Jun 24, 2024 | 8 min read

Crafting your digital customer experience strategy

While you might think that a digital customer experience strategy is only reserved for large organizations or online-exclusive retailers, local businesses also need to curate their customers’ digital experiences. Why?

Customers themselves are acknowledging how much the digital experience matters to them: research has found that 70% of customers think it’s important for businesses to provide a seamless experience wherever and whenever they interact with a brand. And here’s another statistic to note: 61% of customer interactions with companies happen exclusively online. What does this mean for your small business?

Ultimately, you have to develop a customer experience strategy that meets your audience where they are online while still best representing your brand. To that end, let’s take a look at how to create the perfect digital experience strategy for your small business, and how to leverage it to boost customer loyalty and your bottom line.

Understanding your audience

A well-crafted digital customer experience strategy starts with a deep understanding of your customers and their online behaviors. The good news is that with today’s technology, you don’t have to guess what your customers want to see from your small business on the internet. Instead, you can tap into data analytics to practice customer segmentation and provide personalized experiences that can enhance customer engagement and foster connection.

Some examples of the types of customer data your business can utilize include:

  • Basic information, like their location and age
  • Past purchase history
  • Social media behavior, like which digital platform they prefer

Data can also include behavioral insights, such as how customers interact with your website (using metrics such as pages viewed and time spent on specific pages), or how they use your mobile app.

Data analytics distill insights from these data points so that you can segment your customers and personalize their digital experience:

  • Customer segmentation – This refers to grouping customers based on similarities, such as their shopping habits, interests, or age. Segmentation allows you to tailor your messaging, promotions, and offers to resonate with each group more effectively. For instance, Los Angeles real estate agent Clinton Brown found that his digital marketing campaigns improved when he was able to segment by zipcode on Nextdoor.
  • Personalization – With customer segmentation, you can also personalize your digital customer experience. For example, certain website tools will dynamically adjust your email messaging based on elements like past customer interaction, previous purchases, or geographic location.

Key components of an effective digital customer experience

Understanding your audience lays the foundation for your digital customer experience strategy, but additional components are necessary to serve your current customers better, attract new customers, and enhance your overall brand reputation.

These components include:

  • User-friendly website design – Your website design has a significant impact on your customer experience marketing. And this doesn’t mean you need to include flashy features or utilize complicated web-building tools. What matters more for customer satisfaction is having an intuitive, user-friendly design that’s easy to navigate and optimized for mobile. And the data backs this up. For instance, if a customer is visiting your website from their phone and your site is not optimized for mobile phones, they’re 5 times more likely to abandon a task.
  • Multi-channel integration – This refers to a seamless customer experience across all of your digital touchpoints and digital channels, including your website and social media channels. Multi-channel integration is important because your customers will likely utilize multiple channels to interact with your brand. For example, a customer may browse your website on their desktop, then check your social media pages on their phone to see other customer reviews.

    To enhance your multi-channel integration and expand your reach, you can also leverage digital platforms like Nextdoor. This is exactly what esthetician Lexie Choate-Bewley did after opening her own skincare studio, Skin by Lexie, in Walnut Creek, California—and it worked. As more neighbors left positive reviews about Lexie’s services, her brand reputation improved and she was able to grow her clientele to over 900 regulars.

  • Real-time customer support technologiesMany tools can help you provide your customers with real-time support that showcases your commitment to ensuring the most personalized experience possible. This, in turn, can enhance customer loyalty by encouraging repeat business. Not to mention, customers are more likely to recommend your brand to others if you provide an exceptional customer experience.

    Some technologies you can utilize include AI chatbots that instantly respond to customer questions, as well as live chats where real people answer real-time messages. You can also use a customer relationship management (CRM) system to organize customer information to tailor experiences better and provide relevant and timely support.

Implementing the strategy: a step-by-step guide

So, let’s review: An effective digital customer experience strategy requires a deep understanding of your audience, a user-friendly website design, multi-channel integration, and real-time customer support.

