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Optimizing the digital customer journey: 5 key focus areas.

April 7, 2023 By: Tom Arundel

Every opportunity to welcome a customer to your website or app is gold. You got them there. But how do you know what’s working and what’s not at each stage of their journey?

With budgets tightening and the digital landscape changing, the pressure’s on for brands to become more efficient and faster in responding to consumer needs. In reality, many digital teams still have trouble understanding how to provide the most value to customers and determining what will drive the most business impact.  

But if more data is available today than ever, why can’t teams make sense of it?

So much data, and so little understanding of the customer.

Prioritizing the wrong fixes, waiting on analytics experts to provide insights, different teams working with different data sets—if any of these all-too-common time wasters resonate with you, then it’s probably not a lack of data holding your team back. 

One of the biggest factors? A short supply of digital expertise. That’s not to say teams aren’t knowledgeable or capable. Rather, getting up to speed with the intricacies of your unique data stack, systems, and processes often takes time—it’s difficult to level the playing field when someone has been at your organization for years, and others only a few months or weeks.

When this happens, your ramp-up time from discovering an issue to investigating and resolving takes that much longer. And your customers aren’t waiting—if they’re dissatisfied with their digital experience, they’ll go elsewhere. 

So, how do you break down the barriers to digital transformation and get your team to align on a vision, achieve business goals, and decide what’s right for customers? 

First, you need to know where to focus your team’s optimization efforts within the customer’s digital experience.

5 key focus areas for digital optimization.

Today’s digital customer journey is increasingly complex, and accounting for every one of the hundreds of micro-moments the customer experiences is easier said than done. But, after working with many leading brands, we’ve identified five key focus areas to make optimization easier: discovery, acquisition & conversion, account management, help & support, and platform monitoring. 

1. Discovery.

After reaching your website, it only takes seconds for a customer to decide whether they’ll stay or bounce. That’s why setting the stage with a first-impression experience is important for customers to immediately realize the value behind your product or service.

A couple of key questions to ask about your discovery experience: 

  • Is my bounce rate too high? 
  • Do visitors find my search results helpful? 

2. Acquisition & conversion.

Once the customer decides to move forward in their digital journey, you’ll want to ensure a frictionless checkout process. Look for holes along the customer funnel, like unclear payment options, confusing forms, and messy designs—all common culprits behind funnel drop-offs.

A couple of key questions to ask about your acquisition & conversion flow: 

  • Are we seeing a funnel drop-off across the board or just for specific customer segments? 
  • How does page load time impact conversions?

3. Account management. 

Most customers today expect brands to offer online self-service and want it to be seamless. That’s why any digital-first organization needs to make their account creation, login, and management process as simple and user-friendly as possible. 

A couple of key questions to ask about your account management process: 

  • Is the number of new accounts created declining?
  • Do customers know where to log in?

4. Help & support.

No two customers look alike. That’s why it’s important to consider the different shopping habits and unique factors influencing buying decisions when building a customer experience strategy that provides the help & support your customers need.

A couple of key questions to ask about your help & support experience: 

  • How are digital FAQs and self-service impacting contact center volumes?
  • Has the team flagged any suspicious behavior, like repeated cut and paste of credit card information?

5. Platform monitoring. 

Customers expect a seamless experience across the board, regardless of the channel or the device they’re using. When thinking about your digital strategy, consider how the different technologies your company uses affect your website and app performance. 

A couple of key questions to ask about platform monitoring: 

  • Is slow page performance due to an issue on the front or backend?
  • Are certain API errors showing anomalies?

Defining the path to digital excellence. 

These are just a few examples of things to watch for while optimizing the key areas of your digital experience. Want to see what other questions to ask, including how to answer them? In our guide, Optimize the 5 pillars of the digital customer journey, we share insights to cut organizational drag, increase confidence, and deliver digital excellence.

Get the guide to see: 

  • The top time wasters slowing down your digital transformation 
  • Key questions to ask about your data at every touchpoint and how to answer 
  • Stories from leading brands across top industries like travel, retail, and banking

Download the full guide here. 

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