Customers don’t just drop out of thin air with their fists full of money. Not at first, at least. You have to be prepared for a whole lot more than simply ringing up an order – more specifically, you’ll need to be able to engage customers, nurture them, and then convert that enthusiasm into a sale.
To do this in a frictionless way, you have to identify the customer touchpoints needed to guide the customer through the process of purchasing or otherwise engaging with your brand. This means contact forms, social media, newsletters, product demos, testimonials, customer service agents or chatbots, blog posts, marketing emails, and so on.
The goal isn’t to be too pushy (every good salesperson knows there’s a difference between supportive persistence and being overly pushy), but rather to provide the kind of support the customer needs. They should never feel like they’re cast adrift without enough guidance to make an informed decision. Customer touchpoints are there to help.
Make the transaction as simple as possible
Every added step in a transaction process is a chance for the customer to have second thoughts and walk away. Whether it’s an extra tap required at checkout or a long wait to speak to a customer service representative, the longer the wait, the more customers you’re statistically going to lose before they complete their order. This philosophy shouldn’t just apply when it comes to taking their money, either.
The post-sale part of customer service, when it comes to allowing them to contact you with a query should be as straightforward as possible. Even allowing them to change their mind and return a product for a refund most likely shouldn’t be obfuscated. When in doubt, consider that your goal should focus on making things seamless – with the belief that, over time, this methodology is going to win over customers.
It’s all about personalization
Traditional, brick-and-mortar retail doesn’t have the option of personalizing every store for every customer. Things are easier online, however. Whether it’s addressing customers by name, offering loyalty programs to support regular shoppers, making them aware of new products that are (genuinely) likely to be of interest, and any other myriad of methods, personalization is an invaluable way of tailoring your product to customers.
By literally rearranging what you are doing around each customer, it not only shows that you value their business but also ensures that it’s easier for them to find what they’re looking for – and feel rewarded for sticking with you, rather than switching to a competitor.
Run the numbers
Don’t just assume that every customer is a satisfied one – or that every customer who completes a transaction found it totally frictionless. Tools like Customer Effort Scores (CES) can help dig into this data by looking at how easy customers found their interaction with a particular organization. Put simply, the more effort a customer has to put in, the worse you’re doing.
Finding ways to analyze this data seamlessly, often using the latest sentiment analysis AI tools, is a game-changer when it comes to better understanding the people who do business with you. We live in an age of big data, in which online behavior can be analyzed to a greater extent than at any previous point in history. Take advantage of the opportunity.