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The modern business strategy has shaped to become more customer centric. Companies are focusing more on what suits their customers rather than just offering products and services that are convenient for them to market.
As a part of this customer-centrality , customer experience has emerged as a broad term that defines the general level of satisfaction that the customers have for the company. This satisfaction emerges from how the company is able to make every customer interaction seamless without any roadblocks.
Digital customer experience is a narrow field that comes under the broad category of customer experience. This constitutes all the interaction that takes place between people and the company in the online format.
This is a convenience based practice in which in-person presence is not necessary to get queries resolved, get updates, purchase products and services or any other objective which the audience need to achieve as an end result of these interactions.
But why should a customer be bothered about what kind of interactions their audience has especially in today’s times?
Here’s why :
There are a number of reasons which justify the need for companies time, effort and resources on DCX.
First off, the interactions which customers have online with the brand have multiplied during the Covid-19 pandemic. With the necessity of staying at home and performing all lifestyle tasks through the internet , company interactions have majorly shifted from the traditional inter-personal interactions to the online platform. Companies have identified multiple touch points which breaks down geographical barriers to provide them with increased access and reach beyond just their current target market.
Customers have also found themselves in an authoritative positions of choosing to or not to engage with a company based on the quality of experience they enjoy. Customers judge companies based on a combination of factors such as ease, promptness, effectiveness and efficiency among others to make up their mind about whether they wish to stick with their current choice or switch to an alternative company that meets their expectations.
This has put companies in a journey of constant power grab where one is trying to snatch market share from another by offering to serve customers better. This necessitates the need for every company to design digital touch points which are tailor made for enhancing customer experience by allowing the customers to achieve their end objective without any hassle.
Digital customer experience is also a major determinant of company image. This directly relates to concepts like brand equity and recall. The customers only remember those companies with which they have shared a pleasant experience. Anything less fails to create a long lasting impact on the customer mind or worse, registers the company in the bad books of the customers. This increases customer churn. This is the reason why more and more business conduct concept tests to test a particular interface or website design to make sure the concept is market ready before it is released into the market.
Customers act as a source of unpaid promotions. This means that they provide feedback and word of mouth which influence the decisions of prospective customers. If the current customers do not enjoy their interactions with the brand, they are likely to write a negative feedback and not indulge in recommending the company or the brand to their friend, relatives or connections. Due to this , companies lose out on tapping new markets. Multiple strategies are adopted such as expert opinions, survey research and feature tests to tap into the customer psychology and make sure that the companies have all the areas covered. Customer journey maps are created to identify the problems faced by the customer throughout their digital experience and to fix them as soon as possible to minimize damage.
The internet world is vast. There are too many areas that a company needs to keep monitoring to find out where the customer reaches out, their preferred choices and the reason behind their choice of touchpoint. This particular aspect of the digital media is both good and bad. It’s good because it expands the company’s presence in terms of being easily accessible and being widespread across multiple platforms, thus , providing the online audience with the liberty of choosing a platform as per their own convenience and comfort.
The drawback here is that it unnecessarily makes customer journeys long. There are certain steps in customer journeys which are present and consume a major chunk of the customer’s time and effort without having any substantial value addition. This increases the waiting time and adds to the frustration of the customer leading to a poor reflection on the overall experience.
Difficulty in understanding customers is another major reason. It is a very difficult task to grasp what the customers think especially in an online format. Understanding customer sentiment and interest is relatively easy in the offline world where apart from interactions it is possible to gauge customer expression and body language.
These characteristics are not readable when customers are using their internet devices as a tool to reach out to the company. This makes it all the important to make digital customer analytics and examination a top priority.
Lastly, digital media is the way for the future. The aggregate outlet footfalls are decreasing. Space and time selling are phasing out. The Gen Z has started relying on the online media as a source of information. Convenience has become a top priority and so companies need to optimize their strategy to build a holistic omni-channel platform that reduces customer effort and helps achieve any and all customer objectives in a unified manner. Customers need not be forced to jump from one touch point to another. Customers should feel that their opinions and interactions matter and that companies are not operating under a one-sided approach.
Companies need to realize that one size does not fit all and that in order to improve their digital experience , the opinions of maximum number of people should be incorporated through a nuanced market research and feedback mechanism that makes the company an appealing choice for their industry.