In 2020 it is customers that have the power. Yes, they can choose whether to continue with their purchase or go elsewhere – a decision usually based on their experience of interacting with your business.
Indeed, we can deduce that the customer experience or CX is one of the most important aspects of business success. To that end, it is vital to optimize these interactions not only IRL but also in the digital realm, thus ensuring that the CX is as positive as possible – a topic you can get the scoop on below.
The value of good customer experience
CX affects all of the people that have interaction with your business. From the most loyal customers that have been with your brand for years to the curious potential customer. The one that is just beginning their journey of inquiry and exploration with your brand.
There are several crucial benefits associated with good CX, including its ability to inspire longer-term customer-business relationships, and in some cases, transform customers into valuable advocates and ambassadors for your brand.
There are, however, differences between CX per se and digital CX, the latter being designed only to optimize the experience that your customers have via your online platforms such as apps, social media, mobile, and desktop.
Indeed, while some similar principles apply to both online and IRL CX, the digital version is an area of specialty in and of itself, one that requires significant skill and knowledge to master.
The good news is that the effort you expend on digital CX is handsomely rewarded. Indeed, for those customers that have a positive experience, the likelihood of recommending the brand to others they know is much higher. Combine this with the fact that a word of mouth recommendation or online review is one of the most convincing pieces of evidence potential customers need when making their buying decisions, and the value of good digital CX is obvious.
Begin with your customers’ journey
The starting point of any CX improvements your business makes needs to be the journey that your customers take. Indeed, digital customer experiences are never discrete, static events, but one part of a bigger journey that will ultimately lead them closer or further away from your brand.
Of course, for customers to progress through the journey towards your brand rather than away from it, a positive experience is vital, as is the right digital product to provide them. This means that you need to consider all the possible journeys that a customer can make to reach your business, including those looking for more information, comparing prices, looking for support, as well as making a purchase.
Also, a customer journey will have various touchpoints – intersections where they directly interact with your business, and at every one, your goal will be to optimize their experience. To that end, if you want to improve your CX, you must map your customer’s potential journeys and identify the touchpoints where you can offer value and support. Therefore ultimately building up a sense of positive regard and loyalty that will have them coming back time and time again, as well as recommending your company to others in their lives and online.
Include mobile experiences
When aiming to improve your business’s digital customer experience, you must factor in how people currently use tech. For example, ten years ago, most people would have used a desktop computer to interact with your business digitally. However, this is no longer the case. Indeed mobile device usage now surpasses desktop.
Additionally, rather than sending an email or even calling a service line, your customers are much more likely to give feedback to you via a mobile platform as well. To that end, the first way to improve your digital CX is to use a mobile-first approach.
Feedback and your customers’ digital experience
The chief source of information on how your business is performing concerning digital CX is your customers’ feedback. Indeed, before you can make your CX better, you have to know what works, what doesn’t, and how it impacts your customers’ experience. The good news is that there are several things you can do to collect and use information that your customers can provide.
The first is to welcome feedback. Unfortunately, some businesses can be wary of inviting such suggestions, often because they believe it will highlight where they have made mistakes. Of course, that is exactly the point of feedback. Indeed, rather than being afraid of it, you will need to embrace it. The reason is that it is precisely this information that will allow you to drill down to what your customers genuinely want, and therefore will enable you to provide it.
To that end, it is essential to provide a way for users to offer feedback easily and conveniently. One passive method of doing this is to use a website chat box, while another is embedding a feedback tab on every page of your site. Both of these can be great for UX as they won’t interfere with a customer’s journey and the ability to get where they are going.
However, passive feedback opportunities aren’t always the most reliable. This is because they depend on the customer deciding to offer up information, which can often mean the results skewed to those that have either particularly bad or good experiences. At the same time, those in the middle and the valuable information they can provide are left out.
To that end, some businesses choose to use a more active approach to gathering feedback that will help them optimize their digital CX. Such an approach means you insert opportunities for feedback during the customer journey, yielding a much higher volume of data.
However, an active approach is not without its challenges, either. In particular, intercepting too many customer journeys or too often within the same journey can throw up additional hurdles to their progress that the customer may not wish to navigate. Something that can stop them from reaching their original destination, such as purchasing a product and so hurt your business’s success. With that in mind, balancing an active with a passive approach to collecting feedback is usually the preferred method.
Timing is everything
It’s isn’t just asking you customers for feedback that matters here, but the moment you pick to do so. With feedback, you will be looking for in-depth detail that will allow you to make substantial changes for the better, and you will only be able to find these by asking for feedback at the specific points when things are going wrong.
Monitor and manage
The adage: ”what gets monitored gets managed,” is particularly relevant here. Indeed, tracking and diagnostics are a vital part of any plan to improve customer CX. The key here is first to monitor what your metrics are saying only, so you have data to compare to any changes you do enact. Then you will be able to see whether they are truly making a positive difference with your digital CX.
In summary, if you want to improve your business digital CX, you need to engage in three things. The first is to prioritize feedback, while the second is to know when to ask for such information. Lastly, it’s vital that you also use diagnostics to inform your improvement process to keep track of the effect the changes you make are having.