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Smart Business Essentials

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Digital customer experience

Whether your product is digital or physical, there will probably be digital aspects of your customer experience. This may include visits to your website, receiving marketing materials, and interactions with customer engagement and customer support. Because some digital aspects of the customer experience are discussed elsewhere, this page will focus on customer engagement and support.

Digital customer experience

Taking your business digital will generate data related to your customer experience. You can track this data to figure out what aspects of your customer experience are working and what could be improved. For example, if you have a lot of website visitors but relatively few online purchases, then your website might be offering a bad experience. Look at the analytics of each page and determine where improvements can be made.

Customer engagement
Customer engagement is the practice of trying to make your customers more engaged with your brand and products. This can often mean encouraging them to purchase your product or service again. Do this by making sure that they know how to use your product and how it can benefit them. Make sure that customers feel connected to your brand and are aware of other products your business offers.

Social media is a wonderful tool for customer engagement. You can use it to:

  • post guides to teach customers how to use your products
  • keep customers aware of any new products you may be offering; and
  • hear from customers about how they use your products, or what new products they would like

Encourage customers to post about your products to their own social media to turn them into advocates for your brand.

Customer support
You will also want to help your customers when they encounter a problem with your products.

Providing customers with a phone number or email address to contact in case they have questions or concerns can be an effective way to connect with them and mitigate any negative experiences they may have. If a customer makes a purchase, consider sending them a message with contact information so that they can reach out in case they need assistance using your product or service.

Customers may also reach out via social media if they have queries or concerns. Monitor your social-media channels closely for these types of messages, and be sure to answer them. Answering customer questions is crucial in ensuring that they have a positive experience with your brand, meaning they may purchase from you again or recommend your business to their friends and family.

Another way to provide customers with support may be through a chat function on your website. Some web developers and technology companies offer tools to create an automatic chat feature using Artificial Intelligence so that customers can ask questions at any time and get answers quickly.

How to complete returns online
You should think carefully about your company’s return policy for purchases made online. Offering free returns can be an important selling point for customers, but it also might increase the cost of running your online business. The average return rate for an e-commerce website is 20 per cent.1 So, you can use this number to determine how much returns might cost you.

In some regions, there may be laws in regards to the kinds of items which are eligible for return and for how long. In the United States, for instance, the customer must be able to cancel an order of $25 or more within three days of the purchase. In addition, sellers are required to refund defective items. Be sure to check the laws regulating returns in your area.

Regardless of what your return policy says, you should make sure that it is easy to find with clear instructions on how to return a product. Make sure that all relevant details are obvious to customers, such as the date by which they will need to submit their returns to get a refund, the state their item must be in and how to access a return label.

Once a customer places a return, help them ship their item quickly and easily. Choose a shipping carrier with many locations or the ability to pick up the item from the customer. Don’t be afraid to use returns as an opportunity to show your customers that you care about their experience. Make sure the process is simple for them, and consider including a note thanking them for placing an order and asking why they decided to return their purchase.

Customer support and engagement come with a cost, but the improvements it will bring in customer loyalty, repeat purchases, and retention can be invaluable. It’s also an important way to distinguish your company from your competitors.

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