Going Digital. We see this term more often as organizations continue to carry out their digital overhauls – all in an effort to compete with their counterparts while simultaneously keeping customers happy.
Interestingly enough, a good majority of us think going digital translates to cost savings and launching fancy new websites and apps that will woo our customers. Little do we know that coming up with a successful and effective digital strategy is so much more than that.
So how exactly does one come up with an effective digital strategy? You’ll quickly notice that the approach of let’s throw things at the wall and see what sticks – while capable of yielding some positive results – isn’t necessarily a sustainable or measurable approach. What you really need is a framework for how to monitor your digital channels and make sure performance remains at its peak.
In developing your digital strategy, a good place to start is setting goals and tracking your progress as you try to reach them – namely, obtaining insights from your customers.
These insights will not only allow you reach your target audience more effectively, but also give you the means to make meaningful and constructive changes to your digital offerings and thus, boost retention rates and the overall customer experience.
Coming up with your own goals is a critical starting point for any project. You need to start thinking about what is important to you and your business, both in the short and long term.
You can begin with deciding which areas of your website you want to focus on: Do you want to lower shopping cart abandonment rates? Do you want to increase overall customer loyalty? Do you want to boost email response rates? Is your website content up to par for your audience?
It’s also a good idea to establish who in your team will be involved and to what extent. For example, if there is a pricing problem, the sales team will need to be involved, whereas if there are specification issues you may want to involve the product development department. This way of working will keep your operations highly reactive yet efficient.
There various ways to collect customer insights on your websites and mobile apps. You’ve got your standard web analytics tools, your chat tools, your heat mapping tools and your session recording tools. But one of the best and most profitable tools in terms of customer insights is customer feedback.
This is because customer feedback tools have a secret weapon. Customer feedback tools can determine the why factor. Why are your visitors behaving the way they do? Having this information at your fingertips enables you to obtain a deeper understanding of your customers and come up with ways to make their experience better.
Online customer feedback is essential for a sustainable B2C relationship, increased online conversions and improved customer loyalty. However, collecting the right customer feedback takes careful planning and a firm understanding of the journey your customers take when buying a product on your website or app.
It can also be advantageous to collect feedback in combination with customer data. The integration of customer data, profiles and digital feedback can provide your business with rich insights into the customer journey that will enable you to provide them with a memorable and desirable customer experience.
- When you are collecting feedback, keep it short! Not many people want to spend 30 minutes of their time providing you with feedback. So limit the number of questions (a maximum of 3 or 4), keep them short and simple, and allow your visitors to leave comments.
- Don’t just ask for general feedback. It should be tuned around what you want to achieve. The more relevant your question is and the more it fits with what the customer is trying to achieve through your website or app, the more useful the feedback will be.
Considering much of the feedback businesses collect comes in large numbers, dashboard analyses are particularly helpful. Dashboards can help the user visualize feedback all at once, making it easier to identify trends.
And for a closer look at what is driving these trends (in other words identifying the root cause), users can hone in on particular items and see where things are going right or wrong.
Once the data has been analyzed, coming up with a plan of action must not be forgotten. Where do you go from here and who should be involved in making sure things go as planned? These last steps (analyzing and acting on feedback) are the crux of the whole process.
Feedback collection and analysis should always remain a continuous process. If you continuously monitor your feedback, you can continuously make changes to your website and mobile apps based on those insights. You can also compare performance to days, weeks or even months earlier to see how you are progressing and learn what works and what doesn’t. In the end, this will help you make your digital efforts, and thus digital strategy, that much stronger.
The moral of the story is: companies need to stop thinking broadly when it comes to a digital strategy. The key to staying ahead is to start using tools and technologies that will provide you with the insights you need to get your digital strategy right the first time around. Who’s with me?