Your charity’s ability to plan and execute a high-quality digital experience is key to your ongoing success. It won’t come as a shock to hear that, in recent years, customer experience management specialists have turned their attention to online channels in a big way; and for the charity sector, which is all about empathy, accessibility and trustworthiness, digital customer journeys which are anything less than outstanding represent a serious operational weakness.
This is borne out in trends; Superoffice report that 86% of customers and consumers will willingly pay more for a superior customer journey (Superoffice); Qualitrics found that 65% of users believe their experience of a website or app is “very important” in their decision to recommend a brand (Qualitrics); and a Walker report concluded that, as of 2020, ‘customer experience’ has replaced ‘price’ and even ‘product’ as the key brand differentiator (Walker).
Clearly, digital customer experience is a must-have for charities, but it can also be a nuanced and complex thing to get right. Forward-facing charities should invest in digital customer experience software to support ongoing business and customer service goals as a matter of priority.
What is Digital Customer Experience (DCX)?
So first things first: what is digital customer experience (or simply, the DCX?)
The digital experience encompasses every user touchpoint, or interaction, along the course of the customer journey that occurs via digital technology – on devices such as a computer or mobile, for instance.
Quite often, digital experiences happen on your charity’s website, or app if you have one; but this is by no means a hard and fast rule, and answering the question what is digital customer experience? requires us to mention channels such as email, social media and AI-powered web chat. This underscores the importance of offering a genuinely omnichannel contact centre for your user.
When it comes to cloud contact centre software for charities, our VCC is the perfect platform to help forge deeper connections with your users, develop personalised relationships and imbue your DCX with professionalism, empathy and trust. Book a discovery call today to find out how our VCC can help maximise your charity communications.
Digital customer experience vs customer experience
The difference between digital customer experience and customer experience (CX) boils down to one essential distinction.
As we’ve already seen, digital customer experience involves the use of digital technology. In other words, it’s the way your brand provides individual customer service touchpoints through digital channels. Usually, digital customer experience relies on use of the internet, although this isn’t always the case; an offline app may be experienced by users without a connection, for instance.
Some examples of digital customer experience would include:
- Your charity website
- An app built around your brand
- AI-powered web chat
- Social media
- Online feedback forms
- Virtual experiences (eg., augmented or virtual reality)
Customer experience (CX), on the other hand, includes all of the above, plus any touchpoints or interactions that occur outside of digital channels. Customer experience is not limited to virtual mediums, so generally includes more ‘real-world’, or human interaction.
In addition to DCX touchpoints, examples of CX might include:
- A phone call with your customer service team
- An in-person interaction with a charity support agent
- An in-store or event-based brand experience
- ‘Physical’ customer engagement devices (eg., posters, merchandise)
Why digital customer experience matters now
Digital customer experiences matter more now than ever before. We live in a virtual era, where digital channels increasingly determine how users respond to your charity.
For example, consider the fact that, oftentimes, digital touchpoints are the only experience a user might have with a brand. Satisfaction, service and customer engagement all happen online, with no ‘human’ interactions taking place at all.
A survey by FullStory found that 74% of users expect a company to leverage new technologies to improve the digital experience, and 75% expect a streamlined and personalised digital customer experience (FullStory).
It is numbers like these which truly highlight the importance of the digital customer experience. DCX is perhaps the primary avenue through which your charity can secure user satisfaction and customer engagement, and in so doing, contribute to dramatic improvements in key KPIs such as your net promoter score, service level and CSAT, for instance.
4 Benefits of a Great Digital Experience
Providing a good customer experience in digital channels is, without doubt, a massive area of opportunity for your charity. Breaking things down to a more granular level, here are four of the primary benefits your charity stands to yield by implementing effective customer experience management.
1. Scalable personalisation
The importance of a personalised experience in the customer journey is well-known: Accenture reports that 91% of consumers are more likely to engage with a brand that offers a tailored online experience (Accenture).
The problem is, personalisation is labour and time-intensive – at least, it used to be. But with consumer-centric digital customer experience software in place, your charity has access to advanced analytics in a centralised customer data platform. This user information can be retrieved and utilised efficiently to ensure your charity delivers a personalised experience at every turn.
2. An efficient customer data platform
Managing your DCX through a cloud-based virtual contact centre opens the possibility of a centralised and consistent information base; in effect, a ‘single truth-source’ for all user data.
This can eliminate informational silos and streamline data accessibility for your customer service and support agents. In turn, users won’t be forced to give the same information multiple times, and can be confident in a tailored digital experience that draws on their own unique data.
