How many times have you heard the super cliched phrase customer is king? My guess is enough times to make you believe that it is true. So if customer is king, who is the queen? Most marketers and business development folks will tell you that marketing is queen. Let’s sit back, pause, and think about this for a moment.
If the customer is king then the most important decision any organization can make has to be made keeping the customer’s preferences in mind. And if marketing is queen then the most important campaigns have to be effective enough for lead generation and conversion of potential customers to buyers. In their quest to please the king and the queen there is one little piece of the jigsaw puzzle known as ‘running a successful business’ that many organizations seem to overlook and that is the coming together of the king and the queen. Also known as customer experience.
In the offline world of sales and marketing businesses have tried to keep the customer happy while ensuring that leads convert and sales are always on the rise. This is done largely through human interaction.
A good financial advisor will win you over with suave talk and an ability to demonstrate in-depth knowledge about financial undertakings. A good fitness gear salesperson will help you determine whether a salmon ladder is a worthwhile investment for you to make. Human interaction does wonders to influence a customer’s experience during the entire shopping cycle.
Things get a little different when the entire shopping experience is brought online. Human interaction is still possible but is far less effective than an in person conversation. This is why customer experience is now turning into an entire sub-industry all its own.
Check out these popular mobile phones and tell us about your customer experience on iSpyPrice
E-commerce may not have become the entire planet’s shopping preference just yet but with each passing year more people are buying online than they were last year. Payment and logistics are not the only features that matter for an online brand. As this begins to become a norm online brands will trivialize customer experience at their own peril.
Thankfully more and more businesses are taking customer experience seriously. There are a few very basic functional requirements that every business should consider central to its customer experience effort. Here is a brief rundown on some of these functional requirements. If you run an online brand where lead conversion is difficult then you should refer to these as functional necessities.
It goes without saying that navigation is key to helping visitors find relevant information on your website. However, this becomes an even more important requirement when it comes to a business that relies upon its website to generate and convert leads.
Navigation must include a top-of-the-line site search feature. Stationary links are great but if you have hundreds and thousands of pages, as you likely will, then efficient site search becomes an integral part of your site navigation plans. Implement it! Also, there is room to explore features such as auto-scroll so that customers don’t lose interest too fast too soon.
Website load time
When customers visit an offline store they have the option of not waiting around for a salesperson to come and help them with window shopping. This is why most products are on display and people walk around checking price tags and specifications. If the salesperson is there to help that’s great. If they aren’t around hardly anyone likes waiting 5 minutes unless they know there is an offer to be availed. Even then the waiting time is minimal. It’s your job to ensure that customers don’t have to wait.
The same applies to the online customer experience. Website load times have decreased dramatically compared to what they were a decade and a half ago but some brands still manage to mess this up. One bad experience of waiting around for webpages to load can be a turn off for customers who may then go on to prefer a different website over yours in future.
This is something that many brands are uncomfortable sharing. But the better ones strive hard and encourage their customers to share reviews. The best ones go on to make these reviews public so that new customers can determine on their own what previous customers have to say about the brand.
Ideally, all product and service brands should make customer reviews public. It adds a level of authenticity and shows that you are honest about who you are and there is no pretense involved. No amount of marketing can eclipse this authentic approach. Of course you also have to make sure that your reviews are not rigged.
We will keep sharing our thoughts on customer experience and branding as we go along and we hope our audience finds this information interesting and worthwhile.