04 May 2022 | Customer Experience

How Manufacturers Can Improve the Digital Customer Experience

With so much business being done online, it’s vital for companies to provide an outstanding digital customer experience. Our walkthrough of best practices will help you improve yours.

Customer experience (CX) includes every interaction a person has with your company; from discovering your product or solution to placing their first order and everything that follows. While some holdouts exist, in today’s digital world, many B2B customer experiences happen online. This trend means businesses need a new way to improve the digital customer experience – especially given the possibilities for personalization and other opportunities to delight customers in virtual spaces.

Despite the importance of the digital customer experience (DCX), many companies continue to waste time and resources on laborious and time-consuming manual processes.

Increasingly though, business leaders are leveraging the benefits of document automation software to release employees from those processes. This allows their workforce to focus on providing excellent customer service and implement effective DCX practices.

What is digital customer experience?

Digital customer experience refers to all of the interactions users have with your company online, such as mobile sites or email, as well as in other digital channels, such as videos or apps. With the digital ecosystem continuing to expand and mature, there are almost countless kinds of digital interactions that a customer might have with a company, so business leaders must be cognizant of delivering a quality customer experience across all online channels.

This requires businesses to clearly define, understand and leverage their digital touch-points. These are the various moments at which the customer can come into contact with a business, including (but not limited to):

Submitting an online order

When a potential customer browses your goods or services and decides to place an online order, they are interacting digitally with your company. The quality of that interaction goes a long way to determining their final experience. Customers expect a smooth, seamless and secure process when making online orders; businesses which fail to provide that deliver a negative experience.

Requesting a quote

Providing a competitive quote to clients is of course important. But the way that quote is provided is also significant. From the perspective of the customer, they are in a position of potentially bringing you their business. This is your company’s opportunity to sell itself. Part of that will include delivering prompt replies in a professional tone, swift and accurate systems, and data clarity.

Communicating with a company

Tedious email back-and-forths, auto generated or unhelpful messages, and the necessity of providing account information on multiple occasions are all examples of poor digital communication. A positive experience involves frictionless communications which are timely, personalized, and beneficial.

The quality of these digital touch-points all contribute to the overall impression that a user builds up about a company; either increasing or damaging customer satisfaction. When executed effectively, they can pave the way for significant business outcomes.

Best practices to make digital customer experience improvements

Businesses which provide a positive experience don’t get there by accident. They understand the specific processes that go into creating a well-executed user journey that delivers consistent, high-quality interactions. Here, we’ve compiled a guide of best practices you should follow when designing your company’s DCX.

Use analytics

There are many analytics tools available to gain valuable insight into specific moments within the customer journey. This shines a light on how people behave at those moments, demonstrating which things customers respond to most, and where there are areas for improvement.

Good customer data can enable cross-channel solutions. For example, analytical data may reveal that there are lengthy time gaps between users filling in a form and receiving their quote, and that this is a significant drop-off point for prospects. This would highlight the need for process automation, to speed things up.

Every piece of information gathered about customers can be beneficial. You’re building up a body of Experience Data (X-Data) which illuminates the human factors behind specific behaviors. A high-quality digital customer experience brings together findings from X-Data and O-Data (Operational Data; the various ways a customer interacts with a company), to deliver a memorable and personalized journey.

Follow professional CX advice

Given the number of business concerns faced by executives, not to mention the inherent technicality of digital optimization, it can be an uphill struggle to improve customer experience without expert assistance. Collecting data is one thing, but CX professionals know the best ways to utilize that data, and they’ll transform it into results using a digital customer experience strategy.

To do this they’ll make a critical evaluation of factors such as your navigation, brand aesthetics or omni-channel consistency to ensure you’re providing the best possible customer experience.

Any customer-related process should be built upon the principles of UCD (User-Centered Design). This means that CX experts will keep the user, as well as their needs, desires, aspirations and pain points, at the forefront of the process during design and implementation to increase satisfaction.

Combining expert CX consultancy with automated document processing in areas such as supply chain management or sales orders will free-up your own workforce and allow them to focus on what they do best.

Understand the customer journey from the user’s perspective

When evaluating digital customer experience it is extremely beneficial to step into the customer’s shoes. Business owners should aim to complement analytics data with customer feedback and opinions, which involves communicating with customers and hearing about their experiences.

Customer feedback can be gathered by requesting users to leave a review, or fill out a survey form – though be tactful with this, as repeated calls for more and more information will quickly irritate customers.

Many companies practice closed-loop feedback, where they follow-up with customers who provided neutral or negative responses, asking how exactly they could improve the experience. This turns negative sentiment into actionable insight, and can even build relationships with individual customers for the future. Targeting high-value customer groups will yield feedback with the highest potential for benefits.

It’s surprising how many business owners have never actually been on a customer journey with their own company. Doing so allows executives to better understand customer needs, and exactly how users navigate digital channels. Learning how users interact with the business is a core part of providing the best digital customer experience possible.

Unify customer experience across all platforms

In terms of customer loyalty, it’s essential for companies to deliver a consistent brand experience across all digital channels. There must be a unity in the various ways customers interact with a business, and everything the company does online should be positioned to support it. This requires that everyone working on CX understands the brand with absolute clarity.
These days, customers don’t make a distinction between communication channels – they expect a quality, personalized experience online, on the phone and in store, and not to have to start the journey from scratch when they switch channels – and so it’s crucial for companies to deliver a unified omni-channel experience.

Commit to a process of long-term improvement

Improving the digital customer journey is not something that happens overnight, and there are no quick fixes. Time, effort, patience and regular enhancements are necessary to bring about results.

When working with digital marketing professionals, company owners can develop a plan to collect incoming feedback and strategize the best ways to implement upgrades. Neglecting data or overlooking CX flaws exerts a negative impact on the final customer experience.

Optimizing DCX is an ongoing process, so it’s necessary to commit to the long-haul in order to make improvements.

Finding resources to improve the customer journey

With so many interactions happening in digital channels, it has never been more important for companies to ensure that they deliver a consistent, high-quality experience. 100% digital customer journeys are already a reality and becoming increasingly common. Executives should follow best practices when upgrading the digital experience to ensure they’re future-proofing their company’s service.

If you’re wondering how your employees can find the time needed to focus on improving customer satisfaction, Conexiom has the answer. Our touchless document automation reduces operational errors, improving your customer’s backend experience as well as freeing your employees from inefficient manual processes.

Book a demo today and find out what Conexiom can do for your business.