Welcome to the Era of Digital Experience: Here’s What You Need to Know

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As Bob Dylan famously said, “The times, they are a-changin’.”

Executives know this all too well. In most industries and roles, it can feel like there is a new and emerging business priority every single week. Catching every “wave” of innovation often leads to a fruitless investment in wasted time and resources.

But through the last decade, trends in digital transformation, customer experience, analytics, and personalization have culminated into a core challenge—and opportunity—for brands in both B2C and B2B markets. That opportunity is the digital experience (DX).

Digital experience is the accumulation of customer interactions with your brand via a litany of devices, services, and touchpoints.

Managing and shaping the digital experience has emerged as possibly the most business-critical and all-encompassing effort for modern firms. Because its implications are so far-reaching, the digital experience can be considered the key defining characteristic of most companies today.

The Era of Digital Experience

We live in an era of increasing connectivity, data collection, and automation. And consumers have a stronger appetite for personalized, omnichannel experiences than ever before.

This evolution represents an enormous business opportunity for firms that embrace and excel at the implementation of new technology.

According to a study conducted by Forrester, customer experience (CX) leaders within a broad range of industries saw, on average, nearly six times faster revenue growth over a 5-year period compared to CX laggards within the same industries.

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This shift toward experience and its rise to critical importance hasn’t come out of nowhere.

The confluence of many core technologies has made it possible for companies to rethink the way they interact with customers and overhaul their systems to provide a more seamless and personalized experience to each individual:

  1. API and microservices frameworks
  2. Machine learning and AI
  3. Advanced digital content management
  4. Enhanced customer data collection

As with many facets of business, we see that emerging technology is driving change across the board. Technology is no longer just a tool that companies use to improve their existing operations; it is an engine that enables new operations and business transformation.

Reflected in that change, we see that customers within both B2C and B2B markets increasingly expect and demand that companies embrace these cutting-edge tools to improve the overall experience.

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Many firms are still grappling with how to meet these lofty expectations.

For companies finding their bearings in this space, it’s important to take a step back. Before diving into the technology and logistics of DX management, consider first what implications it may have for your company.

Six Pillars at the Heart of Digital Experience

To frame the scope of the digital experience and the elements that define that experience from the view of a customer, let’s break it down into its discrete parts.

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Customer experience firm Nunwood has laid out six core pillars that comprise this new era of the digital experience:

  1. Personalization
  2. Integrity
  3. Expectations
  4. Resolution
  5. Time and Effort
  6. Empathy

As a customer, they argue, you will ultimately evaluate your overall experience with a brand based on these six elements. This means that companies looking to improve the perceived experience should focus their efforts on implementing technology and policy aimed at these pillars.

Let’s take a quick look at each one in this context.

1. Personalization

Using customer data and historical behavior to customize content and experience at scale.

2. Integrity

Delivering on a broader brand ethos beyond pure business performance. Focus on providing intangible value and enrichment for customers.

3. Expectations

Articulating clearly the real value your company offers to customers. Setting the stage for each interaction through consistent communication.

4. Resolution

Correcting or recovering after a poor experience.

5. Time and Effort

Reducing friction and making the customer’s experience as simple and effortless as possible.

6. Empathy

Demonstrable understanding of the customer, their needs, and how best to serve them.

The idea of the digital customer experience is often couched in terms of service and support—providing a positive experience when things go wrong. But, as you can see from these pillars, the digital experience is truly shaped by the entire experience from start to finish, both positive and negative.

From there it’s obvious that DX management programs must span the entirety of a customer’s experience with a brand. It can’t begin at the breaking point. That means being both proactive and reactive. The digital experience is defined by your current process and capabilities, then refined based on your ability to measure and analyze the experience that it provides.

Technology Drives the Digital Experience

Taking stock of the critical role that digital experience plays for consumers and how your company can be strategic about shaping that experience are just the first few steps in a much larger journey to implement a DX management program.

The next step is technology.

No matter how ambitious your team may be, you simply can’t deliver a world-class digital experience without the right technology.

Imagine trying to cobble together a system of levers and pulleys that would help you deliver personalized content and messaging to each and every customer. The mind boggles at the complexity and wasted time and resources.

Instead, focus on the two core technologies that enable hyper-personalized content and tailored digital experiences at scale:

  1. Content management system (CMS)
  2. Customer relationship management (CRM)

By linking your company’s content assets to your company’s customer or visitor records, you’ve overcome the biggest hurdle to delivering personalization, which is a unified digital experience platform (DXP). Together, these two technologies give you the framework to build a robust DX management program.

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By implementing a CMS and CRM stack that allows personalized experiences, you’re able to layer on additional functionality that lets you move the needle on each of the six pillars of the complete digital experience.

It all starts with these two pieces of infrastructure that unlock the ability for your firm to lead the way in digital experience across any device, timeline, and touchpoint.

Contentstack enables firms to cross the chasm on DX management. Built to enable agile content management, our API-first CMS integrates data with nearly any service or device on the planet—CRM, AI, analytics, AR/VR, mobile apps, and more.

Intrigued? Keep reading to learn more about how Contenstack’s headless CMS is enabling the new era of digital experiences: