Why Digital Experience is only half the answer

Read time : 3 minutes

In this week's issue, we're spotlighting five pieces of digital customer experience advice being promoted that are leading to poor business decisions, costing businesses millions of dollars of wasted investment.

Technology solves lots of problems …just not all.

But when Technology leads ahead of customer insight, it can be disastrous for organisations.

Just ask the ASX, $250 million down the drain!

The digital space is flooded with misinformation, and businesses inevitably act on it, only to end up disappointed by the results.

Let's stop that.

Before we dive into the misconceptions surrounding digital customer experience, let's iron out what we mean by DCX...Digital Customer Experience.

At its simplest, digital customer experience is how customers interact with your Brand using digital channels. But it's so much more than that. It's the totality of their experiences and interactions with your Brand enabled by Technology.

An excellent digital customer experience will make customers feel valued, respected and understood. It will be personalised, convenient and easy to use. Customers should feel like they are in control and that their privacy is respected.

A digital customer experience can take many forms, but some common examples include the following:

What's going wrong?

Customer needs are evolving at a pace that is beyond the current capabilities of most businesses to keep up with. Many companies are taking shortcuts in the race to keep up, hoping they can quickly and easily improve business outcomes.

What are they getting wrong?

Misconception 1: Digital customer experience is all about Technology

A common misconception is that an excellent digital customer experience relies solely on having the latest and greatest Technology. But that's not the case. Technology is only part of the equation. Having perfectly functioning Technology is only beneficial if it's directed at solving the most critical customer issues. There's no point in solving the wrong problem the right way. And too many businesses are doing just that.

Recently, we were asked to help one of our clients develop and deliver a new backend tech platform to help them innovate and differentiate their product. It was a digitally-led customer experience project.

They'd spent the last two years adding new and different features; they had a backlog of over 300 Tickets on their Kanban Board. And despite a team of 15 Developers working their guts out for two years, they still weren't growing market share or revenue. They were burning through their funding at a rapid rate.

As we undertook the Discovery Process, we found many opportunities to improve their digital experience and interactions. What had been lacking was a deep understanding of what their customers and users truly valued. Once they possessed the insights, prioritisation became simple. Share and revenue are starting to grow.

Misconception 2: Customers separate digital and physical experience

The line between the digital and physical world is becoming more and more blurred.

Businesses have different departments responsible for different touchpoints along the customer journey. However, customers don't differentiate between online and offline experiences - to them; they are all the same these days. Customers will follow whichever path benefits their end goal.

The jump from off ...to on... and back to offline again.

The issue is that the marketing team uses one type of language and approach and the Risk team uses an entirely different language and approach; as a consumer, it's confusing!!

Organisations would like the customer to have a seamless online experience where they never vary from a particular, well-trodden path, interact, and get their job done without human involvement.

The problem is, it takes a lot of effort, design and insight to ensure that the vast majority of customers can go through that journey....effortlessly.

Nearly every organisation underestimates the money and Technology required to build a seamless experience.

And so if your organisation is unable or unwilling to do that, you need to build in the opportunity for customers to dip out of that digital customer experience and get support, education or assistance from humans or other areas.

It may still be a predominantly digital interaction, but it also needs to build that flexibility if your budget or revenue doesn't extend to Apple-like proportions.

Misconception 3: Digital Customer Experience is mainly marketing driven

Understanding that the customer journey doesn't end at purchase is essential. Many digital marketers say that the customer experience ends after a purchase, and others say that the customer experience begins after a purchase.

It's not either. It's both!

Most of your customer's journey will take place post-purchase as they use and interact with your product. Your focus needs to cover the entirety of the customer lifecycle.

Organisations fall victim to this misconception all the time. They make promises, and customers (understandably) expect them to deliver against those promises.

Does this sound familiar? They promise their customers that it will be easy, seamless, and flexible. But those are difficult promises to deliver on.

We say Brand is the promise you make; Customer Experience is the promise you keep.

What percentage of your business is in the keeping promises business??

Misconception 4: Creating a digital customer experience is expensive

Yes, developing a website or creating an app can be costly. But there are many ways to make a great digital customer experience without breaking the bank. You don't need to do everything at once or have the fanciest Technology.

There's a tendency when undertaking digital transformations to focus on "Delighters". Technology Vendors promise you their products can deliver amazing features.

It can be intoxicating!

We've seen tens and tens of our clients fall victim to this trap. However, these bells and whistles in the digital experience often don't fundamentally solve key concerns like logging in quickly and easily, entering information intuitively or tracking your package without needing to invest lots of your time.

It's more important to understand where your customer pain points are so that you can better maximise your expenditure on Technology to solve these issues.

You don't always need an expensive tech stack to solve your customer's biggest problems.

Catch you next week.

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