How to deliver the best digital experiences for your customersVegard Ottervig on
Follow these clear-cut steps to successfully provide your customers with the best possible digital experiences.
“Digital experiences” is a colloquial term describing your contents, offerings, and services across different digital channels—like websites, social media, chatbots, apps, ecommerce services, beacons, wearables, digital signage, and so on.
At the heart of your digital experiences lies the CMS, or content management system. Let’s say you’ve rounded up a great team to bolster your organisation’s presence in the digital world or to commence a digital project. Now what? Exactly how do you deliver the best digital experiences for your customers?
Below are some concrete steps you can take down the road to digital experience brilliance.
But first—do you have the right CMS for your digital experiences? Find out with our checklist:
Have a goal
If you were stranded in the wild and wandered aimlessly; you would soon perish. Although our normal lives usually don’t consist of such perilous life and death scenarios, we humans do have purpose and goals.
The same principle applies to your organisation, your department within that organisation, and yourself. Before you set out to deliver the most awesome digital experiences on the planet, you need to ask yourself: “What is my organisation’s goal?” And then: How can you achieve that goal and by what means?
Have a plan
Now that you have a goal and a purpose, you should craft a plan in order to enact your vision and make it come true. A plan in relation to your organisation’s purpose and the delivery of digital experiences should take two things into consideration:
- Know your customer
- Know the different channels
Knowing your customer entails knowing what your ideal customers looks like—what their needs are, what their pain points are, and where you can reach them. This is basically the same as crafting a buyer persona.
Having some knowledge of the plethora of different digital channels out there is also a must. You need to know about the various social media platforms, websites, apps, wearables, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, et cetera. For instance, what is the difference between Facebook and LinkedIn? Where do your ideal customer hang out the most?
Tailor your content for your ideal customer and align it with the different channels, while at the same time finding out whether or not your brand needs to have a presence on any given channel.
Even though you have a clear purpose and an overview of both your ideal customers and what channels you should commit to, this can still seem overwhelming and drown your aspirations. Fear not, there are well-tested ways to transfer your ideas to reality—and it’s called prototyping and design sprint.
This approach allows you to start fast—really in a matter of a few days instead of months going through the slow and consuming organisational grinder. As mentioned, you have a plan, but don’t know what will work. The prototyping and design sprint approach lets you test new ideas and fail fast, so you can pick yourself up again and continue to improve.
One hands-on recipe for the design sprint comes from GV, detailing exactly what you should do in one work week’s time, from Monday through Friday. In the guide you will map out your problem and choose areas of focus, sketch competing and possible solutions, turn your ideas into testable hypotheses, produce high-fidelity prototypes, and finally test it on customers of flesh and blood.
Have a solid CMS
Just like a car won’t run without an engine, your digital experiences won’t run either without a solid CMS as the foundation. But what exactly is a “solid” CMS?
A content management system should be well-tested and preferrably open-source. It should also have a dedicated development team, and it should be user-friendly, intuitive, and easy to both understand and operate. Finally, it should be scalable, which means it should be easy to expand or divest your digital experiences according to changes in consumer behaviour.
Finding a new CMS is never easy, and is not a task to be handled lightly. But it is not an impossible task; just take your time and consider all relevant alternatives.
Test, analyse, adjust, repeat
So now you have a perfect plan, a realistic alignment of your needs and your customer’s needs with the appropriate digital channels, and a working prototype ready to launch into the world. But you can’t stand still. You can’t stop now and rest forever.
In order to continuously deliver the best digital experiences for your customers, you must remain agile and seek to optimise every digital nook and cranny. You must maintain a constant vigilance, always looking at what works and what doesn’t.
Things can change (and they do), and you need to be able to turn the vehicle if a roadblock appears. Also keep up with the times and new trends—technologies are evolving as we speak.
Frequently asked questions
What are digital experiences?
What is the difference between CMS and digital experiences?
Digital experiences are the end user solutions—like website, intranet, app, chatbot, e-commerce, IoT—while a CMS is the engine behind them all.
What is a digital experience platform?
What is a customer journey?
The touchpoints and overall experience for a customer—from the first task solving to buying and recommending your product.
Why is a customer journey important?
It identifies potential friction, dead ends, and issues with the current state, and allows you to identify and enhance positive customer experiences.