Customer experience has been essential since the dawn of retail. It’s a defining element of any retailer’s brand, including those who operate online. In fact, the rise of digital storefronts has created a subset of customer experience: digital customer experience.
Here’s what you need to know about creating a seamless digital customer experience.
What is digital customer experience?
Digital customer experience (DCX) is how customers engage with your brand online. This encompasses all digital channels, including a live chat box on your website, social media community management, your website’s user interface (UI) and user experience (UX), and more. Digital CX aims to deliver customer satisfaction by optimizing and improving the customer journey to produce the best customer experience.
An excellent digital customer experience strategy does all of the following:
- It creates a consistent omnichannel experience. Your customers should have the same experience across your brand no matter where they shop.
- It customizes interactions across digital touchpoints so customers have a positive and personal experience whenever they interact with your brand.
- It allows customers to seamlessly navigate your online channels and easily find and purchase your products.
What is the difference between DCX and customer experience?
Customer experience broadly covers all customer interactions across all your channels, whether online or in-store. Digital customer experience only includes digital interactions with your brand through your website, social media channels, email or online chat, and mobile app.
For example, handling physical returns would be part of a brand’s broader customer experience strategy, whereas managing a brand’s social community and chatbots would be DCX.
Key elements of digital customer experience and how to optimize
Businesses can improve digital customer experiences by focusing on the following areas:
You want to show that you understand your customers by knowing what’s important to them and how they interact with your brand. Target specific customer segments and keep your actions more personalized.
Customer data can help you better understand your customer to create more personalized experiences—like personalized product recommendations. You can do this using AI-powered personalization tools that surface products based on a customer’s past purchases or browsing history. You can also use tools like quizzes to help engage customers, collect data, and recommend the right product for them.
2. User-centric UI/UX
UI/UX design is the process of creating user-centric, visually appealing digital interfaces. Good UI/UX focuses on clean, clear aesthetics, intuitive navigation, and accessibility, making it easy for customers to find, compare, and buy products on your site.
You can achieve this by creating a simple website layout with a clean homepage that displays essential products without clutter. Adjustable product filters can help your customers browse quickly, preventing customers from feeling lost, distracted, or slowed down.
With seamless navigation—whether it’s grouping products in clear categories or including filtering and sorting options—you make it easier for customers to navigate your site and do business with you. The simpler it is to complete a purchase or get support, the better your customer experience will be.
3. Exceptional customer support
Chatbots can help brands offer 24/7 customer support so inquiries are answered fast. By making it easy to find information, and simple to complete a purchase or a return, you reduce the friction a customer experiences.
If customers require live support from your customer service team, the team member should actively listen, acknowledge any frustration the customer may have, apologize as necessary, and take action that matches the importance of the issue.
4. Simplified checkout process
Twenty-two percent of shoppers say that lengthy checkout processes and forms are the biggest challenges when shopping online. Consider streamlining your checkout process by reducing the number of steps. Solutions like one-click checkout make it faster for customers to make a purchase. Avoid unnecessary pop-ups or redirects in the checkout flow, as they can lead to cart abandonment and lost revenue.
Tools for enhancing digital customer experience
There are several digital technologies retailers can use to enhance their digital customer experiences:
- Personalization/recommendation engines. Ecommerce retailers can use AI to create product personalization and recommendation engines to help match customers with the products they’re searching for.
- Live chat/chatbots. Live chat and chatbots can help brands provide 24/7 customer support to answer questions and assist with product inquiries immediately.
- User testing/feedback tools. Retailers can use tools like surveys and testimonials to gather customer feedback about their products, services, shopping experience, and more.
- Customer relationship management (CRM) systems. CRM systems keep track of direct customer engagements, which allow you to personalize the customer experience.
- Analytics. Use web and social analytics tools to track how your customers find your products and what products are bestsellers, and collect demographic customer data.
How to measure the success of your digital customer experience
Businesses can measure the success of their DCX by determining if the customer achieved their goals. It can help you tell if the process was smooth and easy, or if there were roadblocks. Regularly review the following:
- Key performance indicators. Brands can look to their key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of their DCX. Increased revenue, average order value, and web visits are good signs, while an increase in customer support tickets or abandoned carts may be a bad sign. These metrics can help a brand improve its digital customer experiences.
- Customer feedback. Brands can collect and analyze customer feedback. Offer an easy way for customers to provide feedback that takes minimum effort, such as post-purchase surveys. You might use net promoter score (NPS) as an overall qualitative measure of customer satisfaction.
- A/B testing results. Conduct A/B testing on elements such as email subject lines or website homepages to determine which ones your customers resonate with.
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Digital customer experience FAQ
Can outsourcing customer support affect digital customer experience?
Outsourcing customer support can negatively affect the digital customer experience if your customer support partner isn’t well trained or delivers an experience that isn’t aligned with your brand.
What role does mobile optimization play in digital customer experience?
With an increasing number of customers shopping on their phones, it’s crucial to have a functional mobile site that offers an intuitive digital experience. Without this, you’ll likely experience a higher bounce rate, and customers won’t return to your site to purchase products.
What are the benefits of offering multichannel support in digital customer experience?
Businesses experience several benefits from offering multichannel support. By making the support process more convenient and resolving issues quickly, you can improve customer retention, reduce churn rates, and achieve a higher customer lifetime value (CLV).
Is digital customer experience a one-time effort or an ongoing process?
Businesses must continuously improve their digital customer experience. With DCX, you must embrace a culture of ongoing change and iteration to create the best experience possible.