Blind Tiger Pub in NYC, with neon sign of tiger head and Guinness sign
PHOTO: Dan Gold

Sitting in the pub after a long day on-site with a client I started to think about my next CMSWire assignment (as you do). According to the editorial calendar the theme of this month’s article was about ‘creating an effective digital customer experience strategy.’ But what exactly did that mean?

Was I to discuss creating an effective strategy for your digital customers, or an effective digital strategy for all your customers? Is there in fact any differences? I think there is. So let’s dig in and take a look at both approaches taken by the very pub I’m in.

An Effective Strategy for Your Digital Customers

The pub is part of a chain, and I found this particular location several months ago on my first visit to the client’s office thanks to the Yelp app. When I’m in a new city I like to check out the local pubs, and usually do a search for what’s the closest to my hotel (or client offices). The results can be very illuminating. It amazes me how many businesses that rely on word-of-mouth and reviews don’t curate and manage how they are presented on apps like Yelp. For many digital customers this is how we find out about a business, We have a need (in this case, food and beer), and want to look for a business to meet that need:

  • Is there one nearby?
  • Does it offer what I need?
  • What do others think about it?
  • Is it open?
  • How do I get there?

This particular chain made sure all the information I needed was right at my fingertips in the apps I use.

Developing an effective strategy for your digital customers isn’t just about making sure your website is up to date, it’s about making sure the information digital customers need is available on the channels they use, irrespective of who owns it.

Related Article: Are We Developing the Dickens of Customer Experiences?

An Effective Digital Strategy for All Your Customers

Having an effective digital strategy for all your customers is one that is more than likely built around your website, as well as other channels that you own and manage. What I like about this particular company’s website is that, once again, it gives me the information I need right up front. Accessing the website from my phone meant it picked up my location and automatically displayed information about the pub closest to me (while still giving me the option to change my location selection if I wanted). And as with the Yelp, it supplied the basic information:

  • The location with a link to a mapping app.
  • Opening hours for today (and when happy hour was in progress).
  • The special offer specific to the current day of the week.
  • The weekly special.
  • A 'we deliver' link to a choice of online delivery services just in case I wanted my fish and chips delivered to my hotel room this evening.

Like all good websites it was designed to meet the customer’s needs, and delivered the content I needed to ensure a good digital experience. No having to hunt out useless FAQ pages, or navigate my way past irrelevant marketing messages.

Developing an effective digital strategy for all your customers is about making sure your website, and other channels, show an understanding of why your customers want to engage with you in the first place, and provides the content to enable them to make the decisions they need to meet their objectives.

Related Article: Poor Customer Experience? It's Probably Not Your Technology's Fault

Closing Time   

While I described two slightly different approaches to a digital customer strategy above, they are closely related and based on a common theme: In any type of strategic thinking about customer experience, digital or not, we need to develop an empathic understanding of what our customers want, and then deliver on that.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think it’s about time for another pint.