A company might make its money from its products and services, but it's the digital customer experience that's critical to its health and growth.
The customer experience involves more than the point where a customer makes a buying decision or completes a purchase. It reflects a series of interactions that happen across multiple digital channels—and taking the time to make each step intuitive and each interaction helpful helps cement customer loyalty.
With a few simple steps, you can create a winning digital customer experience strategy—one that you can measure and optimize.
Map the customer journey
What is digital customer experience worth to your customers? Put yourself in their shoes and think through each interaction they'll have with your company. Their entryway could be through your marketing efforts, after which they're funneled into the process of selecting a product or service and making a digital purchase.
But those aren't the only pathways on the customer journey. The moment a customer reaches out to a contact center with questions, complaints or service and support issues is the moment that a positive experience can directly lead to repeat business and new referrals.
Identify opportunities to optimize the journey
Every business wants every customer to have a great experience, but you can't simply will one into existence. Approach your strategy as a novelist or screenwriter would—great stories turn on conflict, and the satisfaction of a narrative comes from resolving problems. If you can anticipate common complaints, you can make sure you're ready to resolve them efficiently and effectively.
When a customer engages with a contact center, they want speed, expertise, empathy and understanding. They don't want to wait to talk to an agent. They don't want to talk to multiple agents unless they absolutely have to—and then, they don't want to have to explain their issues again and again. Minimal wait times and seamless information transfer make for quick, conclusive resolutions—and those make for a good customer experience.
Also, providing a good digital customer experience means using data effectively—and keeping it secure. Strong security that safeguards customers' personal information is vital to winning their trust, as is respecting their privacy throughout their journey.
Interpret key performance indicators
Top-performing companies are constantly listening, learning and acting. They're not just making sure that their customers' problems are resolved—they're asking questions about the quality of their process that took place and how it could be even better. They are constantly listening to anything said about their product on social media, as that grows as a medium of sharing information about brands.
Your key performance indicators (KPIs) tell you all you need to know about the quality of your customers' digital experience. Chief among them is the net promoter score, which primarily measures one thing: Would a customer recommend your customer to others?
Other KPIs can help you fine-tune your strategy. An improvement in your customer satisfaction score, customer effort score or churn rate indicates that you're headed in the right direction.
The customer experience is paramount, and a single vocal customer can have an enormous impact on your business. By mapping the customer journey, you give yourself the means to measure its efficacy—and improve it.
Managing the customer experience becomes even easier when you work with a partner that can provide technology and insight that help you proactively address potential shortfalls.
Verizon Customer Experience Services can help you improve your digital experience for your customers.
The author of this content is a paid contributor for Verizon.