Not every customer looks forward to interacting with someone each time they shop with your company. Especially for return customers, being able to handle their own browsing and checkout makes the process feel faster and more fulfilling. To satisfy those looking for a self-led shopping experience, it’s important to consider how your business can successfully automate transactions.
Empower Customers Without Abandoning Them
There are many opportunities, especially in e-commerce, for a business to give customers more power over their shopping experience.
As you explore your store’s own page, ask yourself the following questions: Can customers confidently find answers to their product questions in descriptions? Are they able to complete the checkout process without issue? Finally, if a customer has a problem with their order, do they have any power over the return or complaint process?
While it’s important to give customers control over their spending experience, it’s also important to avoid abandoning them. Making customer service resources and assistance information easy to find and easy to work with is vital to creating a well-rounded autonomous customer experience. Providing clear instructions for self-service returns is a great way to empower customers without leaving them entirely on their own.
Make Documentation and Follow Up Accessible
One of the most essential things to consider when discussing how to create an autonomous customer experience is giving customers ways to be confident that they’ve done their job correctly. Following up is one of the best ways to help a customer feel secure that the checkout process was successful and that their item is on its way.
A confirmation email is one of the most common forms of follow-up for e-commerce businesses right now. Tracking information, a digital receipt, and a policy reminder are all important pieces of information to give the customer so that they can continue to lead the buying process themselves.
Give Customers an Opportunity To Provide Feedback
One piece of the shopping experience that is easily lost when you give customers further autonomy is feedback. Hearing what customers thought of the product and the online experience is essential to improving your business strategy. As such, companies seeking to create an autonomous customer experience need to consider building steps to provide feedback into their process.
Star ratings are a quick way for customers to provide that feedback. This system can be added into the process at one of a variety of stages, including immediately after checkout, in a follow-up email after the order has been delivered, or when the customer returns to the page later. Offering a contact email or feedback form beyond a rating system can also help customers engage with customer service without the irritation of waiting on the phone.
For brick-and-mortar businesses, the self-service model can become trickier, but it’s not impossible. Airlines, for example, offer kiosks for self-check-in to expedite the process for customers who aren’t checking baggage. Some modern banks are experimenting with a self-service model as well. So long as you provide clear instructions and alternatives for customers in your store who prefer to get in-person assistance, self-service options will still increase customer satisfaction.