Should your brand focus on digital customer experience (DCX) this 2022? According to KPMG research, you should. Eighty percent of CEOs say that in light of COVID-19, digital transformation has accelerated. In fact, 76% of customers expect firms to provide eCommerce services.
Hence, you must include digital customer experience (CX) strategies in your marketing efforts. But before you do, it’s important to understand what DCX is and how it would affect your business.
WHAT IS DIGITAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE (DCX)?
Before trying different approaches, we must define what a digital customer experience (DCX) is. While DCX has been around for the past few years, it became prominent during the pandemic.
With social distancing rules, physical stores shifted digitally to continue operations. Both consumer behavior and brand innovation coped with the times.
As a result, when customers need something, they look at brands online. With this in mind, as eCommerce owners, your website, social media channels, and even your ads should not miss this opportunity.
The said digital touchpoints can help you engage with your clients and enhance your customer experience. When a target audience connects and interacts with your brand online, it is called the digital consumer experience (DCX).
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE?
Because of the pandemic, consumers largely do their business online. They now engage in virtual shopping and use contactless payments. In fact, 82 percent of consumers prefer using digital wallets or cards in the future.
However, people still expect seamless and smooth customer journeys. In a PwC survey, 32% of customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after one bad experience.
Hence, you must satisfy your customers to enhance their loyalty to your brand. Thus, digital customer experience strategies exist.
However, you must not consider your DCX strategy as your sole business move. Rather, it should support your entire marketing strategy, both physical and digital.
3 FACTORS OF AN EXCELLENT DIGITAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
How do you know whether your brand left a positive impression on a customer? Here are three factors you can consider:
- Success – Did the customer get what they need?
A positive customer experience boils down to this: were you able to supply what they need? It is crucial to satisfy the reason why they sought the solution offered by your brand.
- Effort – How easy was it to reach out to your brand?
Do they need to repeat their concerns every time they speak with a different customer service representative? How long did it take to get what they needed? The time element can contribute to the difference between an excellent customer experience from a bad one.
- Emotion – What did they feel as they interacted with your brand?
Was the customer satisfied with the service you gave them? Did you manage to solve their problem, let alone, acknowledge their concern? Among the ways you can create a satisfying digital customer experience is to help find a solution to their problem.
When you have managed to frame your perspective using these factors, now you can grasp how you would choose a strategy for an exemplary digital customer experience for your eCommerce store.
DIGITAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE (DCX) STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE YOUR BRAND
Let’s admit, strategies are easier said than carried out. However, once properly done, it can yield significant returns. In fact, Forbes.com reports that 84% of companies that invest in a CX upgrade experience an increase in revenue. What should you consider in selecting the best strategy for your brand?
1. Assess existing customer experience strategies
Before choosing a digital customer experience strategy for your eCommerce business, you must first assess your current strategies.
As mentioned earlier, these digital touchpoints are your way to engage with your customers online. Therefore, you must assess how to capture their interest on those platforms.
Do you already have a presence in said digital channels? If not, building your brand’s presence is crucial for reaching your customers.
- Service convenience
With the factors of a good digital customer experience in mind, check your current services. Are your offers easily accessible to your customers online?
If not, read on to discover how you can address this aspect. Remember, you are first assessing your existing strategies.
- Purchase convenience
Did you know American consumers will pay 17% more to purchase from a company with a reputation for great service? Take a good look at your current process. Can customers easily buy your products and services?
How do you address your customers? While frequently asked questions are helpful for general concerns, how do you cater to those with specific needs?
Are your processes streamlined? It may seem a minor aspect, but Forrester’s research reported that customers are 2.4 times more likely to stick with a brand when their problems are solved more quickly.
- Channel flexibility
A new aspect of the digital customer journey that you must also check is channeling flexibility. Can you cater to their needs even if they switch digital platforms to reach you?
When you have assessed your current digital customer experience processes, you now have a basis on which areas you can improve on. The following strategies may help you.
2. Gather Customer Data
When customer experience went digital, your customers’ data became digital as well. For you to improve your DCX strategy, check out these aspects of customer behavior.
- User-Generated Content and Customer Reviews
Customers used to fill up suggestion boxes before. However, they now take to social media to air their experience with the brands they interact with. Hence, along with the usual demographics of your clients, you must also look at how your target audience perceives your brand.
This can be determined with user-generated content–may it be in the form of posts, tweets, or even ephemeral content (Youtube shorts, Instagram, and Facebook stories). Since digital customers share their experiences online, may it be good or bad, it’s your chance to find out more about them.
You could even fuse your user-generated content in SEO marketing strategies. That’s why, aside from putting customer reviews on your website, you can enhance your digital customer experience with what your audience says online. Utilizing a custom QR Code generator for creating QR Codes to encourage customers to share their experiences and feedback through scannable codes on physical products or promotional materials can further bridge the gap between offline and online interactions. This technology enables customers to easily provide their insights, which can be seamlessly integrated into your user-generated content strategy.
