The Six Pillars of Great Digital Customer Experience

March 30, 2020 8 minutes read

Digital Customer Experience (or Digital CX) is more than a buzzword or a trend—it’s a pillar of marketing, right up there with consumer research, digital strategy, and brand identity.

Good Digital CX happens at the crossroad of innovative technology, smart analytics, and impactful content. When these things come together, they create a positive, memorable experience for every person that encounters it.

Consider the fact that 60% of companies think they have a great mobile experience, but only 22% of consumers feel the same. This discrepancy is one of the many reasons that smart, data-driven Digital CX matters. If a brand hasn’t been considering what role Digital CX plays in its strategy, it’s time to start doing so.

It is not a customer journey. 

It is not an ad campaign.

It is not a content marketing plan.

At its core, Digital CX is an important part of brand identity and customer experience. Take for example the fact that 73% of consumers use more than one channel during their shopping journey – if a brand’s dedication to the customer ends the moment someone leaves a brick and mortar store, they’re going to remember that and potentially hold it against the brand.

So how does a brand ensure their Digital CX is up to par? Here are six steps:

  1. Understand audiences and their habits.
  2. Know what customers consider good CX.
  3. Align on and execute a cohesive brand identity and strategy.
  4. Get the right systems in place.
  5. Know when to add a human touch.
  6. Test, track, and optimize.

1. Understand Audiences and Their Habits

As with all things in this industry, great Digital CX starts with understanding an audience. After all, a brand can’t build a satisfying experience if they don’t know who they’re building it for. A comprehensive audience understanding is non-negotiable. This type of research is ongoing, and its value cannot be overstated.

It requires a two-pronged approach – knowing who the customers are while also keeping an eye on new technologies and understanding how customers will react to those technologies.

There are a variety of ways to make sure research is up-to-date and accurate:

2. Know What Customers Consider Good Digital CX

Just as there are many types of audiences out there, there are also a variety of good Digital CX systems. With a thorough understanding of a brand’s audience, figuring out the right system for them will be much easier.

There are six areas to think about when figuring out what Digital Customer Experience will work for consumers:

A prime example of great end-to-end CX is Starbucks and their Starbucks Rewards program. They know their audience is on the go and values a balance of flavor and convenience. Their app is incredibly user-friendly – users can load their card up ahead of time, order ahead, customize their drinks, earn points and rewards, and pay all from one channel.

The program also tracks personalized information like preferences and birthdays so that they can provide their customers with rewards that feel meaningful and desired. And as the cherry on top? They have regular challenges and games with enticing rewards to keep users engaged and coming back.

Their platform succeeds because they took the time to understand their audience, and so they’ve built up a loyal fan base.

3. Align On and Execute a Cohesive Brand Identity and Strategy

When designing or improving a Digital Customer Experience system, always make sure that the brand shines through in every interaction. Experiences that aren’t cohesive or feel off aren’t just jarring – they can harm brand image if a consumer uses something with a brand’s name on it that doesn’t go with the rest of the brand. 

Digital CX should function like a mosaic – a thousand different, tiny touchpoints all working together to make one large, cohesive image. Customers will remember that mosaic when it comes time to make a decision, whether that decision is to abandon a brand, make a purchase, or post about an experience.

Here are a few tips to help ensure a mosaic is functioning the way it should:

4. Get the Right Systems in Place

Integration is the key to Digital Customer Experience. Making smart use of data and technology can help a brand ensure that customers are receiving a holistic experience. This step takes a lot of organization and planning – not only does a brand need many systems to succeed here, but they also need to be able to effectively manage them. CRM systems can make a big difference.

There are several systems that need to be in place for an effective Digital Customer Experience:

5. Know When to Add a Human Touch

Digital CX isn’t something that can be put in place, automated, and run by AI. There will always be a time and place for a human touch, as humans are using the platforms. The level of human interaction will vary depending on the age, needs, and wants of the customers.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding where to add that human element:

6. Test, Track, and Optimize

Now that a thorough Digital CX ecosystem is in place, it’s time to make it run smoothly and focus on optimization. While the information above can provide great groundwork for an effective ecosystem, that ecosystem will not reach its full potential until it has been thoroughly tested and optimized.

Keep the following in mind while optimizing your Digital Customer Experience:

Digital Customer Experience is a complicated, but important part of a brand’s identity – both online and off. While the guide above provides valuable information on what makes a good Digital CX ecosystem, we’re happy to help you implement those learnings.

If you’d like to connect with someone on our team for more insight into how we approach Digital CX, please let us know.