CHICAGO -- Twas the night before the DX Summit, and all through the house ... was a husband who had a poor digital experience.

All said husband wanted was a quick experience ordering perfume for his wife on his laptop. Instead, he struck out worse than the Cubs do each year in this Windy City.

His bags were packed for the W Chicago City Center Hotel for the three-day digital experience conference. He felt guilty leaving behind the wife, kid and two dogs.

No More Guilt?

What relieves that guilt nicely? Perfume for his wife. But he couldn't complete the order in the e-commerce system. His guilt remained high, and thus appeared another emotion: frustration.

He didn’t want to browse. Didn’t want to shop. Just buy.

But the provider failed. E-commerce platform 1. Husband 0. It kept asking him to enter his phone number “the right way,” when all along he had done it just like they asked.

So he left. No purchase, and no dreams of UPS Guy swooping onto his deck and placing a package into the mailbox for his wife to open.

Success!

When his flight landed at Chicago O’Hare International Airport the next day, he took a shot at ordering again on his mobile device.

Boom. It worked. One try. 

Was he a happy customer? Not really. All he could remember was the bad digital experience from the night before that kept him sitting there ordering perfume on the plane as it sat parked at the terminal.

Who was the lucky husband? Yours truly, if you haven’t figured that out.

Digital experience is not about getting it right in one channel. We’ve been hearing leading up to this CMSWire conference this week that it’s a mandate to get digital experience delivery right. To know your customer touchpoints. To deliver consistent experiences for channel-hopping customers like me.

headshot of seth earley

Seth Earley, one of the speakers at this conference, told me this morning that digital experience is about “getting the blocking and tackling right.”

Earley spoke at a workshop Monday and is speaking on a case study, “Aligning MarTech with the Customer Journey” Tuesday at noon CT.

I shared my poor digital experience with Earley.

Critical Moment

“This piece that wasn’t working for you was the critical piece,” said Earley, founder and CEO of Carlisle, Mass.-based Earley Information Science. “If you don’t get that right you can damage the whole relationship. You have to make it painless and get the small stuff right.”

“The thing they missed for you there,” Earley added, “was the blocking and tackling. The basics. If you don’t have that right, then all the targeting, all your marketing automation, integration, content and commerce, strategies and merchandising is all for naught.”

The intersection between content and commerce is huge. One of the industry champions in this space is Digital Clarity Group’s Jill Finger Gibson, one of the speakers at the DX Summit. Finger Gibson is leading the session, “Content and Commerce Integration Success” at the DX Summit 3:45 p.m. CT Wednesday.

Finger Gibson often talks about how content and commerce must come together in order to support solid digital experience.

I lived it this week — and now I fully agree.

The perfume provider did a phenomenal job targeting my wife and ultimately helping her find something she liked on her iPad. She knew what she wanted. Content = great. Commerce (my experience) = fail.

Earley said it’s critical for companies to be able to see the metrics of these poor experiences and do something about it.

“How am I seeing metrics of that experience across these mechanisms, across these interactions and what’s my process for remediating?” Earley asked. “You first have to be aware of the problem and then have to do something about it.”

Strong Response

To its credit, the provider responded to my feedback on Twitter promptly. They made me feel like they cared I had a poor experience.

I’m still sour over my laptop experience, but they may have even won me back the next time I decide to shop online (in another five years or so, as is my current pace):

So there’s my own digital experience tale. Bad experience (laptop). Good experience (mobile). Good experience (Twitter).

So 2 out of 3. I’m sure every vendor and provider out there wants to bat 1.000 and not .667. Everyone's trying. It’s early days — and it seems to be getting there.

I guess in the end, at least someone’s going to be happy when UPS Guy arrives.

Check out all our ongoing coverage of the CMSWire DX Summit here or on Twitter #DXS15.

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License Title image by kevin.madden