Beyond the fact that it allows customers from anywhere to order just about anything from anywhere else, there’s one big positive for customers doing business online: convenience. Whether it’s in ecommerce, or simply using a business site to get more information or a line of contact, your online presence should be a tool that customers can use to make things much simpler for themselves. Yet plenty of online businesses forget that. Focusing on your brand and on your products and services is all well and good. But if you can’t streamline the customer’s approach to them and get rid of these pesky roadblocks, it might not be good enough.
Getting lost in the maze
Of course, the website is where people are going to interface with the business primarily, so that’s where you need to start thinking about getting rid of those roadblocks. In particular, examine the site for any elements that get in the way of user-friendly web design. One common sin of the modern business site is filling the screen up with too much irrelevant content. Another is having far too many options on your navigation bar. When customers come to a brand-new site, it’s a good idea to think primarily about where they want to go and limit the options and the content, making use of only the most relevant so they have a clear path ahead. The same goes for your marketing methods. Focus on leading them where you’re going to make the most conversions. If you’re using a link that talks about a specific product, make sure it leads to a landing page for details on that product alone.
As much clarity and detail as you provide on the site, the customer is going to have some questions. They might want to make sure of some details, like how to get in touch or where the business is located. Lacking these can make it significantly harder to build trust with your visitors. But otherwise, they may have questions about services you provide, the availability of certain products, or product issues they could use your help in clearing up. An active online business also needs to be active in keeping an open path for communication with the customer. More and more sites are starting to make use of tools like live web chat widgets on their website that ensure the customer always has a place to voice their concerns or queries. You can also work on an FAQ that aims to help them solve their own problems, but so long as it’s clear how customers can get in touch. Otherwise, they’re more likely to simply abandon their efforts.
Stuttering and stalling
The two points deal with customers directly interfacing with different aspects but the business. But what about the sides that they don’t see working? Invoicing, transaction processing, delivery and so on. They don’t necessarily see the inner-workings of these aspects, but they will notice if a delivery is late or if they’re waiting for a bill that still hasn’t come through. Streamlining these processes with tools like Salesforce billing is going to help you keep them working much quicker and more efficiently. When it works well, your business is prompt and concise and the customer won’t take too much notice. When it’s full of inefficiencies, stalling, and long waits, you can be sure they’ll let you know about it.
Think about the customer experience every step of the way. Even when you’re dealing with internal matters, think about how they make things smoother or more difficult for the customer. That’s one of your best chances of creating an online business that your target market adores.