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What is digital customer experience?

We take a look at digital customer experience and the role that headless CMSs play in building engaging digital customer experiences.
Jing Li

Written by Jing Li

Dec 18, 2023
What is digital customer experience

The power of seamless digital experiences cannot be underestimated. Research shows customers will leave a brand entirely after only two bad experiences. However when customers have a good experience with a brand, they can pay over 5% more for the same services or products.

Great digital customer experiences directly translate to higher customer lifetime value and lower customer acquisition costs, ultimately leading to a stronger brand value and a loyal customer base.

In other words, digital customer experiences can either create lifelong customers or people who would never purchase from your brand.

This in-depth guide explores digital customer experience, why it matters, and how to improve it.

#What is a digital customer experience?

Digital customer experience (DCX) can be any interaction between a brand and its prospective customers through digital channels like websites, social media, email, and chat. It is the overall perception of the brand that the customers develop over time.

Activities like browsing for reviews, searching for products online, interacting with the brand’s mobile app, or contacting customer service for help all encompass the digital customer experience.

#Digital customer experience vs. customer experience

Every customer interaction, online or offline, is part of the overall customer experience (CX). As an ongoing process, customer experience continuously evolves and grows as customers interact with the brand. It encompasses customers' general feelings and impressions of the brand based on their experiences and interactions.

Digital customer experience is the experience customers have with a brand on digital platforms, including websites, social media, mobile, and email. It can be considered a subset of customer experience focusing only on digital interactions and touchpoints between a brand and a customer.

#Why is digital customer experience important to your business?

Good quality products and services are important for success. However, brands also need to create great customer experiences every step of the customer journey to convert prospects into paying customers.

The post-pandemic world has become increasingly digital, and consumer demands and preferences have significantly changed. According to a report, only 24.8% of customers plan to shop in physical stores more frequently than in 2020.

Forgoing the usual shopping habits of visiting a retail outlet, looking at products, and queuing up to make purchases, customers now prefer to go to brick-and-mortar stores to try out new products and then make purchases online through e-commerce marketplaces or brand websites.

With consumers swiftly switching between different channels before purchasing products, providing a seamless and consistent omnichannel digital experience has become more important than ever.

#Benefits of conducting a successful digital customer experience strategy

  • Higher customer retention: A well-planned digital customer experience improves customer loyalty, leading to repeat sales and reduced customer churn.

  • Higher customer lifetime value: Happy customers are more likely to make purchases with a brand that consistently offers a positive experience online. Additional purchases mean loyal customers spend more over a longer term, increasing customer lifetime value.

  • Better brand equity: When brands prioritize quick response times, seamless online interactions, and user-friendly digital experiences, it improves brand equity and reputation.

  • Competitive advantage: In today’s digital-first world, customers are more likely to choose a brand offering superior omnichannel experience across all digital channels.

#How to measure digital customer experience

Measuring customer experience helps brands learn what their customers appreciate the most about the experience they are offered and what needs to be fixed.

Here are the different ways to measure digital customer experience:

Monitor customer experience metrics

The three main customer experience metrics can help track the effectiveness of past campaigns and set new goals for customer success:

  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): It measures customer satisfaction with the service quality they have received.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): It measures the likelihood of a customer recommending the brand’s product or services to someone else.
  • Customer Effort Score (CES): It measures the total effort required by the customer to achieve a specific goal at a digital touchpoint.

Collect direct feedback from customers

Direct customer feedback provides insights into the customers' main challenges and pain points. Brands can use this information to remove inefficiencies and bottlenecks across the different touchpoints and channels to improve customer experience. Customer feedback can be collected with questionnaires, polls, and surveys.

Measure churn rate

Analyzing churn data lets you identify why customers have stopped using your services and find ways to improve the customer journey.

Customer experience metrics can also be combined with other metrics to get a more robust view of customer sentiment and drive powerful and actionable insights.

#Best practices for building a digital customer experience strategy

1. Make Customer Experience a Priority

A customer who walks away with a positive experience is more likely to become a repeat and loyal customer and may even recommend and promote your business differently. This is why great customer experience needs to be a priority.

Get to know your customer. Learn who they are and what they expect from your relationship. If you understand what they are looking for, you have a much better chance of giving it to them.

2. Leverage customer data

Brands can improve their digital customer experiences using insights from experience data (X-data).

X-data like Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Customer Effort Score (CES) provide valuable information about user experiences and help brands understand consumer behavior.

