How to Boost Revenue by Optimizing the Customer Experience

The customer is always right.

I’m sure you’ve heard this before as the golden rule of business.

But what this rule doesn’t encompass is the customer experience.

The saying should be:

always put the customer first.

You may have certain operations and practices in place to make things easy and cost-effective for your company, but how does this impact the customer journey?

If you’re saving a few bucks or some extra time at the expense of the customer experience, it’ll backfire.

Instead, everything you do needs to center around creating an optimal customer experience.

You think about your business 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. But the reality is, your customers have more important things to worry about.

Their time is valuable.

They want to give you money, but not if it’s going to take too much time out of their day.

You need to simplify your conversion processes. Start focusing on making everything as easy as possible for the customer.

These are some of the short and long-term benefits of improving the customer experience:

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Here’s the thing.

You may be an expert in digital marketing tactics.

But driving customers to your business through marketing channels, like your website, social media platform, and email marketing tactics, is only half the battle.

Once you get people through your doors or to your landing page, their experience from that point on will determine how much money they’ll spend at your business.

In this post, I’ll explain how you can boost your revenue by focusing on the customer experience.

Offer multiple customer support options

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes for a minute.

Think about some of the reasons why they would need to contact your customer support teams.

Perhaps, they:

  • had a problem
  • have a question
  • need help
  • have a comment, suggestion, or complaint.

For the most part, these reasons tell us your customer is having a negative experience doing something.

Who knows how much time they spent trying to resolve it on their own before reaching out to a representative from your company.

It’s safe to say they could be pretty frustrated.

You need to give them lots of options to reach a customer service representative.

While receiving phone calls from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, may be the easiest and most cost-efficient solution for your company, that doesn’t work for all your customers.

This is how consumers want to reach customer support:

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As you can see from the data, the answers are all over the board.

Most customers prefer phone; others like web chats or email; and some want automated responses.

Some customers don’t even care—they just want to get in touch with someone.

The process needs to be:

  • quick
  • friendly
  • effective.

I’m sure you’ve been through this before.

You call a customer service number just to wait on hold for what seems like an eternity.

When someone finally answers the phone, you explain your situation, and they transfer you to another department.

You wait on hold again and have to re-explain everything to another person.

This is not effective.

If this sounds like your customer support process, it’s definitely hurting your bottom line.

Adding multiple support options that deliver fast service will keep your customers happy, especially if they were experiencing some frustration before they reached out.

Now you won’t have to worry about losing that customer.

Make sure your entire staff prioritize customer service

Customer service starts at the top of the chain.

As a business owner, you need to realize that your attitude about customer service will impact how your managers and supervisors approach the topic.

This is true even if you’re not the one who has direct contact with the customers.

Whether you’re a small local business or global chain, every member of your staff needs to understand the importance of customer service.

One bad experience with a part-time employee can deter someone from ever spending money at your company again.

Take a look at what consumers value the most when it comes to customer service:

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The majority of these options involve your staff.

I realize it’s not easy to run a business.

Depending on the size of your company, you may not even know the names of every employee.

That’s why it’s important to create a company culture in which poor customer service is not tolerated.

Little things can go a long way.

If your customers have face-to-face interactions with your staff, make sure your staff are trained to smile and greet customers as they come through the door.

If your staff act like they want to be there, the customers will pick up on that energy.

But if your customer service representatives are giving off the impression they don’t care, the customer won’t be happy.

You can’t afford to lose any customers.

Your website needs to have clean navigation

How often do you work on optimizing your website?

If you built your site when you first started your business and never touched it again, I’m willing to bet it could use some improvements.

The highest converting websites have one thing in common.

Simplicity.

Websites with simple designs have higher conversion rates.

Don’t overwhelm your visitors.

If you have a variety of flashing lights, buttons, menus, advertisements, and images, you confuse your site visitors.

Make sure you don’t have many long paragraphs or messy text on your website.

Your text should be large and easy to read.

Replace anything that’s messy with a couple of high quality visuals.

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Visual explanations are easier for people to comprehend and retain.

Design your website so that the visitor’s eyes and attention get drawn to your CTA buttons.

For those of you with an ecommerce website, don’t try to fit 1,000 products on your home page.

Instead, focus on your top selling items or the ones with the highest margins.

In a perfect world, those products are the same.

Your navigation menu shouldn’t be complicated either.

For example, let’s say you’re selling clothing.

Don’t have options like this on your menu:

  • long sleeve shirts
  • sweaters
  • light sweaters
  • knit sweaters
  • sweatshirts
  • hoodless sweatshirts
  • fleece sweaters

Instead, have one category: “Tops.”

