March 22, 2022 | 6 min read time
What is Digital Customer Experience?
Digital customer experience (or DCX) is a deep understanding of marketing that refers to the broader perception of your brand amongst your customers, aggregated across all digital touchpoints. Understanding this perception is built on recording and analysing the consistent interactions that your customers have with your brand across your digital platforms and channels.
It is these digital customer experiences which can influence your brands’ ability to generate new business, retain existing customers and grow their lifetime value, and nurture advocacy for your brand to organically develop customer relationships.
Practically, a DCX-led strategy incorporates a range of disciplines from SEO, UX and UI design principles, creativity and content-driven engagement, the technical underpinnings of a website, social media and email marketing and more - anything and everything that might affect user experience across your digital platforms.
“DCX refers to the overall perception of your brand in the eyes of your customer, built upon the accumulated, consistent interactions they have with your brand specifically across digital platforms & channels.”
Accelerated by the pandemic, the digitisation of the average customer has only increased in recent years, with DCX taking up a larger proportion of the influence on the general customer experience than ever before. This has pulled digital channels sharply into focus for many brands as they look to leverage the power and reach of these channels in delivering excellent customer experiences.
DCX strategy incorporates multiple channels, all working toward the same goal, providing an omnichannel experience – and delivering customer satisfaction, no matter the journey.
Research shows brands with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, in comparison to 33% of companies with weak strategies.
Understanding your digital platforms, where your users interact with your business, and how those platforms affect consumer perception and brand loyalty is critical.
The Foundations of Digital Customer Experience
- Discovery & First Impressions
The first key aspect of digital customer experience is the most essential - ensuring that your customers can actually find you on your platforms, and that their first impressions are positive. SEO (search engine optimisation) is a necessary key to success in driving relevant digital traffic, and the inclusion of PPC (pay per click / paid media) strategies can be of great benefit in prompting specific audiences to interact with your brand. Maximising positive first impressions often relies on good design and content, as well as secondary information such as reviews and ratings.
- User Experience
Making it easy and simple for consumers to navigate and access your digital platforms is also crucial. This could simply be by delivering a great user experience (UX) on your website, or offering extra benefits to new and existing customers such as free trials or discounts. To deliver a great digital customer experience, you must be able to understand how customers engage with you, and what their intention or purpose is when they arrive at your platforms. Is there a specific point where customers leave your website or app? Are they just researching, or is their intention to convert?
To determine what aspects of your digital customer experience are successful, gather data on user behaviours to shape your future strategies, and utilise key metrics in driving your business forward, measurement is essential. By taking dynamic action towards optimising your customer journey, using real customer data and behaviour metrics, you can formulate a holistic approach to customer journey management - as well as being able to blend actionable data and insights to your whole business.
- Meeting Initial Expectations
Customers commonly have baseline expectations for their interactions with digital businesses - safe and secure shopping, key information being clear and easy to find, and what they should expect from your brand. Ensuring your business meets these expectations can be as straightforward as implementing market research, and the use of customer data and feedback can be used to inform ongoing digital customer experience updates and other changes to your digital platforms.
Extending Digital Customer Experience
The best digital customer experience does not stop just because a conversion has been completed. Developing customer loyalty can turn your users into organic brand advocates, whilst also encouraging them to return to your business in the future. Digital channels are a great platform for fostering customer loyalty and advocacy.
Examples of using digital channels to enhance DCX could include:
- Email - going beyond using email to confirm a user’s purchase, when injected with personalisation, it can also be used to recommend products and services the user will find valuable, or to share content tailored to their demands.
- Social media - your social channels can keep customers updated on new product updates and features, and help build communities and share promotions.
- Web and mobile apps - these can host specialist content designed to help consumers get more from their interactions with your brand or products, as well as sending push notifications relevant to your audience.
- Harnessing AI-powered chatbots and digital contact centres - this ensures you continue to deliver experiences the customer will value in the moment they need it.
Digital channels can also be a great tool for users to communicate with your brand (as well as vice versa) and consumers have come to expect the use and availability of digital platforms as part of customer support and communications.
Some brands even have their customer service agents publicly answering complaints and support requests via Twitter demonstrating authenticity and transparency, further building brand trust.
“67% of consumers and 74% of business buyers say they'll pay more for a great experience.”
Develop Your Digital Customer Strategy
Digital strategies do not need to be static (in fact, they rarely are!), and with the wealth of information that can be available from user behaviour or even direct input, it is key to adopt an agile approach to developing your digital customer experience in the long term.
Research and analysis of key customer journeys, in depth, can help you to update and improve your digital touchpoints, as well as creating new ones for your users - allowing you to expand your digital experience with reference to real behaviours. Direct feedback can also be of immense value to understanding your customers' experiences.
Having insights from users you are trying to reach allows you to deliver products and services tailored to their individual needs; customers who have interacted with your business across multiple environments (desktop, in-app, in the physical store) can deliver greater insights on persistent pain points across their experiences, compared to users who have only visited one aspect of your digital offering, for example.
This is where a vital part of DCX strategy comes in - using data and insight to fuel decision making when it comes to all digital channels. Guessing and assuming isn’t enough, which is why auditing your current digital performance (like you can here), and monitoring it over time using a platform like OmniBI becomes important.
Small improvements to each aspect of your brand’s digital customer experience over time can influence your business’ ability to generate new business, retain existing business, grow lifetime customer value, and nurture advocacy for your brand.
Ready to get started with transforming your digital customer experience?
Our clients are certainly moving DCX up the agenda and generally taking the opportunity to audit their digital marketing as a component of this. With this in mind, our team are currently offering a Free Digital Audit to assess 10 key aspects of your business’ Digital Customer Experience. This initial analysis utilises industry-leading tools to ascertain your current problems and find opportunities within typical digital marketing areas including:
- Technical On-Site SEO
- Off-Site SEO
- Core Web Vitals
- Traffic & SERP competitive performance
- PPC / Advertising
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
If this sounds like something you’d like to take advantage of, find out more and register for a free digital audit here.