Digital customer experience management: What it is and why you should care
The goal of companies in every industry is to create a great customer experience. But what exactly do we mean by the term “customer experience,” and how do we improve our digital customer experience management and provide effective digital customer service solutions? If you are curious how to measure digital customer experience, then keep reading.
At Glassbox, we use this simple explanation:
Digital consumer behavior analysis is translating collected data, analytics, and session recordings into improvements of the overall customer journey for online shopping and other online interactions. Whether it’s redirection from a certain link or making a web page easier to find, managing the customer experience is all about improving the user experience.
So what is digital customer experience management?
We describe digital customer experience management as the use of Internet-based channels and technologies to enhance the online customer experience. Specifically, that means managing, creating, designing, and reacting to online consumer interactions in order to increase customer satisfaction and consumer loyalty through digital customer service solutions.
This is key today as management of customer experience via digital marketing and the customer’s digital experience has an impact on every department in an organization, including marketing, IT, customer service, risk, compliance, and accounts and distribution.
The mobile explosion
We are living in a world of “mobile everything.” According to Adobe Digital Insights, Black Friday 2016 was the first day ever to generate over a billion dollars in sales carried out on mobile devices, a 33% increase over 2015. And a recent Salesforce State of the Connected Customer Report indicates that predominance of the all-knowing mobile customer will only increase over time.
Over a third of Millennials have researched a product online via a mobile device while in a store (38%), and nearly one-fourth have even purchased a product online from a mobile device while in a store (23%). The customer journey for online shopping is becoming increasingly more important.
However, the mobile explosion has also brought with it a new set of digital customer management problems, including customer experience marketing challenges.
Your enterprise’s website is now viewed on a vast array of desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones. Each device, and even each brand, has a different size and quality of display screen. Combined with the design variations of a standard website, a mobile website, or an app, it means that every customer has a unique online customer experience. This is where digital consumer behavior analysis can help.
Why do you need to manage the online customer experience?
Even before the digital impact hit businesses, customer experience marketing was always at the forefront. However, in today’s marketplace, management of the digital customer experience is also a huge differentiator between the major players in traditional industries.
A study by Gartner showed that “89% of marketers expect customer experience to be their primary differentiator.” Creating, designing and reacting to online customer interactions is the key to increasing customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.
Take the traditional retail banking industry. In consumers’ eyes, they all offer very similar products, yet the online banking experience is completely different for each bank brand. The majority of consumers are willing to pay more for a better experience.
A study by Forrester of 13 different industries showed a connection between improving the quality of the customer experience and a growth in revenue. In many sectors where products have become commodities, product, price, and even service-based differentiation have become less important.
The mobile and social experience is now at the forefront of consumer choices. The customer journey and online shopping experience has to be one in which the customer is able to easily and quickly get from their initial query to a purchase online, while still finding all the answers to their questions smoothly. Digital businesses such as Uber, PayPal and Amazon have emerged to challenge the old models of travel, finance, and retail. Now many business and IT leaders see the online customer experience as a sustainable source of competitive differentiation.
How to measure digital customer experiences
In order to build a better customer journey for online shopping, you need a 360-degree view of the online customer. Quantitative consumer analytics on its own won’t give you the whole picture. This just helps you improve traffic acquisition and tells you if a visit resulted in a conversion.
Qualitative consumer analytics that let you experience exactly what the online consumer experienced add the fourth dimension. They show you how to measure digital customer experiences. By visualizing your online customers in real time, you can see exactly what your customers are doing online, and gain an insight into their online customer experience and the reasons why they are behaving the way they do. You can understand the way people engage with you digitally through customer experience digital marketing analysis.
These are some of the digital consumer behavior analysis tools currently in use:
Automated customer journey mapping
Get a map of your customer’s digital experience automatically. You can follow your customer from the moment they do their first Google search or click on an ad, right through to navigating your website and abandoning the shopping cart.
Session recordings capture and record all online customer sessions. You get tamper-proof website session replay of each customer’s digital session in real time showing:
- The screen as seen by the customer
- The type of mobile device
- The type of operating system
- The user’s geographic location
- Mouse movements, finger swipes and taps
- Keyboard inputs
- Customer demographics
- Traffic sources
- The amount of time spent on each page/field
- Interaction with elements on the page
- And more…
Conversion funnels & customer journey reviews
Conversion funnels can be created to drill down into traffic from a specific referring source, to a landing page, then narrow it down to interaction on the page and behavior at the shopping cart. Customer journeys can be reviewed based on best practices. Or you can instantly filter with free text search to examine in-page behavior.
A clickmap can show you if an individual session is atypical or representative of a proportion of customers. You can examine how customers interact with each element of the page for a given time range. For example, you can see how often a link, button or banner was clicked on, and how much time was spent on that element.
Let’s look at how Glassbox used these digital consumer behavior analysis tools to improve the customer digital experience at a major bank in Israel.
The bank was experiencing an above average number of calls to its call center as customers weren’t able to complete a particular type of business transaction online. This resulted in a longer average handling time (AHT) by a call center agent and low first contact resolution (FCR) of the problem.
The Glassbox methodology:
Glassbox captures every user interaction such as mouse movements, clicks, scrolls, swipes, and more,in order to see what was happening in the online journey. The bank was able to replay and analyze customers’ online journeys to see what was causing the problem.
The bank was able to pinpoint the error and fix it, without IT having to reproduce the error.
Benefits to the bank:
The bank experienced an 11% increase in their digital sales conversion rate as customers now found it easier to interact and complete transactions online. In addition, the average handling time for customer support calls related to technical issues went down by 70% (from five minutes down to just one and a half minutes).
The future of customer experience management
Data is hugely important today as enterprises need to adapt and transform their business at very short notice to keep up with consumers’ ever-changing digital needs. The winning businesses will be the ones that make best use of their digital data and incorporate that data to create digital customer service solutions.
Machine learning can access and analyze big data to detect anomalies, give instant insights and predictive analysis of how customers might behave online. They can also improve customer experience marketing by using insights garnered through data analysis.
Artificial intelligence (AI) can improve the customer experiences by tailoring content to an individual’s needs and providing a more powerful and responsive customer support system, thereby improving digital customer service solutions. The question for management today is how to use their digital knowledge and digital tools to improve and optimize the customer experience and how to measure digital customer experiences.
This article was originally published in March 2017. It was updated on June 9, 2020.