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January 25, 2023

How to close the customer experience gap between offline and online worlds

What is the customer experience gap? 

The customer experience has become the distinguishing factor in today’s (online) retail landscape. An oversaturation of retail stores, omni-channel providers and eCommerce platforms puts increasing pressure on businesses to amplify their service offering. Nevertheless, many businesses fail to recognize the urgency. A study carried out by Bain and company showed 80% of surveyed organisations believe they offer superior customer support to their customers. At the same time only 8% of their customers shared the same opinion. This immense disconnect demonstrates the severe gap in experience perceptions. 

Now what happens when your shopping experience does not live up to the customer’s expectations? That’s where the customer experience gap comes into play and translates into lost sales. 

You may be asking yourself, what does it exactly mean? Let’s break it down in a few steps: 

  • A customer experience gap results from a disconnect between customer and expert in an online environment. 
  • Due to lacking touchpoints between customer and a sales expert in the conventional online environment the customer cannot reach out to the expert for help and the expert cannot reach out to the customer to share their expertise and recommendations.
  • Instead, the customer wastes valuable time with endless research and making complicated choices, when ideally the expert could make superior product recommendations following a quick consultation session with the customer.

To sum it up, customers desire the complete shopping experience they get in stores, not the bland eCommerce experiences present today. 

What do we learn from this? Leverage your experts and close the online customer experience gap by enabling customer-expert communication channels, as found in stores. 

How does the customer’s experience gap impact the shopping experience? 

As a result of the barrier to knowledge transfer between the in-house expert and the customer, there is an experience gap. Effectively, a disconnect due to lacking touchpoints. The customer wastes their time with research and excessive decision-making and the expert's potential for recommendations remains unutilized. 

More than anything else, the experience gap damages customer relationships and potential sales opportunities. The future of CX report by PwC showed that 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after only one bad experience. After two or three negative interactions 92% of customers would completely disregard a brand for future purchases. By obstructing a relationship between customer and expert and failing to provide excellent customer service the negative experiences can quickly add up. 

Failing to provide positive customer experiences can lead to a significant drop in customer loyalty. As a result 67% of customers have turned into “serial switchers” following poor shopping experiences. Nowadays, a customer no longer compares you with your competition based on product and price, instead they compare you with the best service they have experienced. Meaning ultimately, by failing to address the customer experience gap, you are missing out on a stable customer base, crucial in securing the longevity of your business. 


How do you bridge the customer experience gap?

By closing the gap and creating communication channels between customers and experts through a conversational storefront, your customers will reward you with higher sales, loyalty and referrals for your business - and AMAZD can help you with that.

Offering a unique customer experience essentially creates mutual gains for all three parties involved. The customer benefits as they can upkeep the open expert communication channel with low hurdles to interact. Here the customer can inquire about product information, share personal needs and receive one-of-a-kind curated product advice. The expert benefits from the interactions as they can build a stable and long-term customer base to maximize customer lifetime value. Most importantly, the brand gains double, as it can provide higher expert commissions due to increased sales and strengthen its business, while simultaneously increasing its customer loyalty through novel consultation opportunities. 

Nearly 80% of customers claim speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly service are the most critical elements to a positive shopping experience. Enable speed and convenience for customers by connecting them directly with experts. Save them from endless research by supporting your customers' decisions through knowledgeable help and product recommendations. Finally, give a lasting impression through your expert’s friendly service.  

Don’t belong to the 80% of organisations that simply assume they offer a superior customer experience. Build a unique shopping experience with AMAZD’s conversational storefront and enable superior customer experiences. 

To discover how AMAZD solves many of today’s eCommerce challenges and how it can play a key role in the success of your customer experience strategy, get your free AMAZD demo today. 

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