Do you feel that disconnect?
So many businesses are – the gap between how your business operates and how your customers expect to interact with you in our digital world. It’s widening every day.
Okay, okay, we don’t mean to sound so dramatic, but this is something that all businesses should be thinking about. “Something” refers to the experience your company provides your customers.
These days, expectations are sky-high. Your customers want seamless, personalized, on-demand experiences across devices and platforms. They want to tag you in their complaint on Twitter while signing up for new services via the chatbot on your website.
They want to speak with a human over the phone and leave a support ticket at their convenience. This is the modern standard, yet you know how difficult it is when your systems and processes are still stuck in the past, struggling to keep up.
This divide is more than inconvenient – it’s an existential threat. Businesses that fail to digitize and transform their customer experience risk extinction.
Yes, exactly like the dinosaurs.
Today, we’re discussing dodging the meteor and finding a way forward. How you can unite your business and your workflow while meeting and exceeding the needs and expectations of your customers.
We’re talking about reimagining and reorienting your entire approach around your digital customer experience.
So, grab a snack (maybe a notepad and a pen), and let’s dive in. We’re covering everything there is to know.
Understanding Digital Customer Experience
We’re walking on a digital tightrope these days, aren’t we?
On one side, a precipice of archaic business models and outdated systems; on the other side, a brave new world of digitally empowered customers. The connection between the two?
That’s where the magic lies. We call this magic “The Digital Customer Experience.”
“Wait, what is that?” you ask. Glad you asked.
The digital customer experience refers to the overall sum of a customer’s interactions, perceptions, and feelings toward your brand within your digital environment. It’s not just about how your website looks or how quickly your app loads (although those do matter… a lot!).
It’s about how your customer feels using your website or app, the personalization they enjoy, the intuitive navigation they experience, the speed of the check-out process, and yes, even that heartfelt, automated “Thank you for your purchase” email.
Here’s an example.
I was recently looking to change my mobile network provider. I contacted them through the live chat on their website and was greeted by a bot. I sighed. Here we go again.
However, after selecting some onscreen options, I was quickly connected with a human in the right department who talked me through my options. I gave them my details, and they effectively said, “Hey, I know you have this plan, but we can actually give you Plan B, which is way better for your needs, has the right data, a rolling contract in case you want to cancel, and it’s cheaper.”
I loved it. A cheaper plan with everything I needed. Perfect. The representative set it all up for me there and then, and within a few minutes (about 30 minutes in total), I was signed up for a better deal, and my problem was resolved.
I was blown away, especially in the world I’m usually used to – the world where online chats and phone lines disconnect randomly, you get passed from department to department, and your question never really gets answered.
The whole experience was a pleasure, and guess what? I’m happily going to become a loyal paying customer because of it.
That’s the power of a positive customer experience.
Whatever your business, this is all about creating a customer journey that’s not only frictionless but delightful, from the moment they land on your website or download your app, through their exploration and purchase, and even beyond, to their feedback and continued engagement.
In simpler terms, it’s about making your customers feel heard, understood, and valued at every digital touchpoint.
But don’t mistake it for a one-and-done task.
The digital customer experience isn’t static – it’s an evolution fraught with continuous enhancements, improvements, and adjustments based on customer preferences, technological advancements, and market trends.
Settle down and relax? Not here, pal!
In the digital world, there’s a constant need to innovate, personalize, and optimize customer experiences. Whatever you’re not doing now, you can bet your competitors are, and with so many available tools and strategies, whoever pieces the puzzle together best is the company that will come out on top.
Can you afford to slack in such a competitive environment?
With all the various elements of your digital presence, your work is to get them playing together in perfect harmony. Your website’s user-friendly design, the ease of navigation in your app, and the efficiency of your chatbots all come together to create a memorable, positive impression of your brand.
It’s a lot to take in, we know.
But wrap your fingers tighter around that snack (and your pen), and let’s keep up the pace.
After all, the digital realm waits for no one. Let’s dig deeper and explore the benefits of digitizing customer experiences.
The Benefits of Digitizing Customer Experience
Okay, so we know what digitizing your customer experience is. It’s getting the tools, services, and digital infrastructure set up to allow your business to provide the optimal customer experience possible.
But why go through all the effort and invest in tools and training? Is the return actually worthwhile, or is this something you could probably overlook as a passing trend?
Let us be straight – you absolutely cannot afford to overlook this. Take a look:
- Over 89% of companies expect to compete mainly based on customer experience.
- 87% of consumers begin their shopping journey with digital, a jump from 71% in the previous year.
- 73% of all consumers pin “customer experience” as the most important factor in their purchasing decisions.
- 73% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and meet customer expectations.
- Businesses with strong omnichannel customer engagement see a 9.5% increase in annual revenue and a 7.5% decrease in cost per contact.
