What separates a good product from a bad one? In today’s digital age, it all comes down to the experiences a customer has while interacting with the company and the product. No matter how many unique features you offer, if you don’t provide your users with a smooth engaging experience, support, and care, somebody else will.
In this guide, we delve into the importance of digital customer experience and explain why it should be the top priority of your company and how to prioritize it effectively.
➡️ Digital Customer Experience (DCX) encompasses all your customer’s interactions with the brand and product through digital channels.
❗ It describes what your customers feel when interacting with your brand online, what impressions you leave, and how they perceive your brand after the communication.
✅ Positive DCX helps to gain competitive advantage, improve retention and generate a loyal customer base, as well as ensure a positive word of mouth.
🧠 There are 7 key principles that can help you ensure a positive digital customer experience.
What is digital customer experience?
Digital Customer Experience, or DCX, encompasses all your customer’s interactions with the brand and product through digital channels. These could include your website, mobile app, chatbot, social media interactions, email communication, and other touchpoints.
It describes what your customers feel when interacting with your brand online, what impressions you leave, and how they perceive your brand after the communication.
Good digital customer experience provides seamless, consistent, engaging, and, above all, personalized interactions, ensuring customers don’t face any confusion or issues associated with your brand.
Digital customer experience vs customer experience
Digital customer experience, which we are going to speak about in this guide, is a fundamental part of a broader term, called Customer Experience (CX). They are closely related and sometimes used interchangeably. That’s because nowadays customer’s interactions with companies often take part only in the digital space.
However, there’s one significant difference between the two terms. While Customer Experience as a whole describes all interactions a customer has with the company across different touchpoints, Digital Customer Experience focuses specifically on those interactions that take part online.
It’s important to understand that, although the terms are a bit different, the goals of both DCX and CX are the same. It’s to provide a consistent and exceptional experience throughout the whole customer journey.
Why is digital customer experience so important?
If you’re still wondering why a good digital customer experience is so important, we’re here to break it down for you. Here are some of the main reasons why digital customer experience should be your top priority:
- Competitive advantage: In the saturated marketplace of digital products good DCX can help you stand out from the competitors and become your customers’ top choice. Many modern companies still underestimate the importance of digital customer experience and treat their customers like numbers. By showing that you care and committing to providing exceptional and personalized experiences you can stay on top of the mind of your target audience and lead the market.
- Customer retention and loyalty: A positive DCX inevitably increases customer satisfaction, which in turn can help you build a loyal customer base. This will help you increase retention, which is, as we all know, more cost-effective than acquiring new customers.
- Positive word of mouth: People who were satisfied or even delighted with their experience are much more likely to recommend your brand to friends and colleagues! This will expose you to a larger audience of like-minded people who are also your target audience. Digital customer experience can help you save on sales and let people come to you themselves.
- Increased conversions: By optimizing your product for positive DCX, you’re ensuring a smooth user journey with no roadblocks and usability issues. This helps to reduce friction and abandon rates of your digital product, which in turn increases conversions.
- Risk mitigation: Last, but not least, investing in DCX is a form of risk mitigation as it helps you prevent potential issues that may arise due to the lack of attention to customers. Lost in sales, damaged reputation and negative reviews can all come as a result of negative customer experience. Customers feel when you only care about money and neglect to care about them. And they’ll always treat your brand the way you treat them.
The basic principles of digital customer experience
Let’s take a look at some of the key principles of digital customer experience in order to understand what pillars hold the positive DCX.
#1 Customer centricity
First things first, providing positive DCX is all about being customer-centric. The baseline of any successful product is knowing your customers’ unique needs, pain points, and preferences and using that information to drive product decisions.
By making customers your top priority and committing to improving the product in order to make it better for them, you’re making sure that you’re creating something they need, use, and love. Focus on providing value to your customers and building long-last relationships with them. This way you’ll always know that your product development is going the right way.
But how to find out what your customers feel, think, and need from your product?
The answer is always user research. By conducting interviews with your customers, distributing surveys, and running usability tests you’ll be able to uncover an array of quantitative and qualitative insights from your users.
Personalizing your product means tailoring the interactions and experiences to each customer’s unique needs. These people already know you collect tons of their data and they agree to it when they accept cookies. So why not take this data and use it to make their experiences more memorable and unique?
This can include personalized recommendations, targeted messages, or even personalized design elements!
Implementing personalization will help you keep users engaged, increase conversions and above all, build a deeper relationship with customers, increasing loyalty and retention. This will help to show that you care about each customer personally and do your best to provide them with the best possible experience.
Brand consistency implies that every interaction your customers have with your products and company, no matter the touchpoint, will be familiar and harmonious. In the case of digital customer experience, we are talking about the consistency of digital products, their design, language, quality of service, and the message they’re communicating.
Consistency is extremely important as it not only builds trust but also enhances recognition and reduces confusion by providing a predictable experience.
Key elements of consistency in digital products are:
- Unified branding
- Consistent tone, language, and messaging
- Seamless cross-channel experience (for example, syncing your website with the mobile app)
- Familiar layout and navigation
- Standardized customer service
- Quality of services and the level of user experience
Accessibility is about designing digital experiences that are usable by people with a wide range of abilities, including those with disabilities.
In order to provide a positive digital customer experience to all users, you need to also ensure that your product is navigable by people with visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive impairments.
You can achieve that by following established web accessibility standards (e.g., WCAG).
#5 Security and trust
This principle involves storing customers’ data in safety and prioritizing their privacy.
Security and trust are established through robust data protection practices, transparent privacy policies, and secure transactions. Your goal is to actively demonstrate that the customer’s data is in safe hands and you’re its reliable guardian.
Apart from the privacy policies, you can demonstrate reliability with design. For example, designing the payment pages and the whole checkout process in a minimalistic and trustworthy way, adding security badges, and reminding the customers that their data is safe. Banks, for example, can implement two-factor authentication for their online services in order to generate more trust and ensure privacy.
#6 Feedback and continuous improvement
Regularly collecting and analyzing customer feedback in order to constantly improve your product is another key principle of digital customer experience. This helps to constantly come up with new innovative ways to fine-tune your product and involve customers in the process.
Customer feedback will pinpoint what people like or dislike about your product and highlight areas that need urgent improvement. You can collect feedback using a variety of methods such as feedback surveys, interviews, in-app polls, usability tests, and focus groups as well as product analytics tools and customer support interactions.
All these channels give you a unique insight into your customers’ perspectives and provide an opportunity to alter the product in order for it to become a better solution to customers’ problems.
#7 Proactive support
Proactive support involves anticipating customer needs and problems before they arise and actively offering solutions and assistance.
This means that instead of waiting until customers encounter a problem you take action before it escalates. Alternatively, you can produce content to support your customers’ frequent inquiries, answer their questions in blog articles, or just create step-by-step guides for solving popular problems.
Good customer support is everything when it comes to providing a positive customer experience. When your support team is responsive, polite, and does their best to always resolve customers’ issues, people will feel safe and cared for when using your product. This way, even if some serious issues arise they’ll know they can always get quality professional assistance.
This kind of feeling will help you generate trust and loyalty, as well as build a good reputation for your company.
How to improve digital customer experience?
Improving your product’s digital customer experience can actually be a piece of cake when done right. All you need to do is know what to focus on and commit to providing the best possible experience to the people that choose your product. The rest is just a step-by-step process you need to follow.
Learn how to improve your digital customer experience and what strategies to use in our Digital CX Strategies Guide.
Now that you know the key principles of digital customer experience you’ll start to better understand what customer satisfaction is based on. However, you also need to understand who your users are, how they think, and what problems they encounter in order to be able to solve them. And for that, UXtweak is always here to help!
Register for your UXtweak account, get to know your users and start the process of upgrading the digital customer experience of your product!