It’s no secret that if you want to stand out in today’s increasingly saturated and competitive digital world, you need to deliver your online store’s visitors an outstanding customer experience.
In fact, according to one recent study by Walker, customer experience is actually now overtaking product and price as the key differentiator between eCommerce brands. This means going above and beyond with the design and the functionality of your online store is no longer optional – it’s an absolute must if you’re looking to stay relevant and competitive in the current digital climate.
Luckily, as technology continues to evolve and adapt, it’s never been easier to wow your customers with the usability, accessibility and interactivity of your ecommerce store.
New voice technology and voice AI tools – such as voicebots, scheduled call-backs and voice messaging for websites – are allowing modern businesses to open up entirely new avenues for conversation with their customers. And these tools can do wonders when it comes to improving the customer experience.
Whether you are considering using voice technology and voice AI to supplement your existing support channels, gather spoken feedback from your customers or simply to diversify your customer communications, there are a whole host of ways in which voice-first tools can help customers feel more satisfied, engaged and loyal to your brand.
Let’s dive into the top five ways you can make use of modern voice-first tools to keep your customers coming back for more.
Give your customers a more personal experience
According to Salesforce, 84% of shoppers see being treated like a person as a crucial element of winning their business. The question is: How can you add this human touch to your eCommerce store?
It’s no secret that as humans, voice has always been our most powerful tool for building relationships, empathising and connecting with others.
When we listen to someone speak, it’s far easier to put ourselves in their shoes and understand their problem than when we simply see it written down. Often, it’s not about what people say but how they say it, and so many of the subtleties of tone, nuance, speed and intonation are lost completely as soon as we start writing our thoughts down.
This is important to bear in mind when we think about improving the customer experience, as 44% of shoppers say they are more likely to shop at a brand again after having a personalized experience while browsing their store. To make sure your buyers’ experiences are as personal as possible, why not give them the opportunity to speak to you in their own voices – and show them you’re really listening to what they have to say?
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Tools such as online voice recorders for business or conversational scheduling software can help make this happen, as whether a customer wants to vent about a frustration that they’ve had with their order, let you know their thoughts on your website’s new makeover or send you a rave review about your new product range, customers love to feel that their opinions – and their voices – are heard.
Plus, in addition to allowing you to listen to and emphasise with your customers, voice technology also gives you the option to reply or reach out to your customers in a way that feels far more human than a methodically written response. In turn, this will hugely improve the customer experience – and your buyers’ perception of your brand.
Save your customers’ time
In 2020, customers are turning to voice technology more than ever before.
According to one study by Perficient, voice search is now consumers’ second most popular choice for searching on mobile (just behind the mobile browser), 66% of Americans now own a smart speaker, and more millennials than ever are opting to send voice notes rather than texting their friends.
Why has the popularity of voice technology risen so rapidly in recent years?
We believe that one of the biggest reasons is that it’s fast and convenient. Not only does talking come more naturally than writing to almost everybody – especially those who struggle with spelling and typing – but you can communicate by voice even when you’re on the move, or busy getting on with other tasks throughout your day.
When it comes to communicating with your customers, this ease and convenience is particularly important. In today’s non-stop culture, time is absolutely of the essence, and it will likely come as no surprise to you that 66% of shoppers say the most important thing to them when online shopping is feeling that their time is valued.
So, while it’s great to provide support that feels truly personal, you want to make sure you’re not leaving your customers waiting for days on end for a solution to the problem that they’re experiencing.
The good news is that modern voice technology enables you to answer questions and solve problems for your customers in a way that’s as speedy and practical as it is personal.
How should you do this? We believe one of the most effective methods is asynchronous messaging; when a customer interacts with a business, but neither party is required to be active in the conversation at the same time.
Both of these techniques mean that rather than hanging around for hours on hold, customers can simply explain their question or problem in one go and then get on with the next item on their to-do list while they wait for the right person to get back to them with a solution.