- 32% of all customers would stop doing business with a brand they love after a single poor experience.
- More than 50% of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t predict their needs accurately.
And there’s so many more.
Quite simply, embracing digital customer experience redefines the way businesses engage and interact with their customers. And the businesses that do so successfully are the ones going to thrive in the coming years.
Here’s what you can expect in return:
Greater Business Agility
At the helm of digital transformation benefits is the notable leap in business agility. These days, things happen fast, whether launching a new product, putting out a fire or PR crisis, or dealing with an issue.
When you have the right digital tools by your side, you can maintain the agility needed to remain flexible – quickly adapting to changes, be it customer preferences, market trends, or innovations in digital technology.
Digitizing your customer experience frees you from the constraints of traditional business models and equips you with the ability to respond to opportunities or challenges swiftly. It fosters a more proactive approach, enabling your business to seize opportunities swiftly, be responsive to customer feedback, and accelerate the implementation of initiatives for improved service delivery.
Empowerment of Customer Self-Service
Customers today prefer quick, easy, and hassle-free interactions – they value the power to find solutions independently.
Digitizing customer experience allows businesses to provide practical self-service tools and resources, such as interactive FAQs, chatbots, and AI-powered virtual assistants, empowering customers to find answers quickly and independently.
This not only frees up your customer service resources but also fuels customer satisfaction by giving them more control over their experiences.
Richer Data for Customer Insight
The digital realm is abundant with customer data – from browsing habits and purchase histories to feedback and reviews. Moving towards digitizing your customer experience opens doors to a treasure trove of insights about your customers, their preferences, expectations, and behaviors.
And the more data you have, the more informed you can be when making pivotal business decisions. You’ll be capable of better predicting your customer needs, anticipating their future actions, innovating your product or service offerings, and delivering personalized experiences.
All are aligned with providing a better customer experience that drives even more success.
Improved Customer Loyalty and Retention
Unsurprisingly, customer experience is all about customer satisfaction.
You’re tweaking and twisting your services to meet their needs so they’re happy. The happier they are, the more willing they are to invest in your products and services, and the more loyal they’ll be.
When you take the time to increase customer loyalty, the more your business can grow, both by retaining existing customers and attracting new ones.
Put it this way: 33% of customers will leave a brand they love after just one negative experience. 92% will leave after two or three. That makes sense, but with expectations so high, this can be a risky line to walk.
By offering a superior, seamless digital experience, you greatly minimize the risk of this being an issue. This isn’t about generating flash-in-the-pan sales. This is about effectively nurturing long-term customer relationships, returning customers, and sustained revenue growth for your venture.
Favorable Positioning on the Competitive Landscape
The digital age caters to the survival of the digitally fittest.
It’s just how it is these days.
By harnessing the wave of digital transformation, your business can propel ahead of the competition by establishing itself as a tech-forward and innovative entity. By creating memorable digital experiences, you build a powerful brand reputation, attract new customers, and set your business apart in the competitive market.
So, as you can see, the benefits of digitizing customer experience are nothing short of substantial and far-reaching, and if you’re willing to walk this digital path, there’s no doubt you’ll reveal opportunities for growth and survival like never before.
Strategies for Digitizing Customer Experience
Speaking of digital paths, just like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, you might think there’s a long road ahead. Digital experiences. Data. Omni-channel support. It sounds like a lot of time and money, right?
We’re here to tell you to fear not.
Instead of ruby slippers, we’ve got some digital customer experience strategy ideas to help you navigate the digital customer experience journey. So, let’s pull back the emerald curtain and unravel the secrets of digitizing customer experience.
Define your digital customer journey
First things first, you need to understand the journey your customers embark upon when they interact with your brand digitally. Yes, we mean literally marking it out step by step.
This is how you understand what the steps are and how you can streamline the journey, make improvements, and overall optimize the whole thing.
From the moment they make their first click, which pages or features draw them in? Where do they spend most of their time? Where do they drop off?
A comprehensive understanding of your customer’s journey can help you identify potential hurdles and opportunities for enhancement.
Adopt the right technology
There’s a world of CRM, AI, and analytic tools out there that are specifically designed to leverage technology to enhance customer experience.
Oh, probably far too many to ever try and trial them all, but they exist, and there’s almost certainly a set of tools and platforms out there that can help you take your business to the next level. The trick is identifying your business’s needs and finding the tools to help you achieve them.
There are all kinds of tools, all essentially designed to provide unique insights into customer behavior, preferences, and satisfaction levels, enabling you to personalize the experience to meet their specific needs.
But remember, the trick isn’t just to use technology; it’s to use the right technology, the one that fits your business like a glove.
Enhance your UX design
Your digital platforms are like your digital shop windows.
Just like the behind-the-scene workflows, systems, and infrastructure must be streamlined and optimized, your customer’s physical user experience must be top-notch. That means it’s appealing, engaging, and, above all, user-friendly.
