Why It’s Important to Provide an Optimized Digital Customer Experience
June 18, 2019
Top Reasons a Positive Customer Experience Is Essential
In the 1990s, very few companies had websites. Mobile phones were an unwieldy novelty and social media didn’t exist. The value of digital technology was grasped early by consumers and businesses alike, many of which are now understanding the significance of needing to engage a technological roadmap for their business.
In 1984, the digital customer experience was born when a 72- year old grandmother ordered home-delivered groceries using a television and phone line in what is widely considered the first e-commerce transaction.
The internet has come a long way since then. Thirty-five years later, a digital presence and strategy for future change is all but required for the modern business. An increasingly digital world is driving the need to provide an optimized digital customer experience.
Let’s take a look at what a digital customer experience means, and why that matters for the future of a business.
Users Expect Digital Competence
Customers Can Be Unforgiving When It Comes to Outdated Digital Experiences
We live in a digital world. There are 3.6 billion internet users worldwide, spending as much as six hours per day online. Likewise, Pew Research has found that at least 90 percent of American households have some internet-connected device, with a third of all households owning three or more smartphones alone. One in five homes is hyper-connected, meaning that we would find ten or more devices in that home alone.
All of this connectivity means that users expect a level of digital competence from the brands they wish to support. We’re well aware that great communication within a company is an important need, but direct communication with the consumer is now one of the most important considerations a company can make.
There isn’t much patience for outdated UX design or half-functioning apps. At best, design flaws and a poor digital customer experience indicates a lack of thoughtfulness on account of the business. At worst, it suggests the company is insecure and simply unable to provide customers with services they can reasonably expect.
Mobile Optimization Is Not Optional
Have you ever struggled with trying to navigate a website that just wasn’t set up for browsing on a phone? It’s frustrating, especially when trying to find information on the go. It also leads people to click away, taking a sale with them.
In 2019, if it doesn’t work on mobile, it doesn’t work. It’s because over 58 percent of all web traffic is currently happening through a smartphone. Mobile devices have distinct design requirements because of their small screen size and vertical layouts. This is something which designers and businesses must account for because a bad UX experience means that customer will go elsewhere.
Most Interactions Are Digital
The Importance of Digital Experiences for Customers
The digital environment is where most people connect with a brand for the first time. It makes a flawless digital presence even more imperative because it’s the first impression which consumers have of that brand.
A robust digital foot forward is half of the battle to winning sales. Consider that a mediocre product with a stunning presentation, natural conversion funnel, and intelligent digital marketing plan will sell. However, a great product with a sloppy website, a confusing social media presence, or a negative digital reputation is a perfect recipe for trouble for an SMB.
After the launch of its first tablet in 1993 was a failure, Apple redeemed itself with the iPad. The Apple Newton was labeled a failure because it was ahead of its time, and the launch wasn’t correctly executed. Instead of giving up on tablets entirely, Apple regrouped and delivered the perfect product and message 17 years later. Since 2010, Apple has sold over 360 million iPads.
Having a great product isn’t enough—you need to make sure the digital customer experience is excellent, too.
Social Media Is King
The usefulness of social media has always been a hot issue for society, something which has mostly stemmed from confusion about its purpose. However, in 2019, it’s a necessity for modern business. At least 85 percent of customers still prefer to shop in store, but social media has become so ubiquitous because it allows a consumer to efficiently research options, prices, and different products.
Consumers still want to feel, try out, and physically experience products. However, they also want to do it with their selection already narrowed to a handful of preferences. In other words, social media directly supports the customer shopping experience by making sure people know they’re getting exactly what they want.
The customer experience also benefits from another feature which has risen in today’s digital environment: automation. Online, this often translates to simple customer support items such as lost passwords or updating information. Automation streamlines the digital customer experience by providing self-service options so everyone can get things done quicker—ultimately bringing customers closer to your business.
A 24-hour self-service support portal is a great way for businesses to let customers get the answers they want on their own time. This will help quell customer frustration and keep them coming back to you for more products and services in the future.
Optimize the Digital Customer Experience
Newsweek may have understandably dismissed the internet as a fad in 1995, but not adapting to the digital world is a death sentence for any business today. Digital transformation emphasizes customer experience, and rightfully assumes that a consumer is a savvy tech user who is comfortable operating in a digital environment. Self-service allows for an optimized digital customer experience, which ultimately drives revenue and increases consumer satisfaction.
Want to Learn More?
Offering a better customer experience is just one aspect of digital transformation which is changing the way small businesses operate in today’s constantly evolving landscape. To learn more about how you can modernize your organization, reach out to our Managed IT team and speak to one of our experts today!