According to a recent Foresee marketing report, customer satisfaction is one of the most powerful strategies to increase sales and word-of-mouth recommendations. A high level of customer satisfaction creates loyal followers of a brand’s products and breeds long term customers.
According to the survey, while Netflix dropped some points from last year, along with Amazon it scored the highest marks (86 out of 100) in terms of website satisfaction for its customers.
Ecommerce stores, large and small, will see a boost in profits if customer satisfaction increases.
There are several factors related to customer satisfaction:
Improvements – Netflix had a few “hiccups” along the way, but the company has always striven to improve its products and its customer experience. It is necessary in today’s ecommerce market for businesses to improve their products since customers progress and desire changes to enhance their experience. Stay connected to your customers and listen to their concerns.
If your ears are open, you will make improvements that will increase your profits, not just create a better product.
If you are a dropshipper and you have no “say” in the product development process, pay attention to your vendors and their cycles of change. If they have the same products as three years ago, it may be time to choose a different vendor.
Improvements can also be made to your online presence. When is the last time you did usability testing to see how your customers react to your website? Have you refreshed your social profiles? Are you “up” on the latest Google algorithm changes?
To maintain success and build, you must move with the technology and stay abreast of changes that could affect your business directly.
Success Determinants – The report stated that price slashing was not as important to consumers as website functionality. Customers are more concerned with quality content, ease of customer service, and products. This doesn’t mean you can double your product prices and achieve the same level of success, but it does give small business owners who cannot compete with large corporations and their pricing structure more of an opportunity to appease customers.
According to the report, during this past holiday season, Americans were not as sensitive to high prices as they were three years ago. They were more focused on free shipping, which led to higher customer satisfaction.
Amazon Rules! – Let’s face it—you cannot compete with Amazon unless you are sitting on a couple billion dollars! As a small business owner, you must be focused on customer satisfaction and provide your customers with “above and beyond” their expectations. People know what to expect at Amazon, but the “small town” feel of an ecommerce site can sway customers if the service is impeccable.
Some tips to enhance customer experience:
- Free shipping – As mentioned previously, free shipping has become the top factor for consumers when deciding on a purchase. Numinix offers a free shipping module for Zen Cart stores to streamline the process.
- Website Functionality – Make it easy for your customers to find what they want. Keep it simple. One-page checkout also scores major points with consumers.
- Contact – Give your customer multiple ways to contact customer service at any day and time.
- Expectations – Go above and beyond expectations. Do you ship on time? Do you reply to service inquiries immediately? Zappos sometimes surprises customers with shipping upgrades even though they pay for standard shipping. You may not be able to afford this, but any way you can exceed expectations will increase consumer satisfaction.
How have you worked to increase customer satisfaction for your ecommerce store?