A poor layout or a slow site can frustrate customers, driving them away. Prioritize UX design to ensure your site is intuitive, attractive, and quick.
Personalization is key
We’ve spoken a little about personalization, but it’s so important these days that it deserves a proper exploration.
Quite simply, customers want experiences that resonate with their needs and preferences. They don’t want to feel like a tiny cog in a vast wheel. They don’t want to feel like just another customer. They want to be spoken to as an individual.
When talking to my phone carrier provider, that meant referring to me by my name, talking to me in my language, and essentially just having a chat while getting things done.
You need to find a way to integrate personalization into your customer experience using data-driven insights. From personalized recommendations to tailored content, every element should speak directly to your customer.
Multichannel and Omnichannel Approach
Like before, your customers will interact with your brand through your website, app, social media, emails, and other channels.
However, you need to ensure a seamless and consistent experience across these channels so your customers know how they’re speaking to and there’s no difference in the quality of experience.
Whether they’re transitioning from mobile browsing or using mobile apps to a laptop or from a chatbot to human customer service, the shift must occur without disrupting the customer experience.
Embracing these strategies is just like adding oil to the Tin Man – it’s how you keep your digital customer experience running smoothly.
But remember, the digital realm is ever-changing, and keeping up means constantly tweaking, evaluating, and improving your strategies.
And let’s not forget the flying monkeys – er, challenges that can obstruct your path. More on that later. Until then, chin up, eyes on the yellow brick road, and let’s keep on marching!
Best Practices for Digitizing Customer Experience
Okay, we have the theory in place, and hopefully, you’ve already got some ideas on improving your customer journey through your digital channels. Maybe you’ve already started putting some into practice?
On that note, let’s take the theory and make it actionable, breaking down some of the most important steps you need to know when digitizing the customer experience and unlocking a rewarding outcome.
Here are tried-and-true practices that can guide you on this transformative journey:
Understand Your Customer
The chances are you’ve seen this before, but before you begin to digitize your customer experience, it’s critical to understand who your customers are, what their needs and preferences are, and how they currently interact with your business.
If you don’t, then you’re effectively making success-altering changes to your business at a guess. You have access to data, so use it to make decisions.
A simple example would be looking into which multiple channels your customers primarily use for support. You could invest so much time and money into a support ticket platform, but it might be a waste of time if everyone’s pinging you on all social media platforms under the sun.
An issue that can be avoided simply by taking the time to understand your customers.
Use tools such as surveys, interviews, customer profiling, and data analytics to gain a concrete understanding of your customers and base your digital strategy on these insights.
Map the Customer Journey
The customer journey is everything. We said this before, but you need to map it out.
Even if you’re using Post-It Notes on a wall to highlight each step, you need to visualize the current journey – from the point of discovery to purchase and beyond.
This is needed to help you identify potential bottlenecks and issues, see where improvements can be made, streamline any lengthy processes, and ensure every interaction at any stage in the journey is as productive and satisfying as possible.
Ensure High-Level Security and Privacy
As you continue to work on your customer journey and introduce more and more tools into your workflow, you’ll have more and more data to work with. Woohoo, you should celebrate, that’s excellent.
That’s more data to make more informed decisions and progress your business even further than you could imagine! That’s true, but this also comes with the increased responsibility to secure that data.
These days, data protection is everything, and it’s law enforced. Fail to protect your customer’s data, and you could face hefty legal action, including fines, jail time, and a huge knock on your reputation.
On this note, ensure you have stringent data protection measures in place and honor privacy regulations diligently. Explicitly communicate your data-policy to customers to build trust, as trust is fundamental to a successful digital customer experience.
Regularly Monitor, Learn, and Adapt
Finally, it’s crucial to understand that working on your digital customer experience strategy should be treated as an iterative, ongoing process, not a one-off project.
As modern tools, workflows, customer expectations, market requirements, and your competition continue to advance, you must work hard to stay on top of the market.
Continually monitor your results, gather customer feedback, learn from your successes and failures, and adapt your approach accordingly. Staying agile will align you with changing customer expectations and emerging digital trends.
You should. By proactively thinking about adopting these practices into your business’s workflow and future plans, you’re taking active steps towards receiving all the benefits a digital customer journey offers.
However, like all journeys in life, there are always challenges to be aware of.
The Challenges in Digitizing Customer Service Experience
The road to digital transformation is paved with both promise and peril. Businesses across industries are digitizing operations and customer interactions, enticed by the potential for enhanced experiences, lower costs, and added conveniences. But for all its advantages, the path to digital is filled with potential pitfalls.
Successful digital change requires navigating inevitable bumps in the road. How deftly a company handles these challenges determines the speed and success of its transformation journey. Before charging ahead, it’s wise to anticipate speed bumps that may slow progress or derail efforts altogether.
