Every second, Google processes over 40,000 search queries, which translates to over 2.5 billion searches per day, and 1.2 trillion searches per year. Every minute of every day, nearly 700,000 pieces of content are shared on Facebook, and 571 new websites are created. Most importantly, 67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally. The fact that consumers are going through the majority of the buyer’s journey online means that your corporate or brand’s digital customer experience is one of the most important assets in the marketing world today. In fact, it is predicted that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator (Source).
So, why is a digital customer experience strategy important for businesses? First of all, as many as 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. Additionally, research by Forrester found that the revenue impact from a 10-percentage-point improvement in a company’s customer experience score can translate into more than $1 billion.
In a real in-store shopping experience, customers tend to be more forgiving and far less quick to assign blame than in the digital world. In the digital world, the blame for a bad experience is immediately put on the organization and as a result of the digital revolution, customers ultimately have higher expectations for digital experiences.
It is more important than ever that your organization delivers an online experience that supports and nurtures prospects along the entire customer journey. Being “digital” is no longer just about having a great website. Nowadays, businesses need to consider a range of touchpoints including mobile, tablets, social media, websites, apps and more.
So, how can you build a strong digital experience? Here are three of the most important keys to delivering consistently great online experiences.
Know Your Customers
Think about who your customers are:
- How old are they?
- What gender are they?
- Where do they live?
- What do they value?
- What are their challenges?
- What are their goals?
- What do they care most about? What motivates them?
- What engages them?
- How do they want to connect with you?
Answering these questions, and mapping your customer’s journey can help you identify what is missing from their perspective and experience.
A good digital customer experience is centered on having a solid understanding of your customer, including knowing the answers to the questions above. Companies are finding that a better understanding of their customers and their journey can lead to significant business results. This means catering your customers throughout all of their interactions with your brand or organization – not just when they are ready to buy, or during and after a sale. After all, it is often the little details that your customers recall. Map your customer’s journey and cater to your customers’ touchpoints, individual problems, interests, needs, and wants. Delivering the best digital experience is ultimately about knowing your customers like the back of your hand; delivering the best experience at the right time, and through the right channels.
Keep the Experience Consistent
A consumer’s impression of a brand is made up of many individual touch points; it is the sum of every experience a consumer has with your brand. With the number of different touch points on the rise, it is important that you take into account that each interaction with your brand is a piece of the overall experience. When companies provide inconsistent digital experiences, the consumer ends up with a negative impression of the brand (…and it takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience).
Ensure all of your channels work together to create one seamless experience. Will customers pull up your website on their mobile devices or tablets and be just as pleased if they were to pull it up on their desktop? 9 out of 10 consumers expect a consistent cross-channel experience, but 87% feel brands need to put more effort into providing a seamless experience (Source). Consistency is the key to making your customers happy, and turning them into loyal ambassadors.
Evolve the Experience
How do companies constantly redefine and evolve desired experiences to meet and exceed their customers’ expectations? The shift to digital has created a unique opportunity for companies to measure, analyze, experiment and tweak in real-time. By digging into digital analytics, you can tap into trends, and gain detailed data driven insights and perceptions to apply to your evolving digital experience.
Companies can continuously learn from the actions and behaviors of their consumers, and evolve the experience to match it. Use your customer data to anticipate the behavior of your customers, and plan for the future, instead of just reacting to what your customers are doing right now.
By 2020, the demand for an omnichannel customer experience will be amplified by the need for nearly perfect execution (Source). Sure, it can be hard to deliver a consistent experience and redefine your digital experience in real time. Especially given that the underlying technology ecosystems have grown more complex due to new communication channels. But, if you take advantage of the platforms out there it can be much more doable. One example of a digital experience platform is Liferay. The Liferay Digital Experience Platform (DXP) is designed to help companies create and manage experiences that support the end-to-end customer relationship. With Liferay DXP, digital innovation leaders can enable every business unit in the enterprise to serve the customer consistently, by integrating deeply with business operations and continuously building a better understanding of the customer with every interaction.