How to give customers the digital experience they want

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The discrepancy between the quality of digital experiences customers report and what companies think they deliver online turns out to be more significant than previously thought.

Only 10% of global customers agree that brands provide a good digital experience, while 82% of marketers believe they meet customer experience (CX) expectations. This grim statistic serves as a call to action for businesses everywhere – they need to prioritize and optimize their online customer experience to meet customer expectations or risk lost revenue and damaged reputations.

Anticipating what customers want from their digital experience through in-depth analysis can have a significant impact on a brand’s success. By adopting best practices, strategies and tools, companies across industries can close the gap between what they think they deliver and what customers report experiencing.

Related: What customers expect from their digital experience

Digital experience makes or breaks a brand

The digital experience is crucial to a company’s profitability and longevity, but customers feel that their expectations are not being met on digital platforms. A total of 54% of US customers say that the user experience (UX) on brand websites needs to be improved. Brands need to listen to customers and understand all issues within digital experiences, and take quick steps to address friction points.

Responding to issues as they arise is critical, but being proactive when developing digital experiences is just as important. Brands must work to anticipate customer needs and design platforms with evolving customer preferences in mind.

Eliminate your company’s blind spots through CX improvements

All businesses have blind spots — business leaders don’t understand customers’ wants and needs, so they invest in the wrong areas. Knowing exactly where customers experience pain points instead of guessing is key to delivering a better CX. Leaders must take steps to investigate and close this “digital experience gap.”

Using tools to highlight hidden problem areas provides an opportunity to correct them – giving customers a reason to return and remain loyal to your brand and website. A recent Emplfi study broke down several key areas where customers experience the biggest pain points:

  • Almost 20% of customers will leave a website after just one bad experience.
  • Having a previous positive experience with a brand influences where they make another purchase.
  • Half of customers will leave a brand they have been loyal to for over a year due to poor CX.
  • Poor CX and low quality products are equally damaging to a brand.
  • The main contributors to a negative CX are slow response times and lack of 24/7 customer service. Customers expect a response within an hour.
  • Customers across the board want access to self-service options to resolve issues independently.

All it takes is one misstep for a customer to abandon goodwill towards a brand. Businesses are increasingly relying on modern digital tools to help identify sources of customer frustration and reduce site abandonment.

Related: 5 ways to show your customers you understand them in a digital-first world

Proven strategies to tackle problem CX areas

A total of 86% of customers say they are willing to pay more for a better customer experience, making digital experience improvements a revenue-driving opportunity. Implementing technology that can help businesses anticipate customer needs and respond to user issues in real time can lead to increased conversions and increased efficiency. Proven strategies include:

  • Leverage AI: Implementing an AI-powered digital experience analytics platform enables businesses to proactively identify and resolve issues that emerge through customer feedback and interaction data.
  • Prioritize a self-service model: Customers expect immediate responses to any issues they may encounter without having to deal with customer service representatives. Incorporating a chatbot, dynamic FAQs and semantic search engines help customers find their answers easily.
  • Individualization: An individualized digital experience for each customer is essential, as nearly three quarters of customers expect personalized interactions. Furthermore, 76% are frustrated when personal interactions are not delivered.

The power of data and analytics

Companies cannot close the digital experience gap and meet customer expectations if they do not have a thorough understanding of how customers navigate their digital platforms. To achieve this understanding, they can integrate analytics solutions such as a Digital Experience Intelligence (DXI) platform to capture and analyze 100% of customer interactions across channels.

Since a DXI platform acts as a single source of truth, the analytics can be used by different teams, helping businesses prioritize and quickly make data-driven decisions about customer experience improvements. Teams are immediately notified of technical issues on a brand’s website or mobile app so they can be resolved before they significantly impact revenue or customer experience, ensuring a frictionless journey.

Related: 3 Tips for Using Consumer Data to Create More Personalized Experiences

Improve digital experiences now for the future

Closing the digital experience gap has never been more important. The customer journey is priceless; maintaining an exceptional digital experience requires teams to work diligently behind the scenes to tackle any issues before they escalate.

Implementation of strategies that prioritize anticipating and meeting customers’ needs ensures long-term brand success. Through best practices, companies across industries will soon deliver the quality experience that customers say has been missing from their digital journeys.

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