Ever since the explosion of self-service within today’s marketplace, the term user experience has been popping up everywhere. But what is user experience and why is it so important to the self-service marketplace?
According to Nielsen Norman, “user experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user's interaction with the company, its services, and its products.” In a way, user experience describes how customers interact with and explore a company’s product. With this definition of user experience in mind, it’s apparent why many companies are starting to focus on improving their user experience. A great user experience means that customers are able to enjoy the product with ease.
One of the ways user experience can be measured online, is by how fast a customer is able to find the information they are looking for and how easy it was for them to find it. Usually users turn to some form of customer support when they can’t find what they are looking for. This is where self-service is transforming user experience. When customers are able to enjoy self-service, it leads to a great customer experience because customers can find the right information quickly.
Despite this fact, many companies with lower conversion and higher site abandonment rates, try to focus on improving the content on their website, thinking that, “Maybe our customers don’t like what kind of content we’re putting out, so we should fix that.” In reality, it’s probably not your content that’s turning them away, it’s your user experience. Here are three reasons why user experience is key to customer success.
1. Content is only one part of the equation. User experience is the big picture.
Content is important to any website, but it’s not as important as you think it is. Think of it this way, content is the information that your customer wants, your user experience is the roadmap for your customers. You need more than the right information to make a customer happy. Information needs to be put out to customers in a way that is both engaging and pleasing.
A Fast Company article on how user experience is important for customer relationships, says that any company that wants to make a great user experience, needs three people – a psychology expert, a social media expert, and a design expert. For content, only a social media expert might be needed to figure out what information needs to put out there for customers. However, by adding a psychology expert and a design expert, not only can your company figure out what kinds of information to put out, but your company can also figure out, what appeals to your customers and what brings them in for more.
2. User Experience brings new customers in
Your webpage is the first thing that your customers see. Shawn Metz of Upward Brand Interactions, says that the first ten seconds of the page are the most critical for customers to determine whether or not they want to continue to explore your site. The first three seconds are when your customers determine whether or not they want to stay on your site, and the other seven seconds is what makes a customer determine whether your site is “good” or “bad”.
Even within the first ten seconds, how customers experience your website determines their first impression of what your company is like. If your customers hated their first experience with your website, then they will probably never go back again. If your customers are enjoying their first experience with your website, then they will be more likely to stay on your website and explore the rest of it.
3. User Experience is what enhances customer engagement
If your customers are intrigued by your website, then they will continue to explore. However, the job of your website isn’t done yet. The Version’s collective, a design collaborative, says that a rich, memorable, user experience, is what brings users back again and again. In other words, your experience is what brings your customer back to your website. Your website should be the guide for your customers.
Think of the user experience as a path and the content as the prize. The content stays the same no matter what. Nielsen Norman defines great user experience as something that goes beyond giving customers what they want, giving them joy through usability. Usability, as defined by Nielsen Norman, is an adjective that describes a product as easy to learn and efficient to use and is key to customer engagement. For example, if your customers are able to find the information they need in just one click of a button, your webpage would be considered not only usable, but also one that keeps the user engaged. However, if your customers have to click through numerous pages and type in search words just to find one piece of information, chances are, your webpage isn’t very usable, and your customers will leave the site.
An example of how user experience leads to great customer experience
Red-Awning, a vacation booking marketplace, decided to implement AnswerDash’s Predictive Q&A Engine on their website. The implementation was easy and Red-Awning saw a 30% increase in bookings. AnswerDash’s AI-powered Predictive Q&A technology, added a contextual “answer layer” to Red-Awnings website. However, AnswerDash didn’t just provide a way to answer questions on the spot, AnswerDash was able to enhance the digital journey of the user’s experience by bridging the gap between what customers want and solving the current problems that websites have today. As a result, customers were given a better user experience when using the website, as they spent less time looking for their answers and booking, freeing up time for them to start planning more fun things for their vacation. By simply putting in AnswerDash, Red-Awning was able to improve their user experience, which also improved their customer experience.
AnswerDash provides a customer centric and personalized approach to self-service across multiple channels – it can integrate with your website, your native mobile app, and also power your Facebook Messenger Chatbot. AnswerDash is there to help eliminate the journey to a ‘help island’ and connect your customers directly to your brand.
Schedule a free demo of AnswerDash and see how you can transform the self-service experience for your customers.
Written by Madeleine Le