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Karin Ballestrazze
 
February 12, 2014 | Karin Ballestrazze

Customer Experience Needs to be a Top Priority for Wineries

High-quality customer service is no longer an optional aspect of your online wine store. Consumers have significantly higher expectations for their experience with retailers, and this extends to the Internet. To maximize the potential of your online wine sales, you need to consider the customer experience you're offering and make improvements if necessary. 

Consumer-facing businesses need to go out of their way to impress customers, according to McKinsey & Company. As expectations rise, brand loyalty is sharply decreasing. The group analyzed data from more 60,000 consumers and found satisfaction levels with television providers have dropped 20 percent in the past five years. Businesses that were viewed as mediocre when it came to customer experience saw levels of loyalty 30 percent lower than brands that wow their clients. Customers are more empowered than ever, and they have more channels to voice their displeasure if they have a bad experience. Brands need to step up. There is good news, though. Companies that make the effort to satisfy customers can see the benefits of increased loyalty and sales.

How to create a better customer experience
Micah Solomon, a Forbes contributor, wrote on transforming into the Zappos of your industry. Brands like Nordstrom, Ritz-Carlton, Southwest Airlines and even Starbucks are known for excelling in their industries because they use experience as a competitive differentiator. This is reflected through these companies' sustained growth. Zappos is well-known for its excellent e-commerce fulfillment and around-the-clock customer service - critical elements of an online operation. It would be a mistake to think that wine shipping doesn't play a major role in e-commerce customer satisfaction. 

With the goal of following Zappos' example, here are some tips to create a great client experience:

Test employee engagement levels
Winery workers have a big impact on how visitors perceive their engagement. In addition, this comes through if online customers need to contact you by phone. A simple survey can help you identify any underlying employee issues, Yaniv Masjedi wrote in a Huffington Post blog. When hiring new employees, client satisfaction should always be a factor in the decision. Are you bringing in the right people to impress your customers? It's a good idea to list some key characteristics of employees who can improve customer service.

Customer service still matters online
The Internet is becoming an increasingly popular way to sell wine, but you can't hide behind a poorly designed user interface. Consumers expect to be able to receive the same service online as they can in person or over the phone. While emphasizing the quality of your products or customer service is important online, the usability of your website also is a factor in the decision to purchase or find another vendor, according to Business 2 Community. 

The design of product detail pages has a major influence on shoppers' choice buy or not. Photos should be good quality and visually appealing. What kind of product specs do you usually want to see when you shop online? Make sure you include enough details about wines so customers can -get an almost full idea before ordering.

It also may be a good idea to assess your return policy. It can be difficult to decide whether you'll like something before trying it, which can make e-commerce seem like a risk for some consumers. Many shoppers look for the return policy guarantee to be sure they can exchange something if they need to. Highlighting return information and making this process easy for customers can increase satisfaction and confidence in your brand. It's also important to have support features on your website in case shoppers run into any difficulties while placing orders.

Comments

Chris's Gravatar
 
Chris
@ Aug 3, 2015 at 3:46 AM
To satisfy online customers, a business needs to have a good website. A new study has investigated the subject and found that among factors that affect customer satisfaction are website design, navigation, and website personalization. So as customers be satisfied and use the website and come again, the website needs to have a nice design and well organized, as well as ease of use. To read the full study, you can check here http://www.ibimapublishing.com/journals/CIBIMA/2011/547937/547937.html

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