In mid-December, President Joe Biden signed an executive order calling on government digital services to emphasize customer experience. The feds, who typically lag behind business in digital trends, have discovered what companies have known for a while: The better the digital experience, the more likely users will come back again.
What is digital customer experience?
Digital customer experience is the quality of every interaction customers have with all of a business’s digital touchpoints: websites, social media, mobile applications, messaging tools, and kiosks at brick-and-mortar locations.
The experience isn’t just about the tech. It’s also how customers feel about your brand following these digital interactions. Are they left with an engaging and efficient personalized experience, or one that’s slow, frustrating, and prone to glitches? The digital customer experience, good or bad, has a direct impact on revenue. Customers say they would pay a 16% premium for a more satisfying experience, according to PwC.
What creates a great digital customer experience?
A superior digital customer experience delights new and existing consumers, discourages them from leaving for a competitor, and improves lifetime value. To achieve this, companies need to take important consumer concerns into consideration:
The reachability of the customer experience relates to the reliability and ease of access of digital offerings. The more digital channels the better, since that means there are more ways for customers to interact with a brand. If customers have questions about products and services, they expect the digital experience to provide an answer quickly and intuitively.
Customers value convenience, and they’re willing to pay for it. In fact, the PwC research found that 43% of consumers would pay more for greater convenience. This means providing:
- Accurate and timely information about product availability, operating hours, and other details about the business
- Real-time customer support
- Intelligent chatbots that can resolve problems
In exchange for all the personal data consumers are handing over, they expect a personalized experience. That can be as simple as being greeted by name or more complex, such as product recommendations tailored to their preferences.
Ease of use
Consumers don’t like friction in their digital experiences, such as multiple sign-ins across channels or the need to re-enter payment information every time a purchase is made. A close examination of transactions and other parts of the customer experience can identify friction and inefficiency.
As consumers move from websites to mobile apps to messaging apps and back, they expect to have the same experience in all places. What’s more, movement across platforms should be as seamless as possible.
Measuring the value of customer digital experience
Increased revenue is certainly a useful way to measure the success of customer experience initiatives. But organizations that want to dig deeper can also consider these other metrics:
- Retention rate: This shows what share of customers continue to do business with an organization over time. It can also indicate when customers drop away, whether at a certain time or year or a specific point in the transaction.
- Churn rate: This is the flip side of retention, measuring how many customers leave during a period of time. Satisfactory customer experiences should reduce the churn rate.
- Average resolution time: How quickly are customer problems resolved through the digital experience? Are resolution times trending longer or shorter? The answers can help organizations gauge the success of digital customer service initiatives.
Three examples of effective digital customer experiences
1). Ordering from the comfort of the couch
A major coffee retailer allows customers to order in advance by speaking to their virtual assistant devices before leaving home. The digital assistant is connected to the retailer’s app, where the customer’s payment info is stored, so payment happens automatically. All customers need to do is pick up the drink from a nearby location. It illustrates how reachability and convenience play key roles in the digital customer experience.
2). Buying guides for dressing up
It’s not easy to buy formal clothing online. A clothing retailer in the United Kingdom created online buying guides for hard-to-fit items like business suits and wedding attire. The guides gave customers more confidence in their choices, reducing the likelihood that they’d need to return their purchases. With helpful context for making a purchase, the clothing retailer becomes a trusted advisor to the customer.
3). A chatbot for insomniacs
Chatbots offer a friendly way to engage with customers, especially if you’re a mattress company that encourages insomniacs to text with a chatbot in the middle of the night. The feature is designed to create a pleasing connection with a brand, while collecting contact information from prospective customers.
As consumers move more of their interactions to the digital world, it’s crucial for organizations to provide ever more engaging digital experiences. And remember, it’s not about high-tech wizardry. The goal is to give consumers a positive feeling every time they encounter a brand in the digital world.