When businesses combine X-data with operational data (O-data), which tells how customers interact with a brand, it becomes possible to design and deliver personalized offers and boost customer experience.

3. Create seamless omnichannel experiences

Multichannel may be faster and easier, but the end goal should always be a great omnichannel digital experience for customers.

Omnichannel customer experiences make it easier for customers to interact with a brand, allowing them to switch between platforms seamlessly while getting personalized, cohesive, and consistent support.

Customer history is available to the support team at every digital touchpoint. The customer doesn’t have to repeat the information, creating a more harmonious experience that boosts customer satisfaction and loyalty.

With an omnichannel approach, businesses use a unified platform to centralize channels and customer insights.

4. Make content easily accessible

Customers shouldn’t be hunting for content. Content should be available at whichever touchpoint a customer interacts with the brand.

Don’t think of content in terms of deliverables, like manuals, user guides, pages, etc. Instead, create componentized content you can reuse across multiple deliverables.

Adopt content creation tools that help authors, editors, and other contributors create content that has consistent structure and terminology.

Finally, semantically tag all product content using a unified taxonomy, no matter which department created it. This results in semantically rich content that can be automatically delivered to those who need it.

#How to improve digital customer experience

Here are some of the top tips to improve digital customer experience:

1. Take a deep dive into your customer journeys

Optimized touchpoints are the building blocks of great digital customer experiences. Research the major customer journeys of your brand and focus on high-stakes touchpoints like opening a new account or making payments. The goal should be identifying where customers enjoy the brand experience and where they get stuck.

2. Understand your audience

Collecting feedback from the audience is important, but you also have to ensure you are capturing feedback from the right audience. When you have insights into consumer behavior and what they expect, you can provide personalized experiences that align with their needs.

Prioritize data from customers who purchased across multiple environments – physical stores, desktop, and mobile apps. You should look for their main pain points and how you can improve the omnichannel experience.

3. Incorporate personalization

Highly personalized customer experiences that leverage historical customer data are difficult for competitors to copy. These personalized experiences allow brands to gain a sustainable competitive advantage.

When their experience is personalized, customers feel like they matter to your brand.

A personalized approach allows your brand to deliver the right content at the right time to the right person. To achieve a consistent and personalized digital CX, businesses often use digital experience platforms that are specifically developed to break apart stacks of data for more unified management.

4. Identify and fix high-level problems

Capture high-level metrics across the different digital touchpoints to identify and fix the major problems before they can do any long-term damage. You should also look for touchpoints that are performing well and replicate their success. Establish the baseline metrics for success to assess and measure trends over time.

#What are the leading digital customer experience tools?

Brands need to adopt omnichannel content strategies to deliver customer experiences at scale across all the different platforms and channels, including storefronts, company websites, social media, and emails.

With an omnichannel content strategy, it becomes possible to break down walls of different channels and deliver personalized omnichannel eCommerce customer experiences.

By building a headless ecosystem, brands can personalize content at scale and offer a unified customer experience.

A headless content management system (CMS) can deliver content as data to any platform or device via API.

The term ‘headless’ means that the content repository or ‘body’ is separated from the presentation layer or frontend, also known as the ‘head.’

For comparison, in traditional CMS like WordPress, content is restricted to a specific landing page or blog post — effectively rendering on one frontend.

On the other hand, a headless CMS contains all the content — text, images, video, files, etc.- in a single structured database. This way, development teams can distribute them to any digital frontend from a single source.

By taking a headless approach to eCommerce, businesses can develop an architecture that allows them to build a powerful backend that will grow with them over time.

Headless Commerce allows companies to:

  • Build faster websites
  • Achieve easier omnichannel presence
  • Control individual parts of the architecture
  • Seamlessly integrate with other tools and services
  • Future-proof their tech stack

#Excelling your digital customer experience with the next-generation headless CMS

A seamless digital customer experience is necessary for brands to stay ahead of the competition.

With Hygraph’s next-generation headless CMS, brands can deliver omnichannel experiences at scale. You can build better personalized digital experiences with the market-leading APIs, engage your customers through rich content, and drive business value.

Ready to build your own omnichannel digital experiences? Let's get started.

Blog Author

Jing Li

Jing Li

Jing is the Content Marketing Manager at Hygraph. Besides telling compelling stories, Jing enjoys dining out and catching occasional waves on the ocean.

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