Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur the contributors are theirs.
The gap between the quality of digital experiences reported by customers and what companies think they offer online is proving to be wider than previously thought.
Only 10% of global customers agree brands provide a good digital experience, while 82% of marketers believe they meet customer experience (CX) expectations. This abysmal statistic serves as a call to action for businesses everywhere – they must prioritize and optimize their online customer experience to meet customer expectations or risk lost revenue and damaged reputation.
Anticipating what customers expect from their digital experience through rigorous analysis can have a significant impact on a brand’s success. By adopting the best practices, strategies, and tools, businesses in all industries can bridge the gap between what they think they offer and what customers say they experience.
Related: What Customers Want From Their Digital Experience
The digital experience makes or breaks a brand
The digital experience is essential to the profitability and sustainability of a business, yet customers feel that their expectations are not being met on digital platforms. A total of 54% of US customers say the user experience (UX) of branded websites needs improvement. Brands need to listen to customers and understand any issues with digital experiences, taking quick action to address sticking points.
Responding to issues as they arise is crucial, but it’s equally important to be proactive when developing digital experiences. Brands should strive to anticipate customer needs and design platforms with changing customer preferences in mind.
Eliminate Business Blind Spots with CX Improvements
Every business has blind spots – business leaders don’t understand customer wants and needs, so they invest in the wrong areas. Knowing exactly where customers are struggling instead of guessing is key to delivering better CX. Leaders must take steps to investigate and close this “digital experience gap.”
Using tools to highlight hidden problem areas offers the opportunity to fix them – giving customers a reason to come back and stay loyal to their brand and website. A recent study by Emplfi broke down several key areas where customers are having the biggest problems:
- Nearly 20% of customers will abandon a website after just one bad experience.
- Having a previous positive experience with a brand influences where they make a new purchase.
- Half of customers will abandon a brand they’ve been loyal to for over a year because of poor CX.
- Poor CX and poor quality products are equally harmful to a brand.
- The main contributors to negative CX are slow response times and lack of 24/7 customer service. Customers expect a response within the hour.
- All customers want access to self-service options to resolve issues independently.
It only takes one misstep for a customer to abandon goodwill towards a brand. Businesses are increasingly relying on modern digital tools to help identify sources of customer frustration and mitigate site abandonment.
Related: 5 Ways to Show Your Customers You Understand Them in a Digital World
Proven Strategies for Resolving Customer Experience Issues
A total of 86% of customers say they are willing to pay more for a better customer experience, making improving the digital experience an opportunity to generate revenue. Implementing technology that can help businesses anticipate customer needs and respond to user issues in real time can lead to increased conversions and increased efficiency. Proven strategies include:
- Leverage AI: Implementing an AI-powered Digital Experience Analytics Platform Enables Businesses to Proactively Identify and Remediate Emerging Issues Based on Customer Feedback and Interaction Data .
- Prioritize a self-service model: Customers expect immediate responses to any issues they may encounter without having to deal with customer service representatives. The integration of a chatbot, dynamic FAQs and semantic search engines helps customers easily find their answers.
- Individualization: An individualized digital experience for each customer is essential, because almost three quarters of customers expect personalized interactions. Additionally, 76% are frustrated when personal interactions are not assured.
The power of data and analytics
Companies cannot bridge the digital experience gap and meet their customers’ expectations if they do not have a deep understanding of how customers navigate their digital platforms. To achieve this understanding, they can integrate analytics solutions such as a Digital Experience Intelligence (DXI) platform to capture and analyze 100% of customer interactions across all channels.
Because a DXI platform serves as a single source of truth, analytics can be used by diverse teams, helping companies prioritize and quickly make data-driven decisions about improving the customer experience. Teams are immediately alerted to technical issues on a brand’s website or mobile app so they can be resolved before they significantly impact revenue or customer experience, ensuring a frictionless journey .
Related: 3 Tips for Using Consumer Data to Create More Personalized Experiences
Improve digital experiences now for the future
Closing the digital experience gap has never been more important. The customer journey is invaluable; Maintaining an exceptional digital experience requires teams to work diligently behind the scenes to resolve any potential issues before they escalate.
Implementing strategies that prioritize anticipating and meeting customer needs ensures long-term brand success. With best practices, businesses across all industries will soon deliver the quality experience that customers say is missing in their digital journeys.