Have a search menu to give people an option to look for products directly instead of using your menu.

You can offer options to refine their search based on subcategories.

When it’s easy for customers to find what they want on your website, there’s a greater chance they’ll spend money.

Each page on your site must load fast

In addition to a simple website design, your site needs to load fast.

I’m not just talking about your home page. Every page needs to be quick.

Look at how much of an impact page loading time has on conversions:

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Websites that load slowly convert less. It’s that simple.

Remember what I said earlier? Your customers’ time is valuable.

If your website is crashing or not loading fast enough, people won’t put up with it.

They’ll visit one of your competitors’ websites instead to find what they’re looking for.

Not sure how fast your site loads?

Use some free online tools like the Pingdom website speed test.

You can check how fast your site loads from different locations across the globe.

If your site isn’t loading fast, figure out the root of the problem.

It’s possible you might need to upgrade your existing web hosting service plan or change providers.

While this may cost you more money, it will improve the customer experience and generate more revenue in the long run.

Trust me, it’s worth it.

Focus on mobile users

You need to accommodate customers using various devices to access your website and make purchases.

It’s essential your site is mobile friendly.

You could also create an app for your brand for an even more optimal user experience.

Take a look at how mobile phones are trending in terms of web traffic:

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Half of the global web traffic now comes from mobile devices.

That number will only continue to rise.

While mobile phones trend up, laptop and desktop devices are trending down.

Realize this is how your customers are consuming data.

Don’t neglect your customers who like to shop and navigate online from their smartphones.

Consumers love phones because they are convenient.

Doesn’t it seem like cell phones are glued to everyone’s hands, wherever you go?

If your customer wants something, it’s easier for them to do it from their phone instead of waiting until they are in front of a computer.

You’re missing out on revenue if your site isn’t mobile optimized.

Let’s look at the impact of a mobile-friendly website on consumer buying behavior:

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This is extremely important for anyone who has an ecommerce store.

But even if you’re not selling physical products online, you still need to give your customers easy access to find information about your business from their phones.

Ultimately, this will lead to higher conversion rates.

Offer discounts, promotions, and rewards

Everyone wants a deal.

Some luxury brands can get away with never putting anything on sale, but if you’re trying to compete with the majority of the market share, I wouldn’t recommend that strategy.

Give your customers an incentive to buy from you instead of your competition.

It’s rare for a brand to offer a product that can’t be found elsewhere.

Most likely, your competitors have similar products, and in some cases, they’re selling the exact same thing.

Customers aren’t stupid.

They’re going to do some research before they buy something.

More often than not, they’ll pick the least expensive option.

Retailers are much more likely to make a sale if they offer a discount or promotional code:

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Let’s take a look at Shopify.

They are a major ecommerce brand with merchants selling different types of products.

Over the last year, 17% of all sales on their platform had a discount code in the transaction.

I’m not saying you need to give everything away.

Don’t discount in a way that will hurt your bottom line.

Alternatively, offer a rewards program to your customers: when they spend a certain amount over a period time, they get some sort of benefit.

They’ll feel satisfied after they reach a certain status level, which will keep them happy.

It’ll also encourage them to spend more money.

That’s why I recommend implementing this strategy to improve the customer experience.

Improve your checkout process

Go through each step of your checkout process.

How many different ways can customers make a purchase?

That includes:

  • from your website
  • through a mobile application
  • in a physical store location.

Whether you have one or more of these options, the checkout process needs to be as easy as possible.

If you have an ecommerce website, are you noticing an increase in shopping cart abandonment?

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Look at the top three reasons on this list.

After extra costs, the second and third top reasons have to do with a checkout process that’s not optimized.

You shouldn’t force your customers to create an online account just to make a purchase.

Why?

It’s too long.

Imagine this. Your customer wants to buy something. They’ve made a decision about their purchase.

Don’t give them an excuse to back out.

The checkout procedure should ideally be just a few clicks.

Don’t ask for too much information. Just get the essentials.

With every additional step in your checkout process, you risk losing the sale.

Again, your customers’ time is valuable.

You’ll get higher conversions and make more money if you don’t waste their time.

Conclusion

You need to focus your business operations on optimizing the customer experience.

These changes may not always be the most convenient and cost-effective for your company, but they’re necessary.

Prove to your customers you value their patronage and time by making things as easy as possible for them.

When it comes to customer support, give them as many options as possible to contact a representative.

