Online shoppers must have an exceptional experience for them to return to a site outside of Amazon. What brings a customer to a brand’s website and keeps them coming back for more? Ecommerce professionals tend to focus on efficiency and user behavior. But a personalized shopping experience makes the customer feel that you more than a faceless corporation and gives shoppers the feeling of authenticity, keeping them coming back for more.

“The customer experience is the next competitive battleground,” – Jerry Gregorie, Former Dell CEO

Jerry Gregoire’s statement is spot on. But you already know this. You know your customers have evolved. The real-time optimization happening in their world isn’t enough unless it’s also wrapped in an engaging, rewarding, and personal experience.

But while companies work on forcing an easy, simple, economical experience on their customers, they often ignore what people crave: authenticity. Fortunately, authentic customer experience (CX) – where the customer is the true focus of genuine interactions with a company – is within reach.

It starts with six dimensions

There are six dimensions of a truly authentic customer experience. Improving the online shopping experience to include these dimensions will build a new level of customers satisfaction that will improve your website’s metrics and make customers lifetime fanatics of your brand.

Trusted – Our interests are aligned, and I’m comfortable interacting with you.

Trust is hard to build. The information available on your website or from your reps is always looked at by customers with an apprehensive eye.

No matter what you say, customers don’t trust you as much as they trust family, friends, and experts.

Fortunately, there is a solution to a lack of trust: advocates. An advocate is someone who is passionate and knowledgeable about your company, products, categories, and independent of your payroll. Each of those attributes is an immediate trust builder.

Needle connects advocates with shoppers using online live chat. “Having a shopper connect with a like-minded customer that’s experienced with what the customer is looking to experience, is the most influential way to help them interact with us.” – Rob Casas, Norwegian Cruise Line

Curated – You give me the personalized info I need to make a decision.

Most websites have more choices than customers can handle and not enough of what a shopper needs to make an informed decision. A typical CX isn’t capable of delivering the level of personalization and intuition customers need.

Needle brings back human beings with real product experience, true experts from whom shoppers can ask questions and get personalized answers. Then online shoppers can make confident decisions. Customers who get a curated CX buy more per order and come back to buy more often.

Next-level CX requires personalization and intuition. Typical CX cannot deliver this until human beings with real product experience – true experts – are brought in to help customers make confident decisions.

Using live chat, Needle helps customers curate the digital shopping experience by sending chat invites based on the category shoppers are browsing. They put expert advocates in front of shoppers in real time to help answer their product specific questions.

Credible – You know what you’re talking about, and that makes me confident in our interaction.

Slick salesmanship doesn’t work online. People can smell BS, they hate a gimmick, and they can Google anything they want. Real expertise is in short supply. Your customers visit review sites or call friends to get expert advice and guidance. But where does this leave your company?

When you draw on the credibility of your most loyal customers, connect them in real time to visitors at the precise moment they need to make buying decisions, you’ll be rewarded with a more loyal customer base with every interaction.

Needle helps companies who want people to chat with customers who are stalling or leaving the site before a purchase. Needle finds and trains product experts from within your customer base who have the knowledge and passion to match your internal sales professionals.

Timely – You provide what I’m looking for at the right time.

Frictionless isn’t the same thing as authentic CX. Shopping Amazon is frictionless. It’s also a cold, alienating, and impersonal experience. Today’s customers want to see product recommendations for their specific needs. They want real answers to personalized questions. The speed at which you can deliver the answers and products at the right time builds customer trust. And keeps consumers from closing their browser.

The speed at which you can deliver answers and products at the right time builds customer trust.

“Customers are amazed at how quickly we’re able to answer their questions. It gives them confidence that we’re going to be able to help them just as quickly in the future.” – Sales executive at a large equipment manufacturer.

Targeted – You recognize me and what my needs are in this visit.

It’s hard to know what a customer wants right now, on this visit. You know what they bought last time. Most websites pitch the same customer the same product they bought on their previous visit. What a disconnect! Authentic CX recognizes that what a customer is doing right now tells us far more about what they need than their last visit. If you can target and serve up what customers need right now, they convert at much higher rates.

What a shopper is doing right now tells you far more about what they need than their last visit.

With typical targeting, a customer can get spammed with popups that aren’t contextual, relevant, or timely. Needle provides authentic targeting and reacts through chat prompts. Authentic targeting is all about making sure a shopper receives a timely message with relevant and valuable information that doesn’t disrupt or degrade the experience.

Connected – That was awesome. I feel more loyal (maybe even addicted) as a result.

Most CX initiatives focused for years on speedy delivery without much consideration of actual customer engagement. It’s no surprise that customers feel held at arm’s length. They want brands to give them something to feel connected to: people, experiences,
lifestyle, or expertise.

Authentic CX doesn’t just fulfill customers’ needs faster. It creates an experience so engaging, personalized, and memorable, it builds a strong emotional connection. Connection keeps customers coming back for more.

Customers want experiences so memorable they create lasting emotional connections.

Actual customer reaction of one of Needle’s clients: “George was wonderful on helping me decide on the [product]. He told what upgrades I could make to it and was an overall 11 out of 10 on helping me! Give this man a raise or something!”

Authentic CX is the way forward

Customers are demanding an experience that is more than fast and convenient. They want personalized, engaging, and memorable interactions. Customers want helpful and authentic CX. Companies who invest in building the six dimensions of CX will be ahead of the rest. Is your company ready to deliver an authentic CX?

Needle has the advocate solutions to help you compete in this new era.


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