Providing an exceptional customer experience in your online store is the best way to retain your customers. When your customers have a good shopping experience in your store, they want to continue shopping with you, which builds loyalty. They're also more likely to recommend your products and services to their family and friends, and that's advertising you don't have to buy.
To give your customers the service they want, sometimes you need to go the extra mile. Here are six areas where you should strive to improve your customer's online shopping experience.
Keep Their Private Information Safe
Many of your potential customer's are leery about sharing their personal and credit card information over the internet. This is because they've heard horror stories of others who have had their information stolen.
What is a cyber attack? A cyber attack isn't just a virus or malware that travels the internet installing annoying software. A cyber attack can be as small as someone hacking into your network and stealing your information. Keep your customer's information safe and offer a secure checkout process.
Provide Fast Shipping
Shipping is quickly becoming a competitive issue. With some of the larger companies shipping items and getting them into homes within one day, you're going to have to do well to compete with those offers of lightning fast shipping.
It's doubtful you can get your customers items to them in one day, but you can at least attempt to get their orders out the same day or the very least next day. In anticipation of a product they're sure they'll enjoy, customers track their orders as soon as they know they're shipped. Don't leave them guessing. This could leave a bad taste toward your company.
Provide Easy Navigation
Your website should be clean and simple so the customer doesn't become lost as soon as they hit the home page. Provide easy navigation so products aren't difficult to locate. Create category pages that lead them to item pages. Also, make product filtering available so they're able to narrow down what they're looking for.
The easier it is for them to find the item they're seeking, the more likely it is they'll purchase that item. If they have to work hard to find items in your store, it'll be easier for them to give up and go somewhere else.
Make Checkout Easy
When your customers go to check out on your site for the first time, make it a pleasant experience. Keep the demographic information you gather as simple as possible. If you allow for PayPal, this can make the checkout even faster so they don't have to hunt down their credit cards. Everyone knows their PayPal account information.
Allow your customers to create accounts on your site so they don't have to fill out the same information every time they create an order. This will also allow them to track their order history, which makes it easier to find items they want to buy again.
Offer Excellent Customer Service
How people like to access customer service is unique for every individual. Some of your customers will want to speak to you directly over the phone. Others would prefer to have web chat for its convenience. Offer both.
If your business is small, your customer service by phone can remain intimate. Your customers will appreciate that they're speaking to someone who is closer to the operations of the business rather than someone sitting in a call center in another state and sometimes even another country.
Always try to make your customer feel satisfied. It should be rare that the customer hangs up the phone in frustration or anger, with the promise to never use your company again, though sometimes these situations simply can't be helped.
Allow Product Reviews
People like to hear the opinions of other shoppers like themselves. After all, as the store owner, it's to your benefit to convince them of how great a product is. But another shopper like themselves gets nothing for their product option, other than the satisfaction that their review can help another shopper make the same mistake, or have the same great level of satisfaction.
Allow for reviews of every product in your store. This also allows you to know which products offer the best value to your customers. If an item is consistently getting bad reviews, it would be to your benefit to drop that item from your store so your business isn't associated with poor performing products.
A good customer experience is your best marketing tool. No matter how much advertising you invest in, nothing spreads faster than word of mouth, and that's because consumers trust one another more than they do information coming directly for the company. Once they've dealt with you and had a pleasant experience, they'll pass that information along. Invest in the experience you offer your customers. It's the best investment you can make in your online business.