Let’s take a look at them.
Challenging Data Management
With digitization comes an influx of customer data.
Managing, analyzing, and using these data effectively can be daunting for businesses. Fragmented data across different platforms can result in an incomplete view of the customer, making it difficult to create a cohesive digital experience.
Investing in powerful digital customer experience management solutions and analytics tools is crucial to tackle this. Implement an integrated data system consolidating information from all touchpoints, providing a unified customer view.
Adopting Technology Integration and Growing Pains
Implementing new technology isn’t necessarily a seamless task.
Integration issues can arise when you try to sync new digital tools with existing systems. Interoperability failure could disrupt daily operations and negatively affect the customer experience.
To avoid this, adopt digital technologies compatible with your existing systems. Consult with IT experts to ensure a smooth migration or integration process, and carry out regular software audits to identify and resolve issues promptly.
Addressing the “We’ve Always Done it This Way” Mindset
For companies with long histories, change doesn’t come easily. Employees comfortable with legacy systems and processes can cling to “the way it’s always been done.” It’s a negative, harmful mindset to have. Digital transformation requires questioning existing norms and a positive, optimistic mindset to find better ways forward.
Tips: Bring staff into the process early, clearly explain benefits, and incentivize buy-in to new systems. Patience and commitment to culture change is key.
Achieving Personalization at Scale
While personalization is vital in delivering exceptional digital experience, providing personalized experiences at scale can be challenging. Striking a balance between automation and personalization often becomes a significant hurdle.
Machine Learning and AI can aid in overcoming this challenge.
These technologies can help analyze and interpret customer data quickly, enabling businesses to deliver personalized content and recommendations, even to a large customer base.
Maintaining Security and Privacy
Protecting customer data is a non-negotiable requirement in the digital era. Customers are wary about their data privacy, and any breach can cause irreparable damage to your brand reputation.
Ensure you follow the highest standard cybersecurity practices and comply with all regional and global privacy regulations. Regular security audits, robust data encryption, and employee training on data privacy are measures you should actively enforce.
The Changing of Customer Expectations
Customers’ expectations of their digital experiences are continually evolving. Staying current with these expectations can be a significant challenge for businesses trying to digitize their customer experience.
Constantly monitoring, learning, and adapting are essential. Use customer feedback, monitor the latest digital trends, and regularly refine your digital strategy to stay relevant and meet changing customer expectations.
Change, especially digital transformation, can face resistance from employees. They might be hesitant to adapt to new technologies or fear that digitization may replace their roles.
Address this by providing adequate training and demonstrating how digital tools can enhance their work efficiency, not eliminate their jobs. Make employees partners in your transformation journey by involving them in decision-making and acknowledging their contributions.
While these challenges may seem daunting, they shouldn’t scare businesses away from embarking on a digital transformation journey. The key is to acknowledge these challenges, prepare for them, and transform them into opportunities for growth.
How Orpical Helps Mid-Market Companies with Digital Transformation
Embarking on the journey of digitizing your customer experience is no small feat.
Investing substantial time and resources into a transformation you’re not entirely confident in can be a daunting prospect, and let’s face it – there’s a real risk of getting it wrong. And who wants to pay a high price for that? Not only can it be financially damaging, but it may harm your hard-earned reputation, too.
That’s where Orpical Group steps in. As specialists in digital transformation, we turn these considerable challenges into achievable, measurable success.
Orpical isn’t your run-of-the-mill agency. We merge personalized digital transformation solutions with tech-driven marketing strategies and operational support. Since 2012, we’ve been assisting mid-market businesses to achieve and maintain high performance.
Basically, we pride ourselves on being your vested partner, deeply ingrained in your operations, and genuinely understanding your needs, goals, and pain points.
We win when you win, so we work hard to make that happen.
Our dynamic services range from optimizing brand identities to operational improvements, identifying new revenue streams, facilitating technology adoption, enhancing customer experience, and, most importantly, increasing profitability.
So why gamble on going it alone? Need digital transformation?
Think Orpical Group.
The digital revolution has irrevocably changed customer expectations. Today’s consumers demand seamless, personalized experiences across every touchpoint. Companies that fail to deliver will get left behind.
The path forward is clear: you must digitize your customer experience. Doing so can increase customer retention, fuel growth, and give you a competitive edge. But the road won’t be easy. You’ll need to overcome issues like fragmented data, legacy systems, and more.
Fortunately, you don’t have to figure it out alone. The digital experts at Orpical Group have helped numerous mid-market companies successfully transform their customer experience. Our unique blend of strategic vision and hands-on implementation delivers real results.
Don’t wait any longer.
Partner with Orpical to future-proof your customer experience. Get in touch with us today to build loyal customers and drive revenue growth.
The digital future won’t wait – will you?