As Internet speeds increase and technology becomes more sophisticated, customer expectations of companies’ online performances have also risen.
In 2015, 47 percent of U.S. corporate executives said their customers’ service expectations were higher than three years ago, while 35 percent said they were much higher. Nearly two-thirds of these companies said it was somewhat or very difficult to please customers, while 77 percent agreed the Internet and consumer apps were raising the bar of customer expectations. Here are some essential online conveniences your customers now expect your company to deliver.
The popularity of smartphones and mobile devices has made having a mobile-friendly website a must. The majority of customers now expect local businesses to have mobile-friendly websites, and they are more likely to contact a business if it has one.
Google developers recommend you design the look of your site to make it easy for mobile customers to complete common tasks, such as browsing through products and making a purchase. Be sure your Web designer uses a responsive design that performs consistently across all devices and screen sizes.
Omni-Channel Support Options
Texting and social media have conditioned customers to expect instant communication. In fact, many who ask a company a question or leave a complaint on a social channel expect a reply within an hour. Consistent with this expectation of quick response, customers say live chat and voice support are the channels they find most satisfactory. To deliver the best customer service experience, offer support options across all channels, and prioritize live chat and voice support. Using a cloud-based customer contact center can also help you deliver omni-channel support.
After faster response time and multi-channel access, personalization is the next most in-demand customer service issue. An estimated 60 percent of retail customers say they want more personalized service, including real-time customized promotions and offers delivered to their smartphones while they’re shopping.
Likewise, you can implement personalized strategies through methods like combining filters that segment your mailing list with rules-triggered alerts that target specific segments you’ve created.
Digital Payment Options
As more customers begin using mobile wallets, being able to accept digital payments will become increasingly important for satisfying customer expectations. Solutions such as Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay are being integrated with mobile phones as companies compete in the emerging digital payment space. The total value of mobile payment transactions among American consumers will more than triple this year, from $8.71 billion in 2015 to $27.05 billion in 2016. By 2019, this will increase to $210.5 billion.
To support customers who want to use these new payment options, brick-and-mortar retailers will need to invest in payment-processing equipment capable of accepting mobile payments. In order to optimize payment processing efficiency, businesses should also adopt cloud accounting software capable of integrating with mobile payment processing.
There’s no doubt that customers’ expectations will continue to rise with the advancement of technology. But with smart tools and strategies, you can keep your customers happy and coming back for more business.