Digital customer experience – here’s why it matters.

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It is no secret that businesses excelling in delivering a seamless digital customer experience drive more sales, foster customer loyalty, and champion sustainable growth. Simply put, digital customer experience is the battleground, and understanding how it works is no longer an option if your business is to thrive in this competitive digital era.

Reflecting on my 25 years at Schneider Electric, I’ve learned two valuable lessons I think are relevant here:

  1. Time is limited so don’t waste it.
  2. Be a beginner every day.

Time is a valuable commodity, and your customers value theirs just as much as you value yours. If you are going to win in the world of digital customer experience, you have to approach its different facets with an open mind. Ultimately, it may not matter how long you have been in the game if you don’t remain curious about your customers and the market you are operating in. But first, definitions…

What is digital customer experience?

Digital customer experience is defined as the sum of all digital interactions that a customer has with your business. To illustrate, consider what would elevate a basic restaurant into a Michelin-starred restaurant. You would agree that the experience should extend far beyond just good food. It is often the combination of a service curated to perfection. From the attention you receive from the waiters, the dining environment, the lighting, the background music, the comfort of the chair, the texture of the table down to the weight of the cutlery. All these seemingly small details executed to perfection are likely to get customers to enjoy the experience, come back, and recommend the service to others.

Similarly, in a digital context, it is all about meeting and exceeding customer expectations. From the moment a customer visits a digital channel, be it a website or mobile application, they expect a seamless and intuitive experience. The interface should be designed in a manner that ensures customers find what they are looking for. Page navigation should be straightforward, with clear menus and logical paths to the desired products or services. Response times are critical considering we live in a world of instant gratification, where slow-loading pages can lead to user abandonment and loss of sales. I would much rather stream a movie from the comfort of my own home than spend 30 minutes trying to purchase a ticket to watch it at the cinema – Time is limited, so don’t waste it!

Map your way to personalized experiences.

Journey mapping is the key to creating delightful customer experiences. This exercise, when done right, puts you in the shoes of your customer. You get to empathize with their experience and feel their emotions throughout the journey.

Post-COVID, there has been a growing need for self-service operations. The mySchneider web and mobile application is a good example of a personalized digital experience that directly responds to that need. It emphasizes self-service and empowers customers to manage their orders, access product information, and get support independently. Features include real-time product pricing and availability, order monitoring, product selectors, substitution tools to find replacements for discontinued products, and product configurators. These features have allowed customers to be efficient in handling their projects and interactions with Schneider Electric, in most cases without needing direct assistance.

In this context, journey mapping becomes an interesting exercise. Often, we become so consumed with just satisfying the needs of our customers that we miss opportunities to impress them. Anticipating their needs way before they can articulate them is key to creating moments of delight. A great way to approach this is by remaining curious, open to new ideas, and willing to adapt – Be a beginner every day!

Enhancing the digital customer experience with data and AI

Real-time data plays an important role in delivering a hyper-personalized experience in this fast-paced digital era. Up-to-the-minute data gives you the power to control your environment. It is all about receiving data and processing it swiftly enough to impact operations in real-time. Suppose you notice your customer is struggling with the billing process. With real-time data, you can immediately reroute them to customer service representatives. This means, you don’t need to wait for the customer to fill in a survey form and report the issue. You have sufficient visibility on the pain points, to make adjustments in real-time.

Real-time data, allows you to better leverage AI. At Schneider Electric we are driving AI at scale, for customers and partners. We have implemented over 50+ AI use cases to enhance operational activities. Customer care chatbots have been successfully handling technical customer inquiries. Moreover, GenAI has brought about a significant transformation across Sales, Marketing, and Customer Support. Since 2020, we have successfully implemented more than 10 live use cases. This has resulted in substantial value generation for our organization. To share an example:

In Customer Support, we have witnessed remarkable outcomes through the utilization of chatbots, knowledge bots, and case categorization. These AI-powered tools have significantly enhanced our ability to address customer inquiries effectively and provide optimal recommendations for their specific needs.

The human touch in data-driven insights.

Enhancing the digital experience with data-driven insights goes far beyond just collecting data. Handling data in the best possible manner requires a human touch. Investing in training employees, upskilling, or reskilling where necessary to interpret data and implement strategies per customer type is paramount. By empowering the workforce with the skills needed to handle data, and AI-powered tools, you maximize the benefits to create even more engaging customer experiences.

By incorporating these measures, you will be creating a five-star digital experience that keeps your customers coming back for more.

Remember that time is limited, so don’t waste it. Be a beginner every day to keep surprising your customers with delightful customer experiences.

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