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Expectation vs Experience: Why Brands Need a Digital Customer Experience Strategy

Douglas Lemos Digital Experience Lead

Exceptional digital customer experience is essential to retaining customers and building brand loyalty.

As user expectations continue to evolve, providing clear, fast, and intuitive digital customer experiences is no longer a mere goal, but rather an essential requirement. In fact, a study conducted by Walker has revealed that customer experience has surpassed both price and product as the most critical brand differentiator.

Key Takeaways.

  • Positive digital customer experience builds loyalty, while negative experience drives customers away
  • To succeed in digital customer experience, businesses need to adopt a customer-centric mindset and map their journey

Gone are the days when having a digital customer experience (Digital CX) strategy meant having a website strategy. Instead, brands need to deliver a clear, easy and engaging experience at every stage of the customer journey.

What is digital customer experience?

A digital customer experience is an online interaction between a person and an organisation, whether B2B or B2C. It enhances an existing business model by offering customers, users, and employees innovative and efficient ways to complete tasks. A digital experience encompasses all digital touchpoints a customer has with an organisation, such as visiting the website, using chatbots, interacting with point of sale systems, and even completing a simple online form or email exchange. It is not limited to a single event, but rather the cumulative result of all interactions a customer has with the organisation through digital channels.

By creating a seamless and engaging digital experience, businesses can deepen customer loyalty, improve user satisfaction, and enhance employee productivity. The best digital customer experiences connect on an emotional level, building a rapport with users and forming relationships that last. A bad one will simply result in customers looking elsewhere.

As we move into 2023 and beyond, digital experiences are becoming the primary type of experience for most customers, so your brand reputation relies heavily on it being a good one.

A digital customer experience is not limited to a single interaction

Why digital customer experience matters

As we move into 2023 and beyond, digital experiences are becoming the primary type of experience for most customers, so your brand reputation relies heavily on it being a good one.

Did you know that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience? Or that roughly 71% of consumers switched brands at least once in the past year? In today’s digital climate, memorable experiences matter, and they have to be memorable for the right reasons. This requires experiences that do more than just cut through but connect with customers on an emotional level.

When it comes to digital customer experiences, the message is clear: Your brand needs to deliver exceptional experiences across multiple digital touchpoints or your prospects and customers will simply look elsewhere.

What is a digital customer experience strategy?

To some businesses, a digital customer experience strategy means simply adding digital tools on top of marketing, sales, or service interactions. However, a digital customer experience strategy requires brands to think differently about their entire approach to customer engagement. Your customer experience strategy must link to your overall strategy, aligning with your purpose and your brand positioning.

Where to start with your Digital CX

Customer centricity is something most businesses are aiming to be, but championing your customers can be challenging. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to start becoming customer-centric and delivering better digital customer experiences. It starts with your business mindset. Customer experience needs to be embraced as a key focus and something that can give you a real competitive advantage.

In order to build out an effective digital customer experience strategy, it’s important to start by first creating a watertight, strategically aligned business case focused on key metrics. Once your business case is locked in, you can start to build out your CX program by mapping the customer journey. A critical stage in your process, customer journey maps tell the story of the customer’s experience: from initial contact, through the various digital brand touchpoints, and into a long-term relationship. Done well, your journey maps will serve as a powerful tool that helps you identify key interactions the customer has and opportunities to improve them.

Customer journey maps tell the story of the customer’s experience

The future of experience

Digital experiences are fast becoming the primary type of experience for most customers. With so many customer interactions being virtual, an outstanding digital customer experience is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a mission-critical differentiator for every business. At equ, our digital experiences connect with customers on a deeper level, turning them into loyal long-term advocates. If you’re struggling with your digital experiences, we can partner with you to understand your customer's digital journey, digital touchpoints, and interactions, and implement strategies to improve and optimise.

Talk to us on how we can implement strategies to improve and optimise your business