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10 ways to optimise CX (without touching the price tag)

Price is considered a major driving force for customers to choose a business or brand. Research shows that that’s not necessarily the case, and customers are willing to pay a price premium as high as 18% for luxury and indulgence services simply as a result of receiving a great customer experience. 

The customer experience (CX), created by the entire journey that the customer undergoes when engaging with a company, generates a more loyal, more authentic customer base than products or services which aim to compete on price alone.

Instead of aiming to compete solely on pricing, businesses would do well to consider other vital aspects of CX in order to fully offer their customers the best. The top ten ways to compete for a customer, excluding price tag, are:

1. Lightning speed loading 

Everybody hates Internet pages that take forever to load. It’s a universal truth. Offering your customer faster load time means they’re more likely to complete the checkout process. 

According to Machmetrics, “14% of your audience will start shopping at another site if your page loads are slow, and 23% will simply stop the shopping experience or walk away from the computer.”

2: Convenience from cart to customer

Part of an amazing CX is choice. This is everything from product to delivery options. 

60% of customers will purchase from one online retailer over another if they offer more convenient delivery options, according to Metapack.

Online retailers around the world have woken up to the possibilities of Click and Collect delivery to optimise user experience and grow market share. Inconclusive addresses, inaccessible rural areas and gated security estates prevent shoppers from getting their parcel. Convenient collection points are the answer.  

3. Sync up your socials

Customers shopping online are inherently savvy in digital trends. This means they’re on their devices, and likely on social media. In fact, it’s quite possible that a majority of your sales have come from a social media platform. 

According to Lyfe Marketing, “52% of product sales can be attributed back to Facebook. Around 75% of a buyer’s touchpoints with a brand they buy from, take place on social media.

Offer your customer an exciting experience on your social channels and you’ll start to see more success in sales.

4. Showcase a stellar reputation

All reviews are invaluable. Yes, even the bad ones. Negative reviews (provided they’re not the only reviews you’re getting) are helpful for companies to receive honest feedback. Good reviews from customers help build online reputation and trust , which ultimately increases sales. 

Stats back it too: 

63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews” and “reviews produce an average 18% uplift in sales.” – Econsultancy

5. Offer answers on a silver platter 

Customers like to have information at their fingertips. Unless you’re a detective agency looking for new employees, don’t make your website visitors hunt for answers. Instead, offer them a fantastic experience and make information easy to find. 

If you give your customer the option of self-service at product selection and check-out, you’re likely to increase sales.

According to Aspect, 73% of consumers said that they should have the ability to solve most product and service issues on their own. 

6. Be a multi-media maniac

Imagine offering your customer the ability to have a multi-media shopping experience while sitting on their couch. New technology has emerged. So this is not far off from becoming a reality. 

Adding innovations such as augmented reality (AR), as seen in Pokémon Go, and virtual reality (VR) to your customer’s digital experience can open up a major untapped segment in your market. 

AR can promote your product and your brand with a “traditional” experience through digital means. For example, AR allows you to offer your customer an in-store experience from the comfort of their own home. 

AR and VR allow customers to experience a real-life product before they purchase it.

The proof of how powerful these tools are is in the digital pudding. By 2020, 100 million customers will shop in AR online and in-store, according to Gartner, Inc.

7. Love, laugh, live-chat 

Live chat strikes with a double-pronged attack in providing excellent CX.

Firstly, it enables immediate customer service. With live chat, communication becomes instant and efficient, speeding up an otherwise lengthy process. It comes as no surprise, that sites which offer live chat functions show a marked increase in customers returning to the website. 

According to eMarketer, 63% of customers are more likely to return if the company offers live chat.

Secondly, with live chat, website visitors can be tracked and a strategy created to convert them into new leads through trigger messages. Live chat also functions as a data tracker to pinpoint frequently asked questions and common enquiry times. This can help streamline information sharing between companies and customers, making their experience smoother.

8. Empower your team  

Brands that upskill their employees generally communicate better with the public and gain a more loyal customer base as a result. If you want to offer a quality experience to customers, make sure your staff are trained to offer it. This is important across teams, from customer service to marketing and from data to dev teams. 

According to a survey conducted by Econsultancy and Google, 75% of marketers believe that a lack of training on data and analytics is a major obstacle to basing business decisions on data insights.

9. Give your customer the red carpet treatment

Want customers to have the best experience with your brand? Treat them as if they’re a VIP. Simple as that.

Give them the VIP experience by offering them something they need (okay, it can also be something that they want). Customers have a bad experience if they see advertisements for products or services they’d never use. According to Janrain & Harris Interactive, 74% of people are frustrated by irrelevant advertisements.

10. Protection, protection, protection 

Your customer is giving you money and data. Respect that trust and provide a sense of protection in return. 

If your customer feels safe, they’ll be more inclined to enjoy their experience with your brand. In research conducted by ACI Worldwide, it was found that 83% of customers showed that they would plan to stop spending money on a company for months after a data or security breach.

BONUS! 11: Seize the day with many ways to pay

Make it easy for your customer to pay using a method they are comfortable with. This could be by offering alternative payment methods beyond credit card. Become creative with QR codes and payment apps. To simplify the journey even more, offer to store customer details to incentivise repeat shopping.

According to ING Wholesale Bank, 58% of customers shop only using their smartphones, of which 34% said they were more likely to shop again at the shop if the company allows ‘one-click ordering’. 

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