Five Ways to Profit from Digital Experience Management (DXM)


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Imagine you’re running Expedia, which serves millions of travel shoppers each month. is a complex web site. How would you improve the user experience and increase the percentage of shoppers that book online?

Let’s narrow the problem down a bit. Let’s say you want to present shoppers with hotel options in the New York Area. It’s critical to put the “best” options at the top of the list, since most users won’t do a complex search of hundreds of hotels. If your instincts told you to present the cheapest or more popular hotels first, Expedia would frustrate a lot of shoppers and lose bookings. That’s because the options most likely to meet customer demand depend on a number of factors, like real-time availability, inventory by class, rate deals, reviews, purchase frequency and more.

Expedia solved this problem by building a predictive analytics model based on the handful of factors that really mattered, out of about two dozen possibilities. Then they operationalized the model using their own proprietary technology. Result: when consumers search for New York hotels, they’re more likely to get the hotels they really want.

The Rise of Digital Experience Management

This is just one example of a growing trend I’ve dubbed Digital Experience Management (DXM), which means applying Customer Experience Management (CEM) concepts to our increasingly digital world.

CEM, a mega trend of the past few years, is about designing and delivering experiences that create positive emotion and drive loyal customer attitudes and behaviors. In contrast to CRM, it’s more about value delivery, and not just about automating touchpoints.

The digital experience is becoming critical as more and more consumers execute at least part of their buying process online, using Google, social media and retailer web sites. Apple’s iPhone, introduced just six years ago, has transformed the mobile experience for many shoppers. Now “showrooming” is a very real threat for traditional retailers, because consumers can check prices online while in a real store.

While digital experiences are growing in frequency and importance, it’s still only part of the complete CX that includes all touchpoints. For example, when I was shopping for a new barbeque grill, I searched online, read dozens of user reviews and visited several vendor web sites to make my decision. Then I bought it online at Home Depot’s web site, and picked it up at a local store.

Here are five ways your business can benefit from DXM:

  1. Understand what really drives consumer behavior. Some web sites will pop up a survey invitation and ask for a rating after a web site visit. Others will use analytics to assess whether the visit was a success. Both approaches have merit, but they should be connected. In my barbeque buying experience, I chose mainly because of its offline capability: local pickup.
  2. Include the complete digital experience. That includes search, social media and other sites not directly controlled. SEO and SEM techniques can help engage with more searchers and lead them to the retailer’s web site. Post-purchase experiences might include online self-service, warranty registration, etc. DXM shouldn’t be just another name for increasing online purchase conversion rates.
  3. Fix your website! In 2012, Forrester Research concluded that far too many websites subject users to poor experiences, considering value, navigation, presentation, and trust. Only 3% got a passing grade in all four categories. The most common problem is downright embarrassing: text not legible. Web content management (WCM) vendors can help provide a dynamic infrastructure to serve up relevant content in a pleasing design.
  4. Consider digital in the context of the complete customer journey. This is a blind spot of UX/WCM experts, who are mainly concerned about the customer experience (CX) delivered via the web or mobile device. But the complete CX includes non-digital components such as store visits, order delivery, customer service calls, and more. In some cases (e.g. Zappos call center), the human channel may have higher impact on loyalty.
  5. Solve the digital experience conundrum. Digitizing more interactions may actually hurt company efforts to differentiate based on customer experience. Why? Because most companies use technology to make customer interactions more efficient, consistent and less memorable. Do you remember your last visit to the ATM? Think about which role digital technology should play in your strategy to delight customers: lead, supporting or behind the scenes.

Creating delight isn’t easy with digital interaction channels, but it’s essential if you want customers who are genuinely loyal to your brand, not just your website or mobile app.


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