Everything you need to know about digital customer experience (CX)
Today, as the post-COVID landscape continues to take shape and new customer demands reveal themselves seemingly at every turn, businesses need to embrace digital CX. It is easy to believe that simply having digital channels for customers is enough; in reality, it barely meets the standard expectation. Most customers aren’t supporting your brand or business because of your claims of omnichannel delivery and other buzz words. Customers – and potential customers especially – only care that they can connect with you how they want. As customers continue to embrace digital interactions in more areas of their lives, it’s paramount for businesses to provide a consistently reliable and four-star quality digital experience; those that fail to recognise the change at hand will inevitably struggle to grow in their marketplace. The 2021 Digital Customer Experience report uses insights from 190 experts in CX to break down how to overcome fragmentation, optimise the digital experience, and thrive.
Benefits of a dedicated team for your Digital CX
More respondents this year aren’t suffering from a lack of customer data; they’re dealing with a shortage of data that doesn’t tie together. Essentially, all these data points deliver a fuzzy picture instead of that crystallised by data. Data is wonderful, but not all of it is useful, and it takes a certain level of dedication to ensure you’re benefitting from it in the now and the long run. This year, 49% of respondents said they still don’t have a dedicated customer experience tea. Without a team focused on the digital CX, you can end up with different departments like IT, customer service, and marketing involved in CX, which leads to 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. It’s important to note that overall, more than half of respondents, at least, recognise the value of a dedicated digital team.
Data fragmentation is a growing problem
More than ever before, surveyed experts reported they lacked the data infrastructure to optimise digital experiences fully. Severe data fragmentation can be a result of positive changes that haven’t revealed themselves yet. It could be due to newly introduced channels in your business or technologies that have failed thus far to connect fully with existing tech stacks. Mathieu Webster, the finance and accounting transformation lead at NHS, stated that “If you have a lot of disjointed customer pathways or processes, your customers are going to feel it.” Conversely, almost 55% of respondents have reached a unified understanding of their customer data. A single view such as these create opportunity through convenience and efficiency in their customer journeys. As noted in the report, “A single view of customer data allows all channels to pull from the same locations.” This means that as a customer switches communication channels, the new one allows them to pick up essentially right where they left off. That seamless feeling is critical to the customer experience. There’s still work to be done in terms of getting the most out of this data. The report indicates that less than one-quarter of respondents can integrate and leverage all data sources to enhance their CX.
What matters most in digital journey optimisation
The connection between business and customer evolved slowly and then seemingly changed overnight as the digital revolution took hold. The cold honesty of consumer research and usability testing used to be critical components. The shift towards a customer-first, need-driven approach has arrived. Paul Strike, head of user experience & design at Prudential Financial, sums it up perfectly: “Empathy is the beating heart of a good 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 design to support them. There are software solutions to help best manage the data and the design of your customer journey. However, Quadient’s Inspire journey is the dynamic standard for customer journey management. Inspire Journey lets you leverage insight into actionable, exceptional experiences at every touchpoint.
Omnichannel communication is a must
The report indicates that fragmentation continues to cause problems even with companies with multi-channel models in place. Among this year’s respondents, multi-channel models with fragmented connections between channels are the most common setup for companies. This issue can lead to customers needing multiple login credentials and visiting different portals and queues to complete tasks, which inevitably becomes a mess of siloed communication channels. This problem can be cleaned up reasonably quickly, however. Quadient’s Inspire Evolve is a high-performance communications management solution that creates a central hub for your communications team. When combined with the powerful Inspire Flex, which enables organisations to create and deliver personalised customer communications across all channels – from one platform, organisations can truly leverage the power of their customer experience.
The Digital Customer Experience report for 2021 provides a wealth of insight into using data and journey orchestration to optimise your customer experience model fully. The results of its research and respondents indicate digital CX isn’t just crucial; it’s dangerously close to being the binary between an organisation's growth and its demise.