The next step is implementing all of these elements so that you can put your plan into action. Here’s our recommended guide:

  • Define your goals and metrics – First, clearly identify your goals when it comes to your digital experience. Do you want to get more customers in the door? Grow your social media presence? Whatever the case is, determine which metrics you can track to measure your progress and the success of your strategy.
  • Map your customer touchpoints – It’s also important to identify all the ways your customers interact with your business digitally. For example, they might encounter ads in search engines, read blog posts, see social media posts, and check online reviews. These touchpoints are where you want to focus your efforts.
  • Prioritize and optimize – Once you understand your customer touchpoints, you can prioritize the most impactful parts of your digital customer experience. For example, if your website isn’t optimized for mobile, but most customers visit your website on their phones, make sure to make mobile website compatibility your first order of business.
  • Foster collaboration – Executing a successful digital customer experience strategy requires teamwork. This means that your employees should be on board, too, whether you’re a small local business or a larger neighborhood staple. For example, your sales and marketing teams can use customer data analytics to inform your next campaign or promotion.
  • Deploy customer experience technology – Choose tools that can help you automate repetitive customer interactions, respond to customer queries quickly, personalize digital interactions, and target specific audiences with ease. Then, deploy these tools, making sure your entire team understands how to use them.

Analyzing and optimizing the digital customer experience

Your digital customer experience strategy isn’t a “set it and forget it” task. By continuously analyzing the impact of your strategy, you can make necessary adjustments and figure out how to improve customer experience.

This is why defining goals and metrics is important at the onset of your journey. For instance, if you’re tracking where customers find your website (e.g. social media, search engine, email campaigns, etc.), you might learn that your search engine optimization needs to improve or that your email campaigns need to be more effective.

Future trends in digital customer experience

There are a number of trends that will likely impact digital customer experiences in the next few years. To that end, pay attention to:

  • Conversational chatbots – Conversational chatbots powered by AI are likely to become even more sophisticated and widely used. They might be able to provide customers with 24-hour support and resolve more complex issues.
  • Personalization technologies – Technologies like AI and machine learning might allow companies to further personalize the digital customer journey. For instance, these technologies may provide customers with more precise product and service recommendations.
  • Mobile-first features – Businesses of all sizes should continue to embrace mobile-first technologies, such as apps and mobile-responsive web designs, to align with customer expectations and further improve the digital experience.
  • Accessibility – From enhanced website accessibility to instant appointment bookings and speedy in-app delivery services, ever-evolving digital tools will have the power to get products and services to more customers, faster.

All businesses can create the perfect digital customer experience strategy with Nextdoor

The data is clear: customers are interacting with businesses online, whether that’s through websites, email, social media pages, or other platforms. So, instead of leaving your digital experience strategy up to chance, use the digital tools and knowledge at your disposal to craft and deploy an exceptional digital experience strategy that encourages engagement, attracts new customers, strengthens brand loyalty, and helps you reach your business goals.

Fortunately, if you’re a local business and you want to master your digital customer experience strategy, Nextdoor is here to help. Start by bolstering your online presence with a free Nextdoor Business page—1 in 3 US households already use our platform. Then, use Nextdoor Ads Manager to create effective ad campaigns that reach new customers and target custom audience segments based on factors like age, household income, interests, and customer behavior. Our intuitive dashboard also makes it easy to track ad performance so that you can make adjustments as needed.

Get started with Nextdoor Ads Manager today to experience the Nextdoor difference for yourself.


  1. Adobe. The State of Digital Customer Experience report. https://business.adobe.com/blog/the-latest/the-state-of-digital-customer-experience-report
  2. UXCam. 20+ Powerful UX Statistics To Impress Stakeholders 2024.https://uxcam.com/blog/ux-statistics/
  3. Statista. Issues affecting customer adoption of digital channels for customer experience (CX) CX in the United States in 2021. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1197040/issues-affecting-customer-usage-of-digital-channels-for-cx-in-the-us/
  4. Statista. Distribution of interactions between companies and consumers worldwide from 2020 to 2022, by platform. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1221311/interactions-companies-consumers-online-offline/
  5. SurverySparrow. 100 Stats that Prove the Importance of Customer Satisfaction, Retention, & Loyalty. https://surveysparrow.com/blog/customer-satisfaction-stats/
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