How to Digitize Customer Experience For Your Product: Best Practices and Examples
Customer experience is so important for product growth and retention. How do you make sure you’re delivering the best of the best? Digitize customer experience to meet customers where they are – online.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- What digital customer experience is and why you should do it.
- Important steps to digitize your customer experience.
- Best practices for maintaining a top-notch digital customer experience.
Let’s get started.
- A digital customer experience strategy involves moving the customer journey to online spaces.
- You should digitize your customer experience to better meet customer expectations, cut down on customer service costs, and drive up customer loyalty.
- There are three important steps in digital transformation: define and map the customer journey, identify automation opportunities, and continually test and improve your digital CX.
- To give a great digital customer experience, make sure there are no silos between digital channels. Embrace the omnichannel approach and make sure your experiences are consistent and high-quality no matter where customers meet you.
- Personalize customer experiences by collecting user data and then segmenting them based on common characteristics. Then, you can display relevant content to your segments based on what they need and what will give them value.
- Offer self-service support options to meet customer expectations, while also removing friction in the support experience. Build a knowledge base of self-service support content, including help articles, video tutorials and case studies.
- Apply user psychology principles, like the Zeigarnik Effect, to your CX. This will improve customer engagement and motivate them to continue using your product.
- Reduce cognitive load by decluttering your user interfaces and reducing screen complexity. Only show what’s necessary at one time.
- Be cautious when using AI – have a strategy in place so that AI doesn’t negatively impact CX. On the other hand, add a human touch to your digital CX by running webinars or leveraging AI-created videos.
- Collect customer feedback with CX surveys, and then act on that feedback to improve your product. Don’t forget to close the feedback loop by notifying customers of the changes you made.
- Live chat is a powerful tool for giving customers support since it’s instant and human.
- Celebrate success with in-app celebration modals whenever a user hits a milestone, such as completing onboarding. This motivates them to keep going to achieve more success.
- Pay attention to experiences that happen outside of your product, such as on social media channels. Listen to what customers are saying and respond when they need help.
- Track user behavior to get insights into how customers are interacting with your product. Then, make product improvements based on what the data says.
What does it mean to digitize customer experience?
Digitizing customer experience involves moving part of or the entire customer journey to online spaces.
It also includes creating new processes in the digital space that boost customer engagement.
Why should you digitize customer experience?
You should digitize the customer experience because today’s customers expect to have digital experiences when interacting with any brand. They want to be able to search for companies, find reviews, interact with the website, and reach out to the brand online.
Digital transformation helps to better meet customer expectations
As we said, a digital customer experience is no longer a bonus – it’s expected. If customers can’t interact with a brand online, they’ll move on to a competitor who will meet them where they want.
Customers expect to have a seamless digital experience that blends multiple channels. Meeting and exceeding expectations is the key to increased customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Digitizing customer service can cut costs by 25-35%
Digitizing customer experience is friendly on your wallet – a survey from McKinsey and Company shows that digitizing customer service cuts costs by 25-35%.
When you lean on digital technology to help deliver your customer experience, you can automate simple interactions. That reduces human workload and human error – two costly facets of running a business.
Leverage data to deliver customized experiences that drive loyalty
In a digital customer journey, you can easily personalize the experience by collecting and using customer data.
With user data, CRMs and product experience software, you can offer customers relevant content, give them a frictionless support experience, and better help them achieve their jobs to be done.
When customers receive a personalized product experience that’s designed to meet their needs and constantly deliver value, they stay loyal to the business.
3 important steps to digitize the customer experience
These are the important steps you should follow to digitize your customer experience:
Define and map the customer journey
The first step to digitizing the customer experience is to map out all of the touch points in the entire customer journey. That way, you understand where and when customers engage with your brand, so you can build an experience that meets customer needs.
Mapping out customer journeys also helps you identify areas of friction, where customers aren’t smoothly moving along to the next step – from prospect to post-purchase. These might be areas where a digital experience can help smooth over obstacles.
Brainstorm and identify automation opportunities
Develop an effective digital transformation strategy and identify where you can swap out current functions for streamlined online options.
