Today, the markets around the world are highly competitive, and price and quality can no longer serve as key differentiators for brands who wish to survive the digital era.
As customers move online, brands are being forced to change their business models and adapt to the evolving needs of the ‘always-connected-customer’ who demands a seamless digital experience and is ready to pay for it.
In a survey by Salesforce, 67% of customers said that their standard for a good experience is higher than it has ever been. In addition, 76% of customers expect companies to understand their expectations and what they need.
And what do customers expect today? A perfect digital experience, that’s all!
Don’t believe us?
These stats will change your mind:
- 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
- 56% of consumers say ‘the overall enjoyment of the purchase experience’ influences their decision to buy a product or service.
- Experience-Driven Businesses report between 1.6x – 1.9x higher YoY growth in customer retention, repeat purchase rates, average order value, and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) than other companies.
The Importance of a Seamless Digital Experience
The digital customer experience can be defined as a combination of all the digital interactions a customer has with a brand. This can range from browsing a brand’s website on mobile to interacting with the brand on social media to interacting with live support on the brand’s homepage.
According to Deloitte, “Every consumer wants a different experience when shopping and that ‘experience’ has become the differentiating factor for many successful business models. However, businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to predict what consumers want as their expectations continue to change.”
In the same report, Deloitte reveals that more consumers are purchasing products online as compared to brick and mortar stores. At the same time, the consumers are also growing “less tolerant of brands that do not provide an easy and seamless experience.”
In short, providing a consistent customer experience across various digital touch-points could be the key to your customers’ hearts!
How to Offer a Great Digital Customer Experience?
Netflix, Uber, Apple, Amazon – these brands are continuously setting the bar when it comes to digital-first experiences. From free streaming to taxi-on-app to real-time delivery updates on Alexa, these brands have led not only via innovation but also by offering delightful customer experiences across multiple touch points.
Of course, you may not have pockets as deep as those of Amazon, but you don’t need to be cash-rich to deliver a frictionless digital experience. All you need is a customer-centric approach wherein you are ready to embrace technology and adapt your business model to meet your customers’ demands.
Here are a few tips for creating pleasurable digital experiences for your customers:
1. Understand Your Customers’ Journey
The customer journey can be defined as the sum total of the experiences you provide a user from the time they become aware of your brand to the time they remain your customers.
Today, considering that most sales are online, a large part of your customer journey relies on the digital experiences you offer your site.
But how do you judge what a customer expects from you?
The answer lies in understanding your customers better and segmenting them to create personalized digital experiences for them.
Start with your CRM software to dig out existing information about clients and try to answer the following questions:
- Who are your customers? You can use data analytics to segment them based on gender, location, income, job title, etc.
- What are their preferred social media hangouts?
- What do they enjoy doing?
- Why would they wish to purchase a product from you?
- How will your customers find your business?
- How do your customers research before buying your product?
- What is the preferred payment mode of your customers?
- Do your customers prefer a specific device to purchase over others?
- Any particular reason that causes them to abandon their cart?
Once you can answer these questions, you’d be able to predict your customers’ journey and deliver a more personalized experience on your site.
2. Focus on Mobile
In modern times, mobile forms an inherent part of the digital experience. According to research, over 65% of users between 18 and 44 years of age use their mobile to search for services more than once every month. Additionally, 52% of customers would prefer not to engage with a company because of a bad mobile experience.
However, optimizing your site for mobile is not enough. It is crucial to offer a similar experience on your website and mobile, both in terms of design and support. Unfortunately, 90% of customers have reported a negative experience while seeking support on mobile.
3. Deliver an Omnichannel Experience
According to Marketweek, “15 years ago, the average consumer typically used two touch points when buying an item and only 7% regularly used more than four. Today, consumers use an average of almost six touch-points with nearly 50% using more than four regularly.”
And thus, a pressing need for businesses to adopt an omnichannel approach arose.
Unfortunately, most companies invest in a multi-channel experience which is not really omnichannel. For example, you may have a website, blog, and social media presence, which you use to connect with and engage your customers. However, do you also provide your customers with a seamless and consistent experience across each one of these channels?
An omnichannel experience considers every touch point a consumer may use to interact with your company to deliver an integrated experience through consistent messaging, design, and support across every channel and device.
The benefits of this approach are many.
According to Aberdeen Group, companies with robust omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain up to 89% of their customers as compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies.
Substantiating this claim is another report by Accenture that found 89% of customers feel frustrated because they need to repeat their issues to multiple representatives. No wonder, 87% of customers expect brands to work harder to create a seamless experience.
4. Improve Your Customer Support with Advanced Technology Software
With technology, the expectations of your customers are also evolving, and they no longer wish to wait for anything, be it delivery or customer support.
A recent PwC survey indicates that customers are willing to pay as much as 16% extra for better service and consider speed and efficiency as the cornerstones of their experience. Yet, while businesses have done enough to ensure speedy and efficient delivery, prompt customer service remains a weak point that could be damaging their CX immensely.
Fortunately, with advanced customer support technologies such as live chat, you can connect with your customers in real time and solve their queries instantly. Acquire live chat can also be integrated with extra features such as co-browsing that can improve your first call resolution by 18% and decrease call handling time by 14%.
Research suggests that 63% of consumers are more likely to return to a website that offers live chat. Besides, live chat enables your staff to engage more than one customer at a time, making it almost 50% cheaper than handling phone calls. That’s quite a saving, isn’t it?
Another way you can use technology to deliver better digital customer experience is by creating self-service options for support on your web and mobile sites. You can include an elaborate FAQ section or invest in a chatbot that can solve consumer queries and collect lead information 24/7 for your business.
Did you know that 29% of customer service positions could be automated through chatbots, leading to $23 billion in savings for US businesses?
5. Speed Up Your Website
Every second is precious. That’s precisely why you need to make your website fast enough, as an increase in page loading time also increases your bounce rate.
According to Maile Ohye at Google, “2 seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under half a second.”
Well, half a second may be difficult to achieve, but you must try to keep your page loading speed under 2 seconds for best results. You can use Google Page Speed Insights to check the actual speed of your site.
6. Offer a Personalized Experience
Aberdeen Group suggests that businesses that use predictive analytics generate 2X customer lifetime value because they have all the necessary information to satisfy customer expectations. Such data can help you create personalized experiences as it reveals the history of your buyers and their needs and expectations.
In addition to passively analyzing how your customers interact with your site, you can also make use of automated tools, such as live chat, contact forms, online surveys, etc. on your site to gather feedback to improve your B2B customer experience.
7. Train Your Agents
Automation is one of the most significant changes brought about by digital transformation. However, everything cannot be automated. Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, your end customers are always humans who have emotions and specific expectations that technology may not be able to fulfil at all times.
For example, self-service options are preferred by businesses and customers. But, many customers feel more confident about buying from a company that offers live chat support.
Thus, the trained support staff is still your biggest asset despite all the automation in the industry. Most companies, in fact, use automated tools to sieve through queries and collect information that can be used by their support staff to provide effective and speedy solutions to clients.
Providing an integrated, frictionless digital experience to your customers could be the differentiating factor for your business in the years to come. The strategies mentioned above would certainly help you connect with your customers better, leading to higher engagement and conversions. If you have any more tips to add to this list, we’d love to hear you out in the comment section below.