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This year’s Gartner report showed the gap between consumers’ expectations and reality is widening—and there are many reasons why this is the case.
Digital customer experience (DX) is one of the most important things a brand can do to create a positive emotional connection with its customers. We are living in a digital world and we are using multiple devices, online shopping is on the rise, so it becomes even more important to provide an excellent digital customer experience for users.
The internet has changed our world forever. People are spending more time online, searching for information, finding new products and services, and generally being happier and more satisfied with life than ever before. So, It’s the need of hour to improve DX. Let’s dig deeper into how to improve digital customer experience.
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Before we proceed let’s understand what is digital customer experience first.
What is Digital Customer Experience?
“Digital customer experience” (DX) encompasses the experiences a company provides to its customers online and through mobile devices. DX is different from traditional customer service because it focuses not just on the company’s interaction with its customers, but also includes any social media activities, promotions, and content that the company creates and shares. The company has to manage all of these elements with an eye toward the customer.
Digital customer experience (DCE) is all about optimizing the customer journey, starting with the first point of contact. DCE starts with the moment a customer reaches your website and moves through the purchase decision process.
I love the way that Jeff Bezos talks about his philosophy of Customer Experience. He explains, “The greatest differentiator in a company is not its products or services but rather the customer experience. Customers will tolerate any number of products if the customer experience is amazing. And customers will absolutely revolt if the customer experience is awful.”
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Create a seamless digital experience
The key to creating a seamless digital experience for the consumer is the absence of friction. In other words, it’s all about having as little friction as possible between the digital touchpoints and the physical retail store. This means ensuring that there are no obstacles or barriers in the path of the customer, and making sure the website looks and behaves the same as the physical store.
A seamless digital experience is one that’s free of distractions. So the first step in creating a seamless digital experience is to avoid distractions. If there are any, make sure that they’re designed to serve your brand or company rather than detract from it. Some websites provide information that can be helpful to your customers, while others are more intended to sell to you.
In today’s ever-increasing digital world, customers expect a seamless digital experience from every company they do business with. In order to succeed in this increasingly competitive industry, businesses must adopt innovative technology solutions that allow them to keep pace with customer demands.
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15 Steps to Improve Digital Customer Experience
A new report from Forrester shows that more than 70% of respondents agree that customer experience is key to their organization’s digital strategy. Yet, most organizations aren’t putting this into practice. Let’s take a look at how to improve Digital Customer Experience step by step.
- Be Visible Digitally
An effective digital marketing strategy is all about making sure your company gets found. The problem is, that many businesses are simply using old methods to do so, and aren’t really thinking about what new ways they can engage with people in ways that they’ll notice. There are two main approaches to engaging with consumers. The first is to build an online presence that makes it easy for people to find you and communicate with you. This is known as inbound marketing and it works best when you have a clear, compelling message and a plan to share that message with the right people at the right time. The second approach is to reach out and try to convert people who may have never heard of you. This is known as outbound marketing, and
- Choose an Emotional Response Model
So you’re creating a digital customer experience, but how do you make sure you’re conveying emotions that the target audience actually cares about? Well, the first step is to choose an emotional model. Some customers are very interested in technical stuff like security. Others are more interested in the brand. Still, others care about a feeling of accomplishment when they finish an activity. Once you know which emotion model you’re using to help move the customer, it’s easy to convey the emotional response that you’d like them to have.
- Create a Personalized Customer Journey
Creating a personalized customer journey is one of the most important ways to improve the digital customer experience and ultimately, your bottom line. A customer journey is a way to describe how a customer moves through your business and what it takes for them to become a customer for life.
Businesses should focus on developing a digital customer experience that is tailored to each and every customer’s unique circumstances, goals, and motivations. Instead of creating a one-size-fits-all customer experience, businesses need to create experiences that are as personalized as possible. The goal is to make the customer feel appreciated, valued, and understood.
- Use Technology to Build Connections and Trust
As I’ve mentioned previously, if you’re not using technology to build relationships with your customers, you’re doing something wrong. Technology is changing the nature of how business relationships are formed. As a result, we’re seeing a shift in the types of relationships consumers have with brands. We’re moving away from face-to-face interactions toward those that involve the sharing of content, and in turn, the creation of a more interactive relationship with a brand.
“Trust” is a word used to describe the state of mind of a buyer when they decide to make a purchase. Trust is an element that is both built and broken. Customers must trust that a company is genuine and sincere about helping them solve problems and make money online. If customers feel like they are being taken advantage of, it’s likely that they will choose to do business elsewhere.
- Provide Unparalleled Service
The ultimate goal of providing a great customer experience should always be to help them buy more from you. With that in mind, it makes sense to think about the steps in the sales funnel that you can improve to drive more conversions. At the top of the funnel is the stage when prospects first become interested in your product or service. You should be thinking about how you can provide them with a good initial experience in order to ensure that they’ll give you another chance down the road.
- Deliver a Positive Experience
Delivering a positive experience means providing customers with a consistent and pleasurable interaction with your business. It’s the experience you want to provide every single time a customer comes to you. And the reason for that is simple: People love to be valued. They want to feel important to someone, and when that feeling is reciprocated, people love you, even if they’re never going to buy from you again.