Here’s an example of what can be automated with modern digital tools:
You can automate customer onboarding and in-app training. Demonstrate value throughout the journey with automated prompts and tips. As the user navigates your product, these tips will help them discover what features are relevant for them and how best to use them.
You can also launch automated surveys at different touchpoints to collect customer data that will help you make more product improvements in the future.
Continually test and improve your digital customer experiences
Audit the performance of your digital customer experience once it’s live.
Analyze product usage data and customer surveys and perform usability tests to identify holes in your customer experiences.
You can run A/B tests on different layouts to refine the experience and find the version of your CX that resonates most with your users.
With a customer success platform like Userpilot, you can segment users and test different versions of adoption flows with different UI patterns.
That way, you’ll know exactly which ones provide the best digital customer experience.
Digital customer experience management best practices
Follow these best practices to deliver great digital customer experiences:
Remove silos between digital channels and embrace the omnichannel mindset
To give an exceptional customer experience, you need to embrace the omnichannel mindset. Customers interact with businesses in multiple digital channels, including live chats, mobile apps, email, social media channels, and more.
Customers expect to pick up where they left off when switching channels. Otherwise, the experience is inconvenient and difficult. That leads to negative feedback, and potentially, churn.
Give customers a consistent experience that’s personalized to them across all the digital channels they use.
Personalize customers’ experiences across all digital touchpoints
Use customer data to provide personalized experiences.
Group customers who share similar characteristics into segments. Common characteristics can be things like jobs to be done, their stage in the user journey, their NPS score, and more.
Then, offer up relevant content for those segments by revealing features, sending targeted in-app messages, and prompting up-sells to the right users at the right time.
Here are two examples of personalized product experiences:
Adapt the product to the culture and location of the target customer. For example, this tooltip is auto-translated into German using Userpilot’s localization features.
- Share personalized renewal reminders & other critical event notifications
In this example from Storychief, they use a website notification banner to notify customers of a payment failure when renewing their subscription.
This prevents involuntary churn since customers can easily click on the banner to update their billing information and re-try the payment.
Provide contextual guidance through user interface feedback
User interface (UI) feedback refers to how your product UI is designed to respond, and the type of output it generates based on how users interact with it.
Provide a positive experience by making sure users don’t encounter friction. For example, when users hover over a feature, highlight tooltips that explain how a feature works and give them links to read advanced use cases.
Offer self-service support options
According to Zendesk, 69% of consumers, especially Millenials and Gen Z, try to solve their issues on their own.
Most B2B customers will Google their problem or read product documentation before contacting an agent on your support team.
When customers have self-service support options, they can get answers to their questions instantly. Not only does this reduce friction and contribute to increased customer satisfaction, but it also reduces the load on your support team.
Self-service resources can be anything from FAQs on your website to case studies, articles and video tutorials. To make it easy for customers to find the resources they need, create a comprehensive knowledge base to store your collection of self-serve resources.
Group the resources into modules to make it easy for customers to navigate and find their desired resource by topic.
Apply user psychology principles to your CX design
To better engage customers, lean on some user psychology principles to improve the user experience.
For example, the Zeigarnik Effect can be used in your digital experience to motivate customers.
The Zeigarnik Effect is based on the phenomenon that people fixate on unfinished tasks – they’re likely to feel tension until they’re completed. To use the Zeigarnik Effect in UX design, add a checklist of onboarding tasks that the user should complete. Focus on the tasks that will help them achieve value faster.
When users can see the checklist with unfinished tasks on their product dashboard, they’ll feel motivated to get them done and complete onboarding.
Declutter user interfaces and reduce cognitive load
Cognitive load refers to the amount of mental effort someone has to put in to complete a task.
With too much mental effort comes exhaustion, which is demotivating. Customers leave when they feel overwhelmed with the task at hand.
To avoid cognitive load, don’t overdo the amount of information you display at once. A cluttered UI makes new customers feel like it’s too much effort to learn how to use the product.
For example, here’s a cluttered interface example from Storychief where they display text, a video embed, and a survey – all on one screen.
Instead, reduce screen complexity and only display the most important information at once. Then, reveal additional information when the time is right.
