With the right design and implementation, an improved user experience can have great impact on your business and organization. But you might ask yourself: Is it worth allocating time and resources to ensuring my customers have a good experience? Or in other words, why should I apply techniques that improve the customer's experience? What are the advantages?
A new customer: the prosumer
Before tackling any user experience strategy, you need to know your customer. Partly due to the introduction of technology into practically every area of our daily lives, there is no doubt that we find ourselves in a constantly changing environment. The profile and needs of your customers are no exception. There is a new digital customer who is very well informed, active across multiple channels, and demanding, and who has the ability to influence other consumers using the Internet and social media. This new customer, the prosumer, demands special attention and a highly satisfying experience. If we manage to win these prosumers over, meet and exceed their expectations, even surprise them, we will have a very important voice in the "word-of-mouth" system. Moreover, another change we have noticed is that the image the brand sells it is not particularly important to customers anymore when it comes to making a purchase decision. What is more important to them is the opinion of other consumers with similar tastes.
The advantages of offering a unique, flexible and memorable user experience
Making the prosumers happy, ensuring that their experience with your business or organization is, for them, unique and worth remembering, this is just the first, albeit essential, step toward creating a customer experience that has an impact on your overall business. Let's explore some of the advantages of introducing techniques that improve the customer experience:
Increase sales and customer or user loyalty
There's no doubt that a customer who is happy and satisfied with the service they received, who has received personalized treatment that is adapted to their needs, is a customer with better purchasing options than one who feels ignored or who had an unpleasant experience. Plus, that customer will be more willing to buy or try other products (cross-selling) or services.
According to a study by Forrester Research, companies that work on customer experience management increase their advantage by 14%, in terms of the customers' initiative to buy more, compared to those who do not.
You can also increase your profitability, as you can charge a higher price than the competition for a high-quality service or product without the risk of losing the customer because the customer will value the overall experience and not just the price.
Increase in number of customers or users
To reiterate, the prosumer figure is becoming extremely important. In light of our previous comments about consumers tending to trust the experience of other consumers more than the image the brand conveys, the prosumers are powerful voices and spokespersons; they are the ultimate appeal to authority, allowing you to reach other customers who will choose your services or products.
Improve the image and reputation of your brand / Reduce marketing costs
This is a consequence of the last point. Is there a better marketing campaign than your own satisfied customers? Thanks to their ability to influence and social media presence, new customers will learn about how good your services are. If a company or organization offers a bad service, it will be forced to "cover up" this image by investing more in marketing and replacing the customers lost.
Resistance to change
We often say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." A satisfactory customer experience increases a customer's resistance to changing their provider, shop or service. Change means risk and, when a customer has their needs fully satisfied, they are reluctant to embark on a new adventure with an unclear ending.
Improve resources utilization and reduce personnel costs
There is a growing trend toward automating certain processes such as queue management or the first point of physical service. These methods enable better utilization of available personnel resources, as staff do not need to deal with answering questions or directing users. Instead, they can devote all of their time to performing their real roles. This improved productivity also results in reduced personnel costs.
In addition to being negative for the business, they require time to process and staff to handle them. A satisfactory customer experience minimizes this type of situation and the time required to manage it.
Better work environment and employee identification with your brand
A better user experience leads to satisfied customers, which reduces the chance of having to deal with angry customers and all the exhaustion and pressure that entails for the worker. Moreover, one of the keys to a good customer experience is the interconnection between all of the departments or people involved at the various points of the customer journey who work to achieve a satisfactory overall experience. Having this common goal increases your employees' identification with your brand and its goals.
There is a chance that applying user experience methods will create changes that affect the habits and practices of your company. Although, in view of the benefits it can produce, it is a valuable option to say the least.
If you are interested in how technology can help you manage your customer journeys and improve customer experience and efficiency, check out our queue management guide.
This article has been edited and was originally posted in Spanish in 2019.