It’s no secret. A bad customer experience can drive people away from your business. Great customer experiences can cement relationships and create loyal customers. Whether you’ve already mastered the secret to lasting customer relationships or you’re ready to improve customer satisfaction, your website is a great place to start. Your website is the first point of contact your customer will make with your brand. So, it’s best to get it right. We’ll walk you through some tried and true strategies to increase customer satisfaction.
How does customer satisfaction relate to long-term customer loyalty?
An Oracle study reveals just how important the shopping experience is in the minds of consumers.
Customer Experience and Loyalty
SOURCE: Oracle 2016 Study
- 97% Customer Experience impacts willingness to be loyal
- 59% Customers switch brands due to a poor experience
- 40% Customers are willing to pay more for better experiences
When it comes to your website and online presence, great customer service is just one piece of the shopper experience. Taking into account your website and how easy it is for people to find products, the speed of page load time, and the overall design all play a significant role in the experience your shoppers have with your business.
These days the human attention span is hovering around 7 seconds. We’re constantly being lured by distracting text messages, app notifications, or the need to check the latest news alert. Your business is competing with a lot of noise and you might only get one chance at capturing a customer. Having an effective strategy for improving customer satisfaction on your website is a major retailer recommendation and making sure the experience is the best is a critical goal. It’s true that 88% of online consumers say they are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience.
Making your site shine and attract qualified customers isn’t impossible. Read on for some helpful tips on improving customer satisfaction.
1. Improve your website images
You may have the best retail showroom in the state, but if the outside of your building is less than stellar, shoppers may never come inside.
The same is true of your website. Pictures tell the story and represent who you are. Often, visitors will notice the pictures first (most humans interpret the world first through visuals). Shoppers have expectations when they visit a website. Strong visuals, quite simply, are key.
Use stock-photography of happy shoppers or hire an expert to capture your store professionally online. The visuals drive your message. Be sure the images are well-lit and framed appropriately.
Also, it shouldn’t have to be said, but beautiful photos must extend to the products you carry. Work with an experienced website developer or directly with your manufacturers to get the best product images available to display on your website. Shoppers crave visuals and when you show them the most realistic digital representation of merchandise you’re one step closer to acing your customer satisfaction goal.
2. Make shopping online easy
Most businesses focus on the content on their site. It’s important and one of the biggest customer satisfaction points we make to our retailers. Yet, if you want to improve customer satisfaction, you need to eliminate confusion. The fastest way to do this is to design your navigation for the customer. Can shoppers come to your website and find what they are searching for in 1 or 2 clicks? Do they know intuitively where to look to find that information or the best place to browse?
If shoppers struggle to use your website and find what they want, you are literally losing sales and driving buyers right to your competitors. According to Google, 79% of consumers say they will search for another site to complete the purchase if your site is not mobile optimized or they can’t find what they want quickly.
3. Make your website mobile-friendly
If you are not providing a great mobile website experience, you are missing out on a huge population of potential sales. Even if you don’t have an ecommerce website (yet!), consumer demand a seamless mobile website. These days, 65% of all time spent online in the United States is on a mobile device! In addition, search engines started prioritizing mobile-friendly sites in its search results – if you won’t take our word, consider listening to Google!
An easy way to check to make sure your site is mobile-optimized is to take Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Type your website address and run the test and it will give you a free report card on how your site stacks up.
4. Improve customer satisfaction with interactive tools online
One way to improve the customer experience and improve customer satisfaction on your website is to add elements that will encourage shoppers to engage with your site. The more engaged shoppers are with your website, they more likely they are to convert to buyers and potential repeat shoppers.
Here are few things you might consider:
- An interactive room planner provides a way to virtually plan and design a space. Customers can design the perfect room layout and assure the furniture and accessories they intend to purchase will fit and look fabulous. The tool helps sell the product and can also be a bonus for encouraging add-on sales.
- Style quizzes allow shoppers to pick from a series of inspiration pictures, colors, questions to help identify the customer’s preferred style. The end results is shareable on social media and can even support in-store designers in getting a better idea of how to design for their client.
- A virtual Store Tour lets shoppers walk through the store by navigating with finger swipes or keyboard arrows. Investing in this technology give the customer a better idea of your offering and makes them feel more comfortable when it’s time to visit your brick and mortar to make their purchase.
- A custom fabric draping tool gives potential customers the opportunity to customize their future products. Online shopper engagement increases, which leads to more closed sales.
Other engagement tools could include product filters and other personalization and customization tools.
5. Highlight your online reviews
By featuring your online reviews, you’re letting your satisfied customers help you sell. Reviews are powerful evidence of shoppers impression and satisfaction of your store, your service, and your products. Customers place a big value on reviews with 97% of customers saying they look online for local business reviews before shopping a store and 60% trust those reviews as much as personal recommendations.
By making it easy for visitors to find online reviews on your website, you can manage what they read rather than have them go elsewhere to get the information. Consider creating a place on your site for shoppers to leave reviews and direct in-store shoppers to review their purchase experience on your website.
Want to take the reviews one step further? Encourage video testimonials. Since shoppers are equipped with mobile cameras on their devices they can leave live-action feedback. Seeing the product in their home can be a powerful advocate for other shoppers.
6. Show your brand story online
Your online showroom is an extension of your brick and mortar location. If you want to really improve customer satisfaction online, start identifying your primary selling proposition and tell your story!
When customers come to your website, you need to quickly establish who you are and what you stand for.
- Where are you located?
- How can shoppers find you (on social media and your brick and mortar address)
- What you offer that sets you apart from other stores?
- Are you running any promotions, sales, and events at the store
7. Start a blog
Starting a blog helps engage shoppers in several ways. It can increase engagement by providing information about topics in which your customers are interested. Let them find answers to the questions they may have on your website rather than doing an online search and finding an answer from your competitors.
Benefits of Blogging
- Blogging helps with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The more keyword-rich content you have on your site, the more pages search engines will index. By using the right keywords and topics, you are increasing your chances of being found organically.
- Search engines value updated content. Adding blog posts can keep your site fresh and keeps shoppers coming back to read.
- Blogging also gives you a way to humanize your brand. Highlight customers, show your good work in the community or share what you and your employees are passionate about. It all helps to build up trust and likeability.
- Posts are also a great way to establish yourself or your business as an authority on a topic or showcase educational information that your customers can use. It helps keep you top-of-mind while increasing trust and familiarity.
You can also use lifestyle content and images to both entertain and inform. While professional images are recommended for your home page and product pages, blog posts can have casual or amateur photos (in moderation) from your showroom or events.
Blogging has been proven to improve conversion rates. According to Hubspot, businesses that prioritize blogging experience an incredible 13 times increase in their ROI! The same study also shows that the more content you have on your website, the more leads you get and the more you can improve customer satisfaction.
Providing the best customer experience possible is the key to building a brand, generating trust, creating loyalty, making sales, and nurturing customer satisfaction.
When you create a great first impression, present high-quality images, interactive tools, make intuitive website navigation, design for mobile-friendly devices, showcase reviews, and provide fresh content, shoppers will make your website a digital destination.
Remember satisfied (and dissatisfied) customers will tell their inner-circle all about your store…make sure what’s their saying reflects an outstanding online and in-store buying experience. With 88% of consumers spending more after a great buying experience – you can’t afford to ignore these tips!