Digital Experience 2021: What do the CX Experts Say?

Digital Experience 2021: What do the CX Experts Say?

logo The CX Insights
January 4, 2021 | 10 Min Read

The Coronavirus pandemic global crisis has brought challenges in the corporate world. However, Customer Experience (CX) experts have a different perspective on the whole COVID-19 pandemic.

They believe that this dreadful virus has given hope to organizations in understanding the changing customer needs.

All of this has become possible, thanks to the proper leveraging of customer feedback. Organizations need to listen to what they are saying and take relevant actions accordingly.

Today we are seeing a significant change in digital experience management by organizations.

Truth be told, in the current business environment where work-from-home has become the new normal, digital experience management is crucial for businesses to provide a wholesome digital customer experience in 2021.

Before we proceed with the quotes of CX experts on digital experience in the year 2021, let's first understand the definition of digital experience.

However, if you know the basics of digital experience, you can jump to the "What do Customer Experience Experts Say about Digital Experience in the Year 2021" section right away.

What is Digital Experience?

Digital experience is a part of a technology that enables organizations to go beyond digitizing paper processes to create services that are possible only due to the internet and other modern technologies.

Digital experience consists of two components. The first one being, it employs digital technologies (Duh! this is obvious, but the most important thing).

The second one is it provides interaction between a single user and an organization. Mobile apps, smart devices, and websites all offer digital experiences to customers, partners, or employees to interact with companies.

Why is Digital Experience the Need of the Hour for Organizations?

Hopefully, there will be a time when the Coronavirus crisis will go away. However, with the drastic changes that this global pandemic has brought over virtually overnight, the CX experts have their task cut out. This is the right time for them to introduce their customers to digital experiences, no matter how big or small your company is. 

With most businesses shifting online and others shutting down entirely, make no mistake, COVID-19 has resulted in a massive impact on global companies. The most evident signal that we can see is the sudden rush to digitize almost all aspects of work and customer interaction.

The stakes could hardly be higher than this ever before. When no business can ill-afford to lose precious revenue, offering a seamless digital experience is a matter of survival.

Brands that are caught unprepared and have not started investing in providing a digital customer experience feel the squeeze most. However, those companies that are better-prepared thanks to their right strategic moves in the past are positioned to grow from strength to strength.

For example, look at the case of Walmart, which has won the company lots of accolades for investing in digital channels. The retailer has explicitly been smart about developing its distribution infrastructure and its Omni channel capabilities. Thanks to all this, it has solidified its second-place ranking in U.S. e-commerce sales just after Amazon.

Credit Suisse has predicted a clear-cut digital advantage of Walmart over its key competitors. Its same-store sales will grow by 3% in 2020, which is up from the earlier prediction of 0.5%.

Now that you have understood the significance of digital experience management in the COVID-19 era, let's find out which technologies can help you improve your digital customer experience.

Technologies that can help in Improving Digital Experience

As the need for digital experience increases amongst customers, companies will have to utilize some cutting-edge technologies like virtual reality, live video connectivity, intelligent chatbots, and co-browsing to connect with their customers digitally. Here’s a list of technologies that can help you in improving your digital experience.

  • Chatbot: Thanks to the invention of AI-powered chatbots, organizations can easily automate their simple customer support tasks like mundane questions to customer queries and documentation of successful problem resolutions. This way, it can aid in providing a wholesome digital customer experience. 

  • Speech-enabled Voice Recognition: Companies like Amazon have upped their ante when it comes to providing a digital experience to customers. Thanks to its speech-enabled voice recognition and NLP-integrated apps, it becomes easier to interpret the customer’s language and decode it in its own language. This way, it provides a superlative digital experience to customers without even moving from their couches! Can it get any better than this?

  • Video Chat: There are times when it is not enough to read or hear the customer out; sometimes, it is effective to see them. This is where video chat comes into the picture. With its help, your customers can enjoy a seamless digital experience by providing visual support and getting to the leading cause of the problem.

