Should you be building better Customer Experiences?
It’s all about experiences
We’re keen on learning new skills, challenging our methods and developing ourselves as well as passing that information forward onto our clients. We also love meeting new people and finding interesting topics or ideas to brainstorm about.
Customer Experience (CX) is one of such topics. In short, CX is what you as a customer experience when using a service or a product. We all have had awful, hair-pulling experiences of trying to cancel a phone contract or changing a flight in your pre-packaged holiday deal. In contrast, sometimes (and unfortunately only sometimes) you’re amazed at the quality and helpfulness of the service you receive. When is the last time you’ve had such an experience?
All of these experiences or ‘touch points’ not only deliver a customer experience, but build the perception of a brand. Portraying honest passion, personal dedication or an eagerness to make everything simpler for the consumer are all traits of a customer experience oriented brand.
Sometimes you find this in design. The philosophy at Apple was to make everything as simple and easy to use as possible. This played a huge part in their development and is one of the carrying ideals still today – and effectively one of the reasons that made them one of the biggest companies in the world.
“You‘ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.”
Steve Jobs, Apple
Another approach is one of customer service. Zappos, an e-commerce shoe retailer invested hugely into ensuring their customers have an outstanding customer experience. Free shipping both ways, 24/7 in-house customer service, 365-day returns, everything in stock – to mention a few.
“Nothing can replace the human touch especially when that person is empowered to go to just about any lengths to help the customer. ”
Barry Glassman, Forbes
Zappos was bought in 2009 for $1.2 billion by another e-commerce player you might have heard of – Amazon.com.
Turning theory into practise
In our work, CX is highly valued. It’s always one of the key starting points whether we’re working with branding, service or web design.
Designing something new always has a certain process. There are multiple ways of approaching the topic and we have a few we like to modify to suit the topic at hand. Go ahead! Try this one with your next website project:
- To start the process we start from scratch. Who are you? What are the goals of the company? Who are your customers?
- After establishing a solid starting point, we like to dig in further into the Why’s and How’s – what’s the reason for starting the project and how can we fix the problem?
- Understanding the customer is crucial. We map out different User Personas to represent the target audiences of the company in question. Depending on the project, these characteristics might vary from age to which internet browser they are using.
- User Journeys are used to effectively draw out problems and create paths to solve them in order to have all the personas achieve their personal goals. Such goals for example might be buying a product online, booking a meeting, becoming a member or finding certain information.
- Only after having settled what sort of User Experiences (UX) we’re dealing with it’s time to start thinking about more concrete features and functionalities. This is where the Post-It notes come in. No restrictions – all ideas are welcome!
- To finish the workshop off, we group all of the ideas together and pick out the core functionalities and might already start forming actual pages. This is the part where all the fruits of the earlier work start to show. Proper ground work is key and we strongly believe in our creative process. Notice we’ve come this far, but not a single wireframe or layout has been drawn!
The secret ingredient
A big part of the creative magic at our office is our culture. It shines through our work and makes us unique. In the process of working together with us, we aim to extend our culture to our clients to the best of our ability.
As culture is such a large part of the experience clients get, it’s important for companies to acknowledge it. Every employee and every interaction with a customer should reflect the company culture.
So whether you’re betting it all on excellent customer service or focusing on easy to use UI’s, don’t forget that every industry is still effectively Human To Human (H2H) – not just B2C or B2B.
This blog post is a part of the series of posts our team wrote together during a BLOGATHON in August 2015. Through 10 posts you will meet 10 storytellers ranging from China to Italy and from Finland to New Zealand who make the office our second home.