If you think about it, everything a customer can find about your business online is your digital storefront. It might not be the first physical thing they see, but often, the Internet is how people learn about your business.
Whether they’re searching Google or they see a Facebook ad, the Internet tends to account for several touchpoints between a customer and your business before they call or visit you.
But, is your digital storefront really that important, and is that first impression as important as the way you treat customers in person?
How Your Digital Presence Affects Your Business
Having exceptional customer service is a must in today's digital landscape when customers can tell exponentially more people than ever about their experiences with your business.
But, you have to get them in the door or on the phone before they can become loyal customers. The best way to do this is to build and optimize a spotless online presence.
Here's what you need to know about your digital presence and how it entices or turns away potential customers:
- 75 percent of people who find a local search result useful will visit a store
- 90 percent of smartphone users search for location information
- 50 percent of mobile local searches end with a purchase
- 91 percent of consumers will turn to a competitor if your website isn't optimized for mobile devices
So, how can you make sure the customer has a good experience with your business from start to finish?
Start With the Digital Customer Experience
The customer’s experience with your business starts the first time they hear about you, whether it’s offline or online.
And, the way customers find your business varies greatly, from a simple Google search to seeing a friend mention your business on Facebook or even just seeing your storefront while driving.
The next step for consumers is usually research.
Because we have so much information at our fingertips, we will look you up online to find out as much as possible. This means that if we’re making sure the customer experience is great from start to finish, the digital experience needs to match the way you treat your customers in person.
Your digital storefront, whether it’s the first thing customers see about your business or it’s the final touchpoint in calling/getting directions, is a direct representation of your business—for better or worse.
It’s time to take a look at your digital storefront and really see what it tells customers about you because the unfortunate truth is that customers will never give themselves a chance to receive exceptional service from you if they are turned off by your digital presence.
Here are a few components to your digital storefront:
- Whether your listing (in a search) is correct or complete
- Your star rating and review content
- Photos, videos, other visual elements
- Social media profiles – are they correct/complete, are you posting regularly?
- Whether your site is optimized for mobile devices
Tips for Improving Your Customers’ Digital Experience
Let’s make sure your digital storefront is an accurate representation of how great your business is in the physical world!
These are a few tips that will help you improve your online presence and bring in more customers.
- Make sure your business’s information on popular listings is correct and complete. Add images, photos of your store or your work (service before and after photos, menu items, etc), any high-quality videos you may have, images of current promotions, etc. Try creating a Google Post to control what people see in your Google listing.
- Take a look at your star rating. Is it positive? Does it need some work? If you have a lot of negative reviews or all your reviews are older, it’s time to start asking those happy customers and clients for a review on Google, Facebook and relevant industry sites.
- Make sure your social media pages are up-to-date and that you’re posting regularly across social.
- Check with your website developer to make sure it's optimized for mobile. Your site should look good, be easy to navigate and load quickly on mobile devices.
How to Improve Your Customer Service
Once you've brought in those customers, the next step is retaining them. So, let’s make sure your customer service is excellent so that you’re retaining loyal customers.
Here are a few tips to improve your customer service:
- Train your employees on customer service and be sure to prepare them for tough situations. Hold everyone, including yourself, accountable for this.
- Remember that happy employees are more likely to provide good service, so take the time to recognize their accomplishments and do what you can to reward them for being a great example of exceptional customer service.
- Customer service extends to the digital world now, too. So, be sure to respond to your reviews, social media messages and comments, questions people pose on your Google listing and emails.
Follow these steps and you're on your way to a better customer experience, both online and offline!