Six Essentials for a Great Digital Customer Experience
“Customer Experience” is a buzzword — and knowledge base — that is found everywhere. Now that’s been extended to “Digital Customer Experience.” But what do these terms exactly mean and why are they important? I can help define it all. I’d also like to introduce one important constant in the customer experience space: Us. After all, we’re consumers. We know what we like and what makes for the not-so-pleasant experience. So let’s get back to basics and revisit the essentials for a great digital customer experience.
What Is a Digital Customer Experience?
Think of a digital customer experience as every online interaction customers have with your brand. Given that people are never far from their smartphone, tablet, or laptop, the number of interactions can spike fast. Typical consumers may first visit your company website, transition to your app, engage in a chat, follow you on social media, and more. So it’s a good idea that every digital point of contact produces a consistently good experience.
Why Is a Digital Customer Experience Important?
Every interaction is an opportunity. Whether your customers contact you in person, over the phone, or online, make sure that they feel valued and understood throughout their journey. Any inconsistencies or inconveniences will diminish their experience.
Benefits of a Great Customer Experience
To put it simply: People talk. And by delivering on a great customer experience — be it in-person or digitally — you’ve created an evangelist for your brand. This can help add customers or users, increase sales, enhance your reputation, and more. These benefits can also help reduce your marketing spend.
Essentials to Improve the Digital Customer Experience
Remember, as consumers, we know what we like and don’t like. Keep these essentials in mind when crafting your digital customer experience strategy:
1. The human element
There’s an ever-greater want for immediate answers and updates. That’s why everyone is tied to their mobile device. But when serious issues arise, consumers don’t want the bot — and they especially don’t want to be stuck in a phone tree loop. Make sure a human — who’s been briefed on the issue — is ready to answer the call and help.
2. A simple journey
Consumers can now make purchases anywhere — in-person, online, and even over a chat. And they fully expect the journey to be simple. They expect the company to know their info and to make the right suggestions. That’s the expectation when they TRUST you. If there’s any pause in the journey, they’ll go elsewhere. So be sure to continually monitor the overall experience, smooth out any bumps, and add the right enhancements.
Even after a series of high-profile security breaches, consumers are still willing to share details. This means that you have to hold up your end of the deal. Remind consumers of your privacy and security focus, insist on two-factor authentication, and create a safe space. Now you have an environment where consumers can be, well, consumers. The more they feel at ease, the more they’ll stay and spend, and the more they’ll sing your praises to others.
Consumers will measure value in any number of ways. Some associate value with price. Others think older companies are better. And still many will always go with the latest and greatest. Regardless of where you fall in the equation, value is what you ultimately provide in exchange for your consumers’ precious data. Define that inherent value, then deliver and respect the value.
5. Always listen
This ties in nicely to value. That’s because consumers have countless options but have chosen to do business with you. Honor their decision by listening to and monitoring their input. Think about how frustrated you get when you call for help and have to repeat yourself, over and over and over again. According to the Vonage Global Customer Engagement Report, 38% of consumers are very likely to stop buying from a business or using its services after having to repeat themselves.
“Digital Transformation” is yet another buzzworthy term. It makes you wonder, though: Do consumers initiate the transformation or does the company? I argue that it’s both. Think about the simple text message. It started as a convenient way to send a quick update. Now you can practically run your life over text. Every platform — SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, etc. — is an opportunity, and chances are, you’ll find consumers on one or many of these platforms. So get your dev on > experiment > test > measure > respond > repeat.
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