By Carolyn Hall, Product Marketing Manager, Confirmit
The customer experience is critical in today’s highly competitive online retail sector. There are many variables involved in providing a great user experience and keeping customers engaged with your brand.
Here are four considerations — with insider tips — as to why online retailers must listen to their customers.
1) Customer Experiences Drive Success
Great customer experiences drive retention, word of mouth and loyalty — but what drives those experiences, and are you measuring those drivers? You may be hitting your own targets, but if those targets aren’t valued by customers, your measurements are inaccurate at best, and pointless at worst. Ask customers what they want from you and build metrics that genuinely reflect that — then take action to ensure that you create experiences that will truly delight and excite customers. Ask your happy customers to refer friends, make suggestions and get involved with your business.
Tip: Don’t ask customers you’ve disappointed how you can delight them next time. If you’ve failed to deliver on time, it’s not the time to talk about the next experience; it’s the time to fix this one. Create surveys with built-in logic that only ask happy customers what else they’d value.
2) Feedback is more than Complaints Handling
No matter how streamlined your processes are, or how fancy your web site is, you can’t guarantee that every customer will have a fabulous experience every time they buy from you. Yes, you can improve your overall customer satisfaction scores, but at some stage, someone’s going to be unhappy. Most customers won’t complain if they’re not happy, but they won’t come back either. Find out who those people are and react fast. Automate surveys so that customers have the opportunity to give you feedback straight away. Then use alerts to flag customers who need to be re-contacted. Resolving issues quickly shows customers you care, promotes loyalty, and gives those customers a positive tale to tell their friends and family.
Tip: Make it easy for your team to reach out to unhappy customers. Most customers are surprised and happy to be re-contacted because they don’t believe people read their feedback, so help employees embrace this opportunity by automating alerts that include all the information they need immediately.
3) Insight Drives Innovation
Use customer feedback to drive new product development and innovation. While focus groups and ad-hoc market research activities give you a clear understanding of what a small group of people would like, you can use feedback from existing customers to open the door to co-creation on a much larger scale. You can engage customers by not only asking for their opinions, but by also acting on them. This builds a community of highly engaged, loyal customers who you can turn to for input into product improvements, new product development and supporting services.
Tip: Manage your relationship with your most engaged customers carefully. Don’t overload them with surveys, or ignore them for too long. Find a systematic way to control who you communicate with, and on what basis —consider a panel of these customers to maximize efficiency.
4) Create Marketing Magic
Build strong marketing messages and create tailored campaigns by understanding what resonates with customers, and engaging with them at exactly the right time. You can create campaigns to up-sell and cross-sell products, and design special offers that follow up on recent purchases and feedback. By automatically tailoring the content of the survey that your customers receive, you don’t waste their time and enthusiasm with unnecessary questions so you can understand exactly where your hottest opportunities lie.
Tip: Gather feedback in a manner that replicates your marketing ideas. Incorporate images, video and interactivity to demonstrate your campaign ideas so customers can really see what you’re talking about. You’ll keep customers more engaged and get better insight as a result.
Carolyn Hall serves as Product Marketing Manager at Confirmit, which provides software for organizations to conduct Customer Feedback, Employee Feedback, and Market Research applications. For more information visit www.confirmit.com or call 1-888-801-2347.