Customer-centric companies have a 60% higher profit than those who don’t care about customer satisfaction. An effective customer experience strategy also improves retention, promotes brand loyalty, boosts sales, and benefits your business in many other ways.
Besides, in the current market, a decent retail customer experience is necessary to survive and thrive. 81% of companies view it as a competitive differentiator that impacts the size of their market share.
The evident importance of a customer experience strategy leads to a predictable question – What makes a great customer experience?
Although there is no one-size-fits-all recipe, some things are essential to make customers feel good. Consumers want to be treated well and receive equally smooth service across multiple touchpoints each time they interact with your brand. Security, easy onboarding, and quality marketing materials also matter.
More about what makes a great customer experience in 2021 and its main components in our article on:
- What is customer experience, and when does it matter?
- What makes a great customer experience? Five core components to consider
- Inkit for automated address validation and omnichannel communications
What Is Customer Experience, and When Does It Matter?
The customer experience (also called CX) is customers’ perception of your brand as they move through the conversion funnel. It includes all the stages of the consumption process, from engagement to post-purchase. Customer experience is usually measured with customer satisfaction surveys and churn rate calculation. When the consumers’ overall mood is clear, you can collect additional feedback about the product or service to better understand what to improve.
Who needs a customer experience strategy?
An effective customer experience strategy can boost any business regardless of the industry. Healthcare organizations, financial institutions, or even government bodies that deal with customers need it.
Nevertheless, there is one market niche that wouldn’t live a day without CX strategies.
Retail businesses rely on income from thousands of separate sales. Ecommerce companies or brick and mortar stores serve hundreds of customers every day and must provide a quality retail customer experience to all of them. Such companies should find a personalized approach to every buyer based on their real-time behaviors, proactively manage delivery issues, tailor marketing materials, and complete a range of other outstanding retail customer experience actions.
Want to know what else makes a great customer experience? Find that out below.
What Makes a Great Customer Experience? Five Core Components to Consider
A customer experience strategy is a combination of steps taken to improve satisfaction rates. Although there are dozens of approaches, here, we’ll focus on the most critical and effective ways to achieve a smooth retail customer experience.
#1. Omnichannel Communication
85% of consumers start their purchase workflow on one device and complete the purchase on another. This means that before converting, they switch between at least two channels and expect equally good retail customer experience across their journey. That’s why a compelling customer experience strategy is always omnichannel.
To implement a multi-channel approach, you will need to integrate your CRM system with third-party tools. Make sure to find a platform that allows you to connect all the necessary communication channels (e.g., mobile apps, emails, in-store experience, live chats, etc.). Inkit is one of the options to consider. It allows you to align online and offline messages and easily integrates with all popular services. For more information on why companies choose Inkit for omnichannel strategies, read our case study overview.
#2. Personalized Marketing
Every retail customer experience is unique. Thus, personalized marketing must be a part of your customer experience strategy. In addition to interacting with customers through multiple channels, you should also make these interactions tailored.
To do this, you will need to collect as much information about your leads as possible and track their real-time interactions. Automated marketing software can help you with that. Modern marketing solutions provide customers with personalized messages based on real-time triggers. For example, as soon as someone joins your loyalty program, they will receive a greeting email, a print catalog, or other communications. This contributes to a positive customer experience and increased customer satisfaction rates.
#3. Customer Support
When anything goes wrong, customers will contact your support team. It’s your chance to fix the problem and offer a great experience.
For ultimate customer support, we recommend combining several support channels in your customer experience strategy. Leading brands usually offer phone, email, and live chat support, enabling customers to pick the most convenient option.
You should also provide training to the people on the front lines of your company. They must know how to solve all the common issues and be rewarded for quality support with bonuses. This will encourage the team to do their best to assist people.
#4. Customer Data and Address Validation
When you think about what makes a great customer experience strategy, you may neglect the importance of validation. In reality, customer data and address verification is a critical element of customer onboarding and overall experience.
Let’s analyze two cases to see how it works. In the first case, a customer shares their contact information on a website with an address autocomplete and validation function. It automatically checks the provided data and records the details in the system. Later, the company will be able to rely on this information to communicate with the customer and offer them services. In the second case, a website has no address validation. It doesn’t check the data formatting and accuracy. As a result, after customers share their data, the company will have trouble contacting them. They won’t receive messages, postcards, catalogs, and other personalized communications. Retail customer experience will inevitably suffer.
Address validation is also crucial for corporate security. It’s one of the identity verification stages that help to prevent fraud and protect the confidential data stored by a company. Besides, address validation is essential for regulatory compliance that affects your brand’s reputation and the effectiveness of the customer experience strategy.
#5. Customer Feedback
Let customers share what they think. US consumers are ready to pay 17% more to purchase from a brand that has a good reputation. Thus, if buyers love your brand, word of mouth will inspire other consumers to buy from you. In case some of the customers aren’t happy with your services, they should also be able to share feedback about their bad experience. This will enable you to take action and try to change their mind instantly. For example, you can offer such customers to replace the product, give them a store credit or another free bonus. The negative feedback should also help you enhance the existing retail customer experience and prevent CX issues in the future.
A form on your website or social media profiles are the easiest way of measuring customer experience. Allow customers to rate your services and leave a detailed review if they want to. Remember that any response from a customer is valuable.
Inkit for Automated Address Validation and Omni-Channel Communications
Inkit is a Reach Enablement Platform that unites data verification tools, document rendering, and easy software integration.
With Inkit Verify, you can automatically run address autocompletion and validation to instantly check customers’ details. It standardizes address data and matches it with USPS databases to detect any discrepancies or invalid records. This speeds up the onboarding process and enables customers to quickly register on a website or share the data to complete the checkout.
Once the customers are verified, you can also send them documents. While Inkit Render generates custom invoices, bills, or other messages, Inkit Send delivers them online or offline. To integrate other channels of communication or tools, use Inkit Connect. It is a tool that makes complex software integrations simple.
Start creating a great customer experience strategy based on Inkit’s capabilities now. Contact us to get the demo and learn more about how it works.