For most of us, shopping around for products and services online is just what we do now. Whether we’re scrolling phones while watching Netflix or making more considered purchases at work, a good proportion of our time is going to be spent researching on websites.
Which means for us as businesses, the online customer experience is something we have to pay attention to. Everything from how the website looks and behaves, to how easy it is to navigate to how clear it is where certain information can be found.
It’s all important.
Here we take a look at the issue of the online customer experience, from what customers want and expect, to what they say are the biggest issues they currently have with websites, to what you can easily change to improve the experience of your customers when they find your website.
Customer Expectations: What do they want?
Websites that are easy to navigate
Visitors will leave a website within 10-20 seconds if they can’t find what they’re looking for, according to research by Nielsen Norman Group.
So you need to make your website easy to navigate so users can quickly and easily find the information or products they’re looking for.
Adding managed Live Chat to your website can be a good way of doing this, as you can have real people behind the chat to answer questions directly and point customers in the right direction, rather than leave them to find what they want on their own.
Websites that work on mobile
According to Google’s Mobile Usability Report, 74% of users are more likely to go back and visit websites that work as well on mobile as they do on desktop (not that surprising given how much browsing is now done on smartphones and tablets)
For businesses it means building websites that are optimised for mobile so users can easily navigate them regardless of what device they’re using.
Websites that give personalised experiences
“Personalisation” on a website can mean a lot of different things.
Whether it’s offering product recommendations based on previous purchases, or using smart content to personalise the content a user sees and making it more relevant to them.
It’s important to put time into this because 91% of customers are more likely to buy from businesses that offer personalisation online, according to Accenture.
Again, Live Chat can be a great tool for this because it allows customers to ask questions specific to what they’re looking for and allows you to give answers to those specific questions quickly.
Where is the online customer experience going wrong?
Poor customer support
About 83% of customers say they need more support when buying online and that it currently isn’t available much of the time. Responsive support like Live Chat instantly supports this by putting customer support agents behind your website to answer any questions directly that customers might have.
Poor performing websites
Every second delay in a website loading can reduce the chance of a purchase being made by about 16% (which is a bigger problem now with so many other websites offering many of the same products and services as you)
Whether it’s websites that are slow to load, or others that are hard to navigate, customers clearly think more focus needs to go into how websites work within the online customer experience.
Poor checkout experiences
Around one in five customers say they’ve abandoned a purchase at checkout online because the process was too complicated.
Imagine that for a second.
That’s customers in the process of buying something giving up on handing money over because a business had made the process too difficult.
If a customer is willing to give you their money, it’s worth doing everything to make it as easy as possible, right?
How to improve the online customer experience
Create personal interactions
Installing tools like managed live chat on your website is a perfect way to meet the challenge of personalisation.
By having human customer service agents in the background of your website you can give personalised responses to specific questions and even proactively engage with website users to ask them what they need so you can help them.
The easiest way to understand what improvements need to be made to the online customer experience you provide is by asking your customers directly. Using surveys you can work out where the biggest problems are so you can prioritise where you need to improve the quickest.
Make it easy for customers to pay you
Reducing the number of steps a customer has to take to give you money should definitely be a priority.
This is why so many websites now offer one click purchases.
It’s also worth considering what payment options you provide to allow more types of payments for customers to use.
Use the online customer experience to your advantage
With more websites selling more of the same products and services, the online customer experience has become a key differentiator in itself.
Customers walking away thinking they’ve had a great experience isn’t just a bonus anymore, it’s a must have.
If you want more tips or advice on how to improve the online customer experience have a look through our blog.
24th January, 2024
Posted by Face For Business