Today’s customers want fast, straightforward, and personalized interactions with brands — both offline and online. While in the past it’s been easier for brands to meet these demands via in-person channels, digital innovators are making great strides to advance experiences offered via apps and websites, and if you want to meet your customers’ expectations and strengthen your customer retention, it’s time for you to do the same.
4 Steps to Take to Improve the Digital Experience
When you’re physically engaging with a brand in a store, restaurant, or hotel, it’s easy for employees to embody a brand’s values with how they communicate, their expressions, and their tone of voice. Not only that, they can also read and react to your body language. They’re immediately able to tell if you’re angry, happy, or confused and respond appropriately. If you’re a regular there, they know you and can anticipate what you want. Achieving this same level of attentiveness and personalization via digital channels is not only possible — it’s required, and here’s how to get started.
#1: Learn more about your customers.
Why are they interested in your brand? Where are they in their customer journey? Why are they visiting your brand’s digital channels? How did they find your company? Have they seen and clicked on one of your paid marketing campaigns or are they a long-time customer who is angry that this month’s bill is 13% higher than last month’s? The more information you can gather about your customers’ behaviors and intentions, using digital feedback and experience analytics tools, the better that you can curate your digital experiences to meet their needs and expectations.
#2: Use customer insights to your advantage.
Once you figure out where your customers are in their customer journeys, how they found your brand, and how they’re interacting with your digital channels, you can then use these insights to create powerful segments, or cohorts of users with similar behaviors, interests, or customer lifecycle stages, such as prospects vs. repeat customers, or promoter customers vs. detractor customers.
Developing your key segments provides a critical foundation for fostering effective — and personalized — digital experiences. Since no two segments are exactly alike, looking for the same things, or motivated by the same factors, no two segments’ digital experiences should be exactly alike either.
For instance, your team may decide to present a certain type of marketing campaign to a segment of engaged prospects that leads them on a specific journey on your website, whereas you may choose to highlight a different campaign showcasing personalized, relevant offers — designed to reinspire loyalty — to a segment of current customers who are at risk of churning.
#3: Measure the digital customer experience in real-time and track how it’s impacting the overall business.
Use your digital feedback and experience analytics tools to set up alerts to be notified the moment customers indicate frustrated behavior on your website, so you immediately know when something’s not working and can quickly bring in the right teams to intervene. Be sure to share these insights with cross-channel teams, so everyone is on the same page and you can pinpoint how these issues may be impacting other areas of the business. For instance, it’s important to loop in agents within your organization’s contact center, so they’re prepared to help when customers reach out for additional support and so they can share intel from the contact center about how these problems are affecting customer satisfaction.
Use these learnings to improve, innovate, and become the kind of brand that responds to and evolves with its customers.
#4: Streamline digital experiences across different business units to ensure ease of use for customers.
When you are working with multiple business units, multiple brands, or across geographies standardization is a must.
Start by monitoring and assessing how your business units are performing against one another when it comes to digital customer experience. How are your digital channels making transactions easier for customers across units? How are your channels driving more conversions and task completions? Benchmark these impact units to evaluate your company’s digital customer experience performance across the business.
As you uncover opportunities to make improvements, it’s important to standardize how you prioritize your digital customer experience optimization efforts. Ensure you’re focusing on the right things across every business unit, including how your company:
- Responds to feedback
- Engages customers
- Communicates with and markets to segments
- Takes action based on digital experience insights
Wherever you are on your journey to improving the digital experience for your customers, be patient with yourself. Remember that accomplishing all of the steps laid out here will take time and that many brands are only just getting started with the basics of digital experience — collecting customer feedback and observing digital behaviors during key moments of the online journey, and then acting on that feedback and those behaviors, possibly in the moment.
Delivering next-level personalization like the kind customers are used to experiencing in person requires taking a step-by-step approach and making a commitment to continuously advance your organization’s digital maturity over time.
Most likely, it will take your organization a while to ramp up to what’s needed to unlock the level of humanization that customers expect online, but once you do, you should see great payoffs in the form of stronger customer conversions, loyalty, retention, and satisfaction.