With so many purchasing possibilities out there for consumers, brands and retailers must be more vigilant than ever when it comes to how people engage with their companies. A shopper can simply type the product they want to buy into a search engine and a world of options is presented to them.
According to a recent survey featured on Business Wire, customer loyalty is one of the number one reasons that a shopper will choose one brand over another. When choosing who to buy from, consumers often look at the brand rather than the actual product before making their decisions.
In fact, 63 percent of survey participants said that they would leave a brand after experiencing negative customer service. Up to 86 percent said that they would leave a brand they were previously loyal to after only two or three negative experiences.
So, how do you ensure that your customers are having positive experiences while shopping with you, online or in-store?
What Is Consumer Experience?
To start, it helps to understand what we mean when we say consumer experience, as it will help you determine where and how people interact with your brand. Consumer experience, sometimes referred to as CX, is your customers' perceptions of their experiences shopping with you as a whole.
This perception is the result of every interaction they have had with your brand, both good and bad. Every action from your brand impacts the consumer experience, so it's important that you make sure these interactions are positive throughout every step in their journey.
From initially learning about your brand, to dealing with your customer service representatives, all of this will influence a customer's perception.
How Do You Measure Customer Experience?
There are many different indicators one can look at to measure the customer experience, and it can feel overwhelming to have to consider so many different KPI's.
Instead, it might be better for your brand to focus specifically on smaller insights that relate to your company goals directly. Look at the individual parts of the customer journey.
There are two primary ways to measure CX: directly surveying consumers, and tracking customer support data.
From here you can identify particular aspects of the consumer experience where there may be trouble and focus in on these areas for improvement. For example:
- Customer Retention
- Customer Engagement
- Customer Attraction
All these areas contain smaller steps that could greatly influence the customer experience as a whole.
Why Is Measuring Customer Experience Important?
All businesses can benefit from improving their CX. The better a customer's experience is, the better reviews a business will receive, and the less friction there will be from complaints or returns.
Some other possible benefits include:
- Increased customer loyalty
- Increased customer shopping satisfaction
- Increased positive word-of-mouth marketing and positive reviews
Putting customers first is always going to be great for business. Power is in the hands of the consumer when it comes to the success of your brand.
Elements of Strong Consumer Experience Management
Designing a CX strategy requires a lot of time, effort, and resources.
Strong consumer experience management involves taking on a customer-first strategy that demonstrates a priority for what the customer needs.
After this comes implementation. Your goal should be to attract new audiences that fit your ideal buyer personas, improve your current customer base's ROI, and bolster overall customer satisfaction to ensure long-lasting relationships.
Understanding the customer experience means understanding potential business opportunities and seeing how they can convert into long-term sources of revenue. Identifying paths like these is crucial, especially for growing businesses that are looking to strengthen their customer -base, continuously provoke interest, and bring in new shoppers.
Here are some of the core components behind strong consumer experience management:
The Elements Behind Strong Consumer Experience Management
- Share of Search
- Product Availability
- Retailer Assortment
Share of Search
Share of search (SOS) measures how visible a brand is when searched organically compared to other companies in its industry. Looking at this data can highlight a business' brand health and market share.
Now, while consumers are conducting more searches than ever before, it's vital that your brand is able to perform well in organic search. The challenge is in how many search engines exist—Google is the big one, but in retail, shoppers are searching on Amazon, YouTube, individual retailer websites, and other marketplaces. How likely is it that your brand’s products will appear?
To calculate your brand's SOS, you need to take the number of organic searches your brand has generated and divide it by the number of searches competitor brands in your industry received around the same time, on each relevant search engine.
Basically, SOS = number of searches for your brand ÷ number of competitor searches.
It's important to measure share of search at different touchpoints within the customer journey. For example, in the early stages of their search, people will likely be searching more generally for solutions to their problems. After they have narrowed this down, they will begin doing more searches on reviews for certain products or other guidance from previous customers. Then, they’ll be searching for specific product pages to make their purchase.
By analyzing share of search this way, you can identify exactly where you are performing better or worse throughout different steps in the customer journey. Which area is causing your potential customers to fall out of the pipeline? Is it lack of awareness or are they simply finding a competitor’s product before yours?
From here you can make changes and improve your problem areas.
Any experienced brand or retailer will tell you that inventory management is a critical part of creating positive consumer experiences.
Who wouldn't be annoyed if they came into a store—physical or digital—with the expectation of making a purchase just to be met with out-of-stock items?
Consistently well-stocked shelves are the backbone of positive consumer shopping experiences. They ensure steady sales being made and increase brand loyalty as the shopper is able to rely on your products to be there whenever they need them.
By constantly monitoring your inventory data, you can understand which products are being purchased more often and add more information to your customer profiles. These insights help you make sure to keep those products well-stocked and mitigate your chances of losing sales due to out-of-stock items, therefore increasing customer satisfaction.
A retailer assortment refers to the number or types of products that a retailer chooses to have available for purchase in stores. Often, which products a retailer chooses to include is based off whatever performs highest, but performance can be measured in several ways.
To ensure a positive customer experience, it's important to examine how the product assortment will affect a customer's journey.
Some things to consider as you choose your product assortment:
- Do these products appeal to only a niche group, or can they hold value for a wide range of consumers?
- Do customers buy these products on a regular basis? How often are repeat purchases being made?
- Do these products relate to other products that are often bought alongside each other? Does the customer need one product in order to use the other?
All these factors would directly affect the consumer if they were not taken into consideration when retailers are choosing their product assortment, and therefore would affect the customer experience.
Brands need to ensure that a retailer's product assortment is designed to best serve the needs and expectations of their customers.
Get Started With Consumer Experience Management
Managing the customer experience along the entire shopping journey can come with some obstacles. For example:
- Not enough or inaccurate consumer data. How are you measuring your shopper's experiences?
- Lack of omnichannel support—customers need to feel heard. If they are talking about your brand on social media, reaching out through email, or submitting help tickets, you need to be there to respond.
- Lack of CX team communications. Your customer experience team should be doing its homework in order to understand shoppers, and relaying this info to field teams, managers, customer service workers, and anyone else whose position is customer-facing.
To help mitigate these issues, consider using software that can support your customer experience strategy. With Wiser's Consumer Experience Solution, you can have the intelligence you need to understand how shoppers are interacting with your brand.
This provides you with the information you need to take your next steps.
How do consumers perceive your brand? How are your customers interacting with your brand versus your competitors? If you can't answer these questions definitively, then Wiser has exactly what you need.
Wiser's consumer experience solution is supported by our Digital Shelf Intelligence product. With Digital Shelf Intelligence, you'll have access to a tool that provides visibility and insights such as:
- Content compliance
- Share of search data
- Retailer assortment and availability
- Ratings and reviews
- Competitor pricing and promotions
All this information and more is available right at your fingertips to support your brand with actionable insights that will keep you a step ahead of your competitors. These insights also help your brand ensure that retailers are complying with your brand's standards and give you back control of your products, even after they've gone on sale.
Digital Shelf Intelligence can also offer valuable data when it comes to share of search and retailer assortment. You'll have access to where and when your products are appearing in a customer’s search with detailed reports that can help you adjust your SEO strategies. Plus, full market visibility that shows you which retailers are carrying your products and your competitor's products, helping you to identify new sales opportunities.
Contact Wiser today to learn more about how we can help you improve your customers’ experiences with your brand and resellers.
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