We’re continuing last week’s articles about how to get and keep customer loyalty. Today’s article is all about the online customer experience, before they’ve ever set foot in your store.
These days, customers use the internet to find out more about stores, their products, their location, hours, services they offer, and much more – all from the comfort of their homes. Many customers embrace online browsing to shorten shopping trips, or simply purchase online and have items shipped directly to them. In this day and age, speed and convenience are king.
How can I give my customers a good online experience?
- Make sure you’re available. You need a website, first of all. Yelp reviews and facebook pages are great, but if customers can’t see a website devoted to your business, they’ll be much less likely to come see you in person. Even if you’re a one-man (or woman) operation, a great looking website can be your best friend! Need help creating a website? We offer web design services!
- Branding, branding, branding. Once a customer gets to your website, there needs to be no doubt they are in the right place. Make sure your website has your logos, your coloring, and the same feel and attitude as your store. Consistent branding across all customer channels is a must-have.
- Clean and easy to navigate. Your website needs to be clean looking and easy to navigate. Your customers are looking for specific things – contact page, hours of operation, or products. Make sure your pages are clearly labeled and easy to find. The longer the customer has to fiddle around looking for the information they want, the more frustrated they become.
- Shopping cart. If you are selling products online, you need a secure and easy to use shopping cart. Shopping carts with 10 pages of information necessary to complete checkout gives customers too much time to rethink their purchases while answering questions.
- Shipping and store pickup. If possible, offer free shipping. Many companies offer free shipping on purchases over $50. Do what you can to make that customer experience the best possible. If you can’t offer free shipping (let’s face it, shipping fees can be expensive), you can at least offer in store pickup. Once the order comes in, pull the product for the customer and set it aside for them to pick up at their convenience. When shipping to customers, hand written thank you notes, or little bonuses are always unexpected and wonderful for that above-and-beyond experience.
- Lastly, follow up. Make sure you follow up with customers after their purchases. Thank them and make sure that they are satisfied with their orders, and that everything arrived as expected. Sometimes it’s nice to send them a coupon or discount code for future purchases. If the customer needs to return something, make the process as painless as possible!
Most of these are pretty straight-forward, but employing all of them together creates a wonderful customer experience that will make customers feel happy and appreciated. Happy customers are loyal customers.
For more information about our web design services, give us a call at 844-4QBOOKS X 203. (844)472-6657 X 203.