Providing a seamless digital experience isn’t just a necessity for SaaS and e-commerce businesses. Even brick-and-mortar businesses that undertake most of their customer interactions offline are increasingly embracing the need for digital touchpoints.
Not only can a digital transformation help you meet customer expectations, it can also streamline workflows and reduce employee pain points. When done carefully, digitizing core business processes can help you save time and money, ensure compliance, and remove data silos across your business operations.
Here’s what you need to know about the digitization of the customer experience, and how you can use it to provide a consistent experience across digital channels.
What Is a Digital Customer Experience?
The digital customer experience, or digital CX, refers to every interaction a customer has with your brand online throughout the customer journey. This includes everything from social media ads and digital marketing touchpoints, all the way through to help desk experiences and conversations with AI chatbots.
For some industries, like insurance, the benefits of a digital customer experience are obvious: New customers want to be able to compare insurance products online, file claims using a mobile app, and receive answers to their questions in real-time.
Even for industries where in-person customer experiences are paramount, such as the health and wellness industry, there’s no escaping the digital age. Customers may not distinguish between the user experience they have booking an appointment and their in-person experience at a wellness center or clinic.
For customers, every interaction is a reflection on your brand — and an opportunity to provide a consistent experience and improve the customer relationship.
What Is Digitization of the Customer Experience?
Digitization of the customer experience can look different for every business. For some companies, it means implementing an omnichannel customer service strategy so that customers receive the same quality of care no matter which method they use to seek help: social media, phone, chatbot, or a self-service knowledge base.
For others, it involves using artificial intelligence or machine learning to make sense of customer data and reduce churn or increase customer engagement.
Your digitization strategy could start by identifying customer needs and pain points and implementing digital technology solutions to address them. If your customers want more personalized experiences, then a more customer-centric CRM could help you improve customer satisfaction.
But it’s important to note that a true digital transformation strategy isn’t just about taking existing workflows and prettying them up with a digital interface. Instead of turning your existing forms into PDFs that your customers can fill out online, you could pre-populate forms with customer data that you already have on hand, saving customers time and reducing human error in the process.
5 Best Practices for the Digitization of Customer Experience
How do you go from digitizing a few steps in your business workflow to overhauling your entire customer experience ecosystem? Low-and no-code tools make it easy to develop customer experience platforms that don’t require advanced CX know-how.
Here are five ways to implement a digital CX initiative regardless of your experience with coding or CX design.
1. Go mobile
In some ways, the digital age could easily be described as the mobile age. According to the Pew Research Center, at least one-third of Americans own a smartphone, tablet, and computer, and around half use digital voice assistants.
Customers increasingly expect to be able to handle customer service issues on-the-go, including in situations when calling a customer support phone number isn’t practical. In particular, millennials want access to multi-channel customer service, and they want to be able to solve issues using self-service options as much as possible.
Ensuring that customers can access their accounts across multiple devices is the first step toward providing a great omnichannel experience.
But if you already have a mobile app, don’t stop there: Internet of Things (IoT) devices may be the next wave in the digitization of the customer experience, including in retail, dining, and entertainment settings. Contactless payments solutions are already here, and augmented reality CX platforms may be next on the horizon.
2. Provide a great onboarding experience
One aspect of the customer experience that’s well-suited to digitization is new customer onboarding. Although this can include helpful features such as an in-app tour or tutorial, the onboarding experience should start well before that point in the customer journey.
Customers may face obstacles simply learning about your product or signing up for an account. One analysis found that 63% of customers signing up for a new bank account remotely gave up during the onboarding process due to its complexity, or because they still needed to visit a branch in person to verify their ID.
Legacy institutions are especially well-placed to benefit from digitization of the customer experience. Many FinTech startups, for example, are implementing automated identity verification solutions to eliminate friction in the onboarding process.
3. Make payments easy
Although we’ve already touched on contactless payments using smartphones and IoT devices, these aren’t the only payment processing solutions that can be digitized.
Companies can use business process automation to standardize customer invoicing, and send out automated reminders and receipts.
By accepting payments using a trusted digital payment provider, you can reassure your customers that you’ll handle their financial information safely and comply with relevant data retention laws. Customers can also choose to receive a digital receipt or join a customer loyalty program for more personalized experiences.
4. Act on customer feedback
Digitizing the customer experience gives you more opportunities to act on customer feedback, whether it’s direct feedback from individual customers, or general insights using metrics like customer satisfaction and net promoter scores.
One option is to implement a closed-loop feedback strategy, in which you engage with customers who offer feedback – including negative feedback. Rather than let unhappy customers take their business elsewhere, follow up to find out what went wrong and make an effort to resolve their problem.
Their responses can be used to identify new products and services to offer, or to make improvements to existing ones. You can also identify customers who would be willing to act as a brand ambassador or beta test upcoming products.
5. Use automation
Finally, digitization of the customer experience opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to automation. Automation can play a major role behind the scenes, empowering your employees to offer more responsive, customer-centric service in less time.
From sending out onboarding emails and follow-up surveys to tracking each customer journey in a CRM, you can deliver a more consistent, personalized experience across multiple platforms without adding more work for your team.
Plus, with business process automation, it’s easy to visualize workflows and identify steps that can be eliminated to streamline things even further.
Refine Your Digital Customer Experience With Pulpstream
Digitizing the customer experience is no longer just a way to stand out from the crowd — now, it’s practically a requirement to do business in the digital age. From reducing the number of steps in the onboarding process to automating invoices and streamlining digital payments, there are plenty of ways for your team to get started.
No-code tools like Pulpstream make it easy to mock up a new mobile app, roll out a new onboarding process, or automate key steps in your workflow. You don’t need any coding or design experience to create customized solutions using our drag-and-drop interface. Simply create your own workflows and use Pulpstream to manage leaves of absence, incident reports, workers compensation claims, and more.
Request a demo today to get started!