Digital Customer Experience (DCE) 101

digital customer experience

From retail to banking to education, more and more of our lives are lived online. In fact, the average person now spends 40% of their waking lives using the internet.

And as we become increasingly accustomed to having online tools available to accomplish the things we used to have to do in-person, the kind of experience we have with a business through digital channels becomes the biggest deciding factor in whether we’ll use them again – or not.

Here we take a look at what Digital Customer Experience (DCE) is all about, why it’s become so crucial for modern companies, and how you can make sure your customers are getting the best experience possible. 

What is DCE?

In short, the Digital Customer Experience is the sum of all the interactions your clients have with your brand online. This might include how easy it is to navigate your website (both on desktop and mobile devices), what digital contact channels you have available, and what the journey from investigating a product or service to actually purchasing it is like.

The less streamlined and user-friendly that experience is, the more likely your prospect will jump ship and go to a competitor instead. We’ve all had frustrating experiences with websites that didn’t work like they should, or didn’t offer easy access to the information we were looking for. And just that one negative interaction can taint our opinion of that brand for good.    

Why does Digital Customer Experience matter for your business?

Here are just some of the benefits of improving your potential clients’ digital customer experience:

  1. It’s a great way to differentiate yourself. This is particularly true in mostly saturated markets, where customers have loads of options to choose from. Unless you’re the only game in town (and that’s highly unlikely) you probably have lots of competitors offering similar products at similar prices. Offering a really sensational DCE is one way you can stand out.
  • Improving your DCE creates other opportunities for growth. Because tracking the customer journey is essential to improving it, you may uncover other opportunities along the way. For example, implementing a live chat service is also a great way to generate leads. And by looking at the points at which your visitors tend to bounce off your page, you may find areas where valuable information is missing – and that’s a good opportunity to generate new content which answers your visitors’ questions. This in turn is good for your SEO.
  • It creates positive associations with your company. Even if the prospect isn’t ready to buy just yet, a great experience with your brand online makes them more likely to choose you when they are ready to make a purchase.
  • It boosts your bottom line. According to Deloitte, 50% of customers say an enjoyable Digital Customer Experience is vital in their purchasing decision. It’s easy to see why investing in a better DCE will boost conversions and profits.         

How can I create a better Digital Customer Experience for my clients?

Here are some simple rules for improving the DCE for your potential customers.

Point them in the right direction.

Take some time to brainstorm the reasons someone might have landed on your site. These usually include:

  • They’re looking for general information
  • They want help on a specific issue
  • They’re ready to buy right now

Can each of these personas find what they’re looking for straight away? If not, you might need to consider a redesign which directs the user where they need to go.

Make sure help is at hand.  

Can the visitor reach a real person (or even a chatbot) who can assist them immediately? Unless you have the budget for a full time contact centre, outsourced live chat is a cost-effective way to be available to your clients 24/7.

Get a second opinion.

You know your products and services inside out – and that makes it difficult to be objective about the kind of content your online customers need, or what their questions might be. Ask some people who have no experience with your industry at all to go through the customer journey on your platform, and give some constructive criticism.

Speed it up.     

Modern consumers are impatient creatures. Pages which are slow to load are a lot more likely to have a high bounce rate, regardless of how good your content might be. An improvement of just a second can make a surprising difference to the number of visitors who stick around.  

In conclusion

  • Digital Customer Experience (DCE) has become a crucial differentiator for organisations across virtually every industry.
  • Your online customers expect a platform that’s fast, easy to use and navigate, and where they can find support and answers to their questions instantly.
  • Done right, improving your DCE can offer an exceptional ROI (Return on Investment) in the form of increased sales and leads, as well as more repeat business.   

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