SMPL Q&A is a new blog feature, in which we interview our experts on all things relevant in branding, design, and simplicity. First up is Leesa Wytock, director, digital experience, who recently joined our New York office. Leesa weighs in on customer experience in the digital era and how brands can make their CX stand out from the rest of the pack.

Hi Leesa! Let’s get right down to it: How has digital changed expectations regarding customer experience?

If we look at digital customer experience in the long-tail form, it really added more touchpoints for a brand to engage with customers. On the flip side, it’s also more opportunity for brands to have an in-authentic experience with customers and lose them. Digital (and mobile really) has created these micro-moment possibilities and what brands do with that—no matter how small that moment seems—can have a major impact. It’s important that brands become omnichannel, but with purpose…just because you can be everywhere doesn’t mean you should.

So, what are the big opportunities for brands creating digital customer experiences?

Brands really need to up their mobile-first game when honing their digital customer experience strategy, specifically their customer experience map. For a growing part of the population, the only way they experience a brand is through their mobile device. So how can brands create really meaningful, mobile engagements that take into account people’s environmental context? Retail brands do a good job of this using NFC/Beacons to push promos in-store and even outside.

In your opinion, what’s “next” in digital customer experience—what should brands be thinking about now?

The debate around Invisible interfaces. We’ll start to see consumers having “app fatigue” and more services and brands basing their platforms on invisible interfaces. Think things like Digit or Nest. These aren’t really totally invisible, just reduced to really effective micro-interactions. With less “face time” with consumers, brands really need to deliver and engage enough to sustain a relationship. Instead of jumping in fully, brands should think about the right mix of interface interaction.

What’s an example of an outstanding CX you’ve encountered recently?

Tough question. I also feel like our standards for good digital customer experiences have risen. But I recently had a really good experience with my wine club Bonny Doon. They’re a small shop, but every interaction with them is 100% their personality and they made a complicated issue quite simple. So perhaps the big brands need to look at the smaller brands who are still quite focused on the comprehensive customer experience, as opposed to their virtual customer experience map.

Stay tuned for more SMPL Q&A’s in the coming weeks with our practitioners. For more insights on branding, follow us on Twitter: @SiegelGale