Online Customer Experience: How to Do It Right As A Startup

Online Customer Experience: How to Do It Right As A Startup

READING TIME: 6 minutes

Current digital trends show that more companies are investing more in customer experience, according to Adobe’s 2020 Digital Trends report. Little wonder companies that are more customer-focused than product-focused are experiencing increases in their bottom lines.

Ideally, the survival of your startup, like other companies in the mainstream, greatly depends on the amount of satisfaction and customer experience you provide. So, are you investing everything in just creating a fabulous product? Or are you investing as well in giving your customers the best experience?

I have had really great experiences with brands, from products to customer support, that left me feeling so good. And I have stayed true to those brands. I know, you too have your brand experiences. 

However, a lot of things sum up to the experience a customer has with your brand, and consequently, how the customer perceives it.

What is Online Customer Experience?

Online customer experience is the complete interpretation of the perception of your customers (users) about your brand as a digital entity through all the stages of the user journey.

Ideally, for a startup like yours, it’s the total experience your brand creates online or through your mobile app. 

However, it’s important that you understand the difference between customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX). User experience is the overall experience a user has interacting with a product or service. This clearly makes user experience (UX) a subset of customer experience (CX).

More saliently put by Wikipedia,

“User experience (UX) is a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system, or service. It includes the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful, and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership. Additionally, it includes a person’s perceptions of system aspects such as utility, ease of use, and efficiency.”

It’s no longer a secret that the most successful companies are the ones that pay more attention to their customers’ experience and satisfaction when interacting with their products and services.

Coherently, Adobe’s 2020 Digital Trends report shows that 36% of mainstream companies that focused on customer experience significantly surpassed their business goals compared to 12% of their counterparts.

Still, the huge question remains, “why is it important to the survival of your startup?”

Importance of Online Customer Experience

  1. Increases customer retention
  2. Nurtures bonds
  3. Elevates brand advocacy
  4. Stimulates sustained growth

1. Increases Customer Retention

Information is power; the kind of power the web is handing to all your customers. Now, your customers know and understand they have tons of resources available to them on the web to help them make the right buying decisions.

More so, providing a completely fabulous customer experience, that fulfills all promises made, boosts your customer retention.

2. Nurtures Bonds 

Loyalty goes both ways when it comes to your brand and customers, like the expression; “it takes two to tango”. 

You show your customers the kind of love you require from them. So, if you make them feel they are relevant and loved, they always reciprocate. And this is a law unto itself – there are no shortcuts to it. Great customer experience makes this happen (not necessarily just investing in an awesome product).

3. Elevates Brand Advocacy

Simply put;

The better your customer experience (increasing customer satisfaction), the more the chances of them suggesting you, your product, or services to family members, associates, friends, and even strangers. Well, this would happen when they feel loved.

4. Stimulates Sustained Growth

Delivering astounding customer experience brings more users your way while keeping already existing customers in your camp and doing business with you. This activity causes an overall increase in your bottom line.

How to Improve Online Customer Experience

The secret to improving and creating an amazing customer experience is in the small things that make the most impact.

  1. Create an elaborate user journey map,
  2. Develop personas for your target customers,
  3. Create relevant and beneficial content,
  4. Collect customers’ feedback and ask them for product features.
  5. Build a support community,
  6. Initiate a positive connection with your customers, and 
  7. Improve online customer experience management.

1. Create An Elaborate User Journey Map

While a user journey map helps you identify what stage of the user journey your customers are in at every point, it also helps you identify what your customers need at every stage. This way, you can stay connected to them and offer more timely responses to your customers’ healthy expectations.

2. Develop Personas For Your Target Customers

Buyer personas help you develop empathy toward your customers, to understand and see their pain points from their perspective rather than from a product or service viewpoint.

Also, with empathy, you get a good understanding of their actual pain points and address them with your service and product, instead of going the other way around.

3. Create Beneficial Content

Companies that are investing in customer experience have a competitive advantage. A factor that plays a primary role in the improvement of your customer experience is the content you create. So, contributing to the web resources available to your customers for making informed decisions improves customer experience.

4. Collect Customers’ Feedback And Ask Them For Product Features

Ask your customers for active feedback and respond to them. Also, importantly, request your customers to suggest products or features they’d like to see. It’s great to keep them in the cycle and let them be part of the decision making. 

While you may not be able to implement all contributions from your customers, you should pay attention to increasing and repeating requests. If it’s what they really need, it may be worth investing in. 

5. Build A Support Community

A community that supports your customers, gives them the avenue to be heard, and lets them contribute in ways that matter, makes for great customer experience. A plus, however, is that it makes it easier for you to carry out surveys, collect feedback, and share insider-information with your community of users anytime.

6. Initiate A Positive Connection With Your Customers

Build a positive, favorable, and direct connection with your customers. It creates a special bond that breeds loyalty.

7. Improve Online Customer Experience Management

With increasing digital connections, there’s also the need to improve customer experience through effective online customer experience management, especially for startups with SaaS or mobile apps. 

Let’s consider the following;

Mobile-Friendly:  

The use of mobile smart devices is on the rise, and it’s not only wise but relevant to customer experience to consider accessibility on these devices. So, it’s pertinent that your software is mobile responsive, and that mobile users have amazing experiences just as web or desktop users.

Also, your users should be able to carry out tasks on mobile as they would on desktop and web versions without more or irrelevant steps.

Astounding Usability:

Your product is only as awesome as the ease your customers experience interacting with it to achieve their goals. Apparently, there are a lot of substitutes for what you are offering, but you can keep them if they find your product convenient and comfortable.

Seamless User Onboarding:

You need to consider a traction-free and seamless onboarding process for your users. So, ensuring that first-time users get familiar with the software without hassle could reduce customer churn rate and improve customer experience. 

Ever heard about Jiggle? Well, it’s a meal planning and budgeting app that lets users make contactless payments and transactions. Jiggle since its launch ensures that vendors get support agents who put them and their clients through the onboarding process while giving them awesome customer experience through instant customer support. That is a seamless user onboarding process that works for them.

Excellent Customer Support:

It’s one thing to have a swiftly responding customer support team, and yet another thing to have on that gives your customers the kind of assistance that they require. Yet, it is also important to go through your customer support tickets regularly to identify constantly repeating issues and see how you can fix them permanently, to ensure that you give astounding customer experience.

How To Measure Customer Experience

It is equally important to be able to measure how well your startup is doing in giving good customer experience.

So, you can do this by;

  • Paying attention to customers’ feedback,
  • Carrying out surveys to analyze customer satisfaction, and
  • Examining trends in customer complaints and support tickets.

What’s Next?

I believe, at some point in this post, you’ve been thinking of ways to improve your customer experience, which is good, because you see how relevant it is.

However, you’d have to go through your systems and processes with your team to identify the little things (or big things) that can make the difference in your customer experience.

You can share with me in a comment what you think about this article. Also, feel free to connect with us on twitter @starthubtech.

Until next time, keep creating astounding experiences!

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