In today’s world, digital engagement has never been more important. It’s not enough to publish content on your website, social media, or so on. You need to know how to boost engagement along your digital customer journey. When talking about your online presence, all roads lead to your customer experience.
With a reported 65% of customers saying they trust a business less after experiencing a problem with a brand online, your journey impacts your overall profitability. The word “digital experience” might seem like nothing but a social media trend, but it’s really much more than that. The line between digital and physical selling is blurring faster than ever before. In fact, they’re more connected than you think.
If you want your brand to have a strong digital customer journey, you need to tune into your engagement. Each touchpoint with clients or customers needs to be personalized and meaningful. Your goal shouldn’t just be to sell but to also create a trusted relationship. By using customer feedback, delivering a satisfying experience, and offering seamless service, you optimize your big-picture digital customer journey.
Of the customers who rated a company’s experience highly, 94% are very likely to buy from them again in the future. This translates to referrals, social proof, and brand evangelism. However, it’s not enough to want to create a better experience. You need a real-world, actionable strategy to boost engagement across the entire digital customer journey.
What Is Digital Customer Experience?
To begin, let’s define what digital customer experience actually is. This is a term you might see often across social media and LinkedIn, but let’s dive deeper than the buzzword itself. The digital customer experience refers specifically to online aspects of your customer experience (CX). This includes things like social media, apps, blogs, videos, or any other touchpoints online.
If your users are engaging with your brand in any digital way, whether it’s through a QR code or a self-service portal, this is a type of digital customer experience. With 59% of all everyday transactions happening via digital payments, this is a big piece in your overall revenue puzzle. With just about every company, both big and small, offering some form of digital experience, this is a huge way to stand out.
Believe it or not, almost 1 in 5 companies fail to have any formal CX strategy. The majority of companies find their plan for CX unclear, and there’s no clear grasp on analytics. Though these stats can be a wake-up call, they’re also an opportunity to position yourself over the competition. Moreover, engagement doesn’t only matter at a single point in the digital customer journey. Instead, it needs to be a part of every stage. Let’s evaluate how engagement fits into each stage of the digital customer journey.
- Awareness: First, by being present online, you make it easy for users to find your brand organically. This could be through reviews, social mentions, or online content.
- Discover: Next, your digital touchpoints are easily established so customers can learn more about what you offer and what makes you different.
- Evaluate: Similarly, you help customers overcome obstacles and objections with clear points of differentiation, support, and service.
- Conversion: It’s easy and efficient for customers to make a purchase or schedule a service online.
- Experience: After conversion, customers continue to engage with the brand, whether through support, social media, or so on.
- Advocacy: Finally, the customer isn’t just passively following the brand. The customer is now a superfan, and they’re excited to share their enthusiasm online and in person.
Optimize Digital Customer Journey Engagement
If you’re ready to take your digital customer journey engagement to the next level, you need a clear plan. The right strategy not only helps you tune into customers’ needs, but also sets you apart from similar brands. Though simple, these engagement ideas below make all the difference.
Focus on personalization.
To kick things off, personalization is a new form of digital currency. Customers in today’s world expect a personalized experience. They want brands to anticipate their needs and offer unique selections. With 80% of customers more likely to make a purchase from a business with a personalized experience, this is something you can’t ignore.
With that in mind, how do you focus on personalization to boost your engagement? You can’t have digital personalization without high-quality data. By using customers’ information, past purchases, interests, and demographics, you can curate the experience to meet their needs. This is an opportunity to leverage artificial intelligence, like with personalized chatbots or CRM tools.
If it sounds simple, that’s because it is. Customers are savvier than ever. Treat them as more than a number on a sales page. It’s never been more obvious when content or responses are one-size-fits-all. At a basic level, all humans want to feel special, seen, and understood. By making this a foundation of your brand, you create a customer-first digital journey.
Know your audience.
Along those lines, it’s time to brush up on how well you know your audience. Who is your ideal user? What does he or she look for in an online experience? Your digital customer journey counts on this answer. When you know your customers, you tailor content to meet their needs, solving specific challenges as they relate to them.
Aside from reviewing market data and analytics, follow your success. What’s worked for your audience in the past, and what mattered to them? From there, create buyer personas with them in mind. This is how you target specific ideal users, building long-lasting relationships with them in mind.
When in doubt, don’t make assumptions. There’s never a bad time to ask your customers about themselves or their wishes. Customer feedback is your biggest source of insights. Your existing customers know your strengths and weaknesses the best. When you encourage an open conversation between your superfans and your team, you always know the path forward.
Make it easy for customers to give feedback.
Moreover, a startling 52% of people believe companies need to act on feedback from customers. There’s a disconnect between customers’ opinions and real-world actions taken by brands. When you make it easy for customers to share their thoughts, you create a customer-first model that’s prepared to evolve with your customers’ needs.
There are a lot of simple ways to collect feedback:
- Add a feedbox box to your website or after customers complete a purchase.
- Ask if customers liked a blog post or guide with a simple thumbs up or down button.
- Share a survey on social media or via email.
- Follow up with past customers to ask for reviews.
- Offer a discount or other reward in exchange for feedback.
Customer feedback is the foundation of any business, big or small. While this doesn’t mean you need to obsess over small details in single reviews, you do need to pay attention to big-picture suggestions. When you listen to your customers and address their concerns, you build real trust. This is something customers notice, and it creates superfans.
If your customers have to seek out a way to give feedback, this leaves a bad impression. It shows that you aren’t open to outside input, and you don’t take feedback seriously. On the other hand, when you’re proactive about collecting feedback, you show you really wish to serve your customers—not just treat them as wallets.
Be transparent and trustworthy.
Finally, the last piece of the engagement puzzle has to do with transparency. Did you know 83% of customers will share personal data with businesses if the brand is transparent? It seems like there’s negative press every day about company data breaches, leaked information, and so on. This is why it’s so essential to prioritize privacy and data protection within your digital customer journey.
While “transparent” on the surface is a business buzzword, it’s really just about being honest with information and processes. By being transparent with your employees and customers, you foster a community built on trust. With two-thirds of consumers willing to spend more from a transparent company, this has a serious impact on your brand loyalty.
As a business, you can build transparency into your digital customer journey in many ways. You can avoid playing the blame game, respond to customer complaints quickly, and be open about your business structures. The more responsive you are to outside opinions and expectations, the more trustworthy you see to your prospective customers.
What Drives Your Digital Customer Journey?
Ultimately, your digital customer journey is a part of your overall strategy to engage customers. As the lines between digital and physical continue to blur, don’t forget that every online interaction adds up to a larger impression. By adding a touch of humanity, personalization, and transparency to each touchpoint, you show customers you value them.
Customer experience is far from one-and-done. Your digital customer journey is something your team optimizes regularly to make sure you’re always helping customers. With things moving faster digitally than ever before, you might even need additional help to get your brand to the next level. If so, you’re not alone.