5 Ways To Reduce Customer Friction Points

You’ve been standing in the only open line for 20 minutes watching your frozen goods unthaw. Just as you begin to unload your cart onto the conveyer belt, the cashier turns off her “open” light and tells you to move to the next available lane. A rush of grocery customers stampede to the newly opened cashier as you push your squeaky-wheeled cart to the back of the line and begin the process again.

It’s easy to notice friction points in traditional brick-and-mortar locations. It’s not so effortless to pinpoint those challenges in the e-commerce world. There are a multitude of digital challenges that can act as a customer friction point when consumers engage with your brand. Your job is to identify those areas of frustration and develop a strategic plan to greatly reduce, if no eliminate, the elements that contribute to low customer satisfaction and an increase in customer churn.

What Is A Customer Friction Point?

Shopping online offers a multitude of areas where customers may experience friction points. But to be able to address those problematic areas, you must first know what to look for. When you spot the friction and remove the pain points, your customers will return to your brand rather than move on to the competition. Some of the most common customer friction points include:

  • Bad user experience on website. (Can occur while searching, shopping, checking out, etc.)
  • Lack of access to knowledgeable customer support.
  • Poor customer service experience.
  • Negative or critical online reviews (especially those that aren’t addressed)

When your brand projects any of these friction points, you’re forcing consumers to question whether they should do business with you. With upwards of 15 million ecommerce websites on the internet, your customer can quickly find another brand with which to do business.

Don’t brush off your abandoned cart rate as a change in customer preference. Studies show if you have a digital parking lot full of half-filled abandoned shopping carts, you likely have the power to change some of the things that cause your customers to leave.

For example, nearly one-quarter (23%) of online shoppers desert their carts because of a “too long / complicated checkout process”. Another 31 percent of shoppers left because the website mandated an account to be created to complete the checkout process and 20 percent abandoned the process after not being able to calculate the total up front. There are many friction points that fall within your ability to change.

Solve Customer Friction Points

Once you identify your customer friction points, you can begin making adjustments. Start with these main areas of interest to slowly modify how your consumers react to your brand.

1. Build clear, engaging content

An estimated 81 percent of people only skim the content they read online. If you’re going to build a loyal audience and persuade them to buy into your brand, you need content that’s clear and to the point. Online users want enough information to make an informed decision. Create a clear call to action on each page of your site and build content that is more helpful to the end user than it is promotional of your brand. Whether you’re writing for your website, blog, social media or email marketing campaign, communicate exactly what your customers want to know.

2. Invest in good platform design

If your users don’t know how to complete the transaction or get frustrated with the process along the way, they’re not likely to stay very long. From the time a customer connects with your website through the checkout process, navigating your website, adding items to the shopping cart and checking out should be extremely simple. An effective way to reduce cart churn is to add a progress bar to your checkout process. With roughly 27 percent of basket abandoners leaving due to time restraints, a progress bar will convince them to stay longer. Keep your site design simple, easy-to-navigate and enjoyable for the customer.

3. Create a quality training program

The onboarding process for your employees should be focused around the customer. All of your team members – from the call center representatives to the social media managers – should understand the importance of empathy in sales. For many people, making a purchase is an emotional act. If something goes wrong or is confusing, the customer needs the guidance of a real person. Your customers want to feel heard and understood. Build company values that place a priority on how you treat customers.

4. Communicate in the customer’s preferred method

Your customers want to receive brand offers via email. Roughly 70 percent of consumers prefer to be contacted by a business through email over direct mail, SMS, and push messages. Building effective marketing email campaigns takes the right tools. HTML responsive email design offers a creative way to display information, images, and video while still getting your message to the consumer. Admail.net offers an easy-to-use platform that allows you to build a marketing email in just minutes. Add multi-media content to the mix. Using video in email led to 300 percent increase in email click-through rates compared to emails without video.

5. Encourage reviews from loyal customers

Your loyal customers have the power to be your biggest money makers. With 84 percent of people trusting an online review just as must as they would a personal recommendation from a friend, what your repeat customers say about your brand matters. When a customer praises you on your brand Facebook page or has a good experience over the phone, encourage them to leave a review.

While you’re not likely to reduce your customer friction points overnight, taking small steps toward your consumer’s preferences will create a better brand experience for everyone. Learn how to make HTML responsive emails through Admail’s platform by viewing our product demonstration video.

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