  • Co-browsing: Since most of us globally are working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it becomes difficult to get personal interaction. There are times when the customer needs to show the problem and get the resolution remotely. During such times, co-browsing can seamlessly provide a compelling digital customer experience.

In the last section, we focused our attention on the technologies that can enhance the digital experience. Now, as promised, let's focus our attention on what CX experts have to say about the digital experience in the year 2021.

Here you have it…..Thank you for your patience!

What do Customer Experience Experts Say about Digital Experience in the Year 2021?

1. Shep Hyken

Customer service and experience expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and NYT bestselling author

Here is what Mr. Shep says about the digital experience in 2021

"The secret to a successful digital experience is balance. There needs to be a balance between the digital and human experience. While a 100% digital experience looks attractive to the company, a chatbot may not have all the answers if a customer needs support.

Provide the customer with an option to move to the human experience. Some chatbots are programmed to recognize when a customer is confused and seamlessly move them to a human to continue the conversation. That's the way it should work – just at the right point, moving to the human experience. That's balance."

Our Takeaway

Both the digital and human experience needs to be balanced well. Remember, too much of anything is also not good. There needs to be a perfect sync between humans and machines. Remember, providing human experience is very important to maintain the right balance when providing a digital experience.

An Interesting YouTube Video by Shep Hyken That You will Love to Watch, wherein he talks about the versatility of customer service.

2. Adam Toporek

Chief Client Hero - An acclaimed customer service author and trainer

Here is what Mr. Adam says about the digital experience in 2021

"The most important aspect of enhancing the digital experience in 2021 will be understanding what the optimal customer journey looks like and being adaptable as it changes over the course of the year. 

As a COVID-19 vaccine is distributed, will customer behavior remain the same? Will the mix of digital and non-digital transactions shift back; if so, how far? 

To deliver best-in-class experiences in the coming year, organizations need to constantly monitor shifting customer preferences and have the budget flexibility and operational adaptability to pivot to meet the changes."

Our Takeaway

The key thing to ascertain in the year 2021 will be whether customers will behave in the same way as they did during the pandemic once the effects of Coronavirus have subsided.  

Companies will have to ascertain the optimal customer journey and adapt to the changes happening during the year. 

The most important thing for organizations will be to scrutinize customers' changing preferences regularly. It would become essential to have a flexible budget with adequate operational adaptability to meet the changes.

An Interesting YouTube Video by Adam Toporek That You will Love to Watch, wherein Adam Toporek discusses customer experience leadership.

3. Katie Stabler

Working as a Founder and Director of Customer Experience at CULTIVATE Customer Experience by Design

Here is what Ms. Katie says about the digital experience in 2021

"The importance of CX on the digital journey: Before the pandemic, many organizations recognized the need for an online experience, whether this was simply a place for customers to learn more about the organization or space for customers to interact with the organization and even buy a product or service.

Now, those organizations who did not operate in the digital space most likely do, and those who were already firmly 'online' recognize the significantly increased value of a great digital experience. If an organization's digital journey is lacking or filled with friction, the customer will simply shop elsewhere.

So, where does the online journey start, where does it end, and how can you create a great digital experience? Let's walk through the phases:

First, it's the awareness stage – The point in which your customer first lands eyes on you. This might be your social media, an advertisement, a listing on a search engine, a public review, or even your website. First impressions count, so make sure you know exactly what your customer sees.

Next is the learning stage – This is where the customer likes what they see so seeks to find out more. This is likely to be from further research, or they may even sign up for your newsletter/follow your social media account.

This leads to interaction – Your first opportunity to make the most of a customer touchpoint, remember every interaction counts. For example, if they subscribe to a newsletter, make sure they get a thankyou or a welcome email. If they like or comment on your social media, respond. Make them feel like more than a number, build a connection with them from the start.

Then, purchase – The ideal outcome. By this point, you have made the digital journey easy, accessible, and frictionless, so much so they have rewarded you with their custom.

