Digital Customer Experience – How to Get It Right?
A few months ago, I read this post on LinkedIn written by Karthik Subramanian.
I am writing this verbatim here.
A few months back, one of my close friends stayed with her family at the upscale Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai.
A night’s stay at the hotel can cost a fortune.
But you haven’t really lived if you haven’t experienced the hospitality at the Taj.
And boy, how did they experience it?
A little background to the story.
My friend’s mother carries with her a small idol of the deity she worships. I’ve noticed her keeping the idol in a clean place and offering prayers to it every day.
Back to the story now.
After checking into the hotel, the family stepped out to experience Mumbai in close quarters.
But, when they returned, they had a surprise waiting for them.
The room service staff at the Taj Mahal hotel had come in to clean their room in their absence.
Before leaving, one of the attendants had ensured to place the deity on a spotless, white tablecloth. He’d even meticulously decorated it with fresh crimson rose petals.
It was a sight to behold.
The deity was a precious possession of my friend’s mom. So, when she saw it so tastefully done, she was lost for words.
The biggest aura is created with the simplest gestures. If you’re looking to create great customer experiences, start from the basics.
Now that we understand what a good customer experience is let us look at digital customer experience.
What Is Digital Customer Experience?
The digital customer experience (DCX) is a total of all the online interactions a customer has with your brand – website, chatbots, texts, email, video, mobile apps, social media, and any other channels where the touchpoint is virtual.
A few things to look at in the digital customer experience include:
- Is the entire customer journey frictionless?
- Is it easy to ask for help?
- Is it easy to place an order, change an order, or return a purchase?
Every interaction adds to the brand’s experience, from shopping carts to the contact us forms to the nudges you get to complete your purchase. You will have to be cognizant of what your customers want and expect.
What stories do you want those who experience them to share?
Let me give you an example.
I bought a water softener from an online portal a few years ago.
It said it would remove salts from the water, prevent scaling of the floor, and reduce hair loss and skin itching.
I started using it, and in three days, I realized that it wasn’t doing what it claimed it did.
So, I returned to the portal and requested to return the product.
They had a no questions asked policy.
They arranged for the pick up of the water softener and returned the money to my account.
The experience was so simple.
After a week or so, they sent me a customer feedback form asking for my feedback to see if they should continue to have this product in their catalog.
Customers are used to these experiences and the experiences provided by brands like Netflix, Amazon, and Apple.
They expect a similar kind of experience from every brand they encounter.
Why Is Digital Customer Experience Important?
How often have you turned to a competitor because you didn’t like the service or the experience with your incumbent provider?
That is the power of customer experience.
Let us look at some of the upsides of providing excellent customer experiences.
- A PWC report found that a great digital customer experience guarantees a higher share of wallets. 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience
- According to PWC, customers are willing to pay a price premium of up to 13% and as high as 18% for luxury and indulgence services simply by receiving a great customer experience
- According to hobo web, the probability of bounce increases by 32% if a customer has to wait just one to three seconds for your page to load. 50% of people are likely to abandon your website if it doesn’t load in less than three seconds
- Researchers at Microsoft found that a website starts losing traffic to competitors if it takes just 250 milliseconds longer to load
Customers today prefer digital experiences, and most organizations have started to follow the digital-first strategy because of this customer preference.
Besides, digital gives you access to many metrics that you can use to enhance your digital customer experiences.
- Traffic – the total number of site or page visits in a given time
- Page view – the total number of pages viewed
- Unique page views – the number of visitors who have viewed a specific page at least once during a visit
- Average time on page – the average amount of time users spend viewing a specific page or screen or set of pages or screens
- Bounce rate – the percentage of single-page visits or the number of visits in which people left your website from the single page they visited
- Shopping cart abandonment – the percentage of people who have left your portal after adding products to their cart or at the checkout page
- Frequently asked queries – access to the questions that your customers repeatedly ask
- Usability issues – adoption and usability issues for your customers after they have paid money to buy your product or service
- Customer complaints – you can access and mine all the customer complaints on social and digital media to address them as well as respond to them positively
Now that we understand the importance of digital customer experiences, how do you manage them?
How Do You Manage Digital Customer Experience (DCX)?
You will have to get a few things right before you can delight your customers with your digital customer experience. They are:
- Understand your customers’ needs, wants, desires, and expectations.
