Good customer experience is what leaves customers satisfied and drives them to come back again and again. Poor customer experience just drives them away. In a recent survey, 67% percent of respondents listed sub-par experiences as their number one reason for switching brands.
Customer experience is defined as the sum total of an organization and customer’s interactions over the course of their relationship. The more important definition, though, is that customer experience is all that stands between you and your customers walking out the door.
With digital now such a key part of successful business strategies, the need for good digital customer experience has never been greater. Forrester’s latest research underscores this point, concluding that the best CX investment an organization can currently make is in digital customer experience—and that this is just what industry leaders are doing.
Different strategies for different needs
Here’s the catch: it’s not enough to just treat digital customer experience as a subset of an overall customer experience strategy. The needs of online consumers just aren’t the same as their offline counterparts, and at its core, a good customer experience strategy is about anticipating and meeting customer needs.
Where the experience of a customer in a store is influenced by factors such as their interactions with salespeople on the floor or the genre of music being piped in, digital customer experience is based on entirely different metrics, with efficiency being king.
The numbers make this shockingly plain: websites start losing traffic to competing sites at just 250 milliseconds of loading time. A ten-second wait for a page to load will prompt roughly 50% of consumers give up and leave. What a customer wants out of their digital experience is simply not the same as what they prefer in a brick-and-mortar setting.
Creating a positive experience
So how do you construct a successful digital customer experience strategy? Here's three important points to keep in mind:
1. Back-end is critical. As demonstrated by the statistics above, customers are markedly intolerant of technological failures or delays. First and foremost, make sure your digital component works, and works efficiently.
2. Create a consistent experience across channels. You want to maintain clear brand messaging throughout a customer’s journey—this is a key component of customer loyalty. Even more importantly, you should be using solid CRM or omnichannel support software to track all interactions with a given customer, in order to stay abreast of their current needs on an individual basis. The alternative is a fragmented and frustrating experience for the customer which forces them to repeat tasks and interactions and leaves them with an unclear impression of the brand as a whole.
3. Ask for customer feedback. Surveys are and always will be an important tool. Don’t assume your customers will bring their problems to your attention of their own accord—they’re more likely to walk away first. Do your best to anticipate customer needs and pain points, but make sure you get data from the horse’s mouth as well.
As digital becomes a greater part of everyday life, digital customer experience is increasingly a major factor in customer perception of a business as a whole. Don’t let your digital customer experience be what alienates your customers; make it what keeps them coming back instead.