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The Digital Guest Experience is Real and Can Be Profitable. Here’s How.

Meeting customers’ digital needs and expectations is key to an outstanding overall customer experience.

Your company is probably already focused on providing a good guest experience. But did you know that a major component of overall customer satisfaction is the digital customer experience (DCX)?

“As the move toward an all-digital world accelerates, the majority of customer experiences will be delivered through online channels, where it’s more difficult to gauge sentiment and interpret reactions,” according to computer software company Sitecore.

Whether on the frontline assisting customers or behind the scenes focused on technologies that enable the digital customer experience and troubleshooting for solutions, “creating a clear digital customer experience and intention “should be top-of-mind for every marketing team around the world,” says Sitecore.

What is digital customer experience?

Digital customer experience is the total of all digital medium interactions a customer has with your brand. “Any place [where] a customer interacts with your brand digitally is part of the DCX,” says marketing, advertising and organic search technologies company Terakeet.

The digital customer experience is part of the broader experience, including offline interactions such as in-person shopping or a phone call to a customer service rep.

“To provide people with an outstanding overall customer experience, it’s essential that both online and offline interactions be equally customer-centric, high-quality, and satisfying,” says Terakeet.

Below are channels that make up the digital customer experience, according to Terakeet:

  • Social media
  • Email
  • Chatbots
  • Live chat
  • Online forms
  • Mobile apps
  • Third-party review sites
  • Online communities

Providing a positive digital customer experience is essential to staying competitive.

“If your brand doesn’t provide an outstanding digital customer experience, many of your customers will take their business elsewhere,” says Terakeet. One of the primary reasons the digital customer experience is so important is consumers’ reliance on smartphones and other mobile devices to inform their buying decisions.

“Over the past few years, there has been the emergence of ‘mobile-only’ customers who prefer digital and mobile tools,” says customer experience technology provider TTEC.

“The line between the online and offline worlds continues to blur more every day with mobile banking and tools, virtual customer service, and robust shopping experiences. It’s nearly impossible to serve customers without employing digital channels.”

According to TTEC, the digital customer experience a company provides its customers is “highly dependent” on the customer’s perspective of the maturity — levels that a company moves through before achieving its DCX goals — of the following digital channels in six key areas:

1. Channel flexibility

Customers expect to be able to switch seamlessly among multiple channels without losing the context. They want consistent information and the ability to save and display customer history.

2. Reachability

Your brand must make customers aware of all customer support digital channels available and make sure that preferred channels are reliable.

3. Service convenience

Provide clear, current information to customers seeking support, including how to ask for “quick-and-live” and “end-to-end” support.

4. Purchase convenience

Your brand should provide easy-to-understand, up-to-date information on products and purchases and the ability to conduct end-to-end transactions. Also, make subscribing to new products and services a fast, easy experience.

5. User-friendliness

Customer service software should have an intuitive design and be easy to navigate.

6. Personalization

Use customer data to recognize each customer as an individual and to meet customer preferences automatically and according to context.

“Knowing where you are on the [DCX] maturity ladder is very important to customer experience strategy,” says TTEC.

“It is imperative to optimize digital interfaces and integrate them with other channels to create a truly omnichannel environment. Not only will it improve digital customer experiences, it will optimize your operations to allow greater efficiencies and save costs.”