What is your relationship with your customers like? Do you feel like you’re losing out on sales because your customers aren’t loyal to your brand? Do you want to improve your customer satisfaction and loyalty but don’t know how to?
Well, then you’ve come to the right place.
All this and more is part of a relationship between you and the consumer called the customer experience (CX). But CX is more than just your interaction, it’s all about how your customers see you as a brand.
What do you stand for? Would they recommend your business to their friends based on your core values and beliefs? What’s standing between them and making a repeat purchase?
These are all questions you might want to take a step back and think about if you want to renew your relationship with your customers.
Why does this matter?
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as an eCommerce business is not focusing on what your customers are experiencing. As important as productivity, performance, profit margins metrics are, they don’t tell you much about what the customer is going through each step of the purchase.
Customer satisfaction is important, but measuring it properly can be hard.
One way of looking at it is that they’re not buying a product, instead, they perceive the whole process as an experience – a memory that they’ll recall when they remember doing business with your company.
So, what does this mean for you as a brand then?
Essentially, if you’re living up to their customer expectations in each step of the way, they’re more likely to do business with you again.
This is how you attract loyal and repeat customers.
Does that sound like something you’d be interested in?
Then you might want to start tracking a few key metrics to improve your overall customer experience and start attracting customers loyal to your brand.
1. Repeat Customer Rate
Repeat customer rate is the metric that lies at the heart of customer experience.
If your customers like you and what you stand for, they’re more likely to do business with you again – going from first timers into regulars.
To calculate this, you divide the number of repeat customers by your total customers. You then multiply the decimal by 100 to get your percentage rate. If you’re using Shopify, these numbers are fairly easy to find.
Of course, the higher the rate – the better.
But this number might fluctuate, depending on your marketing campaign and/or acquisition channels. Nevertheless, it’s a great place to start if you’re looking to gain a deeper understanding of your first customers and improve your overall customer experience.
To put things in context, most online stores get 43% of their revenue from repeat customers.
As such, repeat customers are essential to scaling up your online business, and though each niche has a different level of “good” rates, the more subscription or consumption based products you sell, the higher your repeat rate should be.
With that said though, if your store focuses on products that tend to be more durable, you’ll probably have a lower overall reorder rate. If you want to better understand your repeat customer rate, what you can do is compare it to the industry average, depending on your niche (e.g. 9.7% to 11.6% in fashion).
And as important as this KPI is, if you want to better understand your target audience, you should also keep the following metric in mind:
2. Customer Effort Score
Customer Effort Score is a metric that measures how much effort a customer had to put in to have their problems solved.
Though, this is a very tricky metric.
87% of customers think that brands need to put in more effort in providing a consistent customer experience. What might seem fairly straightforward to you might not be the case for your customers.
And just because they managed to perform a certain task successfully doesn’t mean it was easy or enjoyable.
A strong CES rate is also a predictor of your future customer loyalty, and allows you to see what needs to be done to improve the way your team interacts with your customers. This can have a ton of added benefits, with repeat and loyal customers being only the beginning.
So, it’s important you take your time with this one.
To improve your overall customer effort score, you can start with perfecting your buyer’s journey and your touchpoints across all channels. You want your interactions with them to be smooth and with little to no breaks.
Think ahead of their journey and you’ll have no problem in anticipating their needs.
Fortunately, eCommerce is a field that has a lot of wiggle room when it comes to gaining an upper edge. So, you can always try and think of new ways to optimize your website to attract more customers.
Finally, measuring customer effort score is fairly simple.
You can send out customer surveys with questions like “how much effort did you have to put in to complete a certain task?” Your customers can then rate it from “very low effort” to “very high effort.”
Or, you can ask them if your product or service helped them find what they were looking for, giving them the option to “strongly agree” or “strongly disagree”.
3. Net promoter score
Finally, this is what your customer experience should boil down to: how likely are your customers to recommend your company to their friends, family, or colleagues?
This metric is essential if you want to better understand where you stand with your customers and how they perceive you as a brand or as a business in general.
It’s typically measured in a survey, like customer effort score, and the question goes something like “how likely are you to recommend this business to your friend/colleague/family members?”
Customers then rate you on a scale of 1-10 and in the end, you get an overview of your customers’ opinion of your company. A low NPS indicates that they don’t think highly of you and you need to put in more work.
A high NPS, meanwhile, is more than just support from your target market – it indicates that you’re exceeding customer expectation and are in tune with your customers. A high NPS is also a great way to leverage social proof and can help alleviate any hesitations new customers might have.
In short, net promoter score is more than just your customers being willing to recommend your brand to their friends and family. If your NPS is high, this means your customers trust you.
This is a hard thing to accomplish, especially in eCommerce where most customers are finicky by nature.
If you’ve done well in delivering the best customer experience – then you’re on the right track as a business.
Making the best of your CX
All in all, your customer experience is the process, or the journey, your customers go through with your product and company from start to finish.
This includes things like how they’re treated in the process, how their needs are taken care of and what kind of assistance they receive across your company.
If you’re not sure where to begin with your customer experience, focus on the touchpoints you have with your customers and try to look at things from their point of view.
Once you perfect the journey and have understood your customer’sr struggles and needs, you can then start tracking the above key metrics. If done well, your customer experience can skyrocket and bring you additional sales, repeat customers, and most importantly – bring your relationship even closer.