Today’s marketing world is completely different, if you compare it to what it was before customers were faced with a global pandemic. COVID-19 has accelerated digital adoption, forcing people to use technology to work, play and stay connected with loved ones. This has also forced businesses to undergo digital transformations and as a result, we have seen a big shift in consumer behaviour. Apps, machine learning, AI and other types of new technology have made it possible for consumers to do almost whatever they want- whenever they want– wherever they want, and in real time. Consequently, due to the increased use of digital technology, customers’ expectations of digital services are higher than before – making the digital customer experience more important than ever.
So, what is digital customer experience and why is it important?
Digital customer experience is the online experience and journey your customers go through while interacting with your brand through the various digital touchpoints. Your approach to digital customer experience should be different from your approach to traditional customer experience, because online and offline customers want very different things.
Did you know that companies that value customer service see additional revenue growth of 4% to 8%? You can bet that those companies had a great digital customer experience strategy to foster a satisfied customer base.
If customers can’t find what they need within the first few clicks, they will likely give up and leave your page. The probability of a bounce increases by 32% if a customer has to wait just one to three seconds for your page to load. Today’s reality is, the slower your load time, the lower your conversion rates will be.
The moral of the story? When online shoppers encounter even the slightest inconvenience, they immediately blame the company. That’s why you need to consistently monitor and optimise your company’s digital customer experience on an ongoing basis.
So, how do you improve the digital customer experience?
Many businesses are looking for a one-size-fits-all approach to a successful digital customer experience strategy, however if businesses truly know their customers, they will also know that everyone has a unique path to purchase, distinctive buying patterns, channel preferences and preferred engagement stages. The first step to building a better digital customer experience is understanding who your customers are and creating a plan that fits the mold of what they need and want.
Understanding your customers and their preferred journey is critical to improving and personalising future engagements and solidifying a customer relationship. Fortunately, there are a few helpful steps that can help serve as guidelines to improve the digital customer experience.
1. Understand your customers’ behaviours
As mentioned, the first step in figuring out how the digital customer experience should look and work for your business, is to take the time to understand who exactly your customers are, their behaviours and buying patterns.
Only once you fully understand who your customers are, can you begin to flesh out the perfectly suited customer journey and a successful digital customer experience.
2. Personalise your customer experience
Not only do personalised experiences boost revenue and loyalty, but customers also increasingly expect them. “Intelligent personalisation” increases relevance and engagement, thus delivering better customer experiences in the process.
Through a deep understanding of each customer, rather than just all customers, personalisation provides unique benefits that most competitors won’t match.
3. Omnichannel customer interactions
It is a customer-centric world. Customers want to be able to contact you on their terms. Omnichannel provides your customers with an integrated, unified buying and support experience with your brand across channels and devices.
According to Freshdesk, stats show that 47% of consumers admit to using three to five different communication channels to get in touch with a specific company. Therefore, it’s in a business’ best interest to communicate and connect with customers via various and multiple digital touchpoints.
4. Gain and maintain internal alignment, while eliminating silos across the business
All key stakeholders within a business, should align with where you’re going and why, or digital customer experience transformation won’t happen. So do the legwork. Get buy-in. Be clear about objectives. Communicate progress. Ensure expectations are set and met and minimise surprises.
Customers expect to interact seamlessly across channels, departments, and groups, but many companies are not built this way. Now, is the perfect time to improve performance, simplify internal processes and integrate insights across an entire business.
5. Optimise for mobile
People live through their phones nowadays. Soon, almost everything can be managed through your phone, which is why it makes sense to make sure that your website, app, or other materials found online is optimised for mobile as well, ensuring the customer experience meets the expectations of your customer.
A recent study by Google found that 59% of mobile users have a more positive feeling about companies who are mobile friendly, allowing them to make purchases faster through their mobile sites, or apps.
6. Measuring customer satisfaction
I have shared a few tips which I think will help you improve your digital customer service experience; however it is important to understand that every company has different needs and different types of customers, all with differing needs and expectations.
Therefore, it’s really important that companies collect customer feedback from their customers on a regular basis, to help you understand if you are meeting the expectations of your customers or not and what can be done to further improve their experience.
In today’s new normal, digital customer experience can make or break a company. Creating the best customer experience strategy for a positive digital interaction with your brand is critical when upgrading your digital presence to meet current customer service trends.
It is however important to note that transformation of any kind is a multi-step journey, and digital customer experience transformation is no different. To consistently meet customer service needs, you need to stay on top of trends and be open to evolving not only with technology, but also with your customers.
As daunting as the task may seem, getting started isn’t as difficult as you might think and the rewards are significant and measurable, leading to long-term, loyal digital customers.