Digital Customer Service: What It Is and Why It Matters

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In the realm of customer care, there’s tried-and-true, traditional customer service, and then there’s digital customer service. While there’s certainly plenty of overlap, the latter takes a more focused perspective and is designed to support digital consumers by taking their omnichannel customer journey into consideration.

This might have you wondering, what is digital customer service, exactly? And how can digital customer care improve the overall customer experience? Read on for answers to the most common digital customer service questions, plus tips and strategies for delivering a top-notch digital customer experience (DCX), no matter where your customers are.

What Is a Digital Customer?

A digital customer is someone who uses digital channels to connect with businesses, consume branded content and make purchases. These channels include web, mobile, social and email. They can maintain a relationship with a brand without ever setting foot in a brick-and-mortar establishment, but may communicate with brand representatives over live chat, email, text or the phone. Importantly, a digital customer may engage with a company across multiple channels.

What Is Digital Customer Experience?

The digital customer experience (DCX) encompasses all aspects of a customer’s interactions with a brand through digital channels, and the overall brand perception and satisfaction rate they’re left with as a result. This includes touchpoints like:

  • Visiting a website on mobile.
  • Viewing social media ads.
  • Browsing through products online.
  • Reading customer reviews.
  • Logging in to their personal account.
  • Testing out a promo code in the checkout.
  • Completing an online transaction.
  • Receiving an order confirmation email.
  • Connecting with an AI chatbot for assistance.
  • Processing a return online.
  • And every other step along the digital customer journey.

The collection of these activities and impressions, DCX, is also sometimes called digital client experience or digital consumer experience. In most cases, it can also be considered an omnichannel customer experience, given the way in which customers will approach the same brand from various channels.

As a result, another important aspect of DCX is the customer’s experience when switching between channels. For instance, when hopping from a mobile device to a laptop to take a closer look at a product saved in their shopping cart, most online shoppers wouldn’t think twice about the logistical considerations related to making that a seamless experience. But, if siloed systems require the customer to run the same search and provide the same basic information over and over again, the experience probably won’t leave a great lasting impression.

What Is Digital Customer Service?

Customer support has drastically changed over the past two decades to accommodate these somewhat elusive digital consumer behaviors and high customer expectations. Over the next few years, customer service experts predict that ensuring consistency across customer touchpoints will be a top priority for businesses.

But even today, customers look for a rich support experience that efficiently and effectively meets their needs. Simply put, digital customer service, or digital customer care, is what businesses must provide to help meet the needs of their digital customers.

But it’s not just about solving a ticket in a transactional manner; it’s part of a whole new customer engagement philosophy. The best digital customer service approach works toward building and cultivating a great relationship with customers. In this relationship, the brand treats the customer as a real person with a name and a history and a habit of hopping from one digital channel to another.

Additionally, it requires a proactive strategy wherein the business anticipates as many of its customers’ needs and expectations as possible ahead of time — and addresses these with the right infrastructure. Then, when a particular issue arises, the digital customer service team can work toward a personalized solution within an already supportive environment.

How Can Digital Customer Service Improve Your Customer Experience?

To provide successful digital customer service, brands must be able to support customer needs anytime, anywhere. And, the customer should always be able to pick up right where they left off. One-third of consumers agree that the tedious process of having to re-introduce and explain themselves to multiple agents is one of the most frustrating aspects of customer service experiences, according to Hubspot.

However, Accenture found that 91% of customers are more likely to purchase from brands that recognize them by name, remember their purchase history and provide personalized offers and product recommendations. With the right tools in place, brands can deliver the best digital customer experience possible, solve issues as they arise and even provide incentives and suggestions that are tailored to the customer’s interests and past activity. Great digital customer service promotes customer satisfaction and retention.

Moreover, exceptional service can increase customer acquisition through word-of-mouth and reviews. A study from American Express revealed that, on average, U.S. consumers will discuss a negative customer experience with 15 people but would share a good experience with 11 people. The numbers go up to 17 and 15, respectively, for millennial consumers. So, a positive DCX not only stops negative feedback from spreading like wildfire, but it also leaves favorable brand impressions with about a dozen additional consumers for each satisfied customer.

How Can You Provide Excellent Digital Customer Service?

In order to provide seamless digital customer service and a seamless DCX, you’ll need to direct your efforts toward digital customer experience management. Let’s explore a few best practices to work into your strategy.

First, take advantage of automation, AI and self-service tools that can quickly collect data and diagnose problems. When a customer need arises, these tools can allow customers to access immediate information — and potentially a quick solution. Or, they can collect the most important details and open a customer support conversation. The best tools will be able to manage or assign conversations and even deliver automated messages based on certain triggers you’ve identified, saving you time and energy to address more complex customer needs.

