The digital customer experience is the quality and sum of all digital interactions a consumer encounters with a company. This includes the company’s brand, products and services.
Unfortunately, some companies are still struggling to achieve a productive digital experience. Good digital experiences can lead to more sales, more loyalty and even more customers. On the other hand, poor digital customer experiences can cause a loss of sales by frustrating customers and ultimately driving them to competitors.
With a good plan of action centered around digital customer experience and the aid of digital experience management, businesses will be better equipped to achieve growth.
What is digital experience management?
Digital experience management is the software, product or service that helps you track, monitor and analyze your customers’ experiences.
Digital experience management helps you connect the dots between the digital experience and customer expectations, and in turn provide customers with the experience and content they need.
Digital experience management platforms
The more insight you can gain from your audience, the more informed and strategic your content and digital experience can be.
So, in order to create an effective online customer experience management strategy (and therefore nurture a memorable digital customer experience), there are a few digital management platforms worth leveraging:
IBM Experience Manager
Adobe Experience Manager
Why digital experience management matters
Brands are struggling to differentiate themselves in today’s crowded marketplace. Consumers encounter multiple brands across multiple countries all offering the same goods or services.
Because of this, you need to give consumers a good reason to choose you over all the other players. In fact, many experts believe that successful customer experience will become more important than product quality or price when differentiating one brand from another. Keeping this expert prediction in mind, it’s clear that digital experience management matters more than ever.
Elements of a great digital customer experience
When crafting a digital experience, include the following elements in your strategy.
When your customers open up your website, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter page, they expect to see consistency. The same message, layout, logo, etc. Customers expect this consistency no matter the location, device or channel they are using. This consistency is especially important if you are delivering rich media. Today, brands have defined “best practices” across all channels to ensure consistency in the online customer experience. These best practices can include responsive design and well-known concepts among others.
Usability and accessibility
According to Forrester, 61% of U.S. online adults state that they are less likely to return to a website if it doesn’t provide a satisfactory experience. Based on this alone, the digital experience you want to create can be your greatest competitive differentiator. Improving the usability and accessibility of your channels can maximize functionality while also positively affecting lifetime customer value. And don’t forget that no matter how sleek and shiny your design looks, if customers are stumbling along the way your pretty design won’t help provide a good user experience.
In the digital world, consumers prefer to find their own answers rather than call someone for support — a large majority of people now expect companies to offer self-service options. Because of this, a great digital customer experience gives consumers the option to interact with your brand with little human interaction. Overall, the brands that rate the highest in terms of customer satisfaction do so because they offer self-service options along with a seamless experience when moving across channels.
With customers using mobile apps and smartphones to make payments, purchase products, schedule appointments, access information, book travel and more, self-service is more important now than ever. Consider restaurant apps like Chick-fil-A or Starbucks, customers can place an order ahead of time and also manage their loyalty points all through the app. Nearly 16% of Starbucks purchases are made through the app alone.
Studies have shown that having a large number of options can make it harder for customers to make a decision. Accenture collected data that indicated an increase in frustration from customers’ online experiences. Their data showed that 48% of consumers have left a website only to purchase a similar product elsewhere simply due to a poor digital customer experience. Alternatively, 91% of consumers were more likely to shop with a brand that remembered, recognized and provided them with relevant recommendations and offers.
Your business can harness machine learning to better gain insights into consumers' needs and wants in real-time. The growth of artificial intelligence (AI) in recent years has provided us with exceptional technology to better help us create digital experiences that focus on individual customers. This alone can help differentiate your brand from your competitors by providing accurate insights into your customers in order to give them a personalized and meaningful interaction. In addition to this, machine learning and big data can help ensure that your message reaches the right customer on the right channel and in the right format. It can also help you utilize insights and recommendations on consumer behavior and industry trends.
Another element of great online digital experiences is deliverability, better understood as the amount of effort a user experiences when navigating through your channels. The ultimate goal of deliverability is for you to empower your customers to accomplish their goals and feel good about it. Every turning point in their customer journey should be designed to deliver exceptional digital experiences centered around your brand’s promise. One survey provided statistics showing that only 11% of customers who experienced a complex transaction were likely to continue with purchasing the product. On the other hand, 68% were more likely to purchase when experiencing a low-effort transaction.
Steps to develop a digital experience program
Along with the elements above, follow these steps to develop digital transformation through an excellent digital experience program.
Objectives then solutions
As you develop a digital experience program, begin by focusing on your business objectives first, then worry about solutions. Common objectives for many companies include:
Deliver a better digital experience
Understand the customer experience
Differentiate on the customer experience
Listen to your customers
As you look more into differentiating the customer experience, you may want to consider accessing outside help from customer experience consultants.
An omnichannel approach to your program can help you succeed in providing a consistent and cohesive experience for customers across all channels. Make sure that you design your program in line with all other channels that your brand utilizes, from brick-and-mortar shops to mobile apps. By delivering a consistent omnichannel user experience you can improve your reputation and build trust among consumers.
Mapping the customer journey is paramount when developing a digital experience program. In order to do this effectively, you will need to identify key turning points between the consumer and your brand that ultimately shape brand loyalty and perception.
Use the customer’s journey to localize where customers are getting stuck or where they are enjoying the experience. And don’t just do this at the end of the journey or when you’re starting to see your revenue tank. You should be mapping the customer journey often and always. Just as ecommerce continues to evolve, your own brand will need to evolve to better meet customers’ needs and wants.
As you map your customers’ journeys, take the time to also track and diagnose problems, existing and potential. You need to find which journeys are common and diagnose the most common problems within them. Additionally, you will need to find what resonates with your customers. Through diagnosis, you will want to capture high-level metrics such as the goal of your website or app visitors, along with the likelihood of them returning to your site.