Think about all the different ways you interact with a brand online – researching their products, watching video content, commenting on social media. The list goes on and on. All of these interactions help shape your impression of that company. In other words, your opinions are influenced by the digital experience each company offers.
Here lies an opportunity for savvy brands to harness technology in order to meet the needs of the modern day consumer. So, if your company's digital experience is grounded in strategies from yesteryear, you need to get up to speed – or risk getting left behind your competition.
Consumer habits have changed forever thanks to the transformative power of digital technology. Nowadays, a company’s digital presence extends far beyond its website or app – and the traditional mainstay of the homepage is becoming increasingly peripheral.
The digital customer journey can often be a convoluted affair, with research, interest and consideration taking place before committing to any purchasing decisions. So, a variety of devices are used across a number of touchpoints before consumers get anywhere near buying. In response, by 2018, 44 percent of companies had already moved to a digital first approach for customer experience – and this trend is increasing.
If you are embarking on digital transformation for customer experience, there are a number of questions you can ask yourself. These questions will help you touch on important aspects of digital experience and take measures to improve it for your customers. Here are a few examples, broken down by department.
Customers like having a self-serve option. Research from Harvard Business Review shows that more than 8 out of 10 customers will try and sort out an issue themselves before reaching out to a live rep.
Self-serve support also decreases the burden on customer support teams allowing them to do their job even better. It’s win-win.
Although self-serve options aren’t going to completely replace personalized customer support, they can do a lot to enrich the digital experience. There are two main ways of providing self-service:
Consumers crave convenience, and that means support should be available whenever and wherever it’s needed.
Not so long ago, if you wanted to contact a company, you had to pick up the phone. Today the options look very different. But just being present across channels isn’t the end of it. Those channels need to deliver consistently and offer a quality integrated service.
Offering customers a choice of digital communication channels means making use of:
Customers are fed up with having to repeat themselves and explain their situation from scratch when they’re transferred among agents or call back for the same issue. Using a centralized database is a good way to connect the dots between interactions, ensuring this doesn’t happen.
It’s not just your customers that stand to benefit – your business does as well. According to Aberdeen Group, companies that provide a consistent service quality across multiple channels retain 89 percent of their customers – companies that don’t are only able to retain 33 percent.
Plug the data into your customer support software and CRM to create a truly holistic customer view. This way you can:
Everyone knows the value of first impressions. The onboarding experience has the power to define the ongoing relationship between your customer and their chosen product – not to mention your brand.
Failing to manage this stage effectively comes at a heavy price. The top two reasons that customers churn are:
Effective onboarding addresses both of these issues. And making appropriate use of technology really helps to enrich the onboarding experience. Here are a few tech solutions:
Customer feedback is invaluable, offering you the opportunity to learn what customers think about your brand based on facts, rather than assumptions. Some 57 percent of marketing professionals say that the best tactic for improving customer experience is collecting customer feedback.
Involve customers in early stage product development where possible. You could even give customers a more direct input. Walkers potato chips in the UK let customers vote and choose the flavors they produced.
Surveys are an excellent way to obtain product feedback. Here are some you could use:
Don’t forget, you can always ask customers what they think during support calls, and even keep track of and analyze opinions using technology such as live chat, or sentiment analysis on social media.
Given the sheer popularity of mobile devices, and that 90 percent of mobile time is spent on apps, it would be reckless not to offer in-app product support.
It makes an impact, too. Qualtrics found that over 65 percent of customers said that their experience on the website or app would be at a minimum a very important factor, if not more so, in their willingness to recommend a brand.
Here are some ways you can ensure customers have the support they need in-app:
Demos are an important opportunity to demonstrate the business' value to a potential customer and bring in those sales. Online demo requests need to be prominently displayed – but be careful not to fall into the trap of overkill.
Some good places to put “request a demo” links might be:
Clicking through these CTAs, customers will find themselves on your “request a demo” page. There are some common traits that all good “Request a Demo” landing pages have. Your landing page should include:
Take a look at Dropbox as an example of how to create a clean demo form.
It’s surprising how difficult it is to get in touch with some companies. Denying customers easy access can have profound negative results. Customers may:
Fortunately, there are a number of simple measures you can take to avoid these issues.
The internet can be a scary place for consumers and it’s important for them to know they can trust who they’re dealing with. That’s why 84 percent of customers are more loyal to companies with strong security controls.
Whatever measures you take to redefine your digital customer experience, keep in mind that customers’ want their lives to be as simple as possible. By removing barriers and ensuring a clean, seamless digital experience, you stand to gain through increased customer loyalty and higher conversion rates. In the end, your aim is to create a digital experience to remember – for all the right reasons.
Benedict Clark is a psychologist and writer, having previously spent 8 years in the digital marketing industry. With a master's degree in Business and Occupational Psychology from Kingston University, he writes about the interplay between customer experience and psychology for Acquire.