Next, make sure you’re set up with a system that stores and transfers customer data to support more seamless customer care. For instance, a skilled customer service agent who is prepared with the background information gathered by a chatbot can get right to work solving more complex issues. The customer service team will appear more capable and expedient when they don’t have to backtrack. Plus, customers have come to expect customer service handoffs that are as seamless as their digital browsing and buying experiences.

Finally, remember to gather customer feedback on the support and overall DCX you’re providing after each digital customer interaction. When customers have a chance to offer their opinions, they typically feel more satisfied with the interaction overall. Plus, you can use customers’ valuable feedback to improve your processes.

Does Your Digital Customer Service Strategy Deliver?

Our tools equip some of the best digital customer experience companies and most beloved brands out there. Request a Kustomer demo to find out how.
 

Product Updates: New Workforce Management and Chat Capabilities Are Here

Our engineering and product teams have been busy launching new features, adding new channels, and making your top requests a reality. Here are the highlights of what we’ve added in this past quarter, in case you missed any.

Workforce Management

Team Pulse

Admins often spend extra time monitoring and following up with agents to ensure they’re working efficiently. Team Pulse lets admins view and jump to the customers, searches, reports, and conversations that their agents are currently working on, in real-time. Admins are also able to view which members of their team are using Autopilot, as well as how many conversations or customers they’re currently working on in the search.

For example, use Team Pulse to monitor your remote team’s activity during their shift.

Chat

Conversational Assistant

Chat Conversational Assistant is a pre-conversational feature that helps your team collect information from customers automatically, before reaching the agent. Collecting information upfront will speed up response times and the ability to quickly close conversations by cutting down the interactions between agents and customers. Conversational Assistant can also automate team assignment, by asking your customer what team they are trying to reach.

You’re able to create an unlimited number of open ended questions for end-users to respond to. We’ve also provided a few required fields to self-identify customers who may already exist in your Kustomer app such as email and name.

For example, use Chat Conversational Assistant to require the end-user to provide their order number so agents can easily access that information, and not have to wait for it to be provided.

Chat Availability

Chat Availability incorporates Business Hours into the chat experience, allowing admins to determine what the after hours experience will be for chat users.

We’re providing two options to choose from:

  1. Show Available: This will keep your chat available on your website regardless of your Business Hours. The chat window will display your available online greeting and allow end users to create new conversations.
  2. Show Offline: This will keep your chat icon available but display your offline greeting. You’ll be able to add an offline greeting image within the chat window and end-users will be prompted to leave a message.

For example, use Chat Availability to appear offline during holidays like New Years Day, when your team may have limited or no availability.

Chat Deflection

Chat Deflection helps to set proper expectations for your customers with estimated Reply Times. Our Reply Time display is fully customizable, so admins can choose from an automated, template, or custom message. Since Chat is a fast moving channel where your customers expect real-time support, we’ve added additional functionality around deflection and alternative follow-up. Deflection will help divert traffic when your Chat team doesn’t respond, by directing your customers to other channels. Admins can also set a deflection time, with automation around closing a conversation.

For example, use Chat Deflection to give customers the option to reach out via phone, text, or email when an agent doesn’t respond within the allotted two minutes.

Proactive Messenger

Proactive Messenger lets customer experience teams automatically engage website visitors with targeted messages. You can proactively send chat messages to specific target audiences based on a multitude of factors, including session information like time on page, last page visited, the geographical location as well as customer attributes if the user is logged in. Custom customer attributes allow for more powerful campaigns, letting you target customers based on information like VIP status, favorite color, last activity, last CSAT value, and more.

For example, create a campaign that displays a 10% discount offer to customers whose last CSAT value was lower than a 7 and have been on a product page for more than 5 seconds.

Knowledgebase

Multilingual KB

Multilingual Knowledgebase (KB), enables teams to provide help content in the correct language to their customers all over the globe. Multilingual KB lets you create KB articles in multiple languages and serve the correct version to your customers. Snippets, another new feature and component of Multilingual KB, will automatically detect the language of your customers and then adjust a specified block of text to the correct language.

New Channels

Kustomer Chat Android and iOS SDK

Your customers use apps and your support team needs to be able to help your customers where they are. Enter Kustomer Android and iOS SDK. Designed specifically for Android and iOS, it enables customers to interact with your team from within your mobile app. Our Chat Android SDK supports both logged in and anonymous chats. Fully customizable, it’s easy to match our Mobile Chat to your application’s brand.

You can check out our latest product updates here.

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