A friend and I were lamenting the fact earlier today that our handwriting had suffered big time thanks to continual use of the keyboard instead of good, old fashioned pen and paper.
And don’t even get me started on the fact that many people write in ‘text speak’ instead of ‘proper’ English.
Yes, digital technology is taking over. There’s no denying it.
It is changing the way we write, think, behave, shop and interact. Plus, lots more.
Of course, from a business perspective, it helps companies to better understand and connect with their target audiences.
Dynamic content, more means of communication and behaviour insights from web pages can only help create a more detailed picture of what consumers want.
We can focus our efforts based on end user monitoring and open channels of customer feedback.
But what impact does it have on consumer loyalty?
You know, that golden egg.
The one that keeps customers coming back to us time and again. Not to mention spreading the word and telling their friends about us.
There’s no doubt that it impacts.
The customers’ prerogative
Customers want an emotive, end user experience. And with so much competition to choose from, they have multiple options at their fingertips.
Nowadays, many start their shopping experience online.
They use laptops, computers, tablets and mobile devices to do their research, read customer reviews and compare prices.
Only then, when they are completely satisfied, do they move to making a final purchasing decision.
They want a seamless and personalised shopping experience and won’t stop until they get it.
And heaven help you, as a business, if you slip up and don’t deliver.
Consumers won’t think twice about jumping if they become dissatisfied with the level of service they encounter.
It doesn’t matter whether they have shopped with you for years.
Research shows that it only takes two bad experiences for a customer to change allegiance.
So, it’s a no brainer to remember that offering a high-quality, consistent customer experience is critical in customer retention.
Ok, so they may lack loyalty in the modern day but it’s still worth remembering that it costs approximately seven times more to gain a new customer than it does to retain one.
So, you shouldn’t give up on cultivating customer loyalty.
You just need to put more effort into it so you can reap both the reputational and financial benefits.
The question is… how?
But when loyalty is in short supply, how do you improve it in the digital age?
More services than ever are made convenient and easily accessible online.
And customers take advantage of these online opportunities. So why shouldn’t businesses?
Studies show that, although price and quality play a large part in why a customer chooses one company over another, customer experience still plays a very important part.
The term customer experience applies to any interaction a consumer has with your business. But there are certain areas you can focus on to offer an improved, end-user experience.
Firstly, existing and potential customers should be able to quickly, easily and completely reach your services whenever and wherever they want. Without complications or delays.
This can make a huge different in that split second when they make the choice to go with you or a competitor. Offer a seamless experience that pushes them to closing a sale.
Secondly, customer service is of paramount importance. It is a memorable interaction.
Whether it be free shipping on products, a rewards program, promotional offers, a decent quality returns policy or 24/7, easily accessible and quick response customer feedback management.
Good customer service reinforces the message that your company cares and that can only be a positive affirmation.
It doesn’t stop there
The customer experience you provide is tied to your brand.
Get it right and consumers will attach positive feelings to your brand. Get it wrong and… well, I don’t need to spell it out.
So, customer experiences align with your larger company goals and improve your brand’s standing in the eyes of the public. Make their experience simple, successful and satisfying.
You need to cultivate an emotional connection that delivers an emotive end-user experience.
If it’s positive in this competitive day and age, it will result in both short and long-term loyalty.
Of course, you need to know who your customers are and what they want. We can help there. User experience testing can help you understand what your business needs to do from a customer perspective.
Only then can you create highly personalised experiences that meet consumer demands and take advantage of continually evolving new technologies that, used correctly, can open the door for you to build a strong brand and more rewarding relationships with your customers.
So, do you accept the challenge of embracing technology and putting yourself out there as a modern, consumer-focused business who never stops listening, wants to build relationships and is constantly evolving to deliver?
I hope so.