How to simplify customer journeys for online businesses
We bring you the secrets to engage your customers with your brand in this article.
Technology has changed the way consumers purchase. Businesses, therefore, are facing pressure to stand out from their competition and the competition is huge. Consumers are bombarded with choices, comfort, and availability, constantly. In a world of choices and vast competition, you need to create a simple way for the consumers to purchase your goods or services.
Before that, what does simplifying your customer's journey even mean? It means that your customer should be able to find, select, and buy the product or service. Simplicity means that your customer experiences sales in a fast, efficient, and effective manner. Customers are not looking for a perfect product or service, they are looking for comfort and convenience. The consumer always requires a product or service to make their lives easier.
Once a business achieves that, they turn their customers into brand advocates. Let's take a look at some ways you can achieve this:
1. Making it easy: Simplifying your customer's online experience may mean different things to different businesses. Therefore, a business needs to analyze their user base and their market, in order to understand what simplicity will be comforting to their users and which will also enhance their experience. Let's take an example to understand what we mean by simple: Many of you must have visited a clothing e-commerce platform. We see websites cluttered with discounts, and choices, and more choices. It makes a customer's life difficult when faced with too many choices. If a customer can easily sieve through a limited number of choices, they will simply make their purchase and checkout. Otherwise, your customer might tag it and decide to do it later. Now, if they have done that, you just lost your sale for this day. Make it easier for them to filter and sort their choices. Simply providing them with filters that help reduce the number of choices they can see at a time or a sort option to prioritize their browsing is a simple way to provide this convenience to the customer. There are various other ways to make your customers' lives easier. By staying up to date, by providing better after-sales service, or by providing features on your platform that your competitor has failed to do. For eg., if you are an online marketplace for local services such as repair, maintenance, pest control, etc., you can have a website that is supported in multiple devices and browsers which gives your user easy access to your platform. Other than making your platform clutter-free and easy to use, you can also add other features like an automated scheduling service to enhance your customer's experience. This feature can help customers make appointments without your input and allow re-scheduling at their own convenience. An application such as this also allows you to set reminders that will remind your customers regarding their upcoming appointments. Appointo, is automated scheduling software that makes this entire process hassle-free and easy to use.
2. Incentivize: Another way for your customers to revisit your website is the old-school ways of incentivizing your customers. Your business can provide rewards and referral points to your customers at convenient intervals of time. This shows your customer that you appreciate your loyal customer's business. Your loyal customers can get points or cashback when referring your website or business to someone, a practice used popularly by many websites. A reward system where first-time shoppers can get a coupon to encourage purchases. Also, a surprise reward in your loyal customer's email or a cashback reward to encourage a certain service or product. Rewards and referrals are a sure way to engage traffic to your website and encourage your customers to visit your website and probably make a purchase.
3. It's in the details: When you offer a product or service to your customer, you are also obligated to make sure that the medium it reaches the customer is also top-notch. However, your customer will know when you are being lazy. It is usually the small and mundane things that might ruin an experience for your customer. For eg., your e-commerce website does not appear on their search engine easily or takes more time to load than their patience allows. Even supporting services such as your customer support, if it is not accessible or is incompetent to answer their questions, the customer's ease of purchasing from you takes a hit. Here is a list of things that you can be careful of to avoid this:
Your business is beyond your website. There are simple steps that you can take to make your customer's journey as seamless as possible. What can you do? You can -
1. Not show a 404 error when your customer is trying to make a purchase (or at least not often).
2. Have navigation and geotagging in place.
3. Your customer should have a space on your website to leave their reviews and grievances.
4. Improve your website's performance in order to get a better website experience.
5. Your customers should be able to find you on a search engine so that they can reach your website even if they are unaware of your website address or a URL.
6. You should also build a strong social media presence. These days customers rely on social media to understand what the company stands for or just to know what they are up to.
7. There are several ways to engage with your customers. For eg., a major condom brand is famous for its witty and sarcastic content on Instagram. People have known to follow businesses' social media in order to engage with their content. This enables a company to be on your customer's minds all the time, which adds to your brand's "mindshare". There are various ways to engage with your customer, either by giving your customers great discounts or offers on social media or just by simply putting great content on their handles, or even engaging with a social issue. For eg., A popular fast-food chain has been well known for standing up for LGBTQ rights, and have communicated the same to their users via display ads, television ads, social media, etc. Similar engagements with your customers will make it easier for your customers to seek you out.
These are some ways to simplify your customer's online journey. It is understandable that some of these ideas might be a complete change of your business model. If you are reluctant to do so, you can surely try some of the easier ones first!
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