Delegate, Focus, and GROW Your Business

Winning Over Virtual Consumers

In the early days of online selling, it was enough to just show up with a great product and commitment to customer service. Today’s online consumers have more options and are more skeptical to buy from just any company. In order to win over virtual consumers, companies need to compete heavily by value instead of price. In fact, according to the Customers 2020 Report by Walker, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.

Here’s a look at how businesses can expand beyond customer care and service, and focus on a commitment to the customer experience to revolutionize their business.

Offer interactive tools

Online consumers move quickly and are looking for immediate support to find solutions, narrow down their product selection and tap into self-serve options. That can feel overwhelming when trying to figure out how to serve a wide consumer base, but in reality, you can focus on simplicity and ease.

Consider the world of manufacturing that sells products with specific specs and applications. For example, Apple Rubber sells the industry’s largest inventory of o-rings with over 8,000 sizes in stock. In order to deliver on what customers need, Apple Rubber offers plenty of online tools for its customers to find the right size, make an engineering request, select materials or request a sample without leaving their website.

Make it personal

In order to convert more online consumers into buyers, customers need to be able to find the products they need easily, even if they don’t know they need it. In today’s online world, it’s entirely possible to turn into a mind reader by using personalization offers. Companies can use personalization software to tap into a customer’s view history, look for patterns on complementary products and parse data collected from email marketing campaigns. MSC Direct used personalization software, and converted 38 percent more visitors into buyers and increased their average order by 12 percent.

Engage your target customer

According to a survey by Nielsen-McKinsey, 33 percent of respondents said they would recommend a brand offering a quick response, even if it’s an ineffective one. McKinsey’s research also showed a single negative post has as much impact as five positive ones.

However, responding quickly to your customer’s concerns is just step one. Today’s businesses stand out from their competition by embracing the concept of social care and working on engaging customers. Creating popular content, infographics and videos can attract some attention temporarily, but if you don’t have an online core market to engage with, all of your efforts will fall flat. Focus on connecting and communicating with your audience, offer them tips and resources, get to know them and become an online social presence they come to know and trust.

Go beyond mobile optimization

At this stage in the game, any business whose online presence isn’t optimized for mobile is behind the curve. However, there’s so much more to consider than simply using a responsive website theme that looks as good on a desktop as mobile. Companies should also be mobile optimized for search, provide a digital wallet and payment options, offer product videos and plenty of omnichannel support. From an online chat function to a DIY FAQ and email, customers want immediate connection without picking up the phone.

Offering your customers the right support from online forms to personalized suggestions gives your company a solid foundation to win over virtual customers. But at the end of the day, the traditional values of business building never go out of style. Keep offering amazing service and products as the backbone of your business success.

Posted on March 6th, 2018 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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