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Challenges & opportunities for brands to improve their CX in 2020

30-second summary:

  • Live chats can strengthen the customer experience.
  • Adding alternative payment providers can improve the conversion rate.
  • More brands need to embrace customer loyalty programs.
  • Preference centers can help customers feel more in control with their brand communications.
  • Omnichannel communication can help you reach your customers in their preferred channel.

Customer experience (CX) is key for brands that want to achieve growth in 2020. A customer-centric strategy is based on a series of tactics that aim to make the most of different trends and channels.

DotDigital examined the tactics of 100 brands worldwide for their Hitting The Mark report to explore how they are improving their CX.

The tenth annual benchmarking report provides useful insights on how ecommerce brands are addressing their challenges around CX and what they still need to improve.

Here are the takeaways you need to know.

Content produced in collaboration with DotDigital.

More brands adopting live chat to boost CX

According to DotDigital’s ‘Hitting The Mark’ report, there was a big shift from ecommerce brands towards the adoption of live chat.

Live chat hasn’t always been a priority for many ecommerce brands so it’s encouraging to see now that 71% of global brands have bots or dedicated customer service teams for their social media channels and customer queries.

It is impressive to consider that 64% of the brands are replying to a query within 60 seconds.

What we can learn from this shift is that brands are understanding the importance of being ‘always on’ to help their customers. Whether it’s social media or a live chat functionality on a website, it’s important to facilitate two-way conversations to deliver the best customer experience.

Brands are improving CX at checkout

More brands are eager to partner with payment providers. In fact, 87% of brands are partnering with Klarna, PayPal, and AfterPay.

Providing alternative payment methods can simplify the customer journey for many users. For customers, it feels that they are given the choice to pick the payment options that work best for them.

It’s interesting to discover that brands offering alternative payment options see a 10x increase in their sales. The better the experience, the higher the conversion rate.

Not all brands include preference centers in their emails

One of the areas that many brands can still improve is the ability to give the flexibility to customers and the emails they are receiving.

Only 34% of brands in the report seemed to have preference centers accessible in email. This means that 66% of them failed to include it. From a customer’s perspective, it may be frustrating to seek further details or tweaks to what you are controlling and be unable to find them.

Having a clear preference center on your emails makes it easier to build trust with your customers. It’s a good practice to help them feel they are in control to choose the best methods of communication for them.

Moreover, 80% of brands didn’t seem to offer alternative communication channels. This means that they insist on reaching their customers where they think they are without validating the assumption.

It is important to make your methods of communication more flexible in terms of the content, the channels, and the frequency to ensure that you keep your customers engaged in 2020.

Only 18% of brands adopt omnichannel communication

Ecommerce brands have had big progress in many areas during 2019 but omnichannel communication doesn’t seem to be one of them.

According to the report, only 18% of brands have adopted omnichannel marketing tactics. Similarly to the idea of having preference centers on an email, it is important to reach your customers nowadays beyond one channel.

An omnichannel approach requires the right strategy to ensure there is consistency in the messaging without any repetition.

For example, not all customers prefer email communication. Or they may use one channel for awareness and a different one for purchasing decisions. Conversational channels, messenger apps and live chats are on the rise. But it’s also important to work on personalization and re-targeting to make sure that you help your customers convert through their favorite channels.

Brands targeting younger people seem to be more experienced in omnichannel strategies. However, it’s still a useful lesson for all brands to explore how different channels can make a great addition to their marketing strategy when working on their CX.

Brands still fail to reward customer loyalty

Not all brands seem to have a strategy on how to improve their customer loyalty. It’s interesting that 80% of brands haven’t embraced a loyalty program. Moreover, there is also the need to test a more authentic approach in communication to build trust. Only 34% of brands send editorial-only marketing.

Thus, it’s harder for customers to be loyal to a brand. Shoppers can’t feel emotionally connected to a brand and the chances for repeated purchases are reduced.

It’s not enough to attract one-time buyers if you want to achieve future growth. Good CX should not stop at the conversion. In fact, it should be the starting point towards a long-term relationship that will keep the customers interested in coming back.

There can be different rewards to build customer loyalty. From discounts to free shipping but also a structured loyalty program can help your brand build the much-desired emotional bond with its customers. Start by listening to your customers’ needs and the best way to reward them for choosing your products.

Key takeaways to improve CX

Looking at DotDigital’s report, there are many takeaways for ecommerce brands looking to improve their CX:

  • Live chats can strengthen the customer experience
  • Adding alternative payment providers can improve the conversion rate
  • More brands need to embrace customer loyalty programs
  • Preference centers can help customers feel more in control with their brand communications
  • Omnichannel communication can help you reach your customers in their preferred channel

Find out more tips on the opportunities and the challenges with success stories on how to improve your CX on DotDigital’s full guide here.

The post Challenges & opportunities for brands to improve their CX in 2020 appeared first on ClickZ.

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