Customer experience was traditionally based around face-to-face interactions with a company and telephone conversations, or even written correspondence through the mail. These days, technology is at the heart of almost everything we do, and the health pandemic has in many ways fast-tracked technology usage.
With hospitality businesses and retailers being forced to find more COVID-safe ways of interacting with customers, as well as the introduction of the NHS track and trace app, more of the less tech-savvy people are being encouraged to use apps and online tools more than they would have previously.
As well as being able to provide the technology solutions that customers need to easily get the products and services they need, businesses need to be able to measure the digital experiences that customers are having with their company. The types of digital touchpoints that businesses have vary but these generally include:
The first digital interaction for many customers will be to visit a company’s website, when they have Googled a service or product that they are looking for. Alternatively, they may have seen an ad on their social media feeds that directs them to the website. So, the experience that the customer has while using the website will be the first part of the digital CX, with important factors such as easy navigation and finding the required information quickly being key. The CX team should be monitoring any feedback about the website, to pass onto the developers if any changes are required to improve the CX.
If there is an online chat facility on the website, this is another important aspect of delivering a good quality of digital customer experience. Many people like the convenience of being able to chat online to an adviser rather than ring up and wait for a call to be answered. It means they can get on with something else while they wait for an online chat agent. If your business offers an online chat facility, you should be monitoring the quality of the messages and assessing most of the metrics used for evaluating call quality, such as how well the query was handled.
If your business has an app, this is another important part of the digital CX, and the app should be easy to use and provide the features that the customer needs. Theoretically, using an app should provide customers with a more convenient way to interact with your business. For example, a banking app enables users to perform important tasks such as transferring money and checking their balance. A retailer’s app allows people to search for products and make a secure purchase and arrange home delivery. When you are building an app, you need to think about what functions are most important to the end user and develop it around those requirements. People often leave online reviews to rate the apps, which is a good way of monitoring the quality of the app and to identify any areas that may require improving to boost the CX.
Social media channels have also become an integral part of the digital customer experience, whether it is through Facebook business pages, LinkedIn posts, Twitter, Instagram or TripAdvisor. The content that is provided via the social media channels is one part of the CX but also how the social media team responds to queries that are posted on social media is really important.
This is not only for the CX of that customer but also because the comments will be visible to many other potential customers, who will form an opinion of your business based on the interaction. Responding quickly to social media comments and being able to turn negative experiences into more positive ones are areas to focus on for improving the CX through social media.
Marketing emails, customer email enquiry responses, product update emails, newsletters and any other type of email content that your company sends to a customer is also part of the digital CX.
Using email campaign monitoring software can help you to gauge how good the quality of your emails is. Whether emails are getting opened and links are getting clicked are other important metrics of success, especially for marketing emails. How many customers are opening newsletters will also show you how well they are engaging with customers.
Analysing the digital customer experience
We have already mentioned some of the key aspects of monitoring each digital CX listed for the digital solutions listed above but we can also look across all digital customer experience touchpoints with a common set of metrics:
Success – Did the customer complete their task and achieve their goal?
Effort – Was the process smooth and easy, or did the customer need to put in a lot of effort to get their query resolved or task completed?
Emotion – Did the customer come away from the interaction feeling good? What was their overall feeling towards the experience? If they were frustrated or angry, then this shows that the touchpoint has some major flaws.
A study showed that 92% of people who provided a high score for the emotion factor of the interaction with a company said they were likely to use the company again. So, creating positive customer emotions is clearly an important element of the digital CX.
Over the next few years, it is likely that digital interactions with customers will be even more frequent, so it is vital that businesses ensure that they are investing in the digital customer experience and are monitoring all of the CX touchpoints effectively.
A great way of monitoring the digital customer experience is to use a Smiley feedback survey. You can embed a question into your website, which will pop up to ask a user about their experience, providing you with valuable insight about their digital customer experience that you would not otherwise be able to gather. You can also use the Smiley surveys in email correspondence and on your apps, so you can utilise it across most of your digital touchpoints to track your CX and capture important data that will help you to improve the digital CX.