3. Customer loyalty and retention
The modern user knows what an outstanding customer experience looks like – when they encounter it, they remember. For this reason, a streamlined and effective digital customer experience is the best way to foster a sense of loyalty among your users and develop meaningful relationships that translate into business success.
4. Visibility into more actionable data
A great DCX will automatically gather mountains of user information and present insights in the form of data reports. Some of the key metrics you’ll gain visibility into include:
- Conversion rate
- Bounce rate
- First-contact resolution rate
- Session duration
- Average handle time
- Engagement rate
As a product of this insight, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of your entire customer journey – including what works well, and where there’s room for improvement – and be able to adjust your DCX strategy accordingly,
What Does a Good Digital Customer Experience Strategy Look Like?
Developing an effective strategy is the best way of ensuring a high-quality digital experience. In general, information collected from analysis of customer behaviours – sometimes known as experience data or X-data – can show your charity how best to improve the DCX.
Personalisation and efficiency with every interaction
When a user makes contact with your charity, for whatever reason, they want two things above all others: a personalised experience, and efficient resolution.
So it stands to reason that the best digital customer experiences are tailored to the individual user and streamlined. Future-proof tools, such as AI-powered web chat, or analytics via a centralised customer data platform, can help to ensure personalisation and efficiency are standard for your charity.
Quality customer service and touchpoints
Let’s not forget the job your customer support and contact centre is there to do: to handle and resolve enquiries made by your users. Personalisation and efficiency are fantastic things to deliver – and definitely part of a great digital customer experience – but won’t count for much, if your charity is unable to ensure satisfaction for your users.
Therefore, an excellent DCX is able to provide effective solutions. Whether that means meaningful answers to questions, proper handling of complaints, logical routing or processing of donations/purchases; aim to ensure your digital customer experience can do what it says it will.
Customer satisfaction, guaranteed
With your DCX firing on all cylinders – delivering personalisation, efficiency and quality solutions – your users will develop a positive perception of your charity. Individual clients will experience a broad sentiment of positivity toward your brand and, as this is multiplied across whole audience segments and your entire user base, you’ll begin to see unprecedented satisfaction levels.
This is, of course, a positive thing to be able to say about your charity. It feels good to be known in this way. But, from a business perspective, it runs much deeper; high satisfaction levels are the bedrock of ongoing profit and operational success. Consider the impact of overwhelmingly positive customer feedback, for instance, or a high net promoter score.
Digital Customer Experience Trends
As quality and reliable communications specialists with over 30 years of experience, we keep a close eye on what’s happening and what’s new in the world of customer experiences. Below, we’ll walk you through some of the key developments we’ve seen unfolding in the delivery of digital customer experiences.
- The push toward self-service tools: Nothing makes the clients of a charity – or any other organisation, for that matter – happier than being given the tools to resolve enquiries and issues by themselves. Good contact centres help their users; great ones enable users to help themselves. This might mean implementing tools like web chat or a knowledge base.
- Focus on data security and privacy: With so much personal, and potentially harmful information swirling around on the internet, it’s little wonder organisations are under pressure to guarantee the safety of their user’s sensitive data. Robust security protocols such as ISO 9001 / ISO 27001 accreditation or alignment with the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) can give users peace of mind.
- AI-powered functionality: It’s often the case that AI (or artificial intelligence) tools are capable of executing many of the processes within the customer journey; more to the point, they’re capable of executing them faster, more accurately, and to a higher standard than even the most talented support agent. Rather than ‘replacing’ your customer service staff, AI-powered tools allow your charity to realign employees with higher-value activities.
- Rise of the chatbots: In many ways this point follows on from the previous one. As AI technology becomes more sophisticated, the functionality and potential of web chat grows. Demonstrably, Juniper Research reports that, as of 2022, 75% of all user enquiries are handled by chatbots (Juniper Research).
- A growing importance for predictive analytics: The next stage in the development of data analytics will be accurate predictions in customer behaviours before the fact; indeed, predictive analytics have already begun to take hold. Expect predictive analytics to become a central part of your customer data platform over the next few years.
Providing the Best Digital Customer Experience for Your Charity’s Users
By this point, you’ve probably seen enough to convince you of the importance of the digital customer experience for your charity. As we move ever forward into the digital age, DCX is sure to be a crucial way of ensuring customer satisfaction, and the manifestation of your key goals. But this begs the question: how can my charity deliver an optimal DCX?
The answer is in cloud-based, future-proof technology such as our VCC. This digital customer experience software represents an omnichannel and centralised contact solution, one which can help you achieve a culture of true customer-centricity and maximise your charity’s communications.
Book a free discovery call now and find out how our virtual contact centre can help your charity become known for an outstanding digital experience at each and every user touchpoint.