Hotspots are another UI element that helps reduce visual noise. Hotspots are tidbits of information that are hidden with a flashing circle. The user has to click on or hover over the hotspot to view the information.
Be strategic and cautious when using AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming an integral part of digital customer experiences. That being said, it should only be implemented with caution and a defined strategy.
Overusing AI can negatively impact customer experiences. Sometimes AI makes an error, can’t figure out what the customer wants, or is simply more out of touch with the customer than a real human.
On the positive side, AI can help speed up repetitive tasks and reduce the load on your team. But, it should only be used in cases where customer engagement won’t be negatively impacted.
Keep it human
Add a human touch to your digital CX to keep customer engagement high.
For example, host webinars to communicate with customers in real-time and allow them to ask questions and engage in discussions with real humans.
This customer-centric approach makes them feel like you’re not just a faceless brand, but a company that cares about their customer’s success.
Leverage AI-created videos to improve your digital CX
One great way to use AI is with AI-created videos. Seeing another person’s face humanizes digital experiences and gives your brand a personality.
Besides, videos are known to make complex things seem easier to accomplish.
You can automate video production by simply putting text into an AI video creation tool like Synthesia.
Also, Synthesia has an integration tool with Userpilot. You can embed your automatically generated video guides into UI patterns such as modals, tooltips, and more.
Collect customer feedback with CX surveys and close the loop
CX surveys can help you find pain points like navigation issues or obstacles to conversion. It’s also an opportunity to show customers that you care by acting on their feedback or responding to negative comments.
There are a few CX survey types you can use to gather different types of feedback:
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) surveys – ask customers how satisfied they are with a specific feature or the whole product experience.
- NPS surveys – ask customers how likely they are to recommend your product to their friends.
- Customer Effort Score (CES) surveys – ask customers how easy or difficult it was to complete an action in your product.
Also, ask open-ended questions and gather qualitative customer feedback on your digital customer experience. That way, you can get some context around your customers’ feedback.
Make sure that users have a place to easily provide feedback that suits their preferences and takes minimum effort. Offer passive feedback options like feedback widgets in help centers or embed them into product experiences.
In this example from Miro, they subtly embed a passive feedback widget directly in the UI.
You can then take this customer feedback to improve your product and its UX based on what users want and need.
Don’t forget to follow up with those who left feedback to close the feedback loop.
Adopt live chat as part of your digital customer experience strategy
When you have a live chat option on your website, you make the product experience more pleasant for the customer, offering them a place to get instant help.
The live chat option leads to real-time communication with customers, where you can showcase relevant products and boost sales, while also building customer relationships.
It also leads to a reduction in both response time and costs because chat support takes hardly 50% of the expenditure undertaken by call centre operations.
Define what success means for your customers and celebrate it with them
We tend to repeat actions that drove us to success. Celebrating milestones in the customer journey increases dopamine levels, makes the user feel special and prompts them to engage more (so they can achieve more success).
In this example from Calendly, they showcase a celebration modal when customers complete initial onboarding steps.
This is easy to do with Userpilot without writing a single line of code. You just need to set up automated events and flows that are triggered based on another event or user action.
Pay attention to experiences that happen outside of your product
Your customers and target market as a whole are interacting on social media channels.
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to not only see what customers are saying about you on social media but also to engage with them directly.
People often tweet or write a LinkedIn post when they want to share their experience with a company, either good or bad. You can find valuable, unfiltered feedback by monitoring social media for your brand mentions.
Take it a step further by reaching out to people who’ve mentioned your brand and give them the 1-on-1 support they need.
Track and identify the roadblocks within your digital customer experience
Look into behavioral data to get insights into how users engage with your product. Check out which features they use the most, how different segments complete the predefined goals, where they get stuck, and how they could use more help.
You can set up and track goals in Userpilot, and then take action on your insights by building in-app experiences.
Digital customer experiences are a necessary part of a customer-centric approach. Customers choose to interact with businesses that meet their expectations – and they expect a business to be available on all of the channels they use.
Want to get started with digitizing your customer experience? Get a Userpilot Demo and see how you can build in-app product experiences, code-free.