Getting The Digital Customer Experience Right

Once upon a time there was a company that delivered such a unique service, no other company could rival it. Everyone in the land had to use this company because no one else could give them what they needed. The company’s owners got all the business and lived happily ever after. The end.

Obviously this is a fairy tale. If you have a company, then you have a competitor. Several, in fact. Possibly several hundred. So how do you make your business stand out? Why should people come to you rather than to one of your rivals? The answer is simple – customer experience.

You can do as much advertising, product innovation and promotion as you like, but if you want to reach and keep clients, you need outstanding customer experience. And this is rarely a face-to-face interaction now, achieved through friendly floor staff and user-friendly shop layouts. Instead, customers are shopping online, meaning businesses must prioritise their digital customer experience offer.

How does a Digital Customer Experience differ to face-to-face?

Digital and IRL customer experiences have the same fundamental elements, in that they encompass every transaction a customer or lead has with a business. This starts with where the interaction takes place, the costs involved (including any promotions or discounts), the item/service being bought, any affiliated processes, and the customer-facing business representatives that deal with the transaction.

Where they differ is that digital customer experiences deal with all of this online. So, when a customer, be they new or existing, logs onto a website, they expect a satisfying digital customer experience. If they don’t get one, they’ll be off to find someone that does. It’s something you have to be on top of, as consumers are increasingly dependent on mobile computing, and the younger generations do practically everything online. Just ask any parent of young adults about the number of parcels arriving through the post that have been ordered without them having left the house!

Don’t delay

When planning your digital customer experience strategy, an important thing to remember is that online customers expect instant or near-instant gratification. There’s no sighing and pointedly looking at their watch while they wait in line to be served in the digital world. If they don’t get what they want straight away, they’re off!

It’s estimated that 5% of businesses have had users leave their website after a mere one-second delay. The longer the delay, the higher the number of clients who will leave and look at another site.

And there’s no shortage of sites for them to look at. When shopping in person, many people will settle for an average experience to save themselves the hassle of travelling to a different location. By contrast, online customers can go to a competitor’s site without moving an inch. They can even look at a number of sites at the same time. Salesforce research found that 70% of customers claimed technology made it considerably easier for them to take their business elsewhere. So, if they don’t get the customer experience they’re looking for, you could well lose them.

Channel crossing

The vast number of digital channels available to customers is also a challenge for businesses. On a shop floor, the only interaction on offer is face-to-face and any transaction is usually dealt with there and then. Digital customers are offered the option of social media feeds, texting, live-chat options and email.

The problem with offering a variety of communication channels is that the customer will expect whoever they speak to to be familiar with their service history, even if their last interaction was through a different channel. If your company is unable to provide consistent levels of service across channels and they have to spend time explaining and re-explaining their personal preferences, concerns, and purchase history every time they reconnect, there’s a 73% chance they’ll move on to a different company.

However, despite the trend to do business online, customers still want the same personal, one-on-one customer experience they’d get in a shop. If they don’t feel they’re being valued as an individual, 66% of consumers state that they’ll probably switch brands.

The solution

Now you have the facts, the big question is, how do you provide a customer experience with the accuracy and immediacy of digital technology, combined with the personal touch of a one-to-one on a shop floor? Salesforce has the answer.

Salesforce uses an extensive integrated collection of cloud-based solutions, which enable users to connect with online customers and provide a consistent, immediate, effective digital customer experience.

As a leading CRM solutions provider, Salesforce offers the tools retailers need to create unified, personal customer journeys that will keep their customers happy and loyal. Using commerce solutions to combine the benefits of both in-store and online shopping, and integrating reliable data science for accurate forecasting, businesses can provide a consistent customer experience, wherever and whenever their customers make a purchase.

Commerce businesses can invest in the Lightning Platform, which gives users of all coding abilities the tools to design custom applications for their business, using templates and drag-and-drop tools. Salesforce AppExchange has pre-built apps and components from an ever-growing database of thousands of app solutions to offer businesses a more complete view of their customers.

If you’re aiming to provide a superior customer experience in the digital age, then Salesforce’s solutions make it possible for you to offer a fast, reliable, personalised service across every channel, giving your customers the happy ever after that’ll keep them coming back for more.