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Balancing Act: Walking the fine line of CX optimization

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An increasingly important and necessary avenue for growth is the optimization of customer experience.

According to Gartner’s 2017 Customer Experience in Marketing Survey, “More than two-thirds of marketers responsible [for CX] say their companies compete mostly on the basis of CX. And in two years’ time, 81% say they expect to be competing mostly or completely on the basis of CX.”

As competitive pressure to meet their customers’ evolving expectations increases, organizations can truly differentiate themselves from the competition by establishing and developing an innovative omnichannel experience.

What does optimized CX look like?

Providing positive customer experience requires a strong e-commerce presence that allows customers to really shop their way. They should be able to find what they want and purchase it in a seamless and efficient way. Shopping should be easy, effortless, and enjoyable. This increases the probability of attracting and retaining lifelong customers.

Optimized customer experience involves some agility to walk the fine line between giving customers what they want without bogging them down with overabundant choices that become roadblocks.

Streamline and simplify CX: Heed the 3-Click Rule

It’s as simple as:

1) Land on your homepage, find category listing page.

2) Category page to product page.

3) Add their chosen product to the cart.

Your customers should be able to navigate their journey in three clicks. Quick. Efficient. Satisfying. Yes, it takes work to streamline to this degree of efficiency, but it is essential. Several tactics in combination can help facilitate this.

The paradox of choice is very real. While customers expect a robust enough selection to shop their way, forcing them down a path where multiple options can leave them feeling frustrated, overwhelmed—paralyzed by too much of a good thing.

Stalling them along the optimal three-click fast-track can cost sales, and, more importantly, lose customers, frustrated by the unnecessarily complex experience.

Allowing customers to shop how they want means optimizing across channels. This includes cohesively meshing digital and brick-and-mortar experience. Smart organizations understand that these two ostensible rivals have complementary strengths that can be utilized to reinforce each other and improve overall customer experience.

The most effective customer experience creates and provides the interchangeable function of digital and brick-and-mortar. This nurtures the customer’s inherent desire to shop for what they want, how they want, when they want, and where they want.

The organization that has achieved optimized function across channels is poised to leverage the best of both worlds by providing exceptional customer experience.

Simple functions can also help facilitate CX optimization with a streamlined experience. For example, allowing customers to save information so that those returning don’t have to reenter information every time they make a purchase.

The hassle of having to retrieve or reset a password—or having to fish out a credit card to verify—can lose sales and ultimately customers, new and repeat. Let customers choose among different payment and shipping options, but don’t make them reenter their information. Eliminate those needless roadblocks.

Looking ahead to the next post in this series, we will discuss different metrics for measuring CX, and how these metrics should be collected, calculated, and utilized to improve customer experience and retention.

Learn more about creating the optimal customer experience here

Tom Otten
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June 22, 2018
Tom Otten

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