Digital customer experience and why it matters
These days, it seems like a lot of the discussion about marketing strategy is centered on the concept of the customer experience — and with good reason. Most business leaders know how important it is to deliver a high-quality customer experience, but that can look a little different when your company operates digitally.
In this article, you’ll discover how digital channels can uniquely engage your target audience and create a better customer experience while also generating greater interest in and revenue for your brand.
What is digital customer experience?
Digital customer experience (CX) is the perception a customer has of your brand based on all the various interactions they have with it across digital platforms. That experience includes everything from websites to mobile applications, social media to email, and any other channels where the touchpoint is digital.
Digital CX has become an integral part of marketing strategies as companies turn to the virtual world, not just for advertising but also for ecommerce and relationship building. Consider that around three-quarters of customers use multiple channels for a transaction, and more than half expect personalization throughout the process. And so, the quality of their digital interactions with your brand is more important than ever before.
Customers expect their online experience to be hassle-free and easy to follow from start to finish. Providing a positive digital customer experience helps you meet this expectation and lets customers walk away from your brand with a favorable impression. This could compel them to share that experience with others or revisit your brand in the future as repeat customers.
To compete for a share of customer attention and dollars, modern marketers must be aware of and adept at using all the available digital platforms, proven and even unproven. Some of the touchpoints you can leverage to create a positive digital customer experience include:
- Brand website
- Mobile app
- Live chat
- Email marketing
- Social media
- Personalized accounts
- Push notifications
- E-learning portals
- Online reviews
Digital customer experience vs. customer experience
While they sound similar, digital customer experience is not the same as traditional customer experience — especially in the marketing tactics and technological tools that are used.
Customer experience is all encompassing and includes every interaction a customer has with a brand. Digital customer experience is just digital interactions — so it’s a part of customer experience as a whole, and an increasingly valuable one.
Most customers won’t separate these two concepts in their mind, but for companies it’s vital that your digital experience is of the same quality as in store. For this reason, you want to ensure a seamless transition between traditional channels and digital ones.
Why is digital customer experience important?
Digital customer experience is so important because it’s what helps customers form an opinion of your business. Offering a seamless digital CX builds trust and connection with the customer and can convince them to buy from you.
Indeed, customer experience is a powerful driver of sales. Surveys have found that about 9 in 10 people say they’re more likely to make a repeat purchase after a positive experience, and 7 in 10 reported making a purchase decision based on the quality of the experience. Dedicating time and effort to improving your customer relationships through great digital CX can also increase customer lifetime value and improve the public view of your brand.
Conversely, a slow or unreliable digital customer experience can have an equally significant negative impact. In the digital space, where transactions happen instantly and every competitor is just a couple clicks away, having a first-class digital CX can be the difference between making a sale or losing a potential customer for life. Your digital customer experience has to be on top of its game.
How to manage your digital customer experience
Tactics for managing your digital customer experience hinge on consistency, credibility, and reliability. Consumers expect digital channels and technology to be maintained and accessible around the clock, with little or no interruption in services and support. Monitoring and managing your digital CX isn’t easy, but here are some tips for doing it more effectively.
Know your customers
First, marketers need to thoroughly understand their target audience and what those end users might want from a digital experience. Knowing your customer has never been more important — it dictates everything from personalization campaigns to how involved you should be on social media.
In some cases, customers expect brands to be an active and common presence in their digital lives — sending out frequent emails and social posts, perhaps weighing in on news, pop culture, or political issues. Others may prefer minimal interaction or more casual communication. The core of your digital CX depends on what customer you’re servicing.
Ask for customer feedback
You can’t know if your digital customer experience is working unless you ask the customers. This could involve using a survey, a simple rating box to judge overall customer satisfaction, or something more in depth. The goal is to gather detailed information from your customers to help you improve their overall digital experience.
Data is crucial to managing your digital CX. It can be used to boost campaigns that resonate most with your target market or assess those that aren’t performing well. Ensure that, as part of your digital CX management, you’re consistently asking for feedback either directly from customers or using web analytics tools to see how they are reacting throughout their journeys.
Try to personalize
Today’s customers don’t just want personalization — they expect it. People love to feel like they’re important and being catered to directly. By leveraging relevant customer data, you can tailor your campaigns, demonstrate your brand is interested in an individual, and deliver a personalized digital CX.
But keep in mind there are consequences to getting personalized interactions wrong. Incorrectly identifying an individual or an interest can alienate a person and disrupt their customer experience, causing them to form a bad impression of your brand and look to others instead.
Digital technologies and platforms are continuously evolving, so even those marketing teams that already have a digital customer experience strategy should not sit back. It’s important to constantly evaluate your digital CX and look for ways to achieve your goals, either by bolstering existing campaigns or trying new channels.
Customer feedback is a valuable resource for optimization, as are the data trends that emerge from platforms such as your CRM, website analytics, and marketing automation programs. You can always improve your digital CX. Keep experimenting and optimizing.
Getting started with digital customer experience
Digital CX is critical to any modern marketing strategy. By leveraging web and mobile channels to connect and create relationships with customers, you can improve their perception of your brand and lead them to convert. While delivering a cutting-edge digital CX might seem difficult, many companies already have a foundation in place — in the form of customer management tools and data. Adding a platform that is designed specifically for digital customer experience can be the missing puzzle piece you need to succeed.
Adobe Experience Platform makes personalized digital CX possible. Experience Platform is an open system that stitches together customer data from every interaction through every channel in real time, resulting in truly comprehensive customer profiles that drive relevant experiences. It gives you the ability to analyze the data that really matters for digital customer experience, train artificial intelligence and machine learning models that put your customers first, and connect all your CX technology to a single source of truth.
Watch our platform story to learn more.