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Long wait times plagued Disneyland when it first opened. Making the rides more efficient was an incomplete solution: if Disneyland would succeed, its imagineers needed to find a way to make their guests ENJOY the experience of waiting in line.

We might take it for granted today, but the invention of switchback queues, themed waiting areas, and incidental entertainment revolutionized the theme park industry.

Experience management is a prime priority for today's businesses. Your customers come to you for results, but it's increasingly important that your customers enjoy the experience as well. As social media rises in popularity and m-commerce eclipses e-commerce, digital content is the key to creating positive experiences.

Key takeaways:

  • Closing the "experience gap" is a direct lifeline to sales.
  • Embracing social media is the key to meeting customers' expectations.
  • Digital-first business is the new normal

Closing the experience gap

The "experience gap" is the difference between customers' expectations and their actual experience. As the world becomes more and more digital, customers' expectations are higher than ever, and it's up to digital experience managers to use digital content to meet those expectations.

1. Customer experiences are more important than ever

Today's customers have a high standard for digital content. Four out of five customers say they would leave a brand they're otherwise loyal to after just three bad customer experiences. A high-quality customer experience isn't a feather in your cap anymore: it's the expectation.

Customer experiences are so important that 74% of customers say they are likely to buy based on experience alone, with 77% saying their experience is as important as the products and services themselves.

2. Digital content enhances customer experiences

Since the dawn of enterprise, customer experience has been important, but the digital revolution has changed how businesses respond to customer needs. In the online world, digital content is king. Digital customer experiences bring the traditional values of empathy, engagement, and loyalty into the digital world, and digital content is the clay that forms those experiences. Using a digital experience platform boosts your credibility and effectiveness with your customers and allows you to stay competitive in the rapidly-changing digital world.

Digital content isn't an accessory anymore—it's the bread and butter of modern business. People consume an average of 482 minutes of digital media per day in the United States, the most in history, making digital content a key component of the customer experience today more than ever.

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Social media is an emerging marketplace

After decades of innovation, social media has emerged as a key part of doing business. So key that 68% of consumers say they want to use social media before, during, or after the purchase process. Over 60% of consumers say they don't receive excellent customer service on social media despite that prominence. That means that many businesses are wasting their best opportunities to make sales and win over loyal customers by providing poor digital content on their social media.

As online retailers have added share buttons and social media have added buy buttons, the distinction between social media and e-commerce platforms is disappearing. 74% of consumers use social media to make buying decisions, and brands with a social media presence make 32% more sales than those that don't. M-commerce (mobile commerce) is a growing subset of e-commerce as many customers are doing business from their mobile devices.

Social media platforms add new features every month, so keeping up-to-date with the evolving strategies has to be a top priority for digital-savvy businesses. Pew Research has shown that social media use among adults has risen year after year since 2005. As social media takes center stage, digital content is more important than ever.


Post-COVID, more businesses are "digital-first"

COVID-19 changed the way we work, talk and socialize. Most importantly, for digital marketers it's changed the way we do business. In the early days of digital content, many businesses' online presence was secondary to their in-person operations, but as more business occurs on mobile devices, many of your customers will be familiar with your digital content before they're familiar with your brick-and-mortar business.

As such, optimizing your customers' digital experience is a top priority. Keeping your customers satisfied requires a comprehensive understanding of what your customers are looking for in a digital experience. A survey of 1,500 customers found that quickly accomplishing what they came to do is the biggest factor in a "good" digital experience.

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Just one broken link or error message can be enough to derail a prospective sale. 77% of users leave a site when they experience just one error message, and 60% don't ever return. Experience management has a huge impact on your bottom line, and a personalized buying experience can transform your online commerce.

The ability to evolve with the times is the defining quality of many modern businesses, and experience managers must cater to their customers' needs by providing intuitive, personalized, optimized digital content.

Next steps in experience management

Experience management can seem intangible and abstract, but theory has to become practice for digital content to revolutionize your sales. Here are some next steps you can take:

  • Hire A Digital Experience Officer. Forbes recommends hiring a Digital Experience Officer (DEO or DXO) to manage your digital content. Since digital experience is an emerging and evolving field, a dedicated experience manager can focus on implementing the best digital content to create great customer experiences.
  • Make Digital Experience Management a Top Priority. The time of brick-and-mortar business is winding down as more businesses become digital-first. As more of your customers discover and interact with your business online, making their digital experiences positive and memorable is a top priority.
  • Use AI-Based Tools. Personalization and smart content are the currency of the contemporary consumer, so supercharging your marketing with AI can take your digital experience management to the next level.

Digital content is the key to positive customer experiences

The past few years have ushered in unprecedented event after unprecedented event. As the world changes every day, so does the way people do business. While the functionality and efficiency of your business may be a factor in the customer experience, providing quality digital content is the key to making your customers enjoy doing business with you. Instead of only prioritizing efficiency problems, give experience problems the attention they deserve.

A digital experience platform has the power to revolutionize your sales. Visit Optimizely.com to see how their range of content management and digital experience products can help you unlock your digital potential.