Does this scene sound familiar? A barista at a coffee chain rolls her eyes at you, screws up your order, and did not apologize. You swore to yourself “I’m never coming back here again”. Here referred to every franchise of this coffee chain. It doesn’t matter if you have no way of knowing if the other baristas are amazing or not – your impression has been confirmed with one experience.
On the flipside, your favorite café probably houses your favorite barista – the one who knows your order by heart, invents new concoctions she knows you’ll love, and never fails to greet you enthusiastically every morning. You religiously having your morning cuppa there is testament to brand loyalty created.
A brand is its customer experience. Someone who speaks and interacts directly with the customers, understanding their individual temperaments to deliver the most convincing sales pitch.
Despite the meteoric growth of e-commerce sales, there is an element e-commerce stores fail to replicate from their brick-and-mortar composite: a personalized customer service experience. In a physical store, you are greeted, observed, made recommendations to. You are advised, assured, and flattered. All these micro-interactions work in tandem to influence what, and whether, you buy. More than that, it builds brand loyalty, ensuring you return again and again to buy more.
The E-Commerce that can recreate this interaction onsite gets the customers – offline and online. Whether you’re a new player or an established e-commerce, the one key to distinguishing yourself and gaining that brand following – fast! Is to master customer experience online. Beyond user experience, think about how valuable online interactions can have an online composite.
- First Impressions: Greeting your Customer
Instore, the atmosphere is immediately set by the first interaction. When a retail staff takes the initiative to acknowledge and greet the customer, your customer feels welcomed. This encourages them to stay longer and feel more compelled to buy, a cognitive process called reciprocity.
Online, e-commerce has found ways to make their landing page as attractive as possible – with pop-ups and pop-over being a popular option.
- Knowing what to sell your customer
Retail staff, as humans, have the amazing intuition to observe (whether browsing habits or customer’s dressing) and form an idea of the customer’s preferences and style. They can then easily recommend a product they know the customer is more likely to want, or even sell a product by positioning it to the customer’s preference.
Recent technology has caught up with this need, finding ways to more accurately recommend products for customers based on their browsing habits.
- Be available for your customer’s queries
When a customer is unsure about a product, chances are – they would not purchase. This problem is circumvented in retail when uncertainties are addressed immediately and directly by a retail staff. What happens online then? Customers can choose to write in an email to enquire, but we all know that the longer you wait, the more likely a customer is to lose their purchase intent. Many sites now employ 24/7 chatbots as a workaround, imitating an instore experience of real-time question-and-answer.
- Knowing what to say for the greatest customer conversion
A retail staff would not persuade every customer the same way.
“You look great in this!” they may say to one, or “This item is very popular among successful men,” to another. How do we know what exactly to say? We make a best guess and then adjust based on reinforcement. Intuitively, customer service staff (or at least a good one) makes a judgement on the customer’s personality and uses a suitable strategy. If the sales strategy seems to work, we continue along this track.
Very few e-commerce sites replicate this intricate process online. How do we know exactly what a customer is reacting positively to? How do we document customers as individual and use the most effective persuasion strategy for each of them? Onsite, every word seen is generalized across online users.
PlusMargin is the solution to creating a personalized customer service experience. Through intelligent learning, a personality profile unique to each customer is built. You will know the exact words and phrases required to persuade your customers. Taking the form of unobtrusive labels and messages, these tailored content work on the subconscious of your customers just like an intuitive retail staff. They say what customers want to hear exactly to buy and keep them coming back to your site.
E-commerce sites are quickly gaining sophistication, using technology to imitate aspects of brick-and-mortar customer service. Despite this, many aspects of a real life in-store experience is still sorely lacking. The first e-commerce sites to recognize and offer a holistic experience to their customers will emerge victorious in the battle for online retail space.