Introduction

Since the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the world in early 2020, digital access has played a vital role in individuals’ livelihoods and the survival of businesses. As a result, it has become mission-critical for brands to provide high-quality, reliable, and consistent digital experiences to drive customer engagement.

As customers become comfortable with remote services and adapt to frequent lockdowns, businesses with poor digital performance will likely struggle to maintain or grow their market share.

What is Digital Customer Experience?

Digital customer experience (DCX) refers to interactions your customer has with your brand on digital channels, such as your website, mobile apps, and chatbots. DCX is part of the overall customer experience (CX), which includes physical channels such as brick-and-mortar stores, where customers can evaluate and purchase your products.

As digital transformation accelerates, more and more customer experiences are delivered via online channels. Evaluating your digital touchpoints is critical to your brand's ongoing success.

chart-comsumer-behaviours

What is a Digital Customer Experience Journey?

A digital customer experience journey includes all interactions a customer has with your brand across digital platforms. This includes interactions from the awareness stage through to the purchase stage and after they become a customer.

How to Improve your Digital Customer Experience?

Digital customer experience management is vital to all brands in the post-pandemic world. Here are a few things to consider to optimise your customers’ online customer experience.

Knowing what matters most in digital journeys

Brands need to invest in research that allows employees to empathise with customers’ goals and challenges to optimise communications and digital journeys. Invest in learning about your customers’ unique priorities and preferences and use this data to inform your CX strategy.

Creating a customer experience that builds trust involves defining the moments that matter to your customers and delivering on your brand promise at these critical moments. For instance, the checkout stage is a critical moment that must be free of stumbling blocks.

Once a customer intends to purchase, you need to make it as easy and seamless as possible for them to complete the transaction. One way to do this is to offer the convenience of multiple payment options online, such as PayPal, Apple Pay, and/or installment plans.

Personalise digital experiences

Understand your customer’s digital maturity to provide personalised experiences. Simple concepts for digitally mature personas, like horizontal lines representing a mobile web menu or a cog representing the settings button, are alien to many newer digital customers. Building personalisation around the digital maturity of a customer helps transition less digitally savvy personas into the lucrative digital space and fast-tracks conversions to boost spending levels.

By personalising webpages according to persona preferences, visitors are greeted with content that is relevant to them, such as their preferred language, or promotions to enhance conversion rates. By not catering to the bespoke needs of customers, brands can miss valuable engagement opportunities that their competitors could capitalise on.

Proactive CX

Predictive customer experience management stands as an area offering significant opportunities for businesses. Examples of proactive digital experiences include helpful popups, and live chat prompts at common customer touchpoints that cause friction.

As a brand develops a predictive presence in customers’ decision-making processes, it creates an experience that suits the customer’s goals, providing consistent quality and efficiency.

Integrate channels

Channel fragmentation results in inconsistent customer experiences. Year-by-year, project-by-project, many organisations assemble an extensive collection of channel and project-specific technologies. What begins as a series of easy solutions to isolated problems, often morphs into a tangled mess of technologies that hurts the overall customer experience.

A common trap that businesses encounter when trying to unify digital ecosystems is that they optimise channels in silos. A seamless approach is not about individual touchpoints; rather, it needs to consider the entire journey and how touchpoint syndication creates a seamless cycle.

Centralised customer communication management (CCM) solutions enable consistent customer experiences with approved templates, branding elements, and regulatory language that are stored and accessed for deployment across channels. When changes need to be made – for instance, with a rebrand – updates are made once and applied universally. Take a logo change as an example – the logo image uploads once and is applied to all necessary places, including templates and channels, as dictated by pre-defined rules.

Global State of CX research from 2021 indicates that businesses are prioritising investments in omnichannel. This heightened focus is logical with the returning popularity of offline/ in-person channels as Covid-19 social distancing restrictions ease. Organisations must ensure that digital experience enhancements made in response to the pandemic blend smoothly with other channels instead of increasing friction.

Brands often focus on the traditional, more obvious channels to fix channel fragmentation, such as the disconnect between mobile and email or email and print channels. However, customers will easily transition across several channels for a single transaction on any given day.

The challenge is to break down several silos simultaneously so the customer can go through their journey without any bumps caused by channel, data, process, or technology siloes. Frictionless channel integration is a worthwhile project, as shown by the 40 percent of customers surveyed in PwC research that value convenience enough to pay more for it.

How do you measure Digital Customer Experience?

In recent years customer experience has become a key brand differentiator. Many business leaders realise the need to deliver a cohesive digital customer experience strategy but may be unsure of their ability to measure digital customer experience accurately.

To gain valuable insights to help brands improve the digital customer experience, they must understand every digital interaction their customers have with their business.

Digital Experience Management: The Key to Success

As customers continue to embrace digital interactions, businesses must provide a consistently reliable and quality digital experience. Those that fail to recognise the change at hand and define a digital experience strategy will inevitably struggle to grow in their marketplace.

Here are a few keys to success with Digital Experience Management:

A dedicated team to manage digital CX

Without a focused digital customer experience team, you can end up with different departments like IT, customer service, and marketing involved in CX. This results in fragmented and disjointed journeys for the customer. This can leave them dissatisfied enough to take their business elsewhere.  Internally, the organisation suffers from slowed process adoption and stunted creativity.

A single view of customer data

A single view of customer data allows all channels to pull from the same locations. If the customer switches channel, the new channel has the historical data and takes the user straight to the correct stage rather than having to start from the beginning. That seamless feeling is critical to the customer experience.

Determine what matters most in digital journey optimisation

Empathy is the beating heart of an excellent digital journey design. When companies are approaching the design of their customer journey, they’re spending time asking questions based on understanding the needs of their customers. Once their customers’ unique needs and preferences are understood, companies can build their digital journeys to support them.

Omnichannel communication is a must.

Multichannel models with fragmented connections between channels result in customers requiring multiple login credentials and visiting different portals and queues to complete tasks. This inevitably becomes a mess of siloed communication channels and results in a poor customer experience.  Omnichannel communication is the solution.

Conclusion

Businesses must identify any points of friction for customers at digital touchpoints and enable their employees to optimise the digital experiences that will generate meaningful returns for the business. Until a stable pandemic exit strategy is established, companies need to be comfortable providing loyalty-winning service at a distance. The rewards of delivering great digital customer experiences will prove value long-term as they will boost customer lifetime value and retention long after the pandemic.

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