A nebulous and broad-ranging phrase, getting your head around the importance of customer experience can be difficult. Especially in an online world where you never actually “meet” your customers.
But customer experience has profound impacts on your business. From turn-over to returning customers, getting it right is the difference between a bad review and a lifelong customer.
Our article is looking at customer experience, and just how important it is for your website’s success.
What Is Customer Experience?
Back in the day, customer experience used to be the service in-store or the product itself. That isn’t the case anymore. Customer experience is any touchpoint between your business and your customer.
Though there are more important touchpoints, usually product and service, this will vary from business to business. For predominantly online businesses, your most important customer experience interactions will likely revolve around their experience on your website. For example, usability, site speed, or content.
This online customer experience has become important for many businesses. So much so that there are dedicated CRM software to help you optimize to offer the best customer experience possible. These types of software offer heatmaps, session replays and more so you can analyze your customer experience step-by-step.
All this is to say, investing in customer experience will help your website succeed. Here’s how.
1. The Best Marketing Money Can Buy Is…
A happy customer. Especially a returning one!
We forget the power of word of mouth (WOM) with all our new digital marketing tools and tricks. But WOM drives 6 trillion dollars of annual consumer spending. And this trend is set to grow for online word of mouth.
Word of mouth marketing goes hand in hand with customer experience. You won’t get good WOM marketing if your customer experience isn’t top-notch.
2. Drives Reviews
Closely related to word of mouth marketing, reviews. Every business wants great reviews from their customers. Thanks to reviews, especially in an online world, the customers have all the power, not the businesses.
Reviews educate and inform potential customers. Or put them off altogether.
They also help with search engine optimization efforts. They’re a strong signal to Google that a site is authoritative and trustworthy.
The logic here is simple, a great customer experience helps drive great reviews.
3. Identify Online Issues
We’re all guilty of growing blind to our own site’s issues. Whether it’s outdated website design or obvious errors, employees who spend all day on your site may miss them.
But CRM software allows you to look in-depth at actual customers using your website. So you can see the points they’re dropping off and examine why. Things as obvious as shortening a form aren’t obvious at all until we see it affect the customer experience.
Doing regular analysis of this and identifying online issues has loads of benefits. It keeps your site in good health, which may improve your search engine ranking positions. Keeping your site free of errors may also help decrease your bounce rate and improve your conversion rate.
4. Understand Customers Better
Though we can think of analytics as an array of numbers and data, it’s much more than that. Analyzing our online customer experience through analytics gives us insights into our customers. This helps us better understand our customers.
We can use this information to inform not just our website designs and optimizations, but so much more. We can use it to build customer personas to inform our overall marketing strategies. We can create more effective marketing campaigns with messages that better resonate with our customers, and in turn, increase sales.
5. Improves Mobile Experience
This could technically go hand in hand with identifying site issues, but it’s a big enough benefit to merit its own point.
So many businesses are still lagging behind in optimizing their mobile experience, focusing instead on desktop. This is despite the fact that 50% of all online traffic is now mobile.
Examining our online customer experience naturally involves examining it on all devices. You may pick up a whole host of issues on your mobile experience that does not exist on your desktop experience.
Obviously improving your mobile experience may help improve conversion rates and decrease bounce rates. But more than that, it future proofs your website. It ensures you’re focusing on the increasingly popular means to browse online.
This in turn can help your SEO efforts. Google themselves have said they’re using a mobile-first indexing approach for their rankings. So by optimizing your customer experience on mobile, you’ll improve your rankings in the SERPs.
6. Improves Content
Content is still king, even in 2021. Not only for SEO but for your customers. Using customer experience data like surveys can help you figure out what content resonates with your customer.
This can help you create better content, which can help SEO, but most importantly can help your customers. It can also help you come up with new content ideas if you discover there are areas lacking in information on site.
This data can also help you create better product pages, by featuring the unique selling points and features your customers actually want to see. As opposed to the ones you think they want to see!
7. Utilizes Customer Feedback
So many businesses make the mistake of asking for customer feedback and not actually implementing it. It’s merely a vanity exercise to get great quotes for themselves.
But if you’re correctly implementing a customer experience strategy, you’ll be regularly asking for in-depth, actionable feedback. Our point being, action it!
Your customers are the single best people to advise you on where and what to improve on your website. Which brings us quite nicely to our final point…
8. Improves Conversion Rate
All of the benefits above should eventually lead to an improved conversion rate. We’ve mentioned it a couple of times, but as business is really about profits when it all comes down to it, it deserves its own moment in the spotlight.
Most customers are willing to pay more for a better experience. It’s why reviews, social proof, and word of mouth work so well for businesses.
All this is to say, if you’re not investing in and optimizing your customer experience, then you’re missing out on sales.
As you can see, customer experience is vital for any business hoping to increase their online presence or sales. Creating a customer experience strategy and even investing in CRM software can help your business thrive digitally.
You can find more business articles on our blog, so make sure to check it out.