How Understanding Your Customer Helps Improve Your Online User Experience
We all know that people are integral to our organisation.
In previous posts we’ve talked about building systems to support your employees and how that will improve engagement, productivity and retention (you might be interested in this blog How Data Will Strengthen Your Digital Workspace Strategy).
However, these are - of course - not the only people you need to focus on while considering your digital experience. In this post we’re going to focus on your customers.
Organisations across all sectors are transforming their service delivery (again, something we explored in the post Closing the Digital Divide). It’s been a long time since an organisation could ask if a digital platform was necessary; for many companies, your digital experience is your customer experience, so it’s essential we understand its impact.
In the current environment of global competition, rising prices and individual uncertainty - those who look after their customers well will be stronger. Understanding your customer’s digital experience will allow you to develop systems which ensure ease of use and give your users confidence.
What does a great digital experience look like?
Before we review and develop our online platforms, it’s important we identify what makes a positive digital experience.
Yes, it’s essential you look to understand what your individual users want and how they’ll use your systems - I’ll look at this a little more in a moment - but before we go any further I want you to consider an underlying truth we’ll need to build on. Your customers don’t want to be dazzled by technology, they want the human touch.
Yes, we’re looking at digital solutions.
Yes, there is amazing, effective technology out there doing the things you need. Yes, the right systems will improve your performance and what you can offer.
But, the technology you’re developing should take less of your focus than the human using it.
Your customers want solutions that encompass their needs even when they are unexpected, and systems that reflect the values which are important to them. You won’t achieve this without focusing on the user and following the steps below.
How do you build a better online user experience?
Understand the customer journey
A customer journey identifies the path your customer, or user, will take when performing any action with your organisation - or following any process. Whether it’s purchasing a product, contacting an advisor or following up on an order, it’s essential that you are aware of each step your user will take on their journey to reach their goal.
It’s clear that for any organisation, the number of potential customer journeys might be huge, so recognising those which are most significant and where the biggest impact can be felt will require some analysis to start you off.
Mapping how your customer is interacting with you and your systems requires an understanding of your processes and access to data. While you can identify all the possible paths available, knowing whether to delve deep into each of them may depend on what the data tells you.
Enhance the customer experience
Visibility of your customer journey and data will allow you to form a picture of your customer experience.
With the right reporting you’ll see where users are dropping out of your systems, errors are happening or expected benefits are not being realised. You may discover customers are leaving items in their basket unbought, chatbot users are reportedly unhappy with their encounters, or a high number of customers are reviewing their purchases online.
Each of these scenarios shows how your users are behaving, the next step for your organisation is to discover why, and how you can improve your customer’s experience.
Once you’ve established areas of friction for your users, providing solutions will be the next step. These don’t need to be expensive technological solutions but they do need to provide answers and improve your user’s experience.
Knowledge is the first step
As I said earlier on in this piece, in times of uncertainty, providing great experience is necessary to keep your customers onside.
Ensuring you understand how your customer is interacting with your systems is essential, and learning from their behaviour to develop that experience will benefit everyone.
About the Author
I'm Terry Chana. I am an innovation strategist that connects customer, employee and brand experiences. My passion lies in building ecosystems to solve business problems by combining creativity and technology.