Customers have high expectations when engaging with a brand online. They expect a seamless customer journey and have little patience for disjointed interfaces and interactions. The process of improving the digital customer experience also helps to improve processes for all stakeholders within the business. And in fact, many organizations begin their own digital transformation when they begin to improve their customers' digital experience.
In this article, we’ll explain what the digital customer experience is, how it can be improved, and why these improvements can have a positive impact on the digital transformation of a business.
What is a digital customer experience?
The digital customer experience is the overall impression that customers have with a business based on their sum of all digital interactions with it. Unlike the broader customer experience that encompasses all touch points with a business—digital and physical—the digital customer experience focuses specifically on how customers perceive the digital presence.
The digital customer experience happens in all online channels, including but not limited to websites, mobile apps, email, social media, consumer messaging apps, online customer service, automated marketing content, and blogs.
While the digital customer experience is impacted by technology that enables it, there’s a much broader set of business and operational requirements that come into play. This involves everything from strategy to marketing to customer service.
Who owns the digital experience?
Most consumers don’t take time to distinguish between a digital or non-digital experience with a business. Rather, they want to find the easiest, most frictionless way to get the information they need and make a purchase decision.
Because of this, there is no single department or person that owns the digital customer experience, and stakeholders from across the organization must ensure the customer is getting the best possible experience whenever and wherever possible.
The stakeholders and their priorities are as follows:
Sales: The sales team should ensure that sales landing pages properly reflect their sales messages, and contact forms and communication channels are easy to use. The back-end systems should be integrated to minimize the time that potential customers must wait for a response from a sales representative.
Marketing: The marketing team must ensure that online content and promotions provide a seamless flow from external marketing channels to the service itself. Marketing campaigns will likely also provide valuable data and feedback from customers on how the service can be improved and tuned to better fit customer interests.
Customer service: Like sales, the customer service team needs to ensure that existing customers can easily submit issues to them, and cases are processed promptly to provide customers with quick responses. Automated solutions can help expedite these processes.
Strategy: Strategy affects all aspects of the business, so stakeholders here must work closely with the various teams that implement the operational changes that affect customer-facing experiences.
IT: The members of the IT department will likely be working to stitch together all of these different systems, processes, and integrations, so they must be involved with all of these efforts early in the planning stages to ensure that they correctly understand the purpose and intent of the things they’re implementing.
Digital customer experience & digital transformation
Nearly half of all companies surveyed in a recent PwC study said efforts to improve customer experience and customer satisfaction prompted a digital transformation in their businesses. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 40% of all data analytics projects relate to an aspect of customer experience.
To provide a consistent and high-quality customer experience across all digital channels, a business must begin to integrate technology systems across the company, ensure compatibility, and begin automating many customer-facing systems. This digital transformation changes how businesses interact not only with their customers, but also with vendors, employees, contractors, and all other stakeholders.
For example, improving customer experience often requires migrating on-premise databases to the cloud so that websites and other services can access them outside of a firewalled corporate network. By doing so, internal operations can also move more processes to the cloud, which allows the business to modernize how people interact with their IT systems.
Improve digital experience, promote digital transformation
Because digital customer experience improvements impact other aspects of the business, many people should have a voice in how the changes are implemented.
Improvements should be based on how the customer makes their journey through the service and different systems, so it’s important to identify key components of this process and how they influence customers' perception and brand loyalty.
It’s also important to consider which devices customers use. For many businesses, the majority of customers engage with a mobile device, and therefore the business and its systems should be optimized for the mobile experience. In addition to an easy-to-use app, the mobile website, social media, messaging, and customer service experiences should all be optimized for mobile.
Customer experience improvements should be data driven. Collect reviews from customers about their positive and negative experiences, provide opportunities for customers to give unsolicited feedback, and gather and track metrics about the user experience to diagnose issues and locate bottlenecks.
By taking all these considerations into account and providing the customer with a seamless experience between all your different systems and channels, you’ll also have an IT organization that has been modernized to accommodate these improvements — better integrations, cloud migrations, and comprehensive analytics and reporting.
Improve the digital experience with the right platform
Improving the digital experience is a process that requires feedback and planning from stakeholders across the organization. It also requires technical systems that can properly integrate and track how customers engage with your business. Adobe Experience Cloud provides all the tools necessary to track customers through all channels and understand how they’re flowing through their customer journey. Learn more about how Adobe Experience Cloud can help your business improve its digital customer experience.