The new year is in full swing, but it’s not too late to make some changes. By reflecting on 2015 and striving to improve your online business, make it your New Year’s resolution to detect (and eliminate) consumers’ pain points while shopping on your website. The end result? Improving customer satisfaction and building brand loyalty.
To help you get started, we’d like to suggest four ways you might identify the potential glitches that your customers might experience.
1. Take a Virtual Stroll Through Your Store
Imagine that you are looking at your website for the first time and ask yourself if the website design is intuitive. Can you easily see how products are organized, where the checkout button is, and how to remove from or add something to the virtual cart?
If it is hard to look at your site with fresh eyes, consider asking someone who has never been on the site to browse it and put something in their cart while you watch over their shoulder. Maybe you will finally crack why you have that cart abandonment issue or why nobody’s buying a certain product.
2. Study Your Customer Communication System
How you communicate with your customers about their purchases can mean the difference between a lifelong customer or a quick goodbye and negative review. How do you tell customers about shipping delays, inventory issues or anything else that may pop up? Be on the lookout for how other businesses communicate with you (via emails, social media and texts). If you find anything you particularly appreciate, then see what you can do to adopt a similar strategy for your business.
Another thing to keep in mind is how you set customer expectations. Consider padding your delivery estimates with an extra day to make sure that they are synchronized with carrier cutoff dates. This way, customers aren’t disappointed and may even be excited that they received their package early.
3. Examine Your Shipping Carrier Combination
Affordable and convenient shipping is important to both you AND your customer. Study up on all of the shipping carriers and their services to find the mix that will be right for your business and customers. Ensure that you offer different delivery speeds to meet customer preferences and that each option is cost-effective for the products you sell.
January is a perfect time to reconsider your shipping options because all of the carriers this year have adjusted their prices. Check out our handy 2016 FedEx vs. UPS vs. USPS comparison chart to help you make the right shipping carrier decision.
4. Assess the Packaging of Your Products
Have you ever personally seen what your products look like when they arrive at their final destination? If you aren’t the one packing the items, you won’t know whether the products are protected from being damaged in transit, or how disheveled the overall presentation is. Consider ordering one of your products to be delivered to your own home to see if fragile items are packed properly, what the presentation looks like, and if there is a correct packing slip in the box.
Another thing to consider is offering a gift wrap option if you know that your products are often bought as presents. This is just one more way to differentiate yourself from the competition and make your customers’ lives easier.
Remember to put yourself in your customers’ shoes when evaluating overall customer experience all year long. It could save you time, money and customers down the road.
For more tips on customer satisfaction, check out our Ecommerce Tips and Trends page.