Almost every action consumers make involves a digital application, from looking for the best product, to shopping, to after-sales support, which makes up the entire customer journey. A single interaction no longer defines the entirety of a customer’s journey when making a purchase. This means every channel where customer interaction is possible should be easily accessible, convenient and efficient.
Studies show that 86% of shoppers will pay more for excellent customer support, while 65% agree that good customer service is always better than a great ad. This makes the customer experience a valuable branding strategy for every business. In 2020, overall customer experience is said to take over product and pricing as key differentiators.
The omni-channel strategy
The digital age has made it possible for both customers and brands to interact with one another directly anytime, anywhere. It’s crucial to answer the demands of the omni-channel customer, who is present on multiple touchpoints – voice, web chat, social media, email and more.
- A strong omni-channel is key to an excellent customer experience. According to a report, organizations that have taken on a strong omni-channel strategy have seen a 9.5% increase on their annual revenue; while those that used weak omni-channel strategies only saw an increase of 3.4%.
- Companies utilizing the omni-channel approach have a higher retention rate. Reports show that approximately 57% of customers nowadays prefer to contact businesses via social media, email, apps and other digital platforms. omni-channel helps bridge this gap by making the customer’s chosen touchpoint available and interconnected. According to research, those that promote the omni-channel approach have a 91% higher annual customer retention rate compared to those that do not.
Smooth and easy transactions
There is a lot to be done in a day and everyone is just busy. If a business makes it easy to make a purchase or get service done for a customer, the chance of repeat business is higher compared to those that have a lengthy or inconvenient process.
- Shop and go. Research shows that 74% of consumers are likely to switch providers if the purchasing or service process isn’t convenient. Meanwhile, 77% of customers who received excellent service are likely to make a recommendation. In line with this, a 5% increase in customer retention equates to a 25% to 95% increase in revenue.
- Make your business accessible 24/7. Thanks to the Internet, shopping from home any time of day is now possible. This is why a business needs to have its own website where customers can reach them or better yet, purchase a product or service. In 2017, Statista reported that there were 1.66 billion digital buyers worldwide, and this number is expected to rise to 2.17 billion come 2021.
It’s the age of smartphones and people feel incomplete leaving home without it. In Q3 of 2018, 61% of online shopping website visits were done on smartphones. An app is the best way to make your brand available and accessible to smartphone savvy users who prefer to make transactions on their mobile phones.
- Be available through a mobile app. The purchase path is no longer straightforward as more and more customers are relying on product reviews and comparisons prior to making a decision.
This makes leveraging on a mobile app a sound decision for businesses these days, especially those who target the tech-savvy millennials.
- Build a stronger brand. Being able to easily communicate with a brand helps establish trust. And since apps are more accessible than a full website, customers feel it’s easier to reach out or make a transaction. Since an app is dedicated to providing customers with straightforward access to what they need, conversion is more likely.
No matter how you look at it, customer experience will always be a significant aspect of branding and it will continue to evolve through the years as technology advances. It is important to invest in the right people and technologies and bring them together seamlessly, resulting in excellent customer experience.