How to Meet the Evolving Customer Experience Online & Offline
Digital innovators such as Amazon, Google and Apple have set new benchmarks in personalising the customer experience across touchpoints. By adding fuel to the consumer-driven economy, these digital leaders have forced businesses like yours to adapt or cede ground to competitors. Not surprisingly, brand experience is touted to overtake product and price as the core differentiator of a brand by 2020, says Walker Consulting.
This means consumers now increasingly expect your brand to have these three basics:
- A shopping experience that seamlessly crosses over from physical to online channels, and vice versa
- Personalised and intuitive brand engagement
- Quick, efficient and secure ways to pay for goods anytime, anywhere
If this makes you wonder how your brand can meet this evolving customer experience, the short answer is: Creating an integrated shopping experience and staying current with rapidly changing points of sale.
Scroll down to learn more about how you can foster customer retention and loyalty by enhancing the customer experience.
What Makes a Good Customer Experience?
Conventional pillars of good customer experience, such as knowledgeable staff that understand customer pain points and responsive customer service continue to remain crucial.
At the same time, enabling increasingly tech-savvy mobile customers to find your brand and interact with it regardless of device, geographical location and time of the day (or night!) are the three keys to crafting a delightful customer experience.
Equally important is consistency across all of these elements.
McKinsey says that consistent brand experiences that start from the presale stage and continue through the customer journey have three positive outcomes: Higher customer satisfaction, higher revenue, and decreased cost of serving customers (overheads). These findings are based on a customer-experience survey involving 27,000 consumers in the U.S. across 14 different industries.
Now the question is: How can you get there?
As smartphones and eCommerce make great strides, make sure your teams obsess over how customers can browse, buy and pay better on emerging devices and platforms. If you’ve noticed words such as omnichannel personalisation, encryption, tokenisation, and recurring billing come up more frequently in conversations, there’s a good reason behind it.
Each of these concepts is helping businesses improve customer experience, ultimately tying in with payment technologies that help secure that sale.
Let’s find out how:
Give Mobile-First Customers What they Expect From Your Brand
According to PwC, “the Asia-Pacific region is one of the fastest growing areas for internet and mobile take-up” with nearly 50% of all internet users in the world from APAC alone. Of the 10% growth that the world’s internet users saw in 2016-2017, an astounding 70% came from users in APAC.
With this in mind, let’s look at what mobile-first customers expect from brands across channels:
Unparalleled Convenience with an Omnichannel Strategy
Consumer attention is a resource brands need to fight for. Take this information from the American Marketing Association, for instance: “Consumers switch between screens up to 21 times an hour according to a British study, which correlates with Microsoft’s claim that the average person’s attention span is now just eight seconds.”
As this consumer behaviour solidifies, an omnichannel strategy will help brands engage with customers wherever and whenever they want. Real-time customer support (think chatbots as well as live agents) and instant payment options designed with your omnichannel and eCommerce strategy in mind will further hold things together.
Omnichannel ensures a connected experience: think, endless aisle solutions that allow consumers to purchase unavailable items in-store that are available online while at the instore counter. This involves the instore and online channels talking to each other, joining up and becoming a single brand silo that meets consumer demand.
Personalised Customer Experience Across Channels
Salesforce’s State of the Connected Consumer report reveals that 70% of shoppers say that new technology (read: the smartphone) has made it easier for them to switch between brands (often across multiple channels) until they find an experience that matches their expectations.
Offering personalised service begins with understanding your customers story, their purchase history and the key touch points on their buyer’s journey - this needs to be a data driven approach but packaged to deliver an emotional appeal. The first step towards this is creating content and experiences that render perfectly across each device and browser.
Craft a Delightful Brand Experience
The first step towards making your brand memorable is to solve your customers’ problem as simply as possible. From the time they first visit your store or website right to the checkout page, a glitch-free experience matters the most. To illustrate this with an example, it’s the reason why customers choose an Uber over hailing a taxi: Quick booking, driver ratings, real-time updates, route tracking and sharing and automated payments.
Creating a delightful brand experience is particularly important for the clothing, baby, fitness/health, beauty, and sports equipment industries which make up the fastest growing online categories in Australia.
Create Trust with Every Transaction
Although online payments have soared in popularity, it’s natural for customers to have some reservations about handing out their prized payment details to you. Data breaches, online fraud, and identity theft are just some of the reasons for their apprehensions. So, the closer customers move to the bottom of the sales funnel, the greater trust becomes as a deciding factor.
Some simple ways to build trust are by clearly displaying your terms and conditions, making the payments page easy to navigate to and displaying badges indicating your payment security certificates and PCI compliance where relevant.
Customers Want More Payment Options: Does Your Business Oblige?
With superior customer experience having taken centre stage, customers want control over how and where they make payments: online payments, NFC payments, digital wallets, credit cards, and the ubiquitous cash - the list is growing fast. As is the case with shopping, every customer is likely to have their own preferred way to pay.
Not being able to accept an alternative payment type because you don’t have the right payment solution can mar customer experience (read: lost sales). Let Bambora help you create the most customer-focused payment experience with its suite of digital payment solutions.
About the author: Victoria Galloway is Bambora APAC's Technical Copywriter, and has been writing and producing in the payments and eCommerce space for a number of years, both in the UK and Australia