The speed of technological advancements has made communicating more simple and quicker than ever before, whether it be with our friends and family, work colleagues, or with brands which offer us products and services.
Technology has led to increased levels of choice, made products and services cheaper and aided consumers in making more informed choices.
The world’s leading brands now have a well-established strategy in place to fully embrace an appetite for digital customer experience from their audience. But in contrast to some of the forceful channel-shift techniques seen a number of years ago, brands are now adapting digital customer experience strategy to work seamlessly alongside more traditional methods of interaction with their customers.
At a time when the competition is only one click away, barriers to new market entrants are low, and brand loyalty has all but been abandoned, more importance is now placed on digital CX to attract and retain customers.
Read on further for an insight into the benefits to both businesses and consumers when digital CX is fully embraced.
The ‘smarter’ consumer
Consumers are getting smarter in every sense of the word; from the smart devices which they use to access information and complete transactions, to the smart way in which they conduct research to find the best deals available to them.
In recent years the use of digital devices, from mobile phones to tablet computers, has well and truly been ingrained into our day to day lives. Having almost instant access to the online world has become an integral part of the way we live and work – whatever time of day and wherever our location. This ‘always on’ approach is what we have come to expect from our peers as well as the companies which we engage with, and it is this level of convenience which has significantly altered customer expectations when it comes to their digital experience.
This ‘always on’ approach has been particularly visible in the banking sector where we have seen many recognisable high street names adapt their websites to offer many of their in-branch services online. In more recent years the development of their own banking apps for smart devices has seen banks keep pace with the constantly evolving ways in which consumers now want to interact with brands, i.e. with convenience, simplicity and on the customers’ terms. Banking has been one of the most successful sectors to integrate “digital” into its offering, albeit at the detriment to their physical highstreet branch presence.
This digital customer experience plays an important role throughout the buying journey and can help solidify brand loyalty and repeat purchases. Digital CX must work alongside physical stores and more traditional channels to engage with these ‘smart’ consumers on their terms, this can now be seen in reverse in some of Amazon’s brick and mortar strategies.
Tailormade digital customer experience
Making digital CX high on your brand’s agenda allows for much greater opportunities to tweak your service offering to the users’ individual needs. A more bespoke and personalised offering to your customers can lead to much higher up-take, satisfaction and ultimately brand loyalty. In order to accurately tailor digital CX, it is important to capture as much information on a customer as possible, whether this is through online registrations or tracking browsing and buying habits.
This initial ground-work into your customers allows for tailored digital content based on their areas of interest but can also work for you in terms of troubleshooting, complaint resolution and pre-empting FAQ’s – helping to deliver a positive digital customer experience
Learning from your customers’ digital CX
Recognising the importance of embracing digital CX can benefit brands in many more far-reaching ways than just simply streamlining processes for the customer. It can also provide new and improved methods for measuring customer feedback and satisfaction. The digital world enables companies to collect and measure quantitative feedback data; clicks, visitor numbers, buying habits, etc., making it much simpler to fine-tune your digital channels and improve customer experience As well as allowing the collection of data on successful sales, digital channels can offer an insight into how digital customer experience can affect a customer’s sales journey – a key concern for online commerce, with shopping basket abandonment previously being hard to measure and understand.
Expectations are evolving
Customer expectations are ever-increasing and the bar is now being set very high for us all by brands who deliver digital CX really well, leaving the rest striving to keep up with the demands customers place on them in the competitive digital space. On-demand, tailored digital customer experience is now intrinsic to our buying experience rather than a ‘nice to have’.
A successful business in the future will be an agile business which adapts to their customers’ wants and needs in this digital space; allowing customers to self-serve where appropriate, providing a streamlined buyer journey, and offering a personalised digital customer experience.
Businesses must shift their time and resources to meet this digital appetite, which if executed successfully can offer significant cost savings for the business. Customer service teams are then freed-up to focus on more business-critical areas and focus on what people are best at – providing empathetic and powerful 1-2-1 interactions. But before you press the green light on your next chatbot or AI project, step back and understand exactly how it will add value for your customers and at which point of their journey is it most appropriate.