How to Improve the Digital Customer Experience

Customers have high expectations when engaging with a brand online. They expect a cohesive customer journey and have little patience for disjointed interfaces and interactions.

In this article, we explain what the digital customer experience is, how it can be improved, and why these improvements can have a positive impact on the digital transformation of a business.

In this how to improve the digital customer experience guide, you’ll discover:

What is a digital customer experience?

However and wherever your customers are interacting with your brand is their customer experience. Digital customer experience is the sum of all their digital interactions with you, and the impression they leave with of your brand, your products, and your customer relations.

Customer experience is not just customer service — it’s far more immersive and, hopefully, emotionally connecting than that. The lines between online and offline are increasingly blurred for the modern consumer. That’s why it is important to present customers and potential customers with a consistent and seamless customer experience across both the digital and physical.

The digital customer experience includes interaction with your brand across a variety of touchpoints including:

More touchpoints will arise as digital experience inexorably pushes into our lives — into the Internet of Things and voice-activated apps such as Alexa. Customers flip between these different channels to find information and solve problems. A great customer digital experience enables this to happen efficiently, intuitively, and even pleasurably.

While the digital customer experience is shaped by the technology that enables it, there’s a much broader set of business and operational requirements that come into play. This involves everything from strategy to marketing to customer service, just as in an offline customer experience.

Why is customer digital experience important?

A customer can complete their whole sales journey — from not knowing they have a problem and slowly realizing it to making their purchasing decision — completely digitally. A company should therefore ensure its customer digital experience is personalized, streamlined and fun.

Here are some reasons not to neglect it:

How to improve digital customer experience.

The process of improving the digital customer experience also helps to improve processes for all stakeholders within the business. And in fact, many organizations begin their own digital transformation when they begin to improve their customers' digital experience.

Who owns the digital customer experience?

Most consumers don’t take time to distinguish between a digital or non-digital experience with a business. Rather, they want to find the easiest, least friction way to get the information they need and make a purchase decision.

Because of this, there is no single department or person that owns the digital customer experience. Stakeholders from across the organization must ensure the customer is getting the best experience whenever and wherever possible.

The stakeholders and their priorities are as follows:

Digital customer experience and digital transformation.

Nearly half of all companies surveyed in a 2022 PwC study said efforts to improve customer experience and customer satisfaction prompted a digital transformation in their businesses. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 40% of all data analytics projects relate to an aspect of customer experience.

To provide a consistent and high-quality customer experience across all digital channels, a business must begin to integrate technology systems across the company, ensure compatibility, and begin automating many customer-facing systems. This digital transformation changes how businesses interact not only with their customers, but also with vendors, employees, contractors and all other stakeholders.

For example, improving digital customer experience often requires migrating on-premise databases to the cloud, so websites and other services can access them outside of a firewalled corporate network. By doing so, internal operations can also move more processes to the cloud, which allows the business to modernize how people interact with their IT systems.

Improve digital customer experience, promote digital transformation.

Because digital customer experience improvements impact other aspects of the business, invite other voices to suggest how changes are implemented.

Improvements should be based on how customers make their journey through the service and different systems. It’s therefore important to identify key components of this process and how they influence customers' perceptions and brand loyalty.

Consider which devices customers use. For many businesses, most customers engage with a mobile device, and therefore the business and its systems should be optimized for the mobile experience. In addition to an easy-to-use app, the mobile website, social media, messaging, and customer service experiences should all be optimized for mobile.

Digital customer experience improvements should be data driven. Collect reviews from customers about their positive and negative experiences, provide opportunities for customers to give unsolicited feedback, and gather and track metrics about the user experience to diagnose issues and locate bottlenecks.

By taking all these considerations into account and providing the customer with a streamlined experience between all your different systems and channels, you’ll also have an IT organization that has been modernized to accommodate these improvements — better integrations, cloud migrations, and comprehensive analytics and reporting.

Examples of digital customer experience.

How to manage the digital customer experience.

A study by Gartner showed that ‘89% of marketers expect customer experience to be their primary differentiator.’ We’ve seen how crucial digital customer experience is, how it can be improved and the action points you can start to think about, but what is the best way to manage the process, and how can we measure if creating, designing and reacting to online interaction is working?

Frequently asked questions about digital customer experience.

Do B2B companies use the same digital customer experience as B2C companies?

B2C customers are part of a mass market and often depend on the forces of conformity, while a single customer may make up the whole of a B2B’s target sector. Digital customer experience can be undervalued in B2B, but businesses want as smooth, efficient and effortless a service as a B2C consumer, so develop similarly high standards.

Where do I start with great digital customer experience?

If you don’t know where to start, start with consistency and crafting the same look, feel, voice, tone and branding across all the platforms you are on. Digital experience platforms are available to get you going and catch up with the omnichannel frontrunners.

What tools should I look for on a digital customer experience platform?

Real-time reporting, user role profiles and permissions, automated actions, on-board analytics, first-rate integration with CRM, app backend software and so on, as well as good customer support. Digital customer experience works both ways here.

Improve digital customer experience with the right platform.

Improving the digital experience is a process that requires feedback and planning from stakeholders across the organization. It also requires technical systems that can properly integrate and track how customers engage with your business.

Adobe Experience Cloud provides all the tools necessary to track customers through all channels and understand how they’re flowing through their customer journey. Learn more about how Adobe Experience Cloud can help your business improve its digital customer experience.

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