The importance of user experience within a business has been gaining more attention from brands who want to keep their users happy. However for many businesses getting started might seem a little overwhelming. Below then are our five tips on how to get started turning your business into a brand that users love.
1. Gauge your UX capabilities
In our previous article on how to be a more user-centered business, we discussed the importance of understanding that it’s not simply enough to state that you are “customer-centric” or “user-focused” as a marketing communication strategy. To start to see the benefits of UX practices requires a dedicated, on-going effort that is wholly ingrained in the day to day running of your business.
This, of course, means time, people and money. Therefore you need to establish if have the skills, and indeed the resource in-house to do this, or do you need help from external specialists?
Take time to plan out who will lead UX within your business the skills and resource you will need to make it work across all your products and services.
2. Identify causes of your customer experience problems
The experience every customer has is shaped by the interactions they have throughout their purchasing journey. By uncovering the moments where users are finding it difficult, frustrating or simply unconvincing to engage you can determine the key areas to focus on and improve.
This is only really possible by taking the time to really get to know your customers, what drives them, what are their motivations, what are the processes that they find frustrating? Consider organising regular workshops and focus groups with customers as well as user testing in order to gather as much understanding around the root causes of problems and the opportunities to improve and innovate.
This continual learning then becomes the ecosystem in which you can prioritise any initiatives required in order to deliver exceptional user experiences.
3. Determine measurements for ROI of UX improvements
Regardless of whether it’s just small website optimisation initiatives or a full UX transformation, it’s highly important to set out how to demonstrate the business benefits of the activity. What is it you’re out to achieve? What are the business goals and the beneficial outputs of the work?
If you have taken the time to speak to your users (see #2) then no doubt you will have uncovered opportunities to improve your customer’s’ experience. However it’s important to then label each of these opportunities with how you will determine the success not just ni terms of quantitative data (e.g. time-on site, app downloads, how many shares of a piece of content, how many newsletter sign-ups etc) but also qualitative response by directly engaging with your users.
4. Review your CRM tools and processes
CRM (customer relationship management) tools are typically associated with the bigger picture of your customer’s entire experience with your brand. However through the ongoing effort of UX initiatives, over time you are going to start to learn a lot about your customers, and of course you’re going to need to keep track of that information. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your customer relationship management (CRM) tools – is it going to help you make sense of all the data you’re going to collecting?
Down the line, it’s also likely that you can use this data to help you start to personalise your customers’ experiences so consider a CRM system that can accommodate targeted and personalised communications. As such review your CRM tools to ensure they are going to support your efforts rather than hinder them.
5. Develop a UX roadmap that fits you customer journey
A critical factor the success of any user-focused organisation is to understand that UX isn’t simply about effecting a change in conversion. A users experience is shaped throughout their entire path to purchase, right from the ‘trigger’ point researching/shortlisting products, right through to conversion and even the customer’s experience of a product/service go on to shape an opinion and business outcome.
For example, if a customer is looking to buy a car, then learn where they do their research and what are the factors that influence their decision. You can then provide the ‘answers’ to their questions through online tools and content through your app or site, for instance, thus building trust and attracting new customers to your brand.
Another example might be found in banking, where banks provide apps for their customers. By providing great banking tools through apps they increase their customer loyalty.
Therefore take the time to understand your customers’ entire journey and you will be able to design and develop experiences that cater for your users’ requirements.