Make sure every person on your staff realizes how important their attitude is when it comes to handling customer service inquiries.

Your website should have a clean navigation, and every page needs to load fast.

Don’t forget about mobile users.

Offer discounts, rewards, and other promotions.

Simplify your checkout process to make it easy for customers to buy something without having to provide much information.

Follow these tips if you want to generate more revenue from happy customers.

What have you changed on your website to optimize the customer experience?


Source: quicksprout

How to Boost Revenue by Optimizing the Customer Experience

How to Write Blog Post Introductions That Make the Rest of Your Post Irresistible

How many people are actually reading your blog posts?

It is reported 43% of readers say they skim through posts.

If you want people to consume the content you’re writing, get them hooked during the introduction.

Take a second to think about the goal of each article you publish.

Are you just trying to get page views?

I see businesses and bloggers make this mistake all the time.

They’re happy just to get page views on their blogs and don’t care whether people are reading them.

But that strategy is very inefficient.

Yes, getting people to click on your post is half the battle.

You need to take the proper steps to market it correctly and promote it through all your distribution channels.

Your blog is the perfect opportunity to promote more content associated with your website or brand and engage with your readers.

But this can’t happen if they don’t actually read it.

You could be getting even more clicks and page views by utilizing internal links throughout your post.

Maybe you can make some money by including some affiliate links as well.

Here’s something else to consider.

How long does it take you to write each post?

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As you can see from the data, the average blog post takes over three hours to write.

That number is steadily on the rise, so you can expect it to take you even more time in the future.

It’d be a shame for all that hard work to get skimmed over and not read.

As an experienced blog writer and expert in this industry, I know what it takes to write successful posts.

It all starts with the introduction—literally.

I’ll show you how to write blog post introductions that capture the attention of your readers and get them to read your entire post.

Start with a strong hook

The hook is the opening line of your introduction, and you have a few options to consider.

Your hook could be a full sentence, single word, question, or phrase.

In case you forgot, I’ll remind you I got your attention in this post by starting it with a question.

After you come up with a winning opening line, you need to lead the reader into a transition.

The transition line or lines should provide some sort of clarification about the direction and content of your article.

Your content should be relatable, and the intro should reflect that.

Include a somewhat obvious statement that will get your readers to agree with you.

Speak directly to the reader. Talk about a situation they might be in that brought them to your post in the first place.

Address their problem, which you’ll eventually offer a solution to.

But keep it general—you don’t want to narrow it down too much and alienate the rest of your audience.

Here is a recent blog post I wrote about customer acquisition strategies as an example:

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Let’s break this down:

Sentence A is an obvious statement the reader can agree with.

Sentence B is a transition to show what the post is going to cover.

Sentence C is addressing a problem the reader might be having.

Sentence D speaks directly to the audience.

Remember, you want to keep these points general enough to reach a wide audience but specific enough to make the reader feel you’re speaking directly to their situation.

Look back at a little trick I used in the example above.

First I said “new businesses,” but a couple of lines later, I said “companies that have been in business for a while.”

This covers all my bases and speaks to the majority of possible readers.

Include facts to back up your claims

If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you know I like to include lots of statistics and data to back up what I’m saying.

I do this throughout my posts, but I include it in the introduction too if it fits.

Scroll back up to the top of this post to see what I mean.

Including recent data from high quality and reputable sources shows you’re credible.

The reader will know that while you may be giving your opinion or taking a certain stance on a topic, you’re at least showing facts to support it.

This sets up the rest of your blog post.

If you’ve got statistics in the introduction, the reader can assume you’ll include additional facts throughout the rest of the content (which you should).

Numbers, in general, seem to speak to people.

Before you can get someone to read your introduction, you need to get them to click on your post in the first place.

Take a look at the starting headlines of the most engaging blog posts:

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Half of the top 20 headlines start with a number.

You can capture the attention of a reader with numbers in your headline, then draw them in even further with statistical information in your introduction.

You don’t have to wait to add images

As you can see, I’m a huge advocate of using pictures, graphs, infographics, and other images throughout blog posts.

It’s a great way to break up your content and make it easier for readers to skim through—a very common way for people to read blog posts.

But that doesn’t mean you need to wait until the middle of your post to start including images.

I’m not saying you need to put a picture after your opening line, but you can absolutely use photos in your introduction.

You can even add a photo to separate the title and the first line of your introduction.

Here’s an example of how I implemented this strategy on my blog.

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Notice the opening lines of my introduction here as well.

It fits the criteria of hooking the reader with a question, which I discussed above.

I used an image earlier in this post. It’s a visual representation of the amount of time it takes people to write a blog post, also making a point that you’re wasting time if nobody is reading it.

We just talked about the importance of using data in your introductions, which is why I used a statistical graph earlier.

Blogs with relevant images have 94% more views than posts with just text.

That number is astonishing.

It shows people want illustrations of points they are reading about.

Don’t make them wait. Give them what they want right away, and add an image to your introductions.

Be direct, but don’t give it all away

There’s a certain art to this.

You don’t want to talk in circles during your introduction.

Make direct statements.

But you also don’t want to sum up your entire article either.

I’ve had bloggers tell me they write the body of their content first, then go back and sum it up in the introduction.

I don’t agree with that strategy.

Your introduction shouldn’t serve the same purpose as the executive summary of a business plan.

It should signal what the rest of the post is about to get people to read the whole thing.

Save your summary for the concluding paragraphs.

Instead, try to hint at what’s to come.

Tease the reader to pique their curiosity.

Let’s look at an example.

Here’s a snippet from the introduction of a blog post discussing whether mobile app developers should launch their apps on the Apple or Android platform first:

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Look at how the author sets this up.

They do a fantastic job of stimulating curiosity.

The three underlined sentences all basically say the developer needs to decide between Apple and Android.

But right before the introduction ends, the author throws a tease, saying there is a way to launch on both platforms at the same time—without giving the answer of how to do it.

It’s implied the solution will be offered in the post, so the viewer will have to continue reading if they want to find out what to do.

You can implement the same technique in your introductions.

Bring up a topic the reader wants to learn about, saying something like “but we’ll get to that later on.”

It’s more effective than saying “this is how you do X, Y, and Z.”

Now the reader has no reason to continue because they already have all the information they came for.

Preview your introductions when you’re promoting the content

Think about how you’re driving readers to your blog.

Are you sending out a link that includes only the title?

Add the beginning of your introduction to these promotions as well.

Take a look at how Conversion XL does this with their Facebook posts:

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The opening lines of the introduction can entice their Facebook followers to click on the article.

It’s more effective than using the title only.

If you visit their website, they do the same thing here:

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Now they’ve included even more of the introduction.

The reader has seen enough now to be intrigued to continue reading the entire article.

This strategy illustrates the points we discussed earlier: a strong opening hook, piquing curiosity.

I recommend using this method whenever you’re emailing your post to subscribers as well.

The preview text can give them that extra incentive to click on the full article and read the entire post.

Write a long introduction, but not too long

You shouldn’t feel restricted while you’re writing an introduction.

Choose your words carefully, but don’t think your intro needs to be limited to just a few lines or a paragraph.

Write.

While the opening few lines may be the most important, you can still hook the reader with the rest of your introduction.

Talk about your personal experience, and explain what qualifies you to be an expert on a particular topic.

Nobody wants to hear about ways to start a business from scratch from someone who has never done it before.

If you’ve been part of ten successful startup companies, now is your chance to brag about it (if it’s relevant to the topic).

Your blog posts should be long.

Take a look at how the length of your post impacts social shares:

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Aim for at least 2,000 words on every blog post, but try to get over 2,500 if you can.

The word count also affects your search ranking on Google’s algorithm.

You’re limiting yourself if you keep the introduction to just 50 words.

It’ll be much more difficult for you to reach the desired word count that way.

Don’t be afraid to write an introduction that’s up to 300 words, but don’t ramble for 500 words.

I’d say, all your intros should be at least 150 words or so.

Conclusion

Driving traffic to your blog is great, but it’s not enough.

To fully engage with your audience and promote more content, you should be trying to get people to read through your entire blog posts.

After all, you spend so much time and effort writing them. Why let all of that meaty content go to waste?

While it’s inevitable that people will skim through your posts, your introduction can entice them to read more.

Start off with a strong hook. Get your readers to agree with your stance on the topic.

Speak directly to them by explaining a scenario or problem they may be currently experiencing.

Use data to show your blogs are informative and credible.

You can include an image in your introduction as well.

Let readers know what the rest of the post will discuss, and hint at a solution without giving the answer.

This will stimulate their curiosity and get more people to continue reading.

Preview your introductions when you’re promoting blogs on your website, social media pages, email campaigns, or any other distribution channel.

Don’t be afraid to write a long introduction.

Follow these tips, and you’ll increase the number of people who actually read your blogs.

What hooks do you use in an introduction to capture the attention of your readers?


Source: quicksprout

How to Write Blog Post Introductions That Make the Rest of Your Post Irresistible