- Data Security and Privacy
Which sites do your clients visit? What time are they online? What media captures their interest? These are just examples of customer data that can help you realize the best digital customer experience strategy you can design for your audience.
However, a major concern of both clients and eCommerce owners is data privacy. When people realized their right to protect their data online, stricter data security measures were created.
Among them is the General Data Protection Regulation and seeking app permissions from the users. As a result, acquiring customer data comes from your first-party data.
How do you harness your first-party data? You install a pixel into your website, product, or social media profiles to collect data about your target audience’s behaviors as they interact with your brand.
Alternatively, you can also make use of a unified communications platform to keep in contact and build relationships with your customers.
However, data can only be called information when you uncover the meaning behind it. What does the data tell you? To understand your clients more, it pays to create personas.
A persona is the sum personality of your target audience. It embodies the information borne out of your customer data and can be used to form relationships with your clients. Let us admit; a person only gives attention to brands, things, and people they can relate with. With a persona, we can better connect with our audiences and understand their needs. In this way, we can position our brand to be the solution to what they need.
3. Identify gaps in the customer journey
Once you have assessed your current CX method and customer feedback, it’s time to upgrade your DCX strategy. In the US, 32% of consumers walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience. Hence, you must identify which part of their customer journey affects the entire digital customer experience.
As people turn to their screens to look for answers for their needs, how do you capture their interest? You must identify your specific target audiences.
For a better customer experience, embody your personas to improve your presence in your digital touchpoints, such as social media. To attract your target audience, you need to be where they are online and speak the language they do.
When potential clients discover you as the answer to their problem, how do you position yourself to be the ultimate solution?
Usher your target audience deeper into the funnel when you present a clear message. Consumers today expect honest and concise data to help them decide which brand should they choose.
Gone are the days that social media are just tools for your brand’s marketing campaigns. Now, chatbots in social media have become the norm to convert potential clients into loyal customers.
With the plethora of digital channels such as webchat, messenger apps, and SMS chat, converting inquiries into sales has been made easier. Have you tried using chatbots on your social media? If not, it’s a gap you must look into.
Once the consumer purchases, are they satisfied with the experience? Did they find it challenging to go through the sales process?
In the light of the pandemic, this is where you could make or break your digital customer experience. Whether you make a positive or negative impression on them, customers will likely remember that experience. . Hence, it is important that your brand offer a positive seamless experience.
Most people think that customer service is the same as customer experience. They are not, but the former adds to the latter. Hence, as a brand, creative ways in catering to customer concerns must be implemented.
You can include digital ordering, home delivery, and curbside pickup in your existing services. This way, digital methods can support your in-store efforts. It can also give your customers more options on how to purchase your product or service; which in turn improves your overall customer experience.
What makes customers come back? If they have been satisfied with their experience interacting with your brand, then clients tend to buy again. In fact, 65% find a positive experience with a brand to be more influential than great advertising. You can even incorporate feedback mechanisms at this stage of the customer journey so you can continue to be in line with your customers
4. Implement Changes in your Customer Service Strategies
When assessment, data gathering, and identifying customer gaps have been executed, then it’s time to customize the exact digital customer experience fit for your brand. With this in mind, you must bear in mind these four T’s.
When you create your DCX strategy, you must consider three aspects—the customers, the brand, and the environment. To check the current pace of what’s happening around you, you need to pay attention to the trends.
Among the trends that eCommerce owners can consider are:
- Adoption of Artificial Intelligence
- Data & Privacy matters
- Emphasis on CX Agility
- Empathy in Customer Experience
- Humanity & Automation
However, not all trends must be applied at once. You must consider which trends can your team adapt easily, and are relevant to your target audiences.
Upon checking out which trends suit your strategy, you must choose which tools can help execute it.
In most cases, having the right eCommerce platform such as Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento is essential. You can even integrate Shopify apps, work on your SEO with your choice of content management systems, and even streamline your social media channels into an omnichannel to enhance your digital customer experience strategy.
Once tools have been selected, let’s not forget the human factor in the equation. These strategies would only take effect if the team behind the DCX strategies understood the customer’s needs, trained on the tools, and have clearly defined roles.
We have witnessed how fast technology can advance as a way to respond to customers’ needs. eCommerce owners must keep DCX strategies agile. It is best to constantly review whether set digital customer experience strategies still cater to your audience.
The Business Benefits of Digital Customer Experience
Early adopters of digital customer experience strategies received business benefits. In fact, 84% of the companies that invested in a CX upgrade experienced an increase in revenue. However, aside from the said returns, brands can experience other long-term benefits such as:
- Higher customer retention
- Reduced customer churn rates
- Higher lifetime customer value
- Greater brand equity
- Reduced costs of service
When your customer experience shifts into the digital platform or morph into a hybrid experience along with brick-and-mortar locations, your customer lifetime value gets extended, and customer loyalty is strengthened.
As business owners, you should not forget that, at the end of the day, clients will remember the solutions that satisfy them. Your digital customer experience must reflect your response to this need right from the get-go.