When the pandemic started, brands around the world revamped their digital customer experience to compensate for the lack of in-person interaction. And as vaccine rates continue to rise and COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, some companies may think it’s fine to take a chill pill when it comes to improving digital channels. But that’s actually not the right attitude!
The data from our Digital Customer Experience Trends Report showcases why it’s so crucial for businesses to continue driving digital experiences in their CX programs. To unearth the trends, our Strategic Insights team collected over 2,000 responses across various industries—these include retail, grocery, pharmacy, financial institutions, restaurants, hospitality, automotive, healthcare, and entertainment—in both Canada and the United States. And with these responses, we were able to create a three step plan to upgrade your brand’s digital CX journey. Let’s hop right in!
- Keep Making Digital Experiences a CX Priority
- Focus on Ease of Digital Experiences
- Blend in-store and Digital Experiences
Step #1: Keep Making Digital Experiences a CX Priority
When COVID-19 restrictions were announced, many companies correctly predicted that the usage for digital platforms would increase. After all, how else could consumers interact with brands? However, our research tells us that the usage surprisingly didn’t skyrocket because of the pandemic:
According to the graph above, digital usage has been a trend for some time. Yes, the U.S. and Canada all experienced increases in digital use during the pandemic, but the numbers don’t lie! The highest increase across the board was only 13%. In all of these industries, consumers clearly maintained a demand for digital experiences.
Based on the data, digital experiences were relevant prior to the pandemic, which means it’ll stay relevant even after the government uplifts restrictions. This also means that the first step in improving your brands’ digital CX program is, you guessed it—continue to prioritize digital! Don’t take your foot off the gas just because people can go into the store.
One way to do this can involve integrating key players from all backgrounds to create a core digital team. Those with expertise in user experience, marketing, web development, and the like can put their minds together to set up a game plan derived from actionable intelligence. This way your business gets multiple perspectives included in the process rather than solely the customer experience one. And don’t forget! Prioritizing doesn’t mean having just one meeting, it means a constant flow of team diligence over time.
Step #2: Focus on Ease of Digital Experiences
We just learned that consumers care about digital (and always have), but what specific qualities of digital experiences mean the most to them? According to our research, 50% of Americans and 67% of Canadians said it was easy to go digital, but also over half of Americans and 25% of Canadians spoke to how difficult it was to resolve technical issues through call centers.
Based on the evidence above, convenience is one of digital’s strongest attraction factors. Consumers expect transitioning to digital experiences to be trouble-free, or else, why would they take the time to transition? Your brand should incorporate digital experiences without adding any extra hassle because using technology is meant to be just that—no extra hassle!
It’s completely understandable if problems like app or website bugs still occur in your digital experience journey. Perfection is often an endless goal, but that doesn’t mean your company shouldn’t strive for it. To keep the digital experience itself just as smooth as the transition, your brand needs to provide resources when things go haywire. Implementing updated help pages or training call center agents can help make it easy for customers to get the assistance they need. This also keeps your digital team on their toes and attentive to how your company’s digital experience is evolving.
Step #3: Blend In-Store and Digital Experiences
Beyond the experience behind the screen, customers also want digital attributes to be integrated into in-store interactions. For instance, grocery stores with self-checkout options are a prime example of successfully blending the two. Our research even shows us that one of three Americans and one of two Canadians like and expect contactless payment in the stores they shop in.
When refining your brands’ CX program, it’s important to design holistically so that both the digital and in-person elements work together seamlessly. There will be mishaps along the way, but the key is to adapt as you go. Customers expect quick changes to customer experiences and definitely notice when competitors beat your brand to it. So as your business adapts, make the effort to communicate those new and exciting features through emails or app notifications. Then customers will know your brand is continuously trying to make their experiences worthwhile.
Enjoyed learning how to upgrade your digital customer experience? Read our 2021 Digital CX Trends Report to learn why digital is not going away anytime soon—and which steps your business should take to keep up with the digital world!