A recent study called the 2020 Digital Marketing Trends Report surveyed organizations on what the single most gainful venture for them was in the current year, and once again, the same answer came out on top — customer experience.

A properly-defined and well-executed customer experience strategy helps you improve customer satisfaction, enhance the customer lifetime value, and boost your bottom line. Furthermore, as digital transformation picks up steam, the online customer becomes increasingly relevant as a measure that could define a brand’s success. 

More and more businesses around the globe are realizing this with 50% of them saying their digital transformation efforts hinge on the digital customer experience they provide now more than ever.

But what is digital customer experience?

It is defined as the online experience that customers have with your brand and the journey that they go through while engaging with your brand. In a nutshell, it is the brand-specific interaction that your patrons have with you online as a part of their digital experience.

In order for businesses to be able to diagnose issues, leverage actionable insights, and improve their overall digital experience, they will need to create a functional CX program design that is built on the following measures.

1. Understand your customers’ behavior

Understanding your customers’ behavior is integral to your digital customer experience. Without knowing the behavior of your customers, you will not be able to relate with them and where they are coming from. By first understanding your customers’ behavior, you will have a much better idea of their expectations so that you can reshape the digital experience in its image.

The best way to go about this is by creating specific buyer personas. Making these buyer personas will help you create profiles that precisely represent a particular customer group that more often than not has the same grievances and faces similar issues. You can utilize various tools like Hubspot’s Make My Persona to create different buyer personas and plan a journey map around it.

After planning your buyer personas and creating a customer journey map, you can move on to conduct surveys to identify the different pain points that your customers face. You can facilitate this process further by feeding business intelligence into tools like CRM, and then utilize these insights to inform your customer journey map and enhance the customer experience as a result.

2. Enable self-service options

Today, customers are increasingly growing self-sufficient. If anything, they prefer it over contacting a live agent. In fact, 40% of consumers claim that they prefer self-service over contacting customer care agents. Yet another survey by Superoffice reported that 70% of consumers expect a company’s website to have self-service options.

Businesses should do well to remember this while chalking out their digital experience strategy and make sure to enable self-service options for the customer. Self-service, in the form of a chatbot, can amplify the speed and automation of your services.

Chatbots are AI-powered solutions that facilitate real-time self-service of customer support by providing them with instant solutions to their service requests. These bots can only handle a huge volume of customer requests simultaneously and offer solutions to frequently faced issues, all the while maintaining a consistent customer experience.

A stellar example of using chatbots to its advantage is the brand, Splashtop. A Silicon Valley-based company that provides remote desktop access services to businesses, Splashtop was finding it difficult to engage prospects with its existing chat solution. Something that resulted in a poor UI experience for its customers.

It is then that Splashtop started looking for a better alternative and struck gold when it found Acquire live chat. With the new chatbot, Splashtop was able to leverage it to initiate conversations along with integrating it to Salesforce to record qualified leads on it, leading to them averaging 1648 chats a month and causing an overall increase of 35% of their sales conversions.

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3. Provide a seamless omnichannel customer experience

A study by the Aberdeen Group revealed that businesses and brands that offered a consistent digital customer experience across several channels saw 89% of their customers return to them. Yet another study by Exolevel found that 89% of customers expect to have the option to shop for products through any channel they find convenient.

Today, consumers want to have the option to contact and shop with you on their terms. Making way for an omnichannel experience lets you provide your customers with a unified purchasing and support experience that is consistent across channels. In fact, this practice is so popular that a survey by Harvard Business Review found that 73% of customers used more than one channel during their shopping journey. 

This only goes to show how increasingly apparent this shift has become today as customers like following the brands they utilize across different channels. They are interested in seeing what the brand they invest in is involved in and the entire process of how the brand brings its products and services to them. Therefore, it largely lies in the companies’ interest to engage and connect with customers via different touchpoints.

4. Offer users a way to give feedback

As is the case with most digital customer journeys, you will not get it right at the first try, and that is why it is important to provide your users with a way to easily place feedback so that you can improve their experience. There are many ways to do this. It can either be done with the help of a website chat function or through feedback surveys. You can also source testimonials and social media messages to this end.

The information you gain will be invaluable in helping you improve the customer journey and enhance the digital experience of your customers. Collecting it regularly will not only help you learn how satisfied customers are with your product, but it will also assist you in measuring customer loyalty and attrition.

Types of feedback surveys

Feedback surveys are the most popular and effective way to source customer grievances. It provides them an easy way to lodge complaints and inform you about what’s not working with your product. With respect to feedback surveys, there is a host of them you can use, but three, in particular, stand out for their universality in helping you produce the most relevant findings.

  • Periodic satisfaction surveys: Periodic satisfaction surveys are those surveys that are conducted every so often to solicit information about offerings and gain an accurate picture of customer expectations and their digital experiences. It is typically used to survey the health of the brand and its products.
  • Post-purchase evaluation: These kinds of feedback surveys are usually requested or sourced by the customers after the product or service delivery or even during it. It is mostly implemented as part of a CRM retention system whose focus is to engage the customer for the long-term.
  • Continuous satisfaction tracking: Continuous satisfaction tracking feedback surveys are requested from the users during the product or service delivery and then intermittently thenceforth. These surveys are used to assign customer retention scores to certain accounts, flag them, and then use a management tracking tool to ensure that the quality of service is consistently high.

5. Align KPIs to desired business outcomes

Digital customer experience is a standard that evolves by the second, and measuring the customer’s satisfaction requires more effort on a business’ part than simply recording excess inventory or revenue growth. Since the digital experience of customers is so multi-faceted, it only makes sense to gain a comprehensive picture of it by benchmarking it from different angles.

Therefore, it is extremely important to begin and maintain your digital customer experience transformation by periodically and consistently measuring KPIs and linking them to the business impact derived from your efforts. This will take tracking and examining the impact on your finances, operations, processes, and employee-related measures, along with implementing an extensive metrics framework.

Begin by first asking yourself which set of CX metrics are required and relevant to helping you paint a sweeping picture of your customers’ experience with your brand. More often than not, it pays to measure the following CX metrics to gain a 360° view of your CX and align it to specific business outcomes to measure growth.

  • Net promoter score (NPS)
  • Churn rate
  • Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)
  • Customer effort score (CES)
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV)

Customer experience is a long-term effort

The very basis of providing a great digital customer experience is spoiling your customers. And it won’t be possible without the knowledge of their preferences.

It is a slow and steady process that takes defining each step of the customer journey and work on streamlining the experience. It often involves solidifying their needs through the measures provided above, to make informed decisions and enhance the overall customer experience.

AvatarSavan Kharod

Savan Kharod is a Digital Marketing Professional at Acquire, a unified customer engagement platform. He loves to share his knowledge and experience in digital marketing, social media marketing, customer service, and growth marketing. You can reach out to him on LinkedIn or Twitter.