Harley Manning, VP, Research Director, Forrester believes that, inherently, a digital customer experience is a better experience.
 
“In general, digital experiences tend to not to be perceived to purely physical experiences,” Manning said during a session titled, “Superior Digital Customer Experience Drives Revenue,” at the recent Forrester CXNYC 2016 Conference. “When you get into a connected experience that mixes the two, that can be really good. Without question, there’s an inherent advantage to being digital. That said, just being digital doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re having a better experience and it isn’t a free ticket to revenue growth.”
 
Andrew Hogan, Analyst, Forrester told attendees what the theme of the session was: “Our whole theme is you need to deliver a superior digital customer experience. When we look at sites and apps, it’s pretty depressing and frustrating when you care about experience quality. We see interfaces of all kinds with sluggish responses, and staring at loading times and you get impenetrable jargon.”
 
Hogan pointed to a glittering example of a superior digital customer experience: The Starbucks app.
 
“It has geo-location and directs you to nearest store,” Hogan said. “It has some loading issues that they’re working out. The estimated wait time is three to seven minutes. It’s very well done. And the results are pretty impressive.”
 
In its first quarter, 4% of Starbucks’ total transactions came from Mobile Order & Pay, and that figure rose to 10% in its busiest stores, and to 20% during the busiest times in the busiest stores.
 
Hogan pointed to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s comments earlier this year.
 
“Mobile Order & Pay has been extremely well received by our customers enabling them to order ahead, avoid lines, avoid waiting for orders to be filled resulting in shorter lines, faster service, improved more efficient in-store operations and execution, and an elevated Starbucks experience,” Schultz said earlier this year. “Mobile Order & Pay is driving incrementality as we’re seeing an increase in both attach and daily transactions in those stores and markets where mobile order and pay has been launched.”
 
Hogan said there are four or five Starbucks near his office in San Francisco and, when he has used the app, his order has always been ready when he got to the store.
 
“They’re removing this line that was a major barrier,” Hogan said. “This is what you get when you have a great digital customer experience. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than a lot of the other options out there and it works really well. There is a tremendous amount of data they’re gathering through this program.”
 
Manning offered an example of a poor digital experience from a financial institution. He was looking at information about a specific mutual fund and a “Buy” button appeared. When he clicked “Buy,” it brought Manning to a new page where he was greeted by a question: Which fund would you like?
 
“I want the fund I was looking at when I clicked the Buy button,” Manning said.
 
Hogan listed five fundamentals of positive digital experiences:
 
-Search and navigation to get to content (make sure they are clearly presented and the content is compelling)
-Content
-Progress and work flow
-Error avoidance and recovery
-Privacy and trust
 
These five key fundamentals are then viewed across three levels: Presentation, interactions, and value.
 
What’s more, Hogan noted to look beyond conversion rates when testing.
 
“When you simply test against conversion, that leads to some strange behaviors as to how you design your page that may not be best for users,” he said.
 
Unnecessary steps should be removed during a customer’s journey through the checkout process. Hogan offered four keys to delivering a superior digital customer experience:
 
-Speedy performance
-Providing clarity
-Guiding users
-Simplifying tasks
 
Additionally, Hogan offered themes for next bets steps:
 
-Define your users and scenarios (Have a real discussion about it)
-Assign stakeholders to conduct and document detailed reviews
-Discuss and prioritize potential fixes
-Test your improvements 

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