As customer experience experts we’ve found ourselves talking more and more about the online experience over the last decade. It’s been a steady ramp-up of importance in the broader CEX world.
And then came a pandemic. We all retreated into homes and in front of our screens. And suddenly digital experience became the be all and end all even for businesses that had little or no online presence before.
What is digital customer experience?
Digital (or online) customer experience is the end to end experience a customer or prospect has with a business when they interact online, it is the customer’s perception of your digital strategy. The business has a chance to convert them and hold onto their custom long term if they manage those interactions well by meeting their needs, making it easy and communicating clearly.
Online customer experience context in 2020
A recent survey by PFS found that 77% of respondents believe that they will continue to purchase online more once the lockdown is over, meaning that huge swathes of a previously offline audience have found their way online and will want to continue to be served there. Whilst at least 70% of companies claimed to have a digital transformation programme in place before the pandemic we soon saw that timescales shifted and as a result, these initiatives became an instant priority and picked up speed. Some digital exploits were executed over a matter of day as organisations moved customer service functions as well as sales to online platforms.
How does this effect how we should communicate online?
With an increasingly varied array of different channels being utilised in the digital space, companies need to focus on transparent, regular and clear customer communications. Consumers are more likely to be checking e-mail communications and are expecting quality updates about the brands that matter rather than sales messages and promotional material.
Website design for great digital customer experience
Whilst website design is a complex beast, the elements of a design which affects customer experience are really quite straightforward.
With online users relying on different devices types and size to access the online world(Hubspot found that some 40% of consumers use a mobile device for research even before an in-person purchase) a key consideration should always be responsiveness. If a user has to pinch in, you’re likely to lose them. If a user can’t click into a box in a form with a large adult finger don’t expect them to go reaching for a stylus as they’ll just go elsewhere.
Site structure is crucial too. Users expect to find their way to the information they need with few clicks and therefore need menus that are logical. Websites are, more than ever, acting as your shop window; when important things change quickly (opening times, despatch details or new ways of working) users will be pro-actively seeking this information and will expect to see it prominently displayed.