Too many companies approach digital experience as though it is solely a customer service (ie CRM-based) issue. This ignores the fact that it is both digital (which in this sense means ‘connected’) and an experience (which goes far beyond just the elements that make up service).
There are four main components that make up digital experience. Each must be optimised and all four need to be co-ordinated to work well together.
These four experience components are how the customer perceives digital experience. They are supported by – but not defined by – the technologies or processes that deliver them.
The four key components of digital experience are:
- the network experience – without which the experience is not digital because by definition it is not connected. The network therefore defines digital experience at a fundamental level. If the network does not perform as expected the customer will be dissatisfied because the product becomes unavailable or unusable or because they are not able to buy what they want
- the product experience – which is what we supply over and above the connection itself, including digital services and physical products. This area addresses whether the products being supplied are appealing to customers and work as expected when supplied (with UX being the discipline that optimises product experience)
- the commercial experience – which encompasses everything to do with digital business such as pricing strategies, billing and charging, marketing and offers etc. This area addresses issues such as ‘how easy is it to buy?’, ‘is the offer appealing?’ and ‘am I being charged correctly?’
- the service experience – which includes support, self-care, information provided to customers to help them use products and so on.
These components are connected and they combine to create the overall experience. Weakness in any one area weakens the overall customer experience and the value derived from it by both customer and enterprise.
When we apply these components to a product we can see how this works.
For example, if a customer wants to buy and use a movie on Amazon they first need to have network availability. If the network is not available or of sufficient quality they cannot buy or consume the product (the movie). The movie has to be sufficiently appealing to stimulate the customer to buy it. Amazon has to provide a description of the product that appeals to the customer. The movie has to be entertaining and well made. The commercial experience also has to work well – if it is too difficult to buy, or the price is too high, the customer will not buy even if the network is available and the product is appealing. And finally, Amazon has to provide support so that if anything goes wrong or the customer isn’t happy, support is available to resolve the problem.
Breaking digital experience down into these four components enables digital service providers to focus on how the customer perceives what they’re offering and enables them to improve. It also allows them to articulate to their enterprise customers how they contribute to their digital business and provide value.