In other words, voice technology helps you ensure that your team only deals with customer questions and problems that they are ready and prepared to handle – and that your customers don’t have to wait around or repeat themselves while being passed from one person to another on the phone.
Improve the accessibility of your website
In addition to improving the customer experience for your able-bodied customers, voice technology can transform the customer experience for people living with disabilities such as vision impairment, limited mobility or poor reading and writing skills.
Many of your customers may suffer from dyslexia, making it difficult to read your responses, or may be living with arthritis, multiple sclerosis or another condition that makes it very difficult to type.
It’s important that you allow these customers to reach out to you in a way that feels natural, easy and right for them.
Giving customers with limited mobility the option to get in touch by simply recording you a message – rather than typing up an email – is a great way of showing them how much you care.
It’s also a good way to ensure that you continue to abide by the law, particularly if you live in the US, as the recently updated ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) sees inaccessible websites as a form of discrimination against people who are living with disabilities.
Make it easy for customers to reach out to you
Too often, talking to businesses can feel like a challenge. When you’re trying to get an answer quickly, chatbots often redirect to FAQ pages. And when you’re trying to speak to someone directly over the phone, you have to first find the number, listen to an automated message telling you which number to press and then wait on hold to get through to someone who can help.
If a customer wants to speak to you personally, it’s best to give them a range of options to do so – depending on how much time they have or how they prefer to communicate. By all means, list your company contact number on your website, so that customers with some time to spare can look it up and wait to talk to you in real-time.
But also consider how voice technology might help make things easier – for both you and your customers – by allowing visitors to schedule a call-back from someone who has already had the time to look into their order or problem. This is a win-win scenario as it gives your team time to prepare and impress – and avoids the customer having to repeat themselves.
Voice-first messaging platforms and call-back scheduling software can also be very convenient in scenarios where a customer wants to get a few words across to you quickly and naturally – without any need to wait for or speak to someone right there and then. For example, if a customer wants to share feedback on their recent order, leave a public review or ask a casual question to a member of your team, the easiest thing for them to do is to simply leave you a voice message (and hear back from you personally at a later time, if they would like a response).
Setting up a recording button or tab on your ecommerce store’s website gives customers a quick and easy way to reach out to you, incentivising them to leave a quick review while they’re on a product page, or to shoot over some quick feedback on your store’s UX.
Gather feedback to improve UX
When it comes to improving the customer experience, we recommend always taking a data-driven approach.
And to have a really well-rounded understanding of your customers’ preferences, you’ll want to focus on collecting and considering both quantitative and qualitative data.
While heat mapping tools and Analytics reports are a great way to gather concrete, numerical data about how your customers are using your website, don’t forget the importance of gathering human, non-numerical data too.
Qualitative data is best collected using questionnaires, interviews, or observation, and making use of voice technology is a great way to obtain rich, human information about what and how your customers think.
In listening to your customers talk, you’ll be able to gain deeper insight into their preferences, wants and needs. These insights will allow you to make changes on your website that drive conversions and improve the customer experience; attracting and retaining more loyal customers as you go.
Ultimately, we’re excited about the power of voice tech for ecommerce stores because we believe it has the power to transform relationships between businesses and customers.
Speaking with and listening to customers has always been the most effective way to empathise, communicate and build empathetic relationships with your buyers. But with new developments in voice technology helping to make these conversations faster, more efficient and more convenient, it’s now easier than ever to give your ecommerce store a truly human touch.
When it comes down to it, the best way to improve the customer experience is to make every visitor to your website feel welcome, valued and heard. So, if you’re serious about improving the customer experience, we highly recommend starting your journey with voice technology today.
Esther Lowde is a Marketing Executive at telbee; the voice recording and messaging platform for business. A lover of writing, travelling and Digital Marketing, she is excited about helping businesses around the world improve their relationships with their customers through the power of voice.