Netflix. Zalando. Apple. What do these businesses have in common? They all design their products with a laser focus on their customers – and they’re practically living off that great user experience. Their seamless products never cease to delight. And you’re probably wondering: “How can my business get there too”?
Hate to say it, but there is no definitive answer to this. But thankfully, you can employ a variety of strategies to determine where you have user experience (UX) issues and address them with some best practices in mind. We’ve compiled the most common tactics for you in this here blog.
The Client is King, Research is his (or her) Queen
One of the most important strategies is to continuously monitor how your customers interact with your product. Going through all the touch points can give you key insights on how they use it.
You can do it yourself or hire an agency that specializes in this area; the result should be a systems analysis or a user journey analysis that shows where users are having issues.
Understanding your users better is a vital aspect of identifying which areas customers are experiencing difficulties with. It’s no enough to know who your users are, but it also requires understanding their motivations, behavior and mentality.
7 Methods to Understand Your Userbase
Getting a better understanding of your users can’t be done in one sitting. Some of the methods you can use to increase your understanding of the end user include:
1. Interviewing users: Interviewing users is one of the best ways to get more insight into the customer experience journey of your product. While designing your product, many assumptions were likely made about what functionalities and designs the end user would prefer. Conducting user interviews allows you to get information directly from the people using your products daily. With user interviews, you can understand the perception and values of the end user in addition to seeing where users are having issues with your product.
2. Utilize personas: Personas are fictional archetypes that represent the characteristics of