Today’s consumers interact with brands on several channels before becoming customers, and usually, these touchpoints are nowadays primarily digital.

A customer may first discover a brand on mobile often from Google search or through friends’ recommendations on social media. Then they will visit the brand’s website to learn more or read other people’s experiences with the company. And when they are finally ready to become paying customers, they usually switch to their desktop to complete the purchase.

As you can imagine, one bad experience in any of the touchpoints could cause the individual to drop off and not complete the journey to a buying customer. 

Creating delightful digital customer experiences not only gently guides individuals down the funnel to become paying customers, but it also makes consumers feel good about themselves, which is essential for retaining customer top-of-mind and ultimately repeat business.

So, What Is Digital Customer Experience?

Digital customer experience (DCX) is the total sum of an individual’s experiences when they interact with a brand online.

DCX is the over-arching term that describes how a consumer feels as they engage with a brand across different digital touchpoints. 

Whether they are surfing your website or using your mobile app or engaging you on social media or even researching and reading reviews about your company, these actions all contribute to how the customer experiences your brand online.

Is Digital Customer Experience the Same as Customer Experience?

First, it’s important to note that both customer experience and digital customer experience seeks to provide exceptional service to customers. However, the distinction between both concepts is in their domain.

Customer experience is a broad term that covers everything from the traditional customer support channels to digital touchpoints customers use to engage with brands.

Digital customer experience focuses on providing holistic delightful customer experiences across digital interfaces only. DCX is concerned with what happens online and how customers feel when they engage with companies in other digital spaces.

Digital Customer Experience vs Customer Service

Isn’t DCX and customer service the same thing? 

No, they are not, and here’s why. Customer service is only one aspect of the entire customer experience. 

Take, for example, a customer often only contacts customer support when they run into problems navigating a store or website. Or when they need their questions answered or need help with a product.

DCX, on the other hand, encompasses all the digital experiences a customer feels right from when they Googled the company to engage on social media to read reviews from others even before they landed on the brand’s website.

Digital Customer Experience vs User Usability

Just like customer service, User usability is only an aspect of digital customer experience.

User usability strategy focuses on improving the user experience (UX) of your digital assets. For example, usability is concerned with your site’s load speed – ensuring fast loading websites. And, an easy-to-navigate interface or mobile app. 

On the other hand, engaging with customers on social media and or replying to reviews on third-party platforms are outside of the user usability purview.

DCX, however, encompasses both improving the user experience on owned digital assets such as the company’s website and app and managing brand experience on third-party platforms – think, social media and on review sites.

Benefits of a Great Digital Customer Experience

Now you know what digital customer experience is and is not, why should you care?

  • Remarkable digital customer experience builds customer loyalty. Satisfied customers are more likely to return for more business and are happy to recommend your brand to their networks.

  • A study done by Bloomreach found that half of the customer are willing to pay more for a better online buying experience.

  • By improving customer experience across channels, including digital, companies that generate $1 billion annually can - on average - expect to earn an additional $775 million within three years. (Bruce Temkin, 2018)  

  • According to a Walker research, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by the end of 2020.

Understanding what digital customer experience is and what not is the first step towards building an inclusive customer experience strategy for your brand. Done right, it will pay off by loyal customers, a higher ROI and being one step ahead of your competitors.