- Identify different customer personas and their preferred digital channels before manning them with your best resources
- Be sure of your self-service capabilities. Let that be 100% efficient. Trust me that no intelligence is better than spotty intelligence. Don’t put out anything spotty
- Cover every type of customer as a part of your customer journey – from someone who has just visited your website to someone who has paid to become your customer
It would be best to have this in place before you could ramp up your digital customer experience efforts.
Here is a list of tools and capabilities to help ramp up your digital customer experience efforts.
Customers can reach your customer service or experience function through various digital channels.
Do your agents have a single view of your customers across all the digital channels – website, chatbots, texts, email, video, mobile apps, social media, and any other channels where the touchpoint is virtual?
With omnichannel capabilities, all your channels are integrated, and customers don’t have to repeat themselves at any point during their interactions, irrespective of the channel they choose to communicate.
It allows you to support your customers without them having to interact with a representative from your organization.
70% of customers now expect a company’s website to include a self-service application. In fact, 40% of customers now prefer self-service over human contact.
And a study by Dimension Data estimates that 73% of customers prefer to use a company’s website instead of using social media, SMS, and live chat for support.
The most common types of self-service include Portals, Mobile, Chatbots and AI, Kiosks, IVR, and forums.
Most common scenarios can be quickly addressed by self-service.
Look at these scenarios.
- Do most of your customers call you because they forget their passwords?
- Do your customers not know how to claim their insurance?
- Do your customers contact you because they don’t find the ‘book appointment’ button on your website?
- Do your customers don’t find their favorite payment options?
Personalize product recommendations to your customers based on the user’s location, shopping, and browsing history.
The biggest obstacle for most online businesses is abandoned shopping carts.
A slight nudge in the form of a text or an email asking them to complete the abandoned shopping results in 20 to 30% conversions.
An offer around the abandoned items and further recommendations result in additional 20 to 30% conversions.
How so simple.
If only we could proactively nudge and send offers.
You need to personalize the shopping experience throughout the buyer’s journey based on different variables.
I buy shirts from an e-commerce portal. For me, the biggest concern is the size chart that everyone has.
So, I choose this particular portal because, apart from the regular size chart, they provide information on the shirt’s length and sleeve length.
Besides, they have a no questions asked return policy for 14 days.
It is very important to provide precise product information and images to make people comfortable purchasing.
A friend of mine runs an asset management company, and they are very good at what they do. They consistently make money for their customers.
Despite making money for their customers, their go-to-market wasn’t going great. That’s when they realized that their customer segment wanted a mobile app through which they could invest, not through the web portal.
They got their mobile app, and their business has been growing exponentially.
They are not even an e-commerce site.
Imagine how much impact it would have on your e-commerce site if you didn’t have a mobile strategy.
Most digital purchases are impulsive in nature. 30% of my purchases on portals are based on the recommendations provided by the e-commerce vendor.
Video customer experience has become the favorite of customers to interact with brands. For instance, video interactions can quickly handle KYCs and product adoption challenges.
Any feature upgrade in the product can be demonstrated to customers through videos. The customers will get first-hand knowledge of the updates and product improvements through this effortlessly.
Customers’ biggest concern about buying from any vendor is the support they’d receive.
- What happens if a faulty product is delivered?
- What happens when the product doesn’t do what it says it’d do? What is the return policy?
- The product says that it has a warranty for one year. When there are issues, what do I do?
There would be a lot more unanswered questions in the minds of consumers.
How do you ease all of these concerns?
It is by having an easy way for them to reach you.
The best possible solution would be for you to provide live chat support. The customers can talk to chat support; if the need arises, they can be directed to a live agent.
This would give them all the confidence to buy from you.
Up Your Social Media Game
You must respond positively or negatively to every social media post about your brand.
How do you do that?
There are hundreds of tools that can help mine the social media platforms for mentions about your brand. You can pick and choose what is appropriate for your brand and mine social media to your advantage.
Once you engage with people and their comments, they tend to look at your brand favorably.
After all, who doesn’t want to be noticed?
Customer experience today has become the differentiator in the market. Customers today are not satisfied with a great product offering or attractive pricing – they want exemplary service and experience to go with it.
More so in this age, where customers expect everything to be digital, and organizations are adopting a digital-first strategy.
The demography that buys today is exposed to the customer experience from leaders like Amazon, Apple, and Netflix, and they expect a similar experience with you as well.
So, up your digital customer experience (DCX) game with the tips and capabilities mentioned in this article.