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27th April, 2018  

Digital Experiences Drive Customer Experiences

By Balraj Kaur

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Experience matters! And good digital experiences sure drive customers happy, whether they are through traditional customer service channels or new digital interfaces that people use to interact with companies. Marketers have got to ensure seamlessness in their presence, whenever or wherever users touch-base with the brand. Businesses no longer sell what they create, now they only create what their users want and this trend is here to stay. They have realized the power of a  great user experience and are going all out in not just catering to the needs but exceeding them. Digital platforms are helping them transform their business since they are now able to deliver omnichannel digital customer experiences with technology that can automate processes, personalize interactions, and coordinate actions.

Why Brands need to focus on Digital Customer Experiences

 A report by Adobe says, on the use of mobile devices from last year, user satisfaction with digital experiences from companies is only at 55 percent.

Real-time Effect

Providing relevant material in real-time can make a great impact on converting or retaining users. That might require a response in milliseconds or a communication that triggers a series of communications over time. Testing methods like A/B Testing, predictive analysis, or multivariate testing helps to determine what audiences, segments, or individuals are the most likely to respond. If you’re able to react with a contextually relevant message regardless of engagement channel, you will go a long way in creating engagements that close the gap between digital experience design and expectation.

Omni-present Interactions

Technology is advancing like never before, and the advent of portable technologies has given birth to omni-channel customer experiences. These solutions are able to better manage the daily data deluge, understand customers from every angle and surpass their growing expectations for enhanced services. In the recent times, one will see online retailers bombarding the market with attractive discounts and huge promotions, making people shift their buying preferences online. Several big retail brands are diversifying their businesses and adopting omni-channel strategies for the benefit of the customer.

Enhanced Loyalty

Customers are no longer standing in long ques to pay bills for their home supplies or browsing clothes online and wondering if the purchase is worth the risk. All thanks to the digital revolutions, most mobile transactions or payments are made by the customer while they are on-the-go with a seal of trust. Now, not only they can compare prices, find alternative outlets, find stores in their locality, get coupons, and much more.

Measure User Feedback

It’s quick on insights too. It’s a real bonus to get customer feedbacks and insights on where the experiences/services need changes. Making it much easier to measure feedback in depth than it was ever possible than traditional methods. And these interactive digital experiences make it realistic to collect qualitative feedback with quantitative data (such as click paths, amounts of visitors – to give a true story behind the numbers).

Tailor-Create Services

The digital customer experience has much scope to fine tune the service to suit needs of an individual. Ensuring that a brand’s proposition can offer a bespoke solution to the customers, offering greater value-for-money and satisfaction. For example, email adverts and content displayed on the customer’s personal login in sales channels can be targeted to their preferences or potential interest.

Interactions of such kinds that anticipate needs, add customer value which are brand differentiating and critical in deciding its fate in this digital age. Users are looking for continued engagement, and these fun, intuitive & constant experiences ensure of an experience unparalleled.

This shift of emphasis towards customers is not just about technology but also needing organizations to transform their own culture. Culture over-weighs technology when it comes to carving out perfect digital experiences. Companies should be able to embrace a customer-focused view of their business in order to successfully improve digital customer experiences. Because customers don’t bifurcate their experiences in digital or non-digital categories. Instead, they want to access companies in the most convenient way possible, regardless of channel.

From where to start?

There is no particular approach to designing a Digital Customer Experience. Since no two customers are alike, businesses need to coin a different approach to meet different needs.

New technology, particularly around data-gathering, analytics and digital experiences, enables companies to understand their customers better than ever. Companies that are already investing in such kind of efforts can find great opportunities to extend their investment by building out and improving their experiences for the later stages of the customer lifecycle. These four strategies will help brands focus their efforts on engaging customers in a way that creates loyalty for business.

Collect Actionable Data

Brands need to collect information that’s not just interesting, but impactful. Asking customers for information that will not be acted upon instantly & for the advancement of the company is a waste of time & efforts. Companies would do better to focus on tracking behaviors that give them a better understanding of their customers. For example, GameStop used its loyalty program to track information on existing customers that visited its website and what they did next.

Go Beyond Segmenting

People identify themselves with incredibly granular categories today. Brands need to do their targeted segments account for that level of detail. One of the benefits of refocusing on engaging existing customers is that you have an opportunity to gain deeper insights by continuing to collect and analyze data over time. Track the way customer behavior changes throughout repeat purchases, and use that to inform the interactive digital experiences you’re creating for newer customers.

Bring in Loyalty Initiatives

Rewarding existing customers by providing them with great service initiatives help brand gain trust & loyalty. Take Amazon Prime for example; technically, they lose money on shipping costs (at least $1 billion annually), but their goal isn’t to trick customers into paying for shipping they wouldn’t use. Paying extra for shipping is often a barrier to purchase; by removing that for regular customers, Amazon delivers a valuable benefit that gives people a reason to keep purchasing on Amazon’s platform. And it boosts a brand’s digital experiences in return.

Swear by Great Service

Take a city’s local Apparel shop as an example; if its customers pay through a mobile app, the store will automatically have a record of their usual orders.

And if that interactive digital experience gets shared with the POS system when the customer walks into the store, then it doesn’t matter if they come at a different time of day or go to a different location — the store manager will be able to serve them better, since he already knows their taste & preferences. It’s great service experience for any customer walking-in.

Digital experiences platforms will need to support this model of continuous engagement and personalization. This category of enterprise software is capable of tracking customer data such as behaviors, patterns, preferences and social media interactions, and bringing it together in a way that is valuable to your business. Companies that can gather data efficiently and use it to inform the experiences they’re creating will develop competitive advantages over others in their industry.

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