By Rajkishore Agrawal, Head of Sales, Southeast Asia, PayPal
Oftentimes, a company spends a large portion of its marketing dollars and time attempting to win customers over. Yet, as soon as customers hit checkout, the customer experience ends. One study shows that 96% of customers will leave your business if they receive bad service1. According to our 2022 Borderless Commerce Report, Singaporean customers value quick delivery, with one-third of them preferring services that promote on-demand delivery2.
Authentic, empathetic engagement with customers can provide a competitive edge for businesses. Active engagement is especially important for small-and-medium businesses (SMBs) who seek to be recognized by global customers. A seamless customer experience will not only draw customers but will ultimately strengthen a company’s brand.
Here are three tips for SMBs to optimize customer experience to retain their loyalty – from the moment customers navigate through the check-out experience, to the moment customers unbox their products at home and beyond.
Customer experience starts with intuitive and seamless web design
When it comes to the checkout experience, customers do not want to waste time figuring out how to pay. Whether it is through their desktop, computer, tablet, or smartphone, they expect intuitive design with fewer clicks. Therefore, it is imperative to streamline the path to purchase for customers to be as frictionless and accessible as possible.
Singapore has a strong efficiency-focused culture, and 55% of online shoppers in Singapore are willing to pay more for a convenient buying experience with easy purchasing methods3. A small site speed improvement of as little as 0.1 seconds can increase your conversion rates by an average of 8%4. Speeding up transactions and reducing clicks by removing forced sign-ups and account creation can help prevent customers’ cart abandonment. Sending discount codes to customers who have not completed check-out can also be a good strategy for businesses to convince customers to return to your site and complete their purchase.
Once customers have successfully checked out, the post-sales service begins – and SMBs should consider this an equally critical step to retain customer loyalty.
Tip #1: The post-sales service places emphasis on customer support through accessible and responsive customer service
A business should respond to customer queries in a timely manner to ensure a one-stop experience. 77% of customers say they are more loyal to a company that offers top-notch customer service5.
To maintain thorough customer support, it is important to provide support at every stage – before and after checkout. Moreover, delivering support at every accessible channel – whether it is through social media, in-website chat boxes, and customer hotline – will alleviate customers’ pressing concerns. Speed is a valuable trait to uphold good post-sales service, whether it is through answering customers’ queries or efficiency in delivery times.
Tip #2: Swift and proactive solutions prove that merchants care about their customers
Even as the product reaches customers’ homes, they may still run into issues. Delivering top-notch service requires SMBs to be quick on their feet to offer instant resolutions. 75% of customers are willing to spend more with a company that maintains good customer experience post-sales6.
For instance, with global supply chain issues disrupting shipping time, customers also appreciate real-time updates – notifications of delays in delivery will set the foundation of trust and transparency. Proactivity will show customers, businesses take great pride in their products and are dedicated to providing a satisfactory service.
Tip #3: Staying on top of customers’ minds throughout the year will help brands stay relevant
To enhance the customer experience throughout the year, it is important to keep a pulse of events that matter to customers. Birthday promotions sent to customers’ e-mail addresses during their birthday month, as well as discount codes during festive seasons, are effective ways to attract repeat customers.
A strong social media presence keeps brands on top of customers’ minds. Singaporeans are fans of social media and often turn them into a channel for online shopping7. Ramping up social presence will help brands attract global and local consumers and stay relevant with the latest trends.
Our latest Borderless Commerce Report also shows that 84% of Singaporean customers prefer shopping cross-border through large online marketplaces, such as Zalora8. Fashion e-retailer, Zalora found that as consumers turn to social media for entertainment and inspiration, they are also increasingly seeking personalised content that suits their lifestyles. Live streaming took off during the pandemic to bridge the gap between online and offline shopping, bringing in the warm, human touch of a brick-and-mortar experience. In June 2021, Zalora introduced Z-Live as a way for brands, influencers, and fans to interact in real-time. With real people and experts demonstrating products and interacting with audiences, live streaming enables strong emotional connections between brands and consumers.
Zalora found the increased adoption of online shopping during the pandemic also came with the demand for seamless and convenient online payment features. Giving customers the ability to pay however they want is a necessary step in lowering the barrier to purchase, and in response, Zalora has expanded its available payment options to over 21 different methods across its markets, making it easy for shoppers to get their hands on their favorite brands. This includes an integrated checkout method via PayPal, where users have the option to pay with their existing account, or their debit or credit card.
By paying close attention and care to their customers, businesses will be able to take invaluable lessons and feedback – a critical component to continuous improvement in their products and services. Extending good service beyond the point of sales does not have to be costly; a simple thank-you note, a few check-in e-mails and responsive customer service will go a long way in attracting lifelong customers.
1 “Customer Service and Customer Experience Report.” Shep Hyken, 15 June 2021, https://hyken.com/2020aca/.
2 “2022 PayPal Borderless Commerce Report.” pp. 77, https://www.paypal.com/sg/webapps/mpp/campaigns/cross-border-ecommerce-trends
3 “2022 PayPal Borderless Commerce Report.” pp. 77, https://www.paypal.com/sg/webapps/mpp/campaigns/cross-border-ecommerce-trends
4 “Digitise Thrive User Experience” - Paypalobjects.com pp 5, https://www.paypalobjects.com/marketing/web/hk/business/digitise-thrive/improve-website-ux.pdf
5 Gupta, Courtney. “Good Customer Service: 10 Ways to Deliver Great Customer Service.” Zendesk Singapore, 25 Jan. 2022, https://www.zendesk.com/sg/blog/good-customer-service-defined/#georedirect.
6 Gupta, Courtney. “Good Customer Service: 10 Ways to Deliver Great Customer Service.” Zendesk Singapore, 25 Jan. 2022, https://www.zendesk.com/sg/blog/good-customer-service-defined/#georedirect.
7 “2022 PayPal Borderless Commerce Report.” pp. 78, https://www.paypal.com/sg/webapps/mpp/campaigns/cross-border-ecommerce-trends
8 “2022 PayPal Borderless Commerce Report.” pp. 76, https://www.paypal.com/sg/webapps/mpp/campaigns/cross-border-ecommerce-trends