It doesn't stop there, now is the time for retention - You have your customer; you don't want to let them go. Here's your opportunity to make sure your after-sales process is well thought out and effective. Keep in touch with your customer, perhaps ask them for a review or even go as far as to offer them an incentive to buy again. This communication shouldn't feel like a sales tactic but rather genuine appreciation and attention.

The key to a friction-free, great digital experience is to make sure you have automated processes to manage interaction and communication (such as through the use of a good CRM), make sure your customer support staff are well trained and well-resourced, ensure you know what happens at every point of your digital journey and work to improve your journey through customer feedback continually."

Our Takeaway

An organization needs to follow in the digital footsteps. If you are not going digital, you are not in the race. You must follow five stages to provide a superlative digital experience.

  1. The awareness stage (The stage where customers get to know about your brand.)
  2. The learning stage (The stage where customers wish to learn more about your product/service.)
  3. Interaction (This is the stage where you have the first customer interaction, so you need to make it count.)
  4. The purchase (Due to the hassle-free digital journey, the customer ends up purchasing your product.)
  5. The Retention (Ask for feedback from the customer and give them incentives to buy again.)

To ensure a friction-free, superlative digital experience, you need to ensure that your support staff is well-resourced and well-trained. They should be well-aware of every point of your digital journey. And, finally, improve your digital experiences by taking into consideration your customer feedback.

An Interesting YouTube Video by Katie Stabler That You will Love to Watch where she spoke about women supporting women in CX and influencing the CX agenda.

4. Dan Gingiss

Works as a Keynote Speaker, Customer Experience Coach, Author, and a Podcaster


Here is what Mr. Dan says about the digital experience in 2021

"Make sure you are a customer of your own company. There is no better way to actually see and experience what customers go through than to become one yourself."

Our Takeaway

You need to understand the perspective of your customers by getting into their shoes. This way, you can actually experience what the customers undergo while purchasing your products.

An Interesting YouTube Video by Dan Gingiss That You will Love to Watch, wherein Mr. Gingiss shares his insights on how remarkable customer experience can help you sell more.

5. Stacy Sherman

Head of Customer Experience & Employee Engagement at Schindler Elevator Corporation. And Founder of DoingCXRight®

Profile photo of Stacy Sherman -MBA. CX Certified

Here is what Ms. Stacy told us to be digital experience ready in 2021

"Train and empower your employees to maximize customer satisfaction so that people leave with a smile after EVERY interaction."

Listen to Stacy Sherman talk about CX best practices with experts listed here at INTERVIEWS & PODCASTS

Our Takeaway

Honestly, making people smile while you interact with them makes their day special, and so does you. Training your employees to provide superlative customer satisfaction is the key to delivering a digital experience in the year 2021.

An Interesting YouTube Video by Stacy Sherman That You will Love to Watch, where she discusses the strategies to create powerful customer experiences.

6. Adrian Swinscoe

Works as a Customer service and experience advisor, speaker, workshop and masterclass leader, and aspirant punk at Punk CX

Influencer's Quote on Digital Experience in the Year 2021

"When customers contact a company using different channels, they don't think they are having separate conversations; they think they are having one conversation as they have one problem to solve.

It's taken a long time for organizations to catch up to this reality, and software platforms are now available that are allowing them to take a conversational and more human approach to the experience they deliver. I fully expect this trend to accelerate over the course of 2021."

Our Takeaway

If a customer approaches you via different channels, it does not mean they wish to have separate conversations. They want you to solve their problems. Organizations have been found guilty of not considering this thing till now. Hopefully, in 2021, we will see organizations taking a more humane approach while delivering a digital experience.

An Interesting YouTube Video by Adrian Swinscoe That You will Love to Watch

Concluding Thoughts

Here you have it, our take on what different CX experts are saying about the digital experience in the year 2021. We hope you enjoyed reading this write-up as much as the pleasure it was for us to deliver it to you.

Until next time…….Keep reading!!! 

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