How to Improve the Online Customer Experience

Providing a good online customer experience is one facet of the business that has the power to keep the doors of a operation open or closed forever. The importance of good customer service is normally recognized by the most successful businesses since they know how to keep their customers coming back over and over again.

Unfortunately, with the growing number of transactions that people are processing all over the world, its often difficult to maintain the level of customer support that people need to remain happy with the services that they receive. Regardless to the circumstances, it is important to note that the guidelines and the rules of exceptional customer service are changing dramatically. Specifically, for those who are trying to provide a positive online customer experience.

Treating each customer well and providing them with the products and services that they want is one of first things that sets one online business apart from others in the same industry. Because the online world is already impersonal since there is no face tied to the products and services that they buy, it requires business owners and their staff to go the extra mile by thinking out of the proverbial box in order to find the best solution possible.

How to Improve the Online Customer Experience

Think Like the Customer

Finding the right formula to providing a good customer experience is normally multifaceted so these business owners will need to explore a wide diversity of ideas. Which means, these companies should develop an innovative plan to meet these and other essential requirements. This said, business owners and their representatives should start these initiatives by placing themselves in the shoes of the customers that they service on a regular basis.

As often stated, when the shoe is on the other foot, people tend to act differently when they are being provided with various kinds of services. For instance, sometimes companies may send out mystery shoppers within their organizations to see how the services of their companies really are from an upfront point of view.

As a result, they may see people being insulted or being mistreated when they are asking for simple things. On the other hand, a mystery shopper may also uncover exceptional customer support practices that an individual employee may use that will need to be carried on to other parts of the organization as well. Whatever the case or situation, it is important for the business owner to understand what customers want and how the company can meet these requirements.

Gathering Data Online to See What Works

Face-to-face encounters can be very beneficial. Unfortunately, this strategy cannot be used online. However, there are still strategies and techniques that can be used to provide a positive customer experience. This is one of the main reasons why many small and large companies are utilizing all kinds of surveys to obtain the appropriate information.

Making it Easy for Customers to Find the Business

Another method that can be used to improve online customer experience is to follow the path that each customer takes exactly. To that end, the online company can start this process by searching for their company’s name in the same manner that a potential customers does. For instance, the business owner should search for their business’ name and the key words for the products and services that the company sells.

Ideally, the business owner should also be up-to-date on where their website stands with the key words used. On the other hand, if they are not knowledgeable about this area of the business, it is important that they sign-up with Google Analytics. Google Analytics is designed to show the business owner where the company is at that point in time. Which means, if the customer does not have any problems with finding the company’s website online, this is normally a great first step in the right direction. Contrariwise, if the business owner does have trouble finding their own site in the search engines, they must make the appropriate changes with their SEO initiatives.

Make it Simple for the Customer to Find their Products

Many times a business may offer awesome products and prices. As a result, when the customer finds the business’ site, they are more than willing to stay there and come back again multiple times. In these situations, it is extremely important for business owners to make the customer’s stay a pleasant one. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to make it simple for the customer to find what they need quickly without having to stumble around surfing.

Fortunately, there are many ways to address this problem and that is to build the site according to best practices. For instance, the designer of the site should make sure that it is easy for customers to navigate from one place to another. Since the overall goal in an online retail store is to purchase the item that they want, this should be very simple to do in the shortest amount of time. From identifying the product that they want to paying at an electronic check out counter, all of these steps should be intuitive for both previous and first time customers. Whatever the case or situation, no customer should be confused about what they should do next or if the purchase that they just made is actually complete.

Improving customer experience online takes a continuous effort since things are always changing on the web. Thinking like the customer is one of the best ways to approach these kinds of problems. Fortunately, there are many different ways to obtain this kind of information and they include surveying the customers online to see what they like and want, making it simple for the customer to navigate through the company’s site, and a wide host of other things that the customer can provide feedback to. It is important to note, however, that improving the online customer experience involves placing oneself in the same situations and making the necessary changes.

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Matthew Thomas
Matthew is the Lead Author & Editor of CXperience Blog. Matthew established the CXperience blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Customer Experience.
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