The Digital Customer Experience is one that is going to continue to expand and get a lot more important in the years to come. In the year 2016, the average human in the United States already spends 10 hours of their day looking at a screen. Whether its interacting on social media, using google docs, writing code or the multitude of other tasks we do in the digital world, the experience we have with these tools helps us decide whether to use them or not.
digital customer experience browsers
The consequences of a bad customer experience.
Image: Statcounter

You know that time when you had a less than average experience using Internet Explorer? Chances are you switched to a better browser (no? seriously?) We make these decisions every day, consciously or subconsciously as customers and users. However, when it comes to designing the experience for a customer – there is a lot more thought required. Devices are complicated enough as they are. They stall, they hang, they require maintenance, they use up all of our free data plan, yet we keep coming back for more. What goes into creating a digital customer experience that customers love and enjoy?

Visually Consistent

One very important factor to make sure build a good digital customer experience with your brand is to make sure you stay visually consistent. From the time you build your logo and define a company color palette, to your onboarding emailers, app or website design and usability – visual consistency is essential.

digital customer experience go proImage: Go Pro Instagram

Companies that bring back familiar colours, design, language, humour and click through flows are great at getting customers hooked. It is also great when marketing and sales collateral is in line with this visual language. Starbucks and GoPro are just two examples of some of the most visually consistent brands I have seen across platforms.

Compliment the Customer Journey

Customer Journey mapping has become an increasingly important part of the entire customer experience. A brand’s ability to understand what channels bring in the most customers, how they begin to use the brand, where they get stuck, what channels they choose to help them resolve their problems, what keeps them loyal and what makes them leave.  All this comes into play to create a holistic view of not just the customer’s journey – but also a more transparent view of a brand as it functions – and areas for improvement across the board.

customer-journey-clobeoneImage: GlobeOne

Emirates is a great example of a brand that has put in the time and effort to understand how their customers interact with them, what channels they use, and how to optimize engagement with these customers. To do this, the team

  • Captured existing customer understanding insights.
  • Hired professionals to build a holistic view of the customer journey.
  • Conducted a root-cause analysis of flaws at moments of truth
  • Identified not only relationship breakers but also relationship builders.
  • Refined journey maps for employee training
  • Built momentum with willing partners.

Investing in professionals to help with this process to work along with key stakeholders in your brand is a great way to start building a better digital customer experience. Brands like Zappos and AirBnB are also great reference points to building out your digital customer journeys.

Omni Channel Strategy

While having a strategy for your website is important, for any brand that exists both offline and online – the challenge becomes larger. How do you integrate an offline and an online experience without customers realising the obvious difference? How does the experience become so seamless that customers can pick up online where they left off offline?

burberrys-global-revenue-2005-2014
Image: Statistia 

One great example for a brand that blew this experience off the roof was Burberry. Burberry managed to reposition itself over seven years from being an outdated, irrelevant, underperforming brand to a global luxury brand that moved with the times. The Harvard Business Review even published an article by Burberry’s former CEO Angela Ahrendts (now a senior VP at Apple) about how they transformed the brand. Her method? “Centralize design and focus on innovating core heritage products.”  

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-19-15-49Image: The Art of The Trench Website

This goes back to the importance of visual consistency – but Ahrendts didn’t stop there. After centralizing design, the brand launched websites such as The Art of The Trench. A great way to innovate on their core product, the old school, almost dated trench coat, and give it a new avatar over social media. Burberry encouraged customers to take selfies and share these on Instagram and other social channels to curate for the website. This put the customer in focus and gave them a moment in the spotlight with a brand they loved. Initiatives like Burberry Bespoke and Burberry Acoustic spoke to younger audiences and got their attention, as well as loyalty. Burberry proved that global luxury brand could reinvent itself and be relevant again by building a great digital customer experience.

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