A successful business offers a positive customer experience (CX). Numerous studies show the importance of CX towards organizational growth and market share capture:
- 73% of surveyed consumers said that their experience is a deciding factor for purchase choices
- Companies that earned over $1 billion reported a $700 million revenue boost within three years after investing in CX
- 86% of buyers are willing to pay more if they experience great customer service
Customers simply engage more with brands and businesses that make them feel valued across a simple and easy sales journey.
So how do you improve your current payment experience to better reflect the needs of your priority customers? Let’s look into the four best practices that can help you develop the ideal payment process.
Create a Personalized Payment Process
Personalization allows you to differentiate yourself from the competition. Customers want (and expect) an increased level of communication as they make purchase decisions. Multiple touchpoints of interaction with the consumer create one-to-one rapport, which in turn builds loyalty. Dialogue makes the user feel valued, drastically increasing the customer’s overall experience.
You can achieve personalization through two distinct methods:
- Prove you know me: State your awareness of each customer’s unique situation. Global audiences operate within varying economic and environmental conditions, and you should find a mutual connection on how your customers approach consumerism, debt, banking systems, and technology. You can use those elements as access points of understanding.
For example, someone with limited access to credit and niche technologies will find no use with high-ticket sales items advertised on unknown digital tools. Instead, targeted offers in the correct language, with the preferred payment method, and featuring a personal discount for that individual alone will create a feeling of affinity and trust. The more you can connect with the customer on what they know, what they want, and what they find important, the easier it is to build offers tailored to them.
- Help me: State how you can assist the customer. Your buyers feel far more confident with their purchase choices as they progress through a sales funnel that features knowledge, assurance, and loyalty rewards. The easier you make it for your customers to find solutions to the answers they need, the more support they feel toward their final purchase decision. Customer satisfaction directly increases as a result.
Personalization at scale often leads to a 2% or higher lift in total sales for retailers, on top of an additional 20% reduction in marketing costs.
Reduce Checkout Friction
A low-effort payment process creates higher repurchase rates, more total spend per shopping cart, increased loyalty, and better reputation outcomes. Customers enjoy distraction-free singular checkouts. The more you can optimize your sales funnel by removing friction, the better the customer experience.
Unfortunately, friction is a needed aspect of most checkout pages. Not only are there specific payment industry regulations to follow, but positive friction also helps reduce fraud and uphold data security. You do not want to sacrifice consumer safety, as that will do more harm to your customer experience than good.
Still, a balance can be found and maintained. There are many helpful steps you can take to remain secure while creating a fluid payment process:
- Lower total keystrokes: One-touch payment buttons and auto-filled credit card fields require your users to do less work without sacrificing safety. Paypal introduced sImple design elements and one-touch payments and saw a 60% conversion rate boost.
- Offer guest registrations: While store accounts allow for remarketing and additional security, customers can get frustrated with forced sign-ups just to make a single purchase. Offering guest registration allows for rapid payments that drastically improve the customer experience for new leads.
- Provide multiple payment acceptance options: Many users have simple third-party payment options that they prefer to use. Many digital payments are highly secure and introduce even more speed to the checkout process. Accept multiple payment methods to offer more convenience to your customers.
Adapt to Customer Needs
What a customer might want and need will change. Not only will your own store adjust as you scale, but market conditions, trends, and consumer attitudes will shift. To offer a positive customer experience, you must accept a certain level of evolution in your payment process.
A mindset of continual improvement will also keep you at the edge of innovation. Customer experience often boils down to providing services that customers want, especially as new technologies or products become part of the culture and achieve ubiquity. Current examples include digital wallets, conversational AI, cryptocurrency payment acceptance, and omnichannel purchasing. It is easy to fall back on stale customer service techniques, but those who remain stuck with legacy services will rapidly lose market share as consumers go to those who provide the new services they desire.
To adapt to your customer needs, you must measure the payment experience. Without tangible success metrics, it will be impossible to determine what areas require adjustment. Use the following performance indicators to assess the impact of your current services and the overall rating of your customer experience.
- Collect operational data: Information on shopping cart abandonment, product value extracted, and time taken for conversion all give insights into the current efficacy of your payments process. Use the data to locate bottlenecks and make necessary changes.
- Leverage behavior analytics: How your customer interacts with your store and its checkout contains a wealth of information. Abandonment rates on payment pages, frequency of data reentry, the volume of errors, and total customer clicks before a purchase can show how a customer feels as they flow through your sales funnel. Use the data to make changes. If a particular payment page results in a significant amount of exit bounces, take the time to locate the issue and redesign the checkout flow to better match what the customer wants.
- Use customer surveys: At the end of the day, listen to your customers. Ask them about their experience and any improvements they might like. If possible, rank the aggregate answers to determine a customer satisfaction score, and enact user review suggestions to improve any ratings.
Achieve Payment Simplicity
While most suggestions for improving the customer experience include adding more elements, offers, and interaction, such add-ons can result in diminishing returns. Buyers can experience fatigue when overwhelmed by numerous service options, constant remarketing, and cluttered sales pages.
To that end, remember to control your service and design elements with simplicity in mind. Conversions rely on a streamlined payment process. For example, multiple payment acceptance methods provide rapid payment deployments, but an entire sales page dedicated to diverse payment options can negatively affect user satisfaction. It introduces additional clicks, checkout pages, and choices that can deter final purchase action.
Another example is the use of one-touch payment buttons. The immediacy of a sales button creates speed and convenience, but if presented on every product in an online store index, it creates too many hyperlinks that overwhelm the user. A bounced page exit is likely.
Search for simplicity. Most often, your back-end data and customer surveys will show where service diversity has devolved into needless complexity. Wherever possible, remove any services that no longer return a positive ROI (which will occur as innovation creates redundancies). Invest in good UX and service integration, and adapt to customer requests as you scale.