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Digital Experience: How to Delight Customers and Transform Your Business


More consumers are spending their lives online than ever—and digital usage is climbing. Customers now spend an average of more than 6 hours online every day. This turn to digital spaces opens up significant opportunities for businesses. By perfecting digital experiences, businesses can lower costs, draw in more customers, drive long-term loyalty, and differentiate their brands.

But with digital spaces and technologies changing so quickly, it can be difficult to create an experience that stays a step ahead of customer expectations. In this guide, we look at what businesses need to do to design a digital customer experience that impresses consumers now and secures their loyalty long into the future.

woman sitting on the couching and using her phone

Chapter 1

Why Businesses Need to Perfect Their Digital Experiences and UX Strategy

Businesses have known the importance of delivering positive in-person customer experiences (CX) for ages. Now, as people spend more time online, businesses need to adjust to meet those consumers where they are—in the digital world. Here are a few more reasons it’s well worth it to spend the time, money, and energy to optimize digital experiences and user experience (UX):

  • Clearer feedback: Digital spaces make it possible to easily gather, analyze, and act on customer feedback. That means businesses can keep adjusting their digital experiences to fit the customer’s changing needs—and win their loyalty more easily. 
  • Lower costs: Because the digital world is rooted in technology—where fewer humans need to intervene—customer acquisition costs (CAC) and the cost to retain customers tends to be much lower than in face-to-face interactions.
  • Broader reach: Since the digital world isn’t confined to a physical storefront, it allows businesses to reach more customers and grow at a faster pace—with fewer long-term costs.

New Trends Are Making Digital Optimization an Urgent Need

Current trends suggest that perfecting digital experience and UX strategies will become even more important in the future. Here’s why optimizing digital experiences is becoming a pressing matter:

  • Digital usage is climbing: More consumers interact online than ever—and that tendency is increasing. Brands need to deliver digital experiences that consistently exceed consumers’ expectations—and earn customer loyalty—if they want to compete.
  • Customer expectations are rising: According to an Appnovation study, more than 65 percent of Americans want to interact with their preferred brands more online.
  • Customers are choosing businesses based on digital experiences: According to Salesforce data, 88 percent of consumers say that the experience a brand delivers is more important than the products or services it offers. With a growing number of customers living their lives online, businesses need to deliver stellar digital experiences to stand out from competitors.
  • Many businesses haven’t updated services for the digital world: Too often, employees will go above and beyond to deliver in-person or live support, but their digital and self-service options are left neglected. That can cause the ever-growing pool of digital-first customers to head for the exits.
  • Customer insights are trapped in legacy technology. Customers are spreading out across omnichannel experiences, but many businesses aren’t collecting data from all of those sources. That means businesses could be gathering important insights on just a fraction of their customer base—and only getting a glimpse of their digital customers’ experiences.

How to Perfect Digital and UX Strategies

To fully deliver on the brand’s CX promises, businesses need to master their digital strategies. They also need to perfect UX, which is a digital method that focuses on a user’s needs, challenges, and desires throughout the design process. Here are a few secrets to designing a winning digital and UX strategy:

Design for an In-Person-to-Digital Transition

Even though customers are interacting online, they’re still human. That’s why it’s important to design human experiences and set up an in-person-to-digital transition. This means laying out opportunities for customers to move between offline and online interactions as seamlessly as possible.

Follow Digital Research and Persona Development Best Practices

It’s impossible to design a meaningful customer-focused digital experience without in-depth research and digital personas. These insights will spotlight the concerns, pain points, and objectives of digital customers.

Here are a few quick tips to help brands design digital personas:

  • Conduct customer interviews, video testimonials, journaling sessions, and other ethnographic exercises.
  • Identify what’s motivating consumers to make decisions.
  • Find out what sources customers trust and distrust.
  • Use behavioral insights, quantitative data, and customer sentiments to sculpt personas.
  • Continuously gather feedback and refresh personas at least once every two years.

Develop Service Blueprints

Service blueprints are maps that lay out how customers are interacting with different corners of the business’ customer service programs. These visual guides will reveal how channels, employees, and different departments are affecting the customer’s digital experience at different points during the buyer’s journey.

Service blueprints are important because they can uncover weak spots where the business needs to focus in order to make significant upgrades to a customer’s digital experience.

Follow UX Best Practices

The easier digital spaces are to navigate—and the more closely they align with the user’s needs—the happier the customer will be. That’s why developing high UX maturity is crucial to a seamless digital experience. Here are a few UX best practices to keep in mind:

  • Place users in the spotlight. Center UX design around current needs, wants, and challenges of the digital user.
  • Conduct in-depth research. Perform extensive digital research, including interviews and collections of both qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Follow digital journey maps. Map out the customer’s current digital journey and use those insights to identify how users navigate different products or services.
  • Keep listening and improving. Build feedback loops and evolve designs to fit customer needs as they change.



Why Customer Personas Work and How to Use Them

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Secrets for Getting the Most Out of Personas and Journey Maps

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Customer making an online purchase

Chapter 2

How Does Digital Experience Impact the Omnichannel Experience?

To compete in the modern world, businesses need to connect with customers through every digital interaction. That means mastering omnichannel experiences. Here are some advantages of optimizing the omnichannel experience:

Secure Loyalty Faster

Consumers don’t want to waste time tracking down the right person to talk to or recapping their concerns multiple times. A fluent omnichannel experience eliminates extra work, letting consumers accomplish their objectives when, where, and how they prefer.

Customers reward these seamless interactions with customer loyalty. With 60-70 percent of customers using omnichannel shopping, increasing loyalty can lift a business’ bottom line significantly.

Understand Customers on a Deeper Level

The omnichannel experience is spread out across a wide range of touchpoints and interactions. By taking an omnichannel approach, the business can gather up all of these interactions and funnel them into a single source—where leaders can identify friction, needs, and desires.

Ultimately, this approach allows businesses to capture the viewpoints of more consumers, see a fuller picture of who their customers are, and deliver an experience that more people want.

Differentiate the Brand

Positive digital experiences lead to more loyalty, and they can turn customers into advocates. As customers enjoy digital experiences, they often spread the word online through reviews and reward the brand with long-term business. That all can help brands stand out from competitors in an increasingly competitive environment.

How to Adopt a More Positive Omnichannel Approach

Want to optimize the digital experience across all channels and customer touchpoints? These tips can help brands adopt a more complete omnichannel approach:

1. Look for Silos

Examine service offerings and customer touchpoints along every department and channel. If those entities are operating on their own, they risk delivering inconsistent experiences. Customer data from those disjointed areas could also be falling through the cracks. That’s why it’s important to identify siloes and create a plan to repair them.

2. Dive into Digital Channel Data

Analyze interactions, needs, and pain points at every moment across digital channels. That includes analyzing omnichannel data and opportunities throughout onboarding, customer support, payment, upgrades, and every other stage of the customer’s journey

3. Personalize Experiences

Personalization is at the heart of positive digital experiences. In fact, studies have found businesses that use personalization are drawing in 40 percent more revenue from their efforts than the activities of the average business. That means identifying the specific preferences of digital customers, empathizing with their concerns, and delivering the right experiences at the right time.

contact center team speaking to customers

Chapter 3

How Does Digital Experience Management Impact the Full Business?

The digital world and the physical world are no longer separate. When a person walks down the street, they typically have a device in hand, and they’re constantly moving between physical and digital spaces. As a result, digital experiences extend into all aspects of a business. That includes:

Employee Experiences

Employees interact with customers in digital spaces and spend their workday online. The better digital experiences are, the smoother customer interactions will go—and the more satisfied a business’ workforce will be.

Contact Center Experiences

Contact centers are where customers interact directly with the brand. By focusing on the digital experience, contact center employees can see customer needs more clearly—and deliver a better experience.

At the same time, focusing on the digital experience can allow businesses to see their contact center workforces more clearly. Just as they can consolidate information about customers, it’s possible to track, analyze, and improve experiences within the contact center—and develop plans to improve agent performance.

Operations and the Broader Business

By focusing on digital experiences, businesses can see, understand, and improve all aspects of the organization. For instance, a business can use journey analytics to identify operational costs, improve employee performance, and locate high-ROI opportunities.

Building Digital Personas 

By developing digital personas, businesses can expand on the business personas that they’ve created and design customer profiles that are both more complete and more detailed.

The best way to create personas is to focus on research. Use both primary and secondary research to identify different customer segments. From there, build individual personas the organization can use to empathize with customers, understand their needs, and consistently deliver positive experiences.

Creating Customer Journeys

Once the brand has created digital personas, it will open the door to digital journey maps. Digital journey maps plot out the typical journey customers are taking to get to the brand’s products, offerings, and services. These can be valuable because they help highlight friction points, opportunities to draw in more customers, and new ways to deliver experiences customers want.

What to Include in Digital Customer Journey Maps

Here are four things to include in customer journey maps:

  1. Customer lifecycles: Dig into customer experiences at every stage of their customer journey—and across all digital channels. In-depth digital research will reveal consumers’ biggest challenges, pain points, needs, and desires.

    2. Moments of truth: Use Voice of Customer (VoC) research to locate which critical digital moments are winning customer loyalty—or losing it. By mapping out these moments of truth, the business can identify high-ROI areas where their efforts will pay off the most.

    3. Micro-journeys: These tools examine customer interactions at every touchpoint, interaction, and customer journey stage. By mapping out micro-journeys, a business can see how every scattered touchpoint across the omnichannel experience fits into the full digital experience.

    4. Future state micro-journeys: These visual aids map out the ideal digital path customers can take to satisfy their needs faster and more efficiently. Here are a few stages to focus on when brands map out their future state micro-journeys:
    • When the customer recognizes a need
    • At the time of a purchase
    • During installation or onboarding
    • During use
    • When contacting support
    • At payment
    • During upgrades or add-ons



VoC Strategy Development Case Study

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The 3 Tiers of Customer Experience Journey Mapping

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Chapter 4

Digital Customer Experience Strategies to Increase Customer Loyalty

Ready to dive into tactics? Here are some digital experience tips and strategies to help businesses drive customer loyalty:

1. Anchor the Digital Transformation Strategy to CX

Digital transformations are a high priority for most business leaders; however, adding digital options isn’t enough. The most successful digital transformations are anchored to CX. Before mapping out any digital transformation strategy, dig into the needs of digital customers, identify pain points across every digital touchpoint, and plan out ways to continuously evolve the strategy.

2. Use Journey Maps to Identify Opportunities

Digital customer journey maps will draw out customer needs, pain points, and objectives across different channels. These insights reveal the customer’s perspective and highlight the biggest opportunities to use digital experiences to deliver on the brand’s CX promises.

3. Establish Micro-Journeys

Once business leaders identify weak spots in their digital experiences, establish micro-journeys to dive deeper. These tools focus on key areas within the customer’s digital journey that have an outsized impact on their experience. For instance, a business may examine enrollment, account management, and renewal initiatives. Effective micro-journeys zoom in on each area, identify friction points within each, and explore opportunities to develop seamless experiences.

4. Identify Key Journey Moments

Within micro-journeys, there will be key moments that impact the customer’s digital experience in a significant way. For instance, a business leader may look at their micro-journey activities and find they include too many steps—a problem that often frustrates users. In this case, the business may be able to boost the customer’s digital experience by simply shaving down the number of steps standing between them and their objective.

5. Focus on the Post-Purchase Experience

Meaningful digital experiences don’t stop at purchases. To drive customer loyalty, focus on delivering follow-ups, support, guides, product recommendations, and helpful interactions that add value to the consumer’s experience.

6. Use VoC Analysis to Go Beyond Surveys

Customer surveys are a useful start, but they only scratch the surface when it comes to uncovering VoC. The best VoC analysis will feed off of interviews, focus groups, ethnographic research, and other qualitative data. This will surface a more complete picture of digital customers’ needs, challenges, and desires.

How to Create a Digital Roadmap

A digital roadmap is a forward-looking, visual plan that lays out the actions the business needs to take to reach its ideal future state. It lines up the business’ digital priorities, goals, technological infrastructure, workforce, customer needs, and strategies.

Digital roadmapping is important because it aligns the workforce, makes it easier to see opportunities, and simplifies the decision-making process. Here are a few broad elements to include in any digital roadmap:

  • Identify digital goals: Make sure future state journey maps are aligned with the business’s overall goals and mission.
  • Locate digital weak spots and opportunities: Dig into current state journey maps to identify gaps, friction points, and quick wins across the digital journey.
  • Add initiatives: Lay out actionable steps and strategies to reach the business’s ideal digital future state.
  • Weigh factors: Assign weights to each action initiative based on their cost, complexity, duration, and impact.
  • Prioritize digital efforts: Score each idea against criteria to pinpoint which action items to prioritize.



Anchor Your Digital Transformation Strategy To Customer Experience

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Chapter 5

How to Develop Digital Experience ROI

Looking to secure buy-in from stakeholders and identify how much value digital experience actions are driving? Focus on developing clear digital experience ROI. Here are a few best practices to help businesses see, track, and analyze digital experience ROI:

Align Metrics with the Business’s Objectives

Start by pinpointing the business’s biggest goals. From there, set up metrics that set the brand on a path to accomplishing those goals. That may include tracking typical customer sentiment, or it may mean pinpointing channel-specific data, performance metrics, or any other figure that’s aligned with the company objectives.

Track Journey Analytics

Journey analytics lay out insights from all aspects of the customer’s digital journey. They allow brands to analyze chats, emails, customer feedback, and survey responses—all in the same place. These tools highlight digital patterns so that brand leaders can see what moves are paying off the most.

Master Feedback Loops

Especially in digital spaces, customer preferences, needs, and struggles are constantly shifting. That’s why it’s important to collect feedback on an ongoing basis. Analyze the feedback and use those insights to refresh experiences before gathering more feedback to identify how much value your changes are delivering.

Conduct Future State Workshops

Future state workshops can help brand leaders determine what digital strategies will add the most value. During these workshops, analyze the costs, complexity, duration, and impact of every potential digital action strategy. Then weigh each initiative’s value based on those criteria. This can help the business determine which strategies to prioritize and what tactics will deliver the highest ROI.


Let Us Help You Perfect Your Digital Experience

As consumers flock to digital spaces, it’s more important than ever to optimize the digital experience. But not every business has the time, resources, or expertise to design a digital experience that wows customers. That’s where Andrew Reise Consulting can help.

Our team of consultants has spent years working alongside businesses by helping them identify their digital needs, developing custom strategies, and guiding them through to the finish line. Ready to mature, upgrade, optimize, or improve your business’s digital experience? Schedule a call to connect with an Andrew Reise consultant.


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