Creating exceptional customer experiences (CX) from beginning to end of the customer buying journey is now an expectation. In today’s digital economy, customers expect personalized, frictionless experiences on par with Amazon and Netflix. While these businesses have significant resources available to shape CX, it does not take a corporate behemoth to provide exceptional customer experiences across every touchpoint. That’s especially true when it comes to the payment aspect of the customer journey. Payment processing solutions tailored to SMBs are allowing these companies to embed CX into payments, removing friction from one of the last and most critical stages of the customer buying journey.
Amplifying positive customer experiences through payments can help SMBs boost brand awareness, increase brand loyalty and improve sales.
What is CX?
Global management consulting firm McKinsey defined CX as encapsulating “everything a business or an organization does to put customers first, managing their journeys and serving their needs.” McKinsey noted that today CX is just as if not more important than the products and services a company provides.
CX includes all the interactions customers have with a brand from product design and quality, to advertising, to packaging, to payment options, to product and service reliability and customer service. The sum total of these interactions shapes the impressions customers have of a brand.
Why is CX important
With the power to shape consumer brand perceptions, CX has a direct impact on the bottom line. In fact, PwC data shows that 73% of people point to customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions and 32% of consumers would walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience.
Companies that optimize their CX grow faster and increase customer loyalty. According to McKinsey research, improving the customer experience has increased sales revenues by 2 to 7% and profitability by 1 to 2%.
Delivering the exceptional experiences customers expect today also creates knock-on effects of building brand equity, boosting customer loyalty, increasing conversions, and enhancing customer engagement.
Amplifying CX with payment processing technology
Small business owners increasingly recognize the importance of amplifying CX. A survey of small and midsize businesses by SurveyMonkey found that 72% of business owners surveyed said all or most of their company’s goals are focused on the complete customer experience.
When it comes to strategies for amplifying customer experience, payment processing technology may not come to mind as a tool to help SMBs elevate CX. However, changing consumer payment preferences and new fin tech entrants into the payments market are enabling superior CX at a critical point in the consumer buying journey.
Today, consumers prefer the ease of tapping a card or even forgoing cards and shopping with their phones in hand. These and other digital payment options are important factors in the payments experience, influencing consumer decisions on where to shop.
PYMNTS research revealed that consumers from six countries are 67% more likely to shop with SMBs that offer their ideal payment methods.
Digital payments are increasingly popular with consumers who want a faster, easier checkout experience. According to McKinsey’s 2022 Digital Payments Consumer Survey, nearly nine in ten Americans are now using some form of digital payments. The survey also found that “more than two-thirds of Americans expect to have a digital wallet within two years, and it’s likely that many will hold multiple wallets.”
SMBs are adopting cashless, contactless and other digital forms of payment to meet these evolving customer preferences for frictionless payment solutions.
Fintech entrants into the payment space are helping SMBs bring technology to bear on meeting these customer preferences to remain relevant and competitive in today’s digital first environment. Payment processing fintechs provide scalable solutions that are tailored to SMBs. Built on simplicity, these solutions empower SMBs with easy-to-use point of sale (POS) systems that deliver an improved customer payment experience and make managing all aspects of the business easier.
POS technology, which provides the ability to offer multiple payment acceptance options including mobile payments to convenience minded consumers, is vital for every small business. By offering a range of secure, seamless payment options, small business owners can amplify the customer experience to attract and retain customers and significantly increase sales volume.
PwC’s Experience is Everything, Here’s How to Get It Right report highlighted speed and convenience as two of the drivers of a good customer experience. Amplifying the customer experience with the speed and convenience of digital payments, allows SMBs to deliver richer customer experiences that simplify the buying experience. Providing positive customer experiences with the help of payment technology can help SMBs attract more customers, increase sales, and build customer loyalty.
PwC neatly summed up the importance of amplifying customer experience saying, “Experience is Everything. Get it right.”
Kyle McCann is the Director of Operational Strategy at VizyPay (@vizypay). Visit our website to learn more about how VizyPay can help you amplify your customer experience with point-of-sale solutions tailored to support your unique business needs.
Payment CX stock image by ViDI Studio/Shutterstock