This post is a guest post by Becca Gatesman, Content Marketer at GrowthSpark.
Offering a great customer experience in a physical store is straightforward. It’s about having an attentive clerk, a well organized store, or a cashier that helps shoppers to their car. It may be a barista that’s great at remembering regulars, or a manager in your hardware store that can teach anyone how to fix anything. You can offer that same experience through your ecommerce store, but it takes a coordinated media presence, website, and post-purchase communication plan to pull it off and make your customers feel cared for.
Think of your customer experience as a journey that each person travels along, which starts with the first time they hear about your brand to the last time they purchase. Each time your brand interacts with the customer, they should move closer to purchasing. But how can you make this journey as effective as possible, and keep them coming back for more?
Whether they’re looking at your Facebook advertisements for the first time, or they’re opening up a transactional email sent after a purchase, your customers should be presented with the same branding and information that furthers their relationship with your company.
At a minimum, you must make sure that all of your touchpoints present accurate information—there are few things worse than showing a potential customer conflicting information! This is especially true when it comes to advertisements: Don’t show out of date sales or promotions and then allow incoming leads to be disappointed when they see that what attracted them to the site is already over.
Additionally, make sure that your marketing content matches your ecommerce design and tone, or your leads may end up confused about what your brand image is.
Customers want to feel like they’re interacting with humans, so make sure to present the same tone and aesthetic across the board for best results.
Understand The Stages Of The Customer Journey
As you design your customer touchpoints, consider what questions they’re asking at the stage they’re currently in:
Awareness (Advertising): What is this brand? What can they offer me?
Investigation (Content Marketing): Why is this brand better than competitors?
Consideration (Email Outreach & Customer Support): How and why should I buy?
Purchase (Email Outreach & Incentives): What should I buy?
Implementation (Email Outreach & Customer Support): How do I make the most of my purchase?
Renewal & Repeat (All Mediums): Should I buy more?
It's your job to answer those questions.
By creating content that’s specific to each stage of your customer journey, you’ll answer their questions quickly and effectively. When your content focuses on the question they’re currently on, and you jump to answer it, you create a conversation—and maintain control of it, instead of losing them to your competitors’ sites.
Be Transparent, Accessible & Approachable
Creating a great customer experience is, in the end, about offering support along the way as you guide them towards purchase. This means that your customer service offering will be actively supporting your marketing and advertising, so don’t skimp on this section.
It may seem like a simple detail, but make sure that it’s always clear how customers can get in contact with your brand, whether that’s through the instant messenger support on your website or a phone number. Make your brand approachable, and you’ll find that many customers help themselves over hurdles they encounter in your customer journey!
Creating a consistent customer journey experience is key to succeeding in ecommerce sales, but the principles that are required for success in this category haven’t changed much from those that physical stores adhere to. Make your customer feel listened to, offer help proactively, and make your product easy to find, and soon you’ll find your loyal customer following is flourishing.
GrowthSpark is a leading Shopify Plus Expert providing Shopify design and development services to e-commerce companies, helping them make more money online. Learn more about what they do here.