A positive experience in the digital world is something that helps customers get better results faster and have a better time in the process. To accomplish this, your business needs to give them what they need, when they need it, and in the most convenient way possible. It’s just that simple. If your business doesn’t deliver a positive experience to your digital customers, then you’re losing out on potential customers, which translates into missed revenue.
- Be Present
One of the first rules of any digital experience is “don’t ignore your customers.” The problem is that we all forget this rule sometimes. We’re busy and distracted; we don’t always notice when our customers are having problems.
Being present means being there, available, and accessible to your customers in any medium. You can be virtually present (through social media or mobile apps). The key to being present is knowing when to respond in real-time and when to take care of business in advance.
- Omnichannel customer interactions
For businesses, the concept of Omnichannel customer experience is a relatively new one, but it’s becoming a popular area of focus in the current market. The term refers to the seamless and consistent interaction of customers with a brand across all digital channels. In the past, companies had separate customer-facing departments for each channel (e.g., marketing, sales, customer service, etc.), but today many companies have realized that each channel is equally important. With the rise of the internet, there are now countless digital channels and apps available to customers. These include social media, email, web, mobile apps, customer-service applications, SMS/texting, chatbots, voice assistants, web browsers, and more.
There’s an old saying “You can’t sell what you don’t understand.” That’s true, but it’s even truer when selling online. You have to be able to offer omnichannel customer experience, so that the consumer is always presented with a consistent message regardless of whether they come to you through any channel or medium.
- Optimize for mobile
One of the biggest shifts in technology over the last decade has been the rise of mobile devices. People are using their smartphones to shop, browse the Internet, watch movies, and even read news. According to Google, mobile search queries account for almost half of all searches conducted on Google, with tablet usage also on the rise. To tap into the massive reach of the mobile web, optimize your site to work well on smaller screens. The ability to view content in a mobile environment has been largely overlooked, but it’s vital for keeping visitors engaged throughout their visit.
According to Forrester Research, mobile web traffic is the second-fastest growing part of the overall web traffic, following search. In fact, nearly 30% of Web traffic came from mobile apps. More and more websites are beginning to realize that the future of business depends on the success of mobile sites and apps. Therefore, it’s time for digital businesses to optimize for mobile.
- Make Purchasing Easy
Digital customer experience is often considered the most important factor in whether a consumer will come back or continue using your product or service after purchase. According to Superoffice Research, 75% of consumers say they are likely to purchase from a company again if the site is easy to navigate, intuitive, fast loading, and well designed.
In fact, the cost of a poor digital customer experience can be measured in lost revenue, but it can also be costly in terms of brand reputation. So how do you make it easy for customers to buy from you? One of the best ways to improve your digital customer experience is to provide a “buy now” button that allows visitors to easily purchase products or services online. A simple, one-click process for purchasing lets customers know that your site is easy to use and that you are committed to providing a positive shopping experience.
- Measure Customer Satisfaction
A growing number of companies have made it a priority to better understand their customers’ needs and improve the digital experience. This trend is leading many businesses to make the shift from offering products or services, to focusing on improving the customer experience. As they move forward with their customer-centric strategies, they need to be able to measure results and determine how to make improvements. Customer satisfaction is one way to measure whether or not companies are meeting their customers’ expectations.
With over two billion online shoppers in the U.S., it’s critical that businesses know how to effectively engage with these customers. A major part of this engagement is understanding how satisfied your customers are with your brand. You can use online surveys or chatbots to find out how your customers feel about your company. These techniques help you understand how you can improve your customer experience and even drive a more profitable revenue stream.
- Be Transparent
Transparency doesn’t mean that you’re always going to share everything with your audience. But transparency in marketing means that you want to show your audience who you really are and that you can’t fake it. A company that’s transparent about its goals and intentions shows that it’s committed to them, and it also creates trust. Transparent businesses don’t try to hide anything about themselves or their products. They are open about who they are and what they stand for. And if they ever mess up, they own up to it.
The best way to keep your customers happy and engaged is by being transparent to them, both about your product or service and about how your business operates. Make sure your customers understand your policies and procedures so that they feel comfortable using your services and products. Transparency allows your customers to feel confident about dealing with you, which leads to trust. The better you know your customers, the easier it is for them to trust you.
Some Other Ways to Enhance Digital Customer Experience Are:
- Create Consistent Messages
- Make Customer Service a Priority
- Offer Solutions to Common Problems
- Be the Champion for the Customer
- Treat Customers as Individuals
- Provide Unique Benefits
- Provide a Positive User Experience
- Provide Value
- Do No Harm
- Track and diagnose potential high-level problems within your digital experience
- Take a long-term mindset
- Act with Integrity
- Provide Guidance
- Look to continually improve
- Serve Better
In conclusion, To improve customer experience, you need to address the digital experience with a holistic view. A customer’s overall experience begins before they reach your site. To start with, you need to answer these questions: What are the expectations of the customer? What do they need? What are they looking for? Do you meet those expectations and deliver what they need and want? You need to make sure that your experience is as seamless as possible for your customers and that you provide everything that they need and want. Once you understand your customer’s needs, you can better target them.