The Future of the Digital Customer Experience

Domino’s Pizza, Comcast and BMW are delivering an engaging digital customer experience (DCX). Their investments in people, processes and technology are helping these organizations succeed in their hotly competitive markets, according to Stephen Moritz, chief digital officer, System Soft Technology.

“Personalized interfaces across all channels and devices presented with simplicity and speed are now table stakes,” said Moritz, in an April 28 BrightTalk webinar, “The Future of DCX.”  He added that exceptional customer experiences lead to positive perceptions of products and services, brand loyalty and word of mouth referrals.

“Zoom, Netflix, Apple, Amazon, and other category leaders have built strong business models around customer experience best practices,” Moritz added.  “That’s why companies that emphasize a robust DCX average 60 percent more profitability than their competitors.”

Moritz said IT professionals need to consider several perspectives when planning a DCX initiative, beginning with the organization’s customer. “Everything should revolve around the customer, he said. That means looking at your sales, marketing and CRM data, and perhaps constructing a variety of personas for typical customers.

“It’s easy for owners and executives to assume they know their customers, but look at the data, rather than guessing,” said Andrew Vincent, creative director, in the webinar. “Then, listen to what your customers have to say.”

Customers today are looking for highly personalized, relevant content when sifting through the mountains of information available online, Moritz said. “They are willing to provide information, as long as it is managed in a secure fashion that protects their privacy and brings them value.”

Next, you should map out the customer’s journey. Where are the touch points, both physical and digital that lead to current sales and future opportunities? Are there steps along the way that need to be strengthened or points of friction that can be improved?

Digital touch points are increasingly important, as all generations are increasingly relying on mobile technology to gather information and begin the shopping experience. The COVID-19 shelter-in-place and work-from-home environment this spring has accelerated the trend, said Moritz.

In examining the customer journey, IT professionals collaborate with line of business leaders and understand the organization’s strategic and tactical goals. “Many times, the DCX solution sounds like new technology, like developing a new mobile app or adding features to the website,” said Vincent. “But that may not improve the customer experience or address the underlying pain points.”

Best practices

Here are some suggestions from Moritz for building a successful DCX initiative.

  • Break down silos. Weave a DCX solution throughout the organization. “Rarely do we see a successful DCX project that isolates the DCX team,” he said
  • Invest in AI and predictive analytics. These are powerful tools that enable real-time decision making to help customers get information they need at the point of consumption.
  • Use bots. They can drive down costs and meet customer expectations.
  • Be a helper, not a seller. Customers want information and support, rather than a traditional sales pitch.  
  • Be prepared to deliver the goods. A successful DCX implementation is based on solid back-end processes, including the inventory, logistics and distribution units
  • Take an incremental approach. Start with one part of the process, measure the results, and keep moving forward.
  • Be prepared for surprises. Not every step will go as planned. Be flexible when faced with unexpected roadblocks or uncovering new opportunities.
  • Focus on communication.  A DCX project is all about improving communications with your customers. Make the process faster and easier, and customers are likely to respond positively to those changes.
  • Don’t neglect your employees. “A positive DCX is usually the result of a high-quality employee experience,” said Moritz. “Employees who are engaged and happy in their work will deliver the best DCX.”
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