Customer loyalty is the name of the game in 2017, but it’s more fragile, now than ever before, and needs to be well cared for. These days, customers are overloaded with options, and while they prefer to stay with a brand they know, it is the norm for them to abandon a vendor, completely, following just one negative experience, such as poor mobile usability, a technical error when filling out a form, or difficulty navigating the website.
A subpar experience can result in an instantaneous (and possibly permanent) shift in spending to a competitor, which is the basis for revenue risk. Companies suffering from lost customers must try to break even by either increasing their revenue per customer or investing in customer acquisition to grow their entire customer base.
This revenue risk is expected to increase up to 50% in 2017, according to Forrester, which means that companies must focus on improving their customer experience to keep customers coming back time and again.
What can be done to reduce revenue risk?
Providing an excellent customer experience is the #1 way to retain existing customers and avoid revenue risk.
The customer experience is comprised of 3 main elements:
- Success – how successful was the customer in accomplishing his goal?
- Effort – how difficult was it for the customer to accomplish his goal?
- Emotion – how did the customer feel during the buyer journey and after completing a purchase?
Of these 3, emotion is the key component of the customer experience. This means that you can improve your customer experience by investing a considerable amount of effort into catering to your customers’ emotions and providing them with experiences that suit their online shopping preferences.
You can do this by following these 3 steps:
Pay attention to your user segments
Segment your visitors into different buyer persona groups to tailor the customer experience accordingly for each one. Dr. Liraz Margalit, Web Psychologist at Clicktale, says that there are six different types of shopper personalities. Each one requires a specific approach in order to win over their emotions. By tailoring the content they see according to their personalities, you can provide them with the type of customer experience they crave:
1. Wish Listers are commonly seen on e-commerce sites, adding items into their carts, but never checking out.
How to influence them: Discount a few of the items that they add to their basket, or offer a coupon to encourage them to feel like they can afford their dream items.
2. Brand-Oriented Visitors are always up-to-date with the latest trends. Their purchasing decisions are based solely on the reputation and status of a particular brand or product – not need or functionality.
How to influence them: The website should focus on stimuli that are subtle, but still stand out, like high-quality images, and lots of vibrant color on product pages.
3. Rational Visitors are methodical and analytical in their decision-making process, which involves price comparison, competitor comparison, customer reviews, and factual information.
How to influence them: The more details, the better. Since the rational visitor goes to great lengths to make their purchasing decisions, it’d be in your best interest to provide them with as much information as possible about products they’re interested in.
4. Maximizers need to see and weigh every single option, hence their decision-making process is long and intricate. Many times, maximizers will become overloaded with all of the information and not buy anything at all.
How to influence them: Because this type of shopper tends to be overwhelmed with choices, try to intelligently and strategically limit the amount of options to the minimum.
5. Satisfiers are the opposite of Maximizers. They choose the first product they see that fulfills the minimum requirements.
How to influence them: Filtering is a great way to help the satisfier make a decision, because they can narrow down the options by specifically looking for what they are searching for.
6. Hesitaters constantly have second thoughts about purchasing, no matter how much they like the product. They are afraid of making the wrong decision and need an additional push to complete checkout.
How to influence them: Be sure to use positive words and expressions that make this user believe that they are doing the right thing by purchasing your product.
Provide a seamless cross-platform customer experience
85% of online shoppers follow a buyer journey that takes place on more than one device. In order to make the “effort” aspect of the customer experience enjoyable for users, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- How do your different user segments go through the buyer journey?
- Across which platforms?
- In what order?
- For what purposes? (research, reading reviews, price comparison, etc.)
- On which platform do your users reach the final conversion stage of the journey?
- Which platform did users come from before they reached the purchasing stage?
- Why and where did users abandoned the conversion funnel?
Make sure the customer experience is seamless across all platforms, so users will not get frustrated and go to a competitor. By using analytics tools to understand the journey your customers take to purchase from you, you will understand which elements need to be optimized and how.
Use analytics tools to help identify user behavior
Analytics tools can help you better understand user behavior on your website by enabling you to visualize where your visitors are getting bored, frustrated or confused and abandoning the conversion funnel. These tools can also help you understand the reasons why they are abandoning, so you can pinpoint the problem without having to guess what it is, and accurately improve it. For example:
- If your visitors are not clicking on the CTAs you want them to, you can use heatmaps to see where your visitors’ attention is going and make the relevant changes.
- If your visitors abandon their shopping carts during the checkout process, you can use form analytics to understand if there is a problem with the checkout form that might be causing your customers to lose patience and give up.
- You can use session replays and mouse tracking to see the entire journey your users take on your website. This will help you identify what causes you to lose potential customers in the conversion funnel, like navigation difficulty.
Once you analyze the reasons behind the different types of user behavior, you can use those insights to take the appropriate action and improve the relevant elements on your website, making the “success” and effort” parts of the user experience much more seamless, thus directly impacting the “emotion” aspect, as well.
Hopping from one company to another is unfortunately the norm for online shoppers today, causing revenue risk to rise for many businesses. But by following these 3 key steps, you can minimize the risk:
- Cater to the emotions of your different user segments by focusing on customer connectedness. Give them experiences that differentiate your brand in their minds and make them want to come back for more.
- Be where your customers are across all platforms and track the buyer journey to make sure it is optimized and seamless.
- Use advanced analytics tools to understand why users behave a certain way on your site or fall out of the conversion funnel, so you can improve the customer experience, give them what they want, and to keep them through to conversion and beyond.