6 steps to building rock-solid customer loyalty in the E-Commerce sector

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Wise Marketer Staff

Posted on May 23, 2024

CX network shares their customer experience guide to boosting retention

Editor’s Note:

Recent research
 by Durham University has recommended that online retailers should prioritise improving customer experience to boost customer loyalty, over efficiency.

With the gulf in customer experience widening as companies opt for automation over human interaction, retailers must address shortfalls in their own customer experience strategy in order to maintain competition with industry leaders.

Claire Agutter, founder of IT consultancy Scopism partnered with CX Network to help retailers improve customer experience and create a loyal customer base. The results of this research and her insights are included in this article.

A successful business hinges on creating remarkable customer experiences to remain competitive. An unhappy customer will go elsewhere, so the aim for customer satisfaction should be at the forefront of any decisions.

Whether it’s through seamless digital interactions, exceptional service delivery or overall customer satisfaction, the quality of these experiences can either make or break a business. This guide contains practical steps explaining how you can create all of these.

1. Exceptional CX starts with EX

The first step is looking at the employee experience, often referred to as EX. Engaged and motivated employees are more likely to go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction. Businesses can empower their teams to provide exceptional service by equipping employees with the necessary tools, resources, and training. Recognizing and rewarding employees for their efforts can further enhance their commitment to delivering a great customer experience.

Here are four tips to help you get started:

  • Conduct surveys to assess EX – ideally, more than once a year.
  • Create a mechanism for employees to suggest improvements and reward effective suggestions.
  • Empower employees to make decisions to support customers.
  • Assess the effectiveness of procedures such as those for new joiners and leavers as well as training needs analysis.

2. Build an outstanding digital experience

From intuitive website design to responsive customer support through digital channels, organizations can leverage technology to build meaningful connections and exceed customer expectations. By investing in robust digital platforms, businesses can create a positive and engaging digital experience that exceeds their customer needs and expectations.

Here are four practical steps you can take to put the right digital CX technology in place:

  • Leverage the power of automation to analyse every step of the customer journey.
  • Seek feedback throughout the entire process, not just at the end of a transaction.
  • Analyse your reputation outside of your own systems; for example, what are people saying about you on social media?
  • Use techniques like A/B testing to assess the impact of any changes.

3. Implement an Experience Level Agreement (XLA)

We also need to look wider than the digital experience, to consider the holistic consumer or customer experience. By taking the time to deeply understand customers' needs and preferences, businesses can tailor their offerings and interactions accordingly.

To unveil the true pulse of customer experience, businesses can implement an Experience Level Agreement (XLA). XLAs provide a framework for measuring customer satisfaction beyond traditional metrics. By considering emotions, expectations, and perceived value, XLAs capture the essence of the customer experience. This approach enables organizations to proactively identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to enhance customer satisfaction levels.

Here are three tips to support your adoption of an XLA:

  • Adopt an iterative approach to improvements; instead of creating a whole new website, change one page and assess the impact of the changes.
  • Have a culture of experimentation where innovative ideas are encouraged; do not punish failure.
  • Design ‘human-centric’ services that will create a positive experience, even via an information technology interface.

4. Partner with vendors

The successful integration of services and suppliers is crucial to delivering a seamless customer experience. By partnering with best-of-breed vendors and suppliers, businesses can access specialized expertise while maintaining a consistent level of service.

Effective service and supplier integration require clear communication, well-defined processes, and strong collaboration. When executed successfully, this approach ensures that customers receive a cohesive experience across various touchpoints, strengthening their trust in the brand.

Here are some points to consider in the process:

  • Fully map and understand your supplier environment; where do you have possible gaps or duplication?
  • Make relationship management a priority and identify where you might innovate with your suppliers.
  • Most importantly, be accountable to your customers. No one wants to hear that a problem is someone else’s fault – take ownership and don’t pass blame. Collaborate with your suppliers to address issues and identify improvement opportunities.

5. Deliver seamless CX across public and private organizations

Customer centricity should be for all, whether that's the private or public sector; the importance of delivering exceptional customer experiences extends beyond the private sector.

The public sector is increasingly leveraging technology to provide more personalised services to the public. By adopting customer-centric approaches and employing technology solutions, public organizations can streamline processes, increase efficiency, and enhance citizen satisfaction.

Delivering a seamless customer experience (CX) is a key aspect of improving e-commerce customer service. It involves utilizing omnichannel support to ensure that customers have a consistent and positive experience across various touchpoints. Sites like Amazon serve as a prime example, as they provide a platform that seamlessly links shops, delivery companies, and external support to deliver a unified customer experience.

Brands face challenges however, when customers engage with their products or services through multiple channels, such as browsing in a physical store, reading reviews online and making purchases on a website.

6. Leverage technology to measure customer satisfaction

To manage this experience effectively, brands must employ technology to measure and report on customer perception at every stage of the consumer journey. By doing so, they can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to enhance customer satisfaction.

Ultimately, prioritizing CX and leveraging technology to deliver exceptional experiences is crucial in today's competitive business landscape, as it fosters customer loyalty, attracts new customers through positive word-of-mouth recommendations, and sets organizations apart from their competitors.

The journey toward delivering outstanding customer experiences begins with a commitment to understanding customer needs, effectively leveraging technology, and continuously evolving based on feedback. It is through these efforts that businesses can truly excel in the realm of customer experience and secure their position as industry leaders.