Providing great customer experiences is about delivering “convenient, empowering, and emotional experiences,” according to a recent Forrester report. The best way to do that? Choose the right digital touchpoints, and optimize them to best fit your customer’s needs.
Let’s take a look at how to know you’ve picked the “right” digital experiences for your customers and strategies you can use to ensure those touchpoints are best serving your customer.
Choosing the right digital touchpoints for your customer involves aligning the type of activity your customer is engaging in to the benefits of your brand experiences.
Let’s start with identifying the activity type, as that’s fairly straightforward.
Forrester identifies four types of activities consumers engage in online:
- Complete tasks. These are things consumers have to do — not necessarily what they want to do — and typically need to be completed within a time constraint.
- Seek entertainment. Here’s where the fun happens. Consumers seek entertainment in digital spaces for amusement, enjoyment, and distraction.
- Educate themselves. It’s human nature to desire to learn. People want to up their knowledge and skills to achieve their goals.
- Pursue goals. This is separate from “complete tasks” because goals are bigger and more meaningful than tasks — think “becoming a doctor” or “visiting the seven wonders of the world.”
Focusing on these activities, or jobs, is what the renowned innovation expert Clayton M. Christensen said companies should be focusing more energy on (rather than dissecting who their customer is). He argued that when customers purchase a product or a service, they’re essentially hiring that company to do a job — whether it’s as small as the job of passing the time or as significant as finding a new life path. Do the job well, and you’ll gain a customer for life. Fail, and you’ll be fired.
Now that we’ve reviewed the types of activities customers engage in let’s consider the benefits your brand offers through your customer experiences.
Two-thirds of companies are competing on customer experience today, making it more important than ever to create not only standout experiences but the right ones that match the moment.
Every interaction with a customer is an opportunity to “wow” — and is distinct to your brand and the experience you’re offering. For example, a voice (phone) experience may offer the benefit of convenience, whereas a video chat offers more emotional engagement.
When these benefits are aligned to the right activities, the results can be powerful. Here’s an example using financial services. Let’s say there was a fraudulent charge. This could be best served using a few channels: an app notification alerting them to the charge with a nudge to block the card and chat with a representative who can offer empathetic support that eases their mind.
Now let’s say the customer is applying for a home loan and they’re confused about the process. This could be better served with a more personal experience like cobrowse, where the advisor could walk the customer through the application process, see what they’re seeing on their screen, and even help fill out some of the non-personal information.
When examining every digital touchpoint in your customer’s journey, really question the activity and your benefit. Challenge yourself to think beyond the obvious or see things as “the typical” way and instead look through the lens of what your customer is actually trying to accomplish and how you can best serve their needs.
- What is the consumer really wanting to achieve? What is their end goal?
- Are they looking for emotional connection or a quick solution?
- Is there value you can offer that they aren’t expecting?
Consider chat — a communication channel that has become the norm: 42% of US adults use chat to communicate with brands at least monthly, and nearly 1 in 5 say it’s their preferred communication channel, according to Forrester. The prevalence of chat probably doesn’t surprise you, but its hidden superpower might: it can be a game-changing sales channel.
That’s right. Nearly 1 in 3 consumers said they used a brand’s online chat to make a purchase decision. And when you consider that Forrester’s research found chat to be “more empowering and emotionally engaging” than notifications and voice, it makes sense that it would be a prime sales vehicle. Is your chat optimized for these high-value moments?
If you’re relying heavily on chatbots and scripted responses, the answer is no. The cost of pretending to care is high. Customers want genuine human connection, and when you deliver it, they’ll reward you with loyalty, higher purchase value, and referrals.
Adding the power of human connection in high-stakes moments can be a game-changer. By joining your customers in your digital spaces, you can help them in their activity while providing an excellent experience that makes them feel more confident, supported, and connected to your brand.