Customers expecting seamless omnichannel experience

The online purchasing process has evolved. While e-commerce continues to grow, accounting for more than $1 trillion in transactions worldwide, businesses struggle to provide a meaningful customer experience for their clients.

E-commerce has changed significantly in the last few years to become integrated with mobile, social and in-store channels. Consumers want the flexibility and convenience of shopping through multiple channels, often simultaneously, which is forcing businesses to develop omnichannel approaches to their e-commerce operations. Everything from marketing tactics to logistics is tied together to create a seamless transaction that improves customer satisfaction.

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Positive customer experiences start with a warm welcome

They say that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. This is especially true in the business world, where a bad customer experience can deter consumers from purchasing from a specific brand or company. Building customer loyalty depends on creating friendly and professional interactions every time, regardless of the channel.

Forbes noted that customer satisfaction often depends on the type of greeting customers receive. The right welcome can put upset clients at ease, while also enhancing the experiences of new customers.

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Social media helping to deliver personalized customer experiences

Marketers have a lot of tools at their disposal, which they use to drive customer experiences. Over the last few years, social media has become one of the most influential weapons in a marketer's arsenal. Customer Think reported that 90 percent of businesses use social media within marketing campaigns and 60 percent of those use the channel to drive engagement with customers.

Interacting with consumers across social networks helps boost customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. The social channel has become the backbone of multichannel initiatives, helping to continue conversations online and keep salespeople in front of potential leads.

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Customer satisfaction tips could improve B2B sales experience

Retailers understand the importance of customer satisfaction. They know that each sales experience is an opportunity to build brand loyalty and generate revenue from repeat purchases. Unfortunately, many B2B organizations fail to place the same priority on building comprehensive and effective customer experience strategies.

While B2B and B2C may seem very different fields, companies in both spaces can benefit from approaching customer retention in similar manners. Decision-makers at large corporations often practice the same techniques for researching products as consumers, and therefore are likely to respond to comparable marketing tactics.

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Focus on value to drive customer retention

Retaining customers is becoming increasingly challenging. Social media, mobile and other new channels have given consumers access to a greater range of offerings. With more choices, customers have the ability to seek exactly what they want, so customer retention strategies should focus on highlighting the value of continued interactions with a firm.

Rob Houser, senior director of product management for Sage Software, told Small Business Trends that his company had shifted to annual contracts to ensure it was delivering better value to customers than  competitors.

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Meet customer expectations by effectively leveraging social media

At some point in the near future, social and mobile will become the primary channels for customer engagement. Customers and businesses benefit from the more personalized interactions these channels provide, but a large number of organizations are unable to leverage them effectively.

Business 2 Community estimates that 80 percent of the actionable social media posts a company receives are service related. This makes social networks the ideal channels for reaching out to customers and solving their service problems. The source notes that companies need to have a comprehensive customer experience management strategy for answering negative comments online.

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Social media services expected to grow in contact centers

Reaching customers through multichannel engagement strategies will become a major focus of contact centers. A recent Deloitte study found that the use of social media within call centers is expected to increase significantly in the next two years.

As social media becomes more important to customer interactions, businesses will need to develop comprehensive customer experience management (CEM) strategies. Multichannel Merchant pointed out that the survey results highlight the importance of using customer experiences as a differentiator. More competition delivering services through social media and other channels means businesses will need to rely on friendly and engaging services to improve brand loyalty.

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Customer service essential to boosting repeat sales

Turning a major corporation around amid a slow global economy, increased competition and other market factors is not an easy task, but McDonald's Corp. is hoping that a focus on customer service will generate results.

The global fast food company has struggled to boost same-store sales since October, and recently reported that sales declined 0.6 percent in April from the year before, according to The Chicago Tribune. To resolve the situation, the company is pushing franchise owners to stress the importance of customer service to staff.

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Listening to your audience to create a more engaging experience

Effective customer service agents know that resolving a problem with a client requires getting to the root of the situation. By asking the right questions and listening to customers' responses, employees are able to use good judgment to offer solutions that will keep customers satisfied.

Listening is a skill at which many organizations fail. The growth of social media and other interactive tools has given firms more channels through which to collect feedback and understand the needs of their audience. However, even when patrons offer their opinions, internal mechanisms can prevent the information from being passed along to the appropriate people.

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Gaining loyalty through mobile platforms

Mobile devices offer convenient and engaging purchasing experiences for consumers. They accounted for 17 percent of online sales last year, according to IBM's Online Retail Index, and could provide businesses with the means to enhance customer retention strategies.

There are a handful of steps organizations can take to build effective mobile-based customer experience management programs. Econsultancy notes that success depends on tailoring offers and discounts to the audience. Capturing personal data and analyzing trends is a good way to ensure that promotions are relevant to potential customers.

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