Top 6 Ways To Improve Your Customer Experience Strategy

Customer expectations have increased exponentially in the last few years, and customers are in control now more than ever. If you want to be a leader in your industry rather than being left behind, consider the following emerging strategies that have proven to deliver. They’ll help you build long-lasting relationships with your customers, and in turn, increase sales.

  1. Offer products across multiple shopping channels
    Provide customers with the option of browsing and purchasing products in-store, on-line via your website or on mobile devices and tablets. And just as you focus on visual merchandising in retail stores, make sure that you design and merchandise your online store in a way that keeps the customer interested. Ensure all the key features are there on your website so that customers can easily find the products they desire. Add effective search/advanced search capabilities – the larger your product catalog, the more important site search is to your ecommerce success. Provide options such as shopping by brand or by price. Include customer reviews and ratings.
    Incorporate features such as ‘one-step checkout’, and ‘abandoned shopping cart’ emails. One step checkout simplifies the purchasing process for customers as all the required information for order placement is conveniently located on one page. An abandoned cart is where someone comes onto your website, browses around, adds products to their shopping cart and then leaves the site before completing checkout. The website CMS will then automatically email people that have abandoned the cart asking them if they need help or find out if there was a reason why they didn’t complete the purchase (the benefits are two-pronged – assisting the customer as well as improving your website if a problem does exist).
  2. Know what your customers want, build loyalty and reward them
    Don’t bombard customers with irrelevant offers – it’s a sure way to lose their trust in your products and your company. If you’re capturing the right customer information such as location, previous purchases, preferred price points, and have the flexibility to create basic and even the most complex segments, then you can easily create highly effective and powerful campaigns – the aim is to anticipate customers’ needs, and target customers with the right deal at the right time.
  3. If you really know and understand your customers, they’re more likely to welcome your email offers, resulting in increased conversion rates. But it doesn’t end there. Reward customers with tailored loyalty programs – provide a 10% discount for VIP customers, or ‘earn 500 points in a quarter to receive a $25 Gift Voucher’. For a unified shopping experience make sure the loyalty program spans every shopping channel – online, in-store, mobile.
  4. Manage your stock and set expectations on product availability
    How well are you managing your inventory across all locations? Are you able to keep up with customer demand by having the right products on hand as soon as your customers need them? Comprehensive inventory management software will notify you when you are running low on stock, and create suggested purchase orders based on reorder points, previous selling history, or other replenishment methods.
    It should be very clear to customers what products are available, and there’s a myriad of ways to manage stock availability online. For example, products that are always available will always display online, products with zero stock can be pulled from the website, or why not set up stock allocations with suppliers (ie ‘commit’ to buying a specific product amount), which gives customers the flexibility of submitting sales orders even though the stock is not physically in your warehouse at the time.
    To answer product related enquiries, in-store staff must have real-time access to relevant information. Customers should be notified on the spot about product availability in the store or at other store locations. If need be, get the stock to the customer quickly by creating inventory transfers from your warehouse or from other store locations.
  5. Quick order processing and dispatch
    Once customers have placed their orders they expect a quick turnaround time. Fully paid web orders should be immediately routed to the warehouse queue for swift pick, pack and dispatch. Leading practice warehousing procedures ensure that orders are processed and dispatched in batches, and integration to courier services such as Australia Post eParcel or Couriers Please simplifies the process by churning out delivery labels to be placed directly onto the customer’s packaged order, and via order manifests. Provide customers with order dispatch confirmation emails incorporating tracking notification information.
    Delivery timeframes can also be reduced by drop-shipping orders directly from your suppliers. Why not offer customers click and collect – provide the convenience of order pick-up from their desired location or branch.
  6. Build Customer Relationships
    In today’s ultra-competitive markets, a true CRM focus will lead to stronger customer relationships. One thing’s for certain though – CRM needs to be adopted throughout the company from the top down.
    Aside from the company philosophy, a modern, comprehensive CRM software solution will give you complete relationship detail. When was the last time the customer purchased from you? Which campaigns have they received and read? What previous communications have you had with the customer? What is the status of their sales order? Use this information to interact with customers meaningfully at the right times, and in turn experience increased sales, customer satisfaction and retention.
  7. Analyse Data to Anticipate Customer Needs
    Analysis of your enterprise-wide data will power you to make effective decisions, but first you need to define a goal. For example, do you want to increase sales to existing customers, or increase loyalty, or grow your customer base?
    Next, use customer analytics to achieve your strategy. Understanding essential information such as which stores (and channels) your customers visit and what they buy, as well as ‘best sellers’ means that you can adjust your merchandise accordingly – make sure you have the right products available at the right location.
    Previous purchases (down to the granular level of type, brand, category, subcategory, and attributes) are a great indication of what customers will buy next. Other demographics and psychographics such as location, age, and preferred price points are also useful to provide more sophisticated and personalised customer offers.
    Some offers will work better than others. Business Intelligence provides you with the ability to measure the performance of your customer offers and tailor future campaigns to increase effectiveness.