(Photo by Caley Dimmock on Unsplash)
While much of the holiday shopping season buzz centers around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the activity doesn’t end there. Last year, 21% of Americans said they hadn’t done any of their present buying by the end of November. For that reason, businesses of all types need to make sure they are doing what they need in order to capitalize on the the most wonderful time of the year.
And make no mistake, there is a lot to capitalize on. This is the first holiday season expected to break $100 Billion in online sales, presenting a huge opportunity for companies to “wow” their customers with a stellar CX.
However, with customer’s increasingly expecting easy and effortless shopping experiences, retailers who deliver anything less are sure to lose out on the enormous boon the holiday season presents and end up on customers’ naughty lists instead.
Here are some important things to remember when looking to create a memorable customer experience this holiday season.
Tis the Season to Text
Good communication is one of the most effective weapons in the fight against bad CX. In today’s environment, this means communicating on the platforms that your customers are frequenting.
This Black Friday, purchases made on smartphones rose to 40%, up 29% from last year. With customers increasingly turning to mobile devices to make purchases, the need for effortless two-way mobile communication between businesses and customers is increasing as well.
We are a text first society, with over 6 billion text messages being sent in the U.S. each day. And with a 98% open rate and less proclivity for face-to-face communication, many savvy businesses are turning to text to open effective lines of communication with their customers.
Texting is not only a communication channel, but also a crucial link to delivering an omnichannel customer experience that can assist in the overall purchasing decision.
Make no mistake, if you can’t communicate with customers on the platforms they prefer, someone else will.
Wishing You Joy and Personalization
With businesses constantly searching for ways to create differentiation from their competitors, few things provide more of an edge than personalization.
Today’s customer wants to be understood and serviced based on their individual characteristics and needs. According to Accenture, 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history.
Companies like Mattersight are taking personalization a step further by harnessing the latest in artificial intelligence and machine learning to help contact centers identify a customer’s distinct personality and route them to an agent that they are most likely to click with.
Whether you are leveraging AI, or simply personalizing communication with your customers, remember this: the holidays are a time where emotions can run high. Failing to provide a CX that shows you recognize and understand your customers and their individual situations will exacerbate negative emotions and cause you to lose business to your competition.
Online Reviews: the Gifts that Keep on Giving
According to Pew, roughly two-thirds (67%) of online shoppers say they nearly always read customer reviews before making a purchase. Not only do 68% of consumers trust opinions posted online, but 88% of consumers trust reviews from strangers as much as personal recommendations.
Companies should look for ways to prompt customers who’ve been delighted with a stellar CX to share their experience with the world. This will help you build trust and make it easier to convert shoppers who are doing research before making purchases.
While positive reviews can be a tremendous boon for your brand, negative ones can have an equally powerful but opposite effect. Here are some tips on how to handle negative reviews better and even turn them into positives.
Customer experience is important no matter the time of year, but failing to master yours this holiday season can be the difference between a great year and one to forget. With many expecting CX to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020 there’s no better time to get your CX wish list in gear than now.