before we get into how you can integrate customer experience into your website in greater effect, let’s talk about why you should do it in the first place. Nathan Michel, head of the marketing department at Resumes Expert was quoted recently: “Without customer support infrastructure, no business can survive in the 21st century–make sure to plan your customer servicing efforts well in advance.” After all, every new addition to an existing business model should tangibly bring benefits to the table:
Omnichannel customer servicing. No matter the scale of your business, omnichannel customer servicing is something you should want to provide to your customers. Integrating customer experience processes into your website will allow you to service customers on multiple fronts, including social media, messaging apps and email (among others).
Customer feedback collection. One of the greatest benefits of CX is the ability to collect actionable, relevant customer feedback. After all, your customers can comment on your products, brand image and marketing efforts better than any internal staff member. The data you collect can be used to further refine your CX processes and bring innovation to your brand.
Greater brand authority. No business acts as a solitary entity in any given industry. This makes it important for you to provide as much or if not even more CX solutions to your customers compared to your competition. Offering adequate CX will allow you to build your brand’s reputation which will help you solidify your position in the global industry.
Business and stakeholder alignment. Lastly, one of the key benefits of CX is your ability to align your business’ goals and mission with what the customer base wants and/or needs. Interacting with your stakeholders through constant customer servicing will help you shape your brand into a unique, customer-centric entity on the market.
How to design your website for the best CX
Use a personalized tone
A good way to start your website’s CX implementation is to adopt a casual tone of voice throughout your content. For example, your landing page, navigation bar as well as product pages and blog posts should come off as friendly and inviting. Similarly, words such as you, we, collaboration, and community should find their way into your vocabulary.
The tone of voice you adopt in some of your content should find its way into other aspects of your website, including your omnichannel customer experience efforts. You can rely on platforms such as Write Load, FlyWriting, and Grammarly in order to edit any existing content for better personalization. Avoid using robotic, overly-professional writing in your website’s content to give the impression of a customer-centric business.
Make support straightforward
Your customers and clients will likely want to get in touch with your support agents at some point during their customer’s journey. It’s essential for your website to provide a straightforward way of doing so from any point in the sitemap.
For example, if a customer wants to contact a support agent while reading one of your blog posts, they should be able to do so in two clicks or less. Alternatively, your customer support page should always be present in the navigation bar and/or footer of your website for added clarity. Make it easy for people to reach out to you and you will see healthy engagement rates as a result.
Rely on social proof
Social proof is one of the best ways to seal the deal with new visitors and to entice recurring customers to make another purchase. Anything from testimonials and reviews to customer interviews and infographics can act as your social proof. This info will add a lot of credibility and trust to your brand, not to mention the boost your customer experience will receive as a result of social proof.
Platforms such as Hemingway and TheEssayTyper can be used to shape customer reviews and comments into content which can then be highlighted on your landing page. Provide proof of your quality and people will learn to rely on your brand as a trustworthy provider of goods and services.
Make the purchase easy
One of the main aspects of thought-out customer experience mapping is to ensure that people can buy your products easily. Whether you rely on recurring subscriptions or one-time purchases, you should always make sure that your checkout process is as simple as possible.
Don’t waste your customers’ time by requiring additional purchase information, multiple identity checks, and confirmations before allowing them to buy your products. Test your checkout procedure periodically to gauge how many clicks it takes to finish and how intrusive popups, additional offers, and identity checks are. The easier it is for people to order your goods, the more likely they are to share your online store with their social circles.
Follow-up on purchases
Your customers’ journey doesn’t end with the purchase of your products or services. Instead, the customer servicing should ramp up given that customers trust you with their time and money. You can follow up on your customers’ purchases through email surveys or omnichannel customer experience depending on the niche you operate in.
Ask about their experience so far and whether or not there is something you can work on to make your website better. As Brian Laurie, a UX specialist at BestUKWriters puts it: “The user’s experience only ends once an individual is completely done with your product and brand. Before that happens, you should ensure the utmost quality of customer support and servicing opportunities should they reach out to you for help or additional info.”
This is a good opportunity to rely on customer surveys, polls and questionnaires as they are unobtrusive and allow customers to express their thoughts in writing. Don’t let your customer support end with the final purchase of a product. Extend the proverbial olive branch and follow up on purchases to solidify your credibility as a customer-centric brand.
Iterate on your design periodically
Lastly, any feedback, customer support data and survey result you collect should find its practical application on your website. Even a simple addition of more product categories or an added language support can go a long way in building your trust and reputation within the online community. Make sure that your customer support department collects and analyzes data on a constant basis.
Extrapolate useful feedback and comments in regards to your business and/or website for later use. Doing this on an ongoing basis will allow you to always offer something fresh, exciting and game-changing to your audience in terms of refining your customer experience. There is no better way to grow as a business and brand than by allowing your customer community to be an integral part of that process.
The fact of the matter is that customer experience optimization is an ongoing process. You will never reach a point where you can safely abandon future updates within your website and customer’s journey. However, with the right customer support and feedback pipeline, you will always stay ahead of the curve in terms of new trends and customer experience innovations.
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Editor’s note: This article reflects the opinions of our guest author.
About the guest author
Leona Henryson is a freelance writer and UX designer. When she is not writing or designing, she is swimming, hiking, and, weather permitting, snowboarding. Feel free to contact Leona on Facebook and Twitter.