We live in a world where time always seems to be short, rushing from one task to the next with little time to take a breath and pause for a moment. In such a hectic world, it is no surprise that convenience has become a highly prized commodity – when the demands on time are so restrictive, inconvenience moves from being a small issue to an outright annoyance.
Due to this, modern business owners have to be cautious to do all they can to ensure their customers’ experience of interacting with their business is as convenient as possible. To assist with this goal, below, we’ve listed a few ideas that any business may want to implement in order to provide the simplest possible service to their customers.
Do all you can to ensure your customers will never be kept waiting
Patience may be a virtue, but it is one that the technological age has mostly rendered unnecessary. Most of us have become accustomed to being able to access anything we want as and when we want it thanks to a culture based on instant gratification. A direct consequence of this is that waiting is no longer tolerated; it is seen as problematic, troublesome, and – most importantly of all – inconvenient.
It is therefore essential for business owners to recognize that customers are no longer prepared to wait for anything. You will, therefore, need to have ample available stock of any products you are selling or deliver your services as on time, as promised. You’ll also need to endeavor to respond to any customer inquiry as quickly as possible, with a 48 hour response time an absolute maximum.
In addition, e-commerce stores need to be particularly cautious. E-commerce has an in-built delay, as products have to be shipped to customers, so the risk of inconvenient waiting times is already high. To combat this, consider offering fast shipping options or, if possible, click and collect. It’s also helpful to do all you can to improve your site’s loading speed, given that 47% of visitors expect a page to load in two seconds or less and lucrative mobile users will abandon a site if it doesn’t load in three seconds.
Be transparent about pricing
If there is one thing that will infuriate any customer, it’s a lack of transparency when it comes to pricing. In fact, you have probably experienced this yourself: you visit a business’ website, ready to make a purchase, but the actual price of a product or service is hidden. Perhaps you have to add an item to your cart before you can see the shipping price, or are advised to call the business for a full price list – neither of which are remotely convenient.
Businesses tend to be secretive about their prices for understandable, if somewhat dubious, reasons: they don’t want their product or service to be reduced to price only, or they want their trained salespeople to be allowed to make their pitch before revealing the amount. However, as this article succinctly states, price will always matter to customers who are contemplating a purchase. It’s therefore essential to ask if the opaque pricing is beneficial at all, given how inconvenient such pricing strategies are for customers.
It’s therefore worth experimenting with greater pricing openness: if you have a page that talks about a product or service, include the total cost (including shipping, if applicable) right there on the page.
Focus on online payment security
Most customers are aware of the fact that making a payment online contains an element of jeopardy; there are, after all, constant news stories about fraud, identity theft, and similar issues. However, customers will nevertheless continue to choose to make payments online because of the sheer convenience.
Customers, essentially, want to believe that online payments are secure; buying items or ordering services online is so suited to their lifestyles, that their fundamental concerns over security can be overlooked – but only to a point.
If a customer goes to make a payment online and suddenly becomes suspicious of the safety of your payment processing system, then they will immediately back away. As this means they can no longer enjoy their preferred, convenient method of payment, the chances are that you will lose a sale.
It is, therefore, crucial to ensure that your online payment security is robust, with this PCI compliance guide for WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and other types of CMS suites a great place to begin. While the PCI guidelines rules are not considered to be mandatory, they do form an excellent blueprint for strong payment security for any website. By following these rules, your customers will always be able to use their preferred, convenient method of payment without any concerns at all, much to the benefit of your business.
In a busy world, offering a convenient experience to your customers can help to set your business apart. Both new and existing customers will appreciate how simple it is to interact with your company, which should in turn help to improve your customer relationships, encourage repeat business, and ultimately bolster the success of your company as a whole.