A digital customer experience strategy is foundational for supporting overall customer experience through channels where consumers spend most of their time — online, on websites and mobile apps.
Brands with industry-leading customer experience (CX) succeed by taking every touchpoint in the customer journey into account, creating an unrivaled digital experience (DX) that spans the channels where consumers spend most of their time.
Websites and mobile applications aren’t solely digital extensions of a brand anymore. Consumers now turn to digital channels as their primary mode of interaction with the companies they’re considering purchasing from. In 2021, Salesforce Research indicated that 60% of customer-brand interactions were online rather than in-person. By the year 2024, digital channels are expected to make up 54% of all commerce revenue generated.
Consumers want to find information and make purchases in an instant, without any barriers throughout their buying journeys that hurt conversions and drive churn. When customers encounter broken links, website error messages, long queues for chat support, or sluggish load times in a mobile app, customer loyalty and retention are more likely to struggle. As a result, brands can’t expect referrals from disappointed (or angry) customers to bring new business in.
If a brand falls short with its digital experience strategy, a potential customer will move on to the competitor who is offering consistent, personalized experiences. This is why businesses are investing heavily in digital experience strategy as part of a broader customer experience strategy.
Here’s what a digital customer experience strategy is, how to build a strategy for DX, and why you need a strategy targeting experiences across digital channels to achieve business success.
A digital customer experience strategy is an overarching plan designed to optimize interactions with customers across digital touchpoints to ensure cohesion and remove points of friction across the customer journey.
In order to gain insights, a digital experience strategy relies on a variety of tools — customer surveys, pulse surveys, text analytics, speech analytics, heatmaps, and much more. Everything comes together to ultimately monitor and improve overall customer experience.
Brands investing in a digital customer experience strategy benefit when it comes to strengthening customer engagement, bolstering brand reputation, and increasing revenue.
Let’s take a look at the reasons why you need to prioritize having a strategy for digital experience as an integral part of a successful customer experience program.
Consumers know what they like (and dislike), and even the least tech-savvy people can find their way around a website or app to research products or services before ultimately completing a purchase. So it’s important to deliver digital experiences that are consistent, personalized, and efficient.
By meeting customer expectations with a digital customer experience strategy, you’ll boost customer satisfaction (CSAT) and loyalty no matter where or when the interaction occurs.
Making a good customer experience doesn’t happen by accident. It’s the result of thoughtful, orchestrated efforts throughout an organization — from the front lines to the boardroom, where every employee understands how they impact CX. Without alignment and coordination, it’s nearly impossible to meet customer expectations.
With digital’s rise to dominance, brand awareness, trust, and reputation are all built upon a company’s digital presence.
To ensure the best outcomes in growing visibility, consideration, and credibility among new and returning customers, businesses need to provide a seamless experience across digital channels — the kind that results from a well-thought-out digital customer experience strategy.
By capturing feedback and customer signals across your organization’s website, mobile app, and online forms in real time, you have the chance to understand what might be having a negative impact on your brand identity, loop in the right teams, and intervene right away to address root-cause issues and improve things for all customers moving forward.
Today’s consumers are digital-first consumers, especially if you look at Gen Z and Millennials. Both demographics are using channels such as chatbots and text messaging to connect with their favorite brands. Other generations, too, are turning to these channels for communications and interactions due to convenience.
As more consumers come online, it presents the opportunity for a brand to serve customers regardless of location. In turn, this means more opportunities to generate revenue.
Sure, every brand can offer a website or a mobile app. But they’re not all created equal. Businesses that have a digital customer experience strategy continuously optimize digital channels to deliver experiences with personalization for each customer. Instead of all customers seeing the same homepage or recommendations, each customer receives an individualized experience relevant to their preferences.
Customer engagement increases as a result, and it becomes much easier to move a customer to make a transaction.
Customer experience management (CEM) software is a must-have for any organization seeking to align a CX program and a digital customer experience strategy. You can’t play a guessing game to figure out what consumers’ behaviors and preferences are, but a featured-packed CEM software platform figures this out automatically by utilizing customer feedback and a variety of other signals.
Using CEM software to guide a digital customer experience strategy draws actionable, data-driven insights from the wealth of data a business captures. It arms CX leaders with the information they need to make decisions and align with customers’ wants, needs, and expectations.
When change is a constant, your company needs to know what’s important to customers at any given moment — and before the competition.
By listening to digital customers across your website, mobile app, support channels, and social media (with a social listening strategy) as conversations and interactions are unfolding, you’ll tune into emerging trends and changing market conditions, staying one step ahead of other industry players, and use these insights to roll out innovations that fuel immediate improvements and long-term success.
Prioritizing digital experience pays off in a variety of ways. For one, digital experiences, self-service options, and support channels are typically more cost-effective than other traditional customer channels (such as in-person and phone calls). Digital customer experience technologies also help brands identify cost-savings opportunities, such as tweaks that can be made to agent training, agent scripts, company policies, or digital experiences to reduce contact center call volumes and minimize churn.
Complicated website navigation experiences, landing pages that keep crashing, mobile app buttons that simply don’t work, self-service options that are too hard to find or understand, and live chat sessions that take too long to get resolved aren’t just frustrating for the end user. Each is an issue preventing customers from completing purchases. No purchases, no sales revenue.
When companies with a digital customer experience strategy have the systems, tools, and people in place to uncover breakdowns in experiences and implement fixes, they have the power to deliver higher conversion rates, making revenue gains a reality.
With the increase in revenue, it allows a business to achieve a better return on investment (ROI) for its CEM software platform and everything invested into developing a digital customer experience strategy.
Customer experience initiatives succeed only when an organization invests in and integrates a digital customer experience strategy, creating a connected experience that’s consistent across digital channels and offline touchpoints. Connected experiences are essential to meeting expectations, boosting loyalty, and accelerating business outcomes.
Building a successful digital customer experience strategy requires ensuring all initiatives related to a company’s websites, mobile apps, and other digital experiences are customer-centric, with the customer at the heart of every key decision. It takes measuring the impact of digital experience efforts, using customer experience metrics — such as net promoter score (NPS®) and digital experience Score (DXS®) — and validating whether new tactics and approaches are having the desired impact and increasing customer satisfaction, loyalty, engagement and, most importantly, revenue.