Four ways to deliver excellent customer experience in a difficult economic environment

In times of economic uncertainty, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) may contemplate reducing their prices to attract cost-conscious consumers in search of a bargain. However, this short-term tactic may prove unsustainable in the present economic climate and prior to cutting prices, businesses should focus on customer acquisition and loyalty.

Delivering value to customers extends beyond competitive pricing and a more sustainable and successful approach includes an exceptional experience that entices customers to return for repeated transactions.

SMBs can customise their online retail experience via their websites, with a central focus on meeting the needs and preferences of their customers. This approach, commonly referred to as a customer-first approach, involves prioritising the establishment of strong customer relationships that are flexible and responsive to the swiftly evolving market demands, all while effectively managing costs and sustaining profitability. Below are several strategies that SMBs can employ to adapt to these demanding economic circumstances.

Place importance on impactful communication 

Although experimentation can yield positive results, there are limited chances to engage new customers. Excessive modifications to design layouts and signposting can overwhelm customers, leaving them hesitant to navigate through constant changes. Hence, it becomes essential to ensure transparent and impactful communication accompanies any user experience (UX) updates. However, for long-term and reliable enhancement, small iterations are the preferred approach.

Ensure seamless website performance 

A website should be user-friendly and easy to navigate, so SMBs must ensure their website has clear functionality. When a website fails to provide essential information, becomes cluttered with excessive content, and experiences glitches and slow loading times, it can impede and elongate customer journeys. This friction in the online experience may cause shoppers to abandon their shopping carts or prematurely exit the website.

Explore innovative content and design concepts

The user experience (UX) can be further improved by experimenting with creative content and design. Developing informative content that directly caters to the target audience can assist SMBs in cultivating a devoted community of followers and increasing traffic to their website. In addition, ensuring a well-structured design and user-friendly layout is crucial to maintaining the interest and engagement of visitors.

Customise the digital experience

In the current landscape, consumers have heightened expectations for personalised digital experiences. When people are conscious of their budgets, providing customised recommendations becomes essential to cultivate loyalty. Achieving this goal can be accomplished through effective marketing strategies, such as email marketing via newsletter sign ups or customers joining mailing lists at the point of checkout to receive an offer. Email marketing presents a cost-effective approach to connect with existing and potential customers and drive them to the business’ website through promotions or recommendations. 

Added to this, on-site recommendations, such as sections featuring "customers also bought" and "trending items," can effectively bolster sales conversions while providing valuable support.

Harness SEO rankings

SMBs should utilise Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to improve their search engine rankings by optimising their website's content with relevant keywords, meta descriptions, and tags. This enhances the discoverability of their website for users via search engines such as Google.

Although SMBs stand to gain advantages from delivering an exceptional customer experience, implementing the necessary changes can place significant pressure on a business. Striking the right balance between enhancing customer retention and maintaining profitability is a delicate task. However, by offering a hyper-personalised experience on a user-friendly website, SMBs can effectively minimise pain points, friction, and frustration. As a result, this approach will foster high rates of engagement, conversions, and ultimately contribute to an improvement in the business's overall financial performance.