Having a website has added an extra level of convenience to our lives and businesses that has never been achieved by other means. A great website ensures you are accessible 24/7, enabling customers to find and engage with you anywhere, at any time. Your store may close, and you may go to bed, but your website stays open and never sleeps! However, are you really using your website to its full potential?
Let’s have a look at the extra features that you can add to your website to improve the customer experience, and make your life easier, without lifting a finger….
E-commerce is thriving right now and showing no sign of slowing down. You can purchase anything online, from niche products to everyday items. E-commerce is easier and simpler than ever before, with Google and Apple Pay enabling customers to purchase instantly via their phones.
So, what’s just as easy as buying online? Setting up your own e-commerce website! For those who are just starting out or have a low margin product or service, e-commerce is a low-cost way to sell goods and services without the expensive overheads of physical premises.
You can also use the data generated from your website to provide greater insight into what your customers really want. This helps you to see what is popular and enables you to make informed decisions about how to move your business forward.
Moreover, e-commerce can help your business reach new audiences that you wouldn’t have been able to reach otherwise – across the country, or even across borders. An online store offers business access to the whole world, from just a single site! It also allows you to effortlessly keep in touch with your customers and entice them back with offers and updates on new items.
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the growth of e-commerce, but it was certainly on the rise before. Convenience is key in the 21st century and if you aren’t online – your competitor is. Customers are often willing to pay a premium for speed of access and ease of purchase.
Online booking systems
Make life easy for your customers (and yourself!) with an online booking system. These can be used for restaurant reservations, beauty appointments, consultations… the list is endless. Such tools allow customers to determine your availability and find a mutual time for appointments, making it easier for your front desk.
The online booking function is fantastic as it cuts out the legwork. It doesn’t require email or phone communication between any party and can be completed at the convenience of your customer (even at 2 am!). Customers and clients love the added convenience, and it will give you the edge over your brick-and-mortar competition – who are currently letting their customer calls roll over to answer machines instead.
Most booking systems allow for the added benefit of requesting payments and booking fees from your customers (either in full or via a deposit) and can effortlessly add a reminder to their own calendar app so they don’t forget their appointment.
Accessible, accurate and relevant databases are crucial to ensuring that you’re able to offer your customers the best customer service. Websites are now highly capable of enabling customers to view and update their records and upload files such as ID, safely and securely. This function helps eliminate your businesses admin time, ensures record-keeping is relevant and responsibility is shared.
This service is often used in GP surgeries and dentists but could apply to any service which needs to maintain a regular record of your information.
So far, we’ve described some tools your customers can use to self-service, but what about your team? Content Management System (CMS), refers to an application that allows you to manage the content of your website without needing specialist knowledge or even knowing how to code. With a CMS, you or your admin team can amend your website easily, such as updating opening hours, adding products, or changing prices.
CMS applications are designed with the user in mind. They empower businesses to take control and manage their own website without needing a professional web developer for simple changes, allowing you to make your website your own. If your website is constantly changing with news or events, perhaps it’s time you switch to a CMS to gain the added convenience of your staff managing your website, which also saves you money.