Whether you have a full customer service team handling things for your business, or have to cover many of the related tasks yourself each day, it’s important to do everything you can to streamline and smooth out processes if you want to keep your customers happy long term.
After all, satisfied customers won’t only buy from you more often and at higher values, but will also recommend your products or services to their friends, family members, colleagues, and other contacts, and help you to increase revenue as a result.
If you operate an online store and are keen to reduce customer complaints and increase your number of raving fans today, read on for some key processes you need to get right as soon as possible.
The first thing you need to make sure is working well is the navigation on your website. This is, after all, one of the most important elements in making sales, as shoppers won’t stay on your site long enough to buy from you if they can’t easily navigate their way from page to page.
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If you haven’t already, you should get some people who have never used your site before to test out its navigation. They need to check to see if it is intuitive for them — that is, that they can quickly and easily find whatever they may be looking for throughout the site, such as products, information, or directions. If shoppers can’t work out how to complete a process or find certain information, they will simply click away and search on another site instead.
Some tips for a more user-friendly website layout include putting links to the most important pages up the top of the site, where they can be most easily seen, and relegating less vital details and links to the bottom, in the footer, so that they don’t distract consumers unnecessarily. Having separate tabs for different functions or categories of products also helps to make it easier for shoppers to navigate through the site.
Next, once people have decided they want to buy something from your e-commerce store, they need to be presented with a checkout that is straightforward and clear. The process of adding items to a cart and then inputting personal details and making payment should be quick and easy. If it becomes too bothersome and time consuming, shoppers will likely change their mind about going ahead with the transaction.
On your website, the “Add to Cart” and “Checkout Now” buttons should be very prominent on each product page so that they are noticed straight away. You don’t want browsers to have to needlessly spend time searching all over a page to put things in their cart or get to the checkout.
As well, it is important that customers don’t have to put in too many details in order to finalize their payment. For example, if you make it impossible for them to finish the transaction without signing up for an account then and there, selecting a password, or typing in various other non-essential details, they may get frustrated and go elsewhere for the products.
It also pays to utilize pre-fill form functionality on your checkout. Doing so means that certain information is automatically inputted for shoppers, which can save them time and hassle (as an example, often the billing address is automatically inserted in the delivery address box too).
Another tip to consider is that you don’t want to lose customers at the last minute, during the payment stage of things, because the process is too unwieldy or not as expected. In particular, it is vital these days that you provide consumers with multiple payment methods to choose from, so that they can select the transaction type that suits them best at the time.
For example, it is beneficial to accept payments via debit and credit cards (including American Express and Diners cards), PayPal, electronic checks, gift cards, loyalty points, mobile wallet solutions and the like.
Trust also comes into play at the time of purchase. With so many online scams and digital security risks these days, consumers need to feel safe in providing personal and financial details to a business when they’re completing a sale.
To help them trust that transactions on your website are secure, it always pays to use a merchant services provider with a streamline PCI portal so that card information is transferred securely and is never kept on site. It is a good idea to showcase your payment provider’s logo and relevant site seals on your website too so that customers can see that their data will be safe from prying eyes.