5 things your customers expect from you online
What your customers expect of you online may come as a surprise. Indeed, a recent Business Intelligence report on Digital Marketing found that there are differences between what consumers expect and what small businesses feel they should be offering online.
Want to make sure you’re meeting customer expectations? We’ve outlined five factors that businesses sometimes underestimate to help you serve your customers better online.
1. Customers like quick responses
Your customers’ expectations of online communication may be set by their interactions with big companies. Often, larger businesses hire entire teams to respond to customer enquiries online, but even small businesses can stay responsive with the right strategy.
The Digital Marketing report found 61% of consumers expect small businesses to respond to their questions as quickly as large businesses do. And though many smaller brands cannot be on call to this degree, you can consider adding FAQs and self-service automation tools to your website. These digital solutions may offer more immediate assistance to customers, day and night.
2. Customers like websites that are easy to navigate
Ruth, a consumer interviewed for the Digital Marketing report, says, “A good website is fast, responsive, very clear, easy to use and timely.”
The lesson from this insight? If your website is not easy to navigate, visitors may leave immediately.
“I’m looking for a seamless experience, or I may not ever visit it again,” Ruth says.
Consider the customer experience when designing and building your business website – and opt for simplicity with your design where possible.
3. Customers value clear returns policies
Recent studies show that 84% of customers say a clear returns policy is important when interacting with a small business online, yet only 39% of small businesses agree. By meeting this expectation, you may help your business stand out from all the rest.
If a customer makes a transaction with your business online, they want to know how they’ll be protected if something goes wrong with their purchase or booking, or if a product doesn’t suit their needs.
So, just like your website navigation, you should try to keep your returns policy simple and written in plain language so it’s easy to understand. It’s also a good idea to display your returns policy in an obvious position on your business website so your online customers don’t waste too much time trying to find it.
4. Customers consider cyber security and safety when shopping online
“When making online purchases, cyber security is on my mind,” says Joseph, a consumer interviewed for the Business Intelligence Managing Risks Online report. The same report showed that customers have become increasingly concerned about online security in recent times, as more people look to connect and shop with businesses online.
By investing in cyber security solutions and offering trusted payment methods, your customers may feel more at ease knowing you’re helping to keep their data safe.
And while cyber-secure practices are important to meet customer expectations, they’re also beneficial for your business in helping to prevent a security breach.
5. Customers appreciate websites that feel up-to-date
The Digital Marketing report found that 71% of customers expect a website to be updated regularly, while only 52% of small businesses agree. Even so, both customers and search engines tend to favour websites with content that is up to date – whether it’s new or refreshed.
Consider how you can make website updates work for you with the content you have available. If you’re not sure where to start, you could write blog posts or add customer reviews and testimonials to your website. The most important thing is to show customers that your business is an active participant in the digital landscape.
By educating yourself on what consumers want and working to deliver on those desires, you can help meet customer expectations which may in turn help your business thrive online.
This article does not necessarily reflect the views of Telstra or its staff.
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