A cracked brick wall - cracks in infrastructure concept
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It’s no secret that customer experience is where marketers expect to devote their greatest amount of energy in a bid to win over customers. A few short years ago nearly 90 percent of marketing experts said they expected their businesses to compete primarily on customer experience. (1) With so much attention given to ensuring a superlative customer experience, those businesses that fail or misfire on the customer experience risk losing out to their competitors.

But there are challenges at every step of the customer journey. If your business isn’t focusing on the right elements or taking a customer-first approach, you risk driving potential customers away. The stakes couldn’t be higher: 59 percent of customers are willing to stop doing business with a company due to a bad customer experience. (2) It’s up to your business to ensure a good experience is baked into every step of the customer’s journey.

Digital Is a Given

The customer journey is evolving. Buying patterns have changed over the past several years — and furthermore, purchasing in 2020 looks different from even 2019. More and more people expect companies to provide excellent CX. This transcends generations; younger generations have grown up in a vastly different purchasing landscape than previous generations, while older generations have adapted to online shopping. For example, 67 percent of millennials, 56 percent of Gen X and 41 percent of Baby Boomers prefer shopping online. (3)

A key point here is making the technology work for both the customer and your business. When used properly, technology can provide more information and data on your customers, not only where they are in the customer journey but how they feel about your brand. This data allows you to track more things and create a closer relationship with customers — even offline.

Be There at Every Step

Awareness, consideration, familiarity, purchase. It’s critical that your brand be there for every step of the customer journey. But, if any step is difficult for consumers, they’ll move on from your brand without making that final purchase.

Delivering a great customer experience is essential to smoothing the customer journey. It’s important to recognize and address the potential roadblocks that technology can cause. If your technology is too hard to use, you aren’t following customers across their journey or if you aren’t using data to listen to your customers, all these can negatively impact the customer journey. (4)

Meet Customers Where They Are

It’s important to deliver customer experience on the customers’ terms, not necessarily yours. More than three-quarters of all Americans own a smartphone and 79 percent of them used a smartphone to buy something within the past six months. (5) At the very least, your customer experience needs to be a great mobile experience.

Mobile isn’t just for buying either; 80 percent of customers have used their smartphone to look up a product while inside a physical store, to read product reviews, compare prices or find another store if a product is out of stock. (6) Does your mobile experience make it easy for customers to find the information they need? Can they use live chat to get answers? The easier you make it for customers to consider your brand, the more likely you’ll lead them down the journey to making a purchase.

To get customers through to purchasing, ensure that purchasing is as easy and seamless as possible. Are you offering delivery options? Curbside pickup? Between March and June 2020, 31 percent of customers who have used curbside pickup did so for the very first time. (7) As the customer experience evolves to include more options beyond simple onsite shopping, it’s important to make purchasing convenient for your customers.

Conclusion

When customers are given the option to engage with your business in a multitude of ways, they’ll engage more. Retailers have a wealth of tools and metrics available to them to ensure the customer experience is a great one. Businesses can reduce deficiencies in the customer experience by having a digital-first approach, staying connected with customers through every step of the customer journey and offering purchasing options that make it convenient for customers to buy from you.

Learn how TABLE can help turbocharge your CX at table.co.