Building a robust digital customer experience strategy in 3 steps

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As we emerge from the pandemic into a geopolitical crisis that is fueling inflation and shortages worldwide, the economic and competitive environment will become increasingly challenging in the coming months and years. Therefore, having a robust digital customer experience strategy that delivers both improved customer outcomes and business results will become an imperative.

GetFeedback recently asked me to run a virtual workshop, CX Connections, to address this very imperative and outline what steps brands need to take to build a robust digital customer experience strategy.

The need to have a a robust digital customer experience strategy has always been there. The pandemic didn’t change that.

It did, however, dramatically change the landscape. Organisations have accelerated their digital transformation efforts beyond what they previously imagined was possible, with many reporting that they had achieved ten years worth of digital transformation in the space of 24 months. At the same time, three-quarters of customers report that they have tried and are likely to stick with new digital purchasing habits.

Now, while research suggests that while the pace of this change will slow, e-commerce’s share of total retail spending is set to increase.

That’s both a problem and an opportunity.

It’s a problem because e-commerce operations are full of waste, which is illustrated by research that shows that the average e-commerce conversion rate globally is 3.29%, and the average cart abandonment rate is 80%.

But, these figures also illustrate the huge opportunity available to e-commerce brands if they have the right strategies and practices in place.

To capitalise on that opportunity, brands should follow the example of experience leaders that tend to do the following things well:

Step 1: Clearly define your vision

Experience leaders are very clear on where they are going and how they will get there. They also tie everything they do back to business and financial objectives to prove their initiatives’ RoI.

When we asked the attendees if they had a clear experience strategy tied to financial objectives, shockingly, 12.5% of the attendees said that they didn’t have any strategy in place. We were slightly relieved when we found out that 9.4% of attendees said that they did have a clear strategy in place that was linked to financial objectives. But, with the most significant remaining group (59.4%) of attendees reporting that while they had a strategy in place, they were still struggling to prove RoI, this shows that there is still much work to do.

Step 2: Gather feedback

Secondly, experience leaders use feedback, journey mapping and other tools to help them get to know and understand their customers better.

When we asked attendees about this, surprisingly, 20.0% of attendees reported that they were still taking a very immature and reactive approach to customer feedback and were only jumping into action if they got a good or bad score. Thankfully, 20% reported that they had a more mature programme and set of practices in place and were closing the loop with their customers by gathering feedback, analysing and acting on it and keeping them informed along the way. But, similar to the numbers seen in the previous question, that left a majority (56%) of attendees reporting that they still had work to do to achieve maturity in this area of their business.

Step 3: Remove friction

Thirdly, experience leaders consistently and continuously identify and remove grit from their customer’s experience. They do this because they know that things are not static and things change. Therefore, they are constantly testing, measuring and learning as they pursue their goal of enabling their customer to have a great experience.

In summary, to succeed in a competitive and increasingly tightening economic environment, brands need to:

  1. Get clear on their vision and experience strategy and how it supports the achievement of their business’ financial objectives, as that is the only way that they will be able to demonstrate RoI, and
  2. Not only gather feedback from customers but also act on it. The workshop attendees are not alone in this. A recent poll on LinkedIn found that 53% of participants cited taking action on any feedback as the most significant barrier to them closing the loop. However, those that do are likely to reap the rewards that come from gaining a better understanding of their customers and an ability to consistently and continuously improve their customer’s experience.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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