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What businesses must do to get the interface right with clients

Devid Jegerson, Head of Customer Experience, NBF

The COVID-19 outbreak puts technology and digital capabilities at the fore, with businesses witnessing a surge in online activity with shoppers taking to e-commerce retailers to cater to their needs. With in-store footfall being replaced with online shopping, many businesses which were operating the traditional way now more than ever need to re-think about how best to adapt their business model to the online space. Devid Jegerson, Head of Customer Experience at National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) shares some top tips on how to expand your small business online and grow your digital footprint.

Leverage SEO to attract potential customers

To boost your business visibility online, search engine optimization (SEO) will make all the difference by refining your website to get higher search engine rankings and organic visitors to your site, without paying for search engine placement. This can be done by creating compelling and search-worthy content, optimising images with Image ALT Text attribution so they can be found through google searches; and ensuring that your sitemap and website navigation interface is top-notch.

Social media continues to be king

By establishing a strong social media presence, your business builds credibility, raises brand awareness, and most importantly, engages with current and potential customers. On social media, it is pivotal to build relationships with your target community by showcasing your brand personality. Using consistent brand visuals and messaging is key to ensuring you are telling a coherent story. Moreover, establishing expertise by sharing your knowledge to build credibility as an industry thought leader is a powerful way to make an impression. Last but not least, these platforms are an excellent way to bump your sales where you can create more natural buying opportunities for your customers with online transactions, contact-free services, and quick customer support.

Create a buzzing website

Host a blog, with industry trends and share snippets from it on your social channels, with links back to your website. You can drive even more visitors to your site by hosting guest posts from industry influencers— and ask them to share the link to the post on your website with their social followers. Run promotions and offer online-only sales redeemable through your website, which you can market through your blog and social media profiles, and “sponsored” posts which are specifically designed to put your business’s information front-and-center. Set up a newsletter to create a mailing list database and reach out to these potential customers and use branded professional-looking email campaigns to offer sales, promotions, and interactive content that will keep them coming back.

Ensure secure payment gateway

Managing small business payment, shipping, fulfillment, and returns can make or break your business as delivery demands call for faster shipping time. Additionally, expectations are high on how a product arrives and what kind of “unboxing” experience it carries. To ensure your customer has the most accessible course of payment, offer a variety of options; including online bank transfers, payment cards or wallets. At this stage, it is essential to consider the right banking partner to help with your e-commerce activity management. Always look for a bank that will ensure convenience, transparency and support.

As for selecting the right shipping partner, look out for service and speed as key a differentiator. It is crucial to evaluate the weight of your products and estimate the shipping volume beforehand to ensure you get a good price form the shipping carrier and to identify further how much you will charge your customers for delivery. Don’t forget that the customer experience doesn’t end once the transaction is complete. As such, always ensure that effective communication and customer satisfaction are maintained after the matter such as offering easy returns and affirming safe and sanitized delivery.

To navigate this new environment, businesses need to take stock, review and stress-test their existing business models. Businesses who possess agility are the ones who will survive this unprecedented crisis. It is important to focus on building a secure user interface for today’s savvy and time-starved consumers, especially when this is the only user experience with your business during this time.