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HOW TO USE TECHNOLOGY TO TRANSFORM THE DIGITAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Digital Customer Experience (CX) is the outcome of every interaction a customer has with the brand, from navigating the website, interacting with a bot or CS and getting updates on their engagement activities. In near future majority of CX will be delivered through online channels where it’s more difficult to gauge sentiment and interpret reactions.
Customers need a great experience to be loyal and stick with you. 67% of people will pay more for your product if they have an emotional connection, 300% higher lifetime value! So make sure you provide them with the best service possible because when it comes down to problem resolution instead of price or quality, 4x as many are likely turn away from their loyalty towards competitors in order find better customer care elsewhere.
Digital Customer Experience strategy includes:
- Investing in technology to manage the customer experience across all channels (web, mobile, chatbots and voice assistants)
- Creating cross channel experiences where customers can interact with your brand seamlessly online or offline. For example – if you’re a fashion retailer then you might want to open an offline store in the same shopping mall as your online one so you can provide a more holistic experience.
- Prioritizing customer care by making it an integral part of the business and aligning to company values
- Providing customers with personalized experiences through data that is accurate, complete and up-to-date (using AI or machine learning).
What are the drivers of digital customer experience?
How do we design the ultimate digital customer experience using technology?
1. Dive deep into customer journeys to generate actionable insights
The key to understanding your customers is asking the right questions at the right time. If you dive deep into certain touchpoints, you’ll be able to see where they are enjoying their experience or getting stuck. For people who have shopped with me in multiple environments (desktop, app-based interfaces and physical stores), look for persistent pain points across all of my experiences – these could likely be your brand promoters that want more from us than just satisfaction; we need them happy!
On the other hand, if you’ve had an app-based experience and then shop at your physical store or vice versa – take note of where they’re struggling to make a purchase. These points could likely be touchpoints for improvement that would most benefit your brand promoters who are looking out to spend more but need help!
2. Don’t segment your customers by channel
Digital era customers are channel agnostic and expect a similar customer experience across each touch point. A unified understanding of these customers is essential for effective migration to the digital environment, particularly those used to an in-person interaction. It’s important that companies communicate with their consumers on different channels–according to Freshdesk stats 47% of US consumers admit using three or more communication methods when communicating with one company!
In today’s ever changing world all business must adapt or risk becoming irrelevant; this can be seen through how quickly people are shifting from being “channel loyal” (a term used by marketers) which means sticking solely within one mode of contact such as social media messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp etc., towards preferring a combination.
Companies need to be agile in customer service and not just rely on one channel.
3. Have a mobile first approach
It used to be that you could only shop through a computer or at the store, but now with smartphones and tablets it’s possible to order food online, buy groceries for in-store pickup on your way home from work. In today’s world of instantaneous gratification where consumers expect their needs met immediately brands have taken notice and are focusing more time on developing apps tailored specifically for mobile devices rather than having one site available just about anywhere internet is accessible. Nearly 70% of consumers admit that page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer. (Unbounce, 2019)–so make sure your website is optimized so customer expectations can be exceeded!
4. Personalization is hygiene today
Personalization is beyond product recommendation and primary focus should be on the content. If the customer has taken the pain to share his data and preferences with the brand that the least he expect is a generic communication sent to 5 lac other customers. Customers receive offers that are targeted not just at customers like them, with brands targeting at the segment level with broad-based offers, but at them as individuals, with products, offers, and communications that are uniquely relevant to them.
Today consumers have the expectation that they will be served with a personalized experience, so companies need to make sure their customer service and marketing efforts are tailored for them.
Personalization is more than just product recommendations; it should also include it should also include content – if customers take the time to share data then they deserve a unique message from your company.
(Also read: Why good customer experience requires marketing automation)
Key elements to be considered while designing and improving the Customer experience strategy are listed below.
Identify the problem by putting yourself in the consumer’s shoes.
The most common mistake which brands make is taking a decision basis a meeting that happens in their conference room without understanding the real problem faced by the consumer. Talk to your customers, read their feedback\comments and, identify the touchpoint with a high dropout rate or negative feedback and then work on that area.
Empathy gives you a competitive edge
Empathy is the ability to have a deep emotional understanding of another’s feelings or problems. When CX professionals are empathic, they can nurture genuinely and create connections with customers on a very human level.
CX is more about people and not technology
To effectively manage CX, brands should not get distracted by newly available technology. Customer centricity flows from top to bottom. No matter how good a product you have, if your policies and processes are not customer-centric, you will only gain sales and not a relationship.
(Here’s an article on how to use tools and platforms for customer experience.)
Good Customer Experience can only be delivered through good employee experience
Invest in your people and their growth so that they can go out of their way to deliver a seamless customer experience. Bands need to build a culture where employees should act like owners and not employees.
Personalization and customer-centricity are going to become increasingly more relevant in the coming year
There’s no second thought to it. The digital revolution has changed the way people do – and respond to – marketing. Personalization means knowing about your customers and reaching them with what they intend to buy and listen to.
Personalization is important for the customers and the brands and can improve their conversion rates and ROI by being relevant. A Deloitte study also found that 36% of customers are interested in buying personalized products, and 48% said they would be willing to wait longer to receive them.
A survey by Evergage has found that marketers also see the value of personalization: 96% of respondents felt that it helped them advance customer relationships, and 88% said that they perceived a measurable lift in business results. 61% also said that personalization helped them deliver a better customer experience.
Data and automation hold is the key to enforce personalization and get more out of your relationship with the customers. For example – based on the data like browsing history, past purchases, and preferences, brands can customize and add relevance to the newsletter for every customer.
Measuring the impact
The volume, velocity, and variety of data that customers produce on a daily basis can be used to measure the success of digital customer experience strategy in correlation with the traditional Net Promoter Score or Customer service index. Other prominent parameters could be reduced website bounce rate, reduced calls at the contact center for self-serviced tasks and minimalistic error logs.
“SAT” framework is one of the best way to assess the effectiveness of your CX initiatives by building a strong correlation between these three inter-dependent metrics.
SATISFACTION :- When brand meets customer needs and expectations by improving the overall customer experience it reflects in NPS or CSI which also reflects higher level of loyalty and retention.
ADVOCACY: – By focusing on customer experience brands can get new customers through referrals and recommendation. Referrals also help the brand to optimize their cost of acquisition and thereby impacting the bottom line.
TRUST:- A seamless customer experience builds trust among the customers and positively change the way how they view a brand. Once a customer has experienced series of positive engagements with the brand where their needs and expectations have been met, they begin to show trust and loyalty.
The proof of the pudding lies in viewing customer experience as a journey and not destination.
Also read: How does VFS do customer experience so well