Ted Schadler, an analyst for Forrester, conducted a recent study concluding that your best investment leading to customer satisfaction revolves around the digital customer experience.
Indeed, according to Schadler, half of what it means to be a digital business is taking care of the digital customer experience, with the other half being digital operational excellence.
This study (citing several other studies) shows that in order for companies to improve their customer experience, they need to invest in and rely more on technology.
“Digital customer experience” refers to experiences using digital devices. Looking for a product on your computer, phone or tablet, using an app to find the nearest point of sale, and searching for customer support on your phone are all digital customer experiences.
In this piece we will show how important the digital customer experience is for your company.
Planning your digital experience
Online and offline customers are two different kinds. In a physical location, building a customer experience is facilitated by numerous factors (including the behavior of other customers, if any).
When a customer enters a store he may recognize that some of the factors determining his experience might not be under the company’s control.
Consequently, they tend to lower their expectations of what they may consider a satisfactory experience.
In contrast, online consumers are less patient. Indeed, a recent study concluded that a 10-second wait for a page to load causes half of the consumers to give up and leave.
Microsoft has determined that websites can start to lose traffic to competitors in 250 milliseconds. We can thus conclude that people tend to expect more of and will not accept a poor digital customer experience.
Creating loyalty through consistency
A customer’s impression of a brand is created from various touchpoints. When the customer is facing a decision about your brand (whether to acquire a product from a competitor, for example), it is often that impression that will convince him or her to not turn away.
So, when a company does not provide a consistent digital experience, they erode their brand loyalty.
To avoid this problem, make sure to identify your digital touchpoints and in which devices they present themselves.
Also you should make sure to understand your customers’ behavior and expectations, and identify their goals and motivations in as much detail as possible.
That way you should be able to make your customers’ experience unique in every phase of their digital journey.
Lastly, nurturing your relationship with your customers is essential if you want to offer the best customer experience possible.
As a company, you should be able to measure how your customers feel about your products or services. This way you will be able to identify potential avenues of improvement.
Digital experiences should complement already-existing customer experiences
A common mistake companies make is to think that adding digital components is enough. When you are about to add digital components to your customers’ journey, you should bear in mind how they will directly add value to your customers.
And make sure they are in line with your business’s value proposition. If you don’t do so, you will at best fail to gain traction, or, worse, you will complicate your customers’ journey and make them go away.
Two of the best examples of successful integration of digital components easing the customer experience are Apple and Starbucks.
Apple changed point-of-sale function by reducing waiting time at registers. Now, any Apple employee can now process your purchases.
Starbucks designed an app to ease some aspects of their customers’ experience. Indeed, with the help of this app, customers can manage their loyalty points and place orders in order to avoid waiting in lines. With the help of digital, Starbucks has allowed customers to save both time and effort.
Digital allows your business to be more proactive when it comes to better serving your customers.
If done correctly, digital offer many new opportunities for your business to thrive. It is necessary to provide careful thought as to how digital can consistently improve your customer journey.