Negative customer experience can eat into your bottom line: 86% of consumers will leave a brand after just two bad interactions and almost half have switched brands because the customer experience didn’t meet their expectations. But there’s an upside to customer experience for retailers: 58% of consumers are willing to pay a bit extra to ensure excellent customer service.
Enhancing your customer experience doesn’t have to cost a lot. Here are five ways to use tech and automation to make your customers and staff happy and provide excellent experiences for everyone interacting with your business.
Choosing the right POS system is critical to customer satisfaction. Easy, one-tap payments with a wide variety of payment options allow customers to select their preferred payment methods. Accepting Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other payment options reduces friction and makes it easy for customers to patronize your business.
When you’re choosing a POS system, cost is an essential consideration, but not the only one. A fraction of a percent more in merchant fees will be more than offset by additional sales when you offer the preferred payment options of your customers. Pro tip: Including payment options accessible to consumers outside the U.S. can help you expand your markets internationally. PayPal is an excellent choice to increase global sales.
If you haven’t noticed (you probably have), we all live on our phones now. So bringing mobile touch points into your customer experience is a terrific way to make it easier for people to discover, explore, and interact with your brand.
Mobile payment systems, which are becoming more widely adopted, enhance the customer experience by making payments more straightforward and transparent. Apple Stores were an early adopter of mobile payment systems in the U.S., allowing shoppers to purchase products throughout the store without waiting in a checkout line for a more seamless buying experience.
Restaurants have an even more compelling use case for mobile payments, and they are common at eateries in many European countries. However, uptake has been slower in the U.S. These POS systems allow staff to take payments at the table without walking back and forth to a central cash register, saving time for both customers and staff.
Going mobile can also mean:
How can your business enhance customer experience by using mobile to interact with customers?
While it’s clear brick-and-mortar businesses need an online presence, not all retailers commit the resources required to provide an excellent online shopping experience. It’s worth spending a bit of time and energy to enhance your online store because you’ll get the investment back in increased sales, both online and in person.
The first step, of course, is inviting and user-friendly product listings. Many businesses turn to Amazon because it’s the most popular online shopping site, and they can simply follow a template to place products online for sale. However, if you want to create a more branded experience that will boost sales at an in-person location as well as online, consider building a store on Shopify or creating your own website.
Pro tip: There are many templates and plugins to give you a head start in building a terrific online store. If you have a WordPress site, the WooCommerce plugin lets you easily sell online. And Shopify offers a wide range of storefront templates to get you started.
You’ll also get a significant return on investment by focusing on accurate, seamless order fulfillment and delivery because that is the most direct touch for online buyers. Outsourcing your fulfillment gives you professional pick-and-pack services and a range of delivery options you might not be able to access on your own. And, when you choose a third-party logistics (3PL) solution with high accuracy rates, you have a partner that will help drive your success.
The theme song from the sitcom Cheers praised the titular bar as somewhere “everybody knows your name,” and that feeling of being recognized and welcomed is something customers of all types of businesses value. While you might not be able to memorize the names of all your patrons, you can use data to give your customers a more personalized experience.
The first level of personalization can take the form of notes you and your staff add to customer profiles in your database, noting particular likes or dislikes. You can also get help creating individualized customer experiences by leveraging data analytics to develop a detailed picture of each customer based on their purchasing history. The software can prompt your staff to present appropriate offerings and, in your online store, tempt each customer with items relevant to their taste and style.
Tech can make even the most analog businesses run more smoothly. For instance, the restaurant industry has embraced QR codes for menus and even allows customers to pay online at the table.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) make it possible for food service businesses to predict and prepare for shifts in demand that often seem chaotic. Using ML to forecast how many customers you’re likely to have at specific times and their typical orders allows you to plan ahead for staffing, food prep, and purchasing ingredients.
In any retail sector, leveraging AI’s ability to digest large datasets can give you predictive power that’s beyond the reach of a spreadsheet or calculator. The more accurately you can forecast demand, the more you’ll be able to reduce waste, increase sales, and boost your profits.
Enhancing customer experience has never been more critical. But there are also more tools at your disposal today, bringing excellent customer service within reach for businesses of all sizes and types.
Alex Selwitz is the Director of SEO for Red Stag Fulfillment, an eCommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of eCommerce. He has years of experience in eCommerce and digital marketing. In his free time, Alex enjoys playing guitar and learning about new trends in the digital world.