What's More Important, Price or Client Experience?
When customers make a decision to purchase there are a lot of factors that influence this choice, including price, proximity to the supplier, customer experience and online reviews. Price is an obvious one, because no-one wants to over-pay and with technology at our fingertips it's easy to compare prices from many different suppliers.People even conduct price checks when they're in a retail store to check they are getting the best price; if they can find the product cheaper elsewhere or online then they're unlikely to pay a higher price there and then.
Proximity can be an important factor if the product is something that needs to be collected or delivered, if there's a specialist service you can't get elsewhere, or if travelling further for the same thing doesn't make sense. Online reviews are also important as many people are checking out the reputation of companies on review sites before considering making a purchase. Customer experience is also very important, as it informs the reviews people leave online and can positively influence the decision to buy.
Customer experience isn't the same as customer service; customer experience is about how that customer feels at every stage of their interactions with the company, from initial exposure to the product or service through marketing, to their experience of your website all the way through to purchase conclusion. Customer experience can be just as influential on purchase decisions as price, especially to those customers who value a good experience over most other factors.For products and services which have a long conversion journey, or where there will be an on-going relationship with the customer (perhaps a maintenance or restock contract) customer experience is often more important than price in the decision to purchase.
Depending on the nature of your business, your customer experience may be solely online, or may be a combination of initial enquiry online, followed by a more detailed conversation with a sales agent or consultant, even going as far as a site visit for some products, so it's important to map out the customer journey to know where you can make an improvement to it. When you understand when and how your customers are interacting with your company you can start to really audit the experience they have.
Consider asking a friend or a new hire to playact a customer experience, so they can give you honest feedback about how they felt at each stage. This exercise shows you what you're doing well and what you can improve on. It's also worth setting up a survey to ask your existing customers, or those making a new purchase, how they felt the experience was. Offering a discount code or free shipping in exchange for this valuable feedback can also help drive some sales in the process, so it's a win-win situation.
If you can provide an exceptional customer experience at every stage of the journey your customers will be likely to recommend you or to write a positive review or testimonial; all of which can help your online reputation. When you're known for providing a great customer experience and excellent follow up service, customers will overlook a cheaper competitor and opt for the better service instead.
We can help you identify and make the improvements to your customer experience that can make all the difference in conversion rates, sales and online reputation.
Tel: 01242 697 692