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Customer Experience Optimisation

The D2C Customer Experience Strategy

 July 20, 2021

By  Will

The Strategy I’ve Used to Drive Millions in Extra Revenue By Focusing on Customer Experience Optimisation (And How You Can Do It Too!)


If you’re obsessed with paid acquisition channels, this strategy probably isn’t for you.

It’s for ecommerce businesses who want to aggressively, and sustainably, grow using Customer Experience Optimisation.

In fact, it’s the same strategy I’ve been using for years to successfully convert traffic into high-value customers.

If you want a better return on your paid marketing spend, a 5-star review rating, and customers who are significantly more profitable in the long-term, this is the strategy for you.

Grab my Customer Experience Optimisation ebook below to see some examples of tactics I’ve used for clients to generate millions in extra revenue.

to access the Customer Experience Optimisations ebook.

Then read on to learn how you create your own Customer Experience Optimisation strategy.


Customer Experience Optimisation: Don’t Sleep On Extra Revenue

Many DTC founders and marketers focus on generating more website traffic, and trying to optimise their ads to achieve growth, but often omit the single thing that empowers sustainable (but aggressive) growth:

What Does The Customer Want? 

This is the key question you need to be asking to build a stronger, more customer-centric brand.

It’s not about you or the business, not about your wants and needs.

It’s about the customers.

The job they are trying to do, and the pain point they are trying to relieve.

Focusing on this is what will drive success for your business.


Customer Experience Optimisation: What’s In It For You

At the end of the day, the goal is to generate more value from your customer base, while also being able to avoid acquiring low-value customers.

Let’s make something clear though: this isn’t about yet another KPI you have to worry about increasing. No.

It's not just about creating higher customer lifetime values, but also using this data to identify a group of customers that generate the most revenue - and using this knowledge to sell more to those customers, and others like them.

Still not convinced? This will change your mind:

Optimising for customer lifetime value means extra revenue through retention - Loyal customers are 5x as likely to repurchase, 5x as likely to forgive, 4x as likely to refer, and 7x as likely to try a new offering.

To me it’s simple: why spend thousands and thousands on paid channels to keep acquiring new customers to maintain the business, when you’ve got a goldmine of extra revenue waiting in your CRM?

The cost of re-engaging those customers is only a fraction of what you’d have to spend on ads. And if you get CEO (Customer Experience Optimisation) right, it’ll boost your acquisition efforts too - happy customers won’t hold back on word of mouth.

So, now you know the WHY, it’s time for the HOW. 


The 3-Step Strategy To Using Customer Experience Optimisation To Earn Extra Revenue

There are three steps to execute Customer Experience Optimisation successfully:

Step 1: Conversion

Step 2: Engagement

Step 3: Retention

Below is a breakdown of how every part of the strategy works.

But I must warn you - this doesn’t work if you’re looking for short-term wins. Of course, we all need them sometimes, but optimising the customer experience is a long-term approach that cannot be “hacked” or sped up. 


Step 1: Conversion

Know your customer. If you don't you're guessing.

If you don’t know who your customers are, and what they want, how can you possibly create ad campaigns that truly speak to them, and how can you craft copy for your product pages that will convince them to buy?

Some of the questions you should be asking yourself and your team are...

  • What are your customer’s pain points?
  • Why are they looking for a product like yours?
  • What motivates them to buy?
  • What scares them about change or committing to something new?

These last 2 are particularly important, as anxiety and motivational messages are up to 102x more effective than usability based changes like adding a sticky CTA.

But the key to success is about really understanding your buyers, and where in the customer journey they are.

Are they ready to buy? Or are they still doing their research?

You can craft your product pages around this information, and even make it interactive to encourage engagement.

Craft a product story around the major jobs that this product can fulfil, lead customers on a journey, answer all their questions as they come up. 

If you’ve got an FAQ, rip it up and scatter that information across the product page where it should be. Questions should be answered when and where the customer needs them.

One of my clients saw a 10% increase in conversion rate simply by stating that delivery was Tracked in the checkout section of the website.

Another saw a 33% uplift by clearing stating the free delivery threshold on the product page.

This information was readily available on-site, but it hadn’t been answered at the moment the customer raised the question.


There are three main areas I tend to focus on when trying to improve conversion:


Usability - How easy is your website to use?  The site has to be easy to use, simple as. Easy to find what they’re looking for, whether it’s via search or a category page, easy to contact customer service, manage their account, checkout, find information on your products, compare products, whatever it is the customer needs to do, it should be easy to do it.

20% of responses in a recent survey for a client said that Ease of Use was the most important thing about a website.

Your website doesn’t need to reinvent the purchase journey, it just needs to be easy for the visitor to find what they want, and buy it.

eCommerce Search

Search is a great example of a powerful usability function. Customers love to search, and those that do convert 2.4x better than those who don't, they also tend to spend more money.

This example from TOWER London is particularly good because search results include imagery alongside the text, and allow for filtering and sorting.


Anxiety - What are the customers’ fears? Anxiety is a major issue for customers. They’re always thinking, is this really the right product for me? Is this really the right business for me? Trust logos, reviews (particularly rich media reviews), a secure website, free returns, all these put the customer’s mind at ease and make them think ‘Ok cool, I’m happy to make the purchase’.

Social proof and trust elements help convince the customer that the product is right for them, and the business is one that they should feel comfortable purchasing from. 

Other factors add on to that by de-risking the purchase. Free & Easy Returns or guarantees are great ways of telling the customer ‘Don’t worry, we’re confident in the product, but if you’re still not happy just send it back’.

Remove customer anxiety with reviews

Reviews are one of the best ways of dealing with anxiety, particularly using rich reviews with product attributes, customer profiling, and rich media. Customers want to see a load of reviews to convince them that business is trustworthy, they want to see a bunch of reviews proving that the product is good and everyone loves it, then they want to see the detail to be sure that not only is the product good, but it's actually good for their requirements.


Motivation - What will motivate them to purchase? What's the problem with their current solution? Or what's the pain from their current problem and how quickly do they want to avoid this? Urgency and scarcity style messaging works well here, not just ‘order now to receive tomorrow’ or ‘only 1 left and 5 people are looking at it’, but also ‘relieve your back pain tomorrow by ordering today’. 

Get the customer to want to order your product because it's going to solve their problem quickly. This is the most powerful piece, and if you can get it right it’ll have a huge impact on your business.

Amazon obviously has to make an appearance, and they do motivation so well by combining urgency & scarcity right next to each other, right next to the call to action. You're motivated to act quickly not only to get it tomorrow, but to get it at all.

I've put together a live document with loads of examples of the above, plus other great customer experience tips, you can find it here.

to access the Customer Experience Optimisations ebook.

But remember, not everyone is ready to buy yet.

Around 96% of your visitors aren’t ready to buy yet, but most of those who will, will make a purchase in the next 45 days (it’s my job to make sure it’s with you).

You’ll achieve this by gathering lead details.

But don’t follow the herd and offer 10% off for first name and email, what can you even do with that information?

When was the last time you cared (or even noticed) that someone put ‘Hey Pete’ at the top of an email?

You can't segment with just an email address, which means you can only send everyone the same generic message, which appeals to no-one.

Instead, focus on capturing data that will let you enhance the experience for those leads.

  • What is their biggest pain point right now related to your products?
  • When are they looking to buy?
  • What are their category, material, or style preferences?

If you frame it right, you’ll be surprised at how much information people are willing to hand over if they think you’re going to use it to personalise the experience to them.

And it's not difficult to do.

Formtoro found that 99% of visitors who submitted their email would also submit 1 more piece of data on a multi-step form, while 96% would complete up to 4 pieces.

Your customers and potential customers are so happy to tell you what they want to buy, and why they need it, you just need to ask.

And once you have that data you can segment these customers into marketing automation sequences, serve them the information they need, when they need it, and convert far more of them into customers.

Then, as an added bonus you can also feed this information into your advertising platforms as custom audiences.


Step 2: Engagement

The key to building an engaged customer base is to give them a great experience at every touchpoint. The job isn't done when the customer clicks ‘buy now’, we’ve only just begun really.

As soon as the customer confirms their order, anxiety sets in.

'When will the product arrive? Will it arrive?'

'Is it definitely the right one for me?'

'How easy will it be to set up or install?'

Your job in-between the placing of the order and the receiving of the order, is to put that anxiety at ease and make the customer feel comfortable.

Provide them tracking information so they can clearly review their order process. There are some great tools out there now such as Malomo, FenixCommerce and WeSupply who provide branded landing pages where you can provide all the tracking information on a delivery, as well as other content such as help guides, recommended products, and loyalty programs.


Provide them with any guides, manuals or other helpful information related to their purchase that can help them answer questions before they receive it.

And then, of course, follow up with customers shortly after they’ve received their order and check in on them.

Did it arrive ok, is the product as expected, do they have any questions or need any help with it? 

And do this as a plain text email from customer support, not as an HTML marketing looking email. It’s crucial that the customer sees this as a genuine attempt to check in with them, rather than perceive it as a veiled attempt at selling.

Not only will this check-in email generally make customers feel better towards your brand straight away, but depending on your review schedule, this could give you up to about 10 days to fix any problems, answer any questions and turn the customer into a guaranteed 5-star review. The goal here is to turn those potential 1-2 star reviews into 3-4 stars, and 3-4 stars into 5 stars.

Engage with them, make sure this first (and every other, obviously) experience with your business is incredible.

** In their future of CX report, PwC surveyed 15,000 consumers and found that 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience, while 92% would completely abandon a company after two or three negative interactions. **

And by negative interaction, we're not talking end of the world scenarios here, it could be as simple as they found installation overly complex, or the brand only provided email support.

Anything that slows down the experience and causes what the customer perceives to be unnecessary friction could be a negative interaction.

You can take this post-purchase experience a step further though and segment for various types of customers.

Are these your VIPs making another order? Give them a call to check-in, or send them a little gift out of the blue.

Brand new customers? Filter their emails into a priority inbox and make sure those complaints are dealt with immediately to boost your chances of a 2nd purchase.

While you want to give everyone an incredible experience, some initiatives simply take too much time and resource to be applied to every customer. So it’s important to pick those golden opportunities, and not waste time with the low-value discount abusers.


Step 3: Retention

Now comes the part that every business thinks is easy, but is both challenging, and incredibly under-resourced and undervalued in business.

Retention.

The approach most companies take is to just throw all their customers into a CRM, send out a blast every few days or weeks with a tiny bit of ‘personalisation’, things like making sure {{firstName}} is in there (which no one cares about anymore!).

But retention is so much more than that, and if you’ve approached the first 2 steps properly, retention does become a lot easier. If you’ve understood your customers at the start, and continued to learn about them, their wants, their needs, their preferences, you'll be able to communicate with them far more effectively.

Email & SMS are great channels for retention, as long as you use them correctly.

Focus on building the relationship with the customer, keep providing them value (yes, for free), and you’ll keep your brand top of mind with them.

  • In the food industry? Send them regular recipes.
  • In fashion? Send them style guides based on events and seasonality.
  • Cosmetics? Beauty guides and how-tos.

You get the point. All, of course, all messaging need to be personalised based on the information you’ve gathered about your customers.

You need to make these communications as 1:1 as possible. If you follow up using implicit and explicit data, you can talk to these leads and customers with messaging they want to hear, addressing their pain points or interests, and they’ll come back when they’re ready.

Of course, the odd promotion or sale doesn’t hurt, but as long as it really is just the odd one.

Then we get to loyalty.

Loyalty programs are great for retention, but it’s so important they make sense, offer value to the customer, and tie in with your brand and its values.

Edgard & Cooper is one of my favourite examples of this

Completing your pet profile is a crucial part of their business model, so it makes sense to incentivise it with points, but then once you’ve got those points, you have the choice of claiming the discount for yourself, or giving a meal to a shelter or planting a tree.

It’s not just a constant push to get you to buy something, they keep it fairly low key to building engagement with customers.

Other great ideas for your loyalty scheme include exclusive content, special events, and even extra points days to boost sales.

The point is that the benefits are exclusive and actually valuable to the customer.

Finally, we have Surprise & delight.

Another infrequently used, but very powerful tactic is the surprise & delight.

I’ve sent out handwritten postcards to customers, sent out little gifts to others, and even upgraded subscriptions.

And the result is always positive.

Increased engagement, increased spending, increased customer lifetime.

But this isn’t something you just implement and send to every customer, because as soon as it’s a known thing it’s expected, and no longer a surprise.

It’s another opportunity for those who are segmenting their customers properly. 

Send out little gifts to your VIPs.

Think that a new customer of yours has high potential value, get on the phone with them to make sure they are happy with their order.

Some of these things don’t scale very well, but they’re not designed to. They are designed to build engagement and value with those who matter.

Just remember when you’re building out any of these strategies, as soon as you approach it with a ‘how will this make us more sales’ approach, you might as well not bother, because bit by bit it'll lose it's customer focus.

Always be thinking about the customer.

What does the customer want?

How will the customer get value from this?

How is this making the customer experience better?

Build that trust and engagement with the customer, and they’ll come back to buy from you anyway.


Start Optimising Your Customer Experience Today

Want me to help you implement a bespoke Customer Experience Optimisation strategy for your business?

I can work with you and your team to develop and implement a Customer Experience Optimisation strategy, ensuring you convert more of your traffic into customers, who become more engaged, loyal, and profitable.

What do you need to be successful?

  1. An existing website where you are selling products. You need to have a website where visitors can make a purchase themselves.
  1. Your website must be receiving decent traffic. You need at least 100,000 visits per month to the site to make this work.
  1. A long-term mindset. This is a long term strategy, the goal is of course sustainable, long-term revenue, it’s not a new advertising channel that can be up and running in a few days.

If you meet the above criteria and have a serious desire to increase your Customer Lifetime Values…

Book a call now, or email me at will@customerswhoclick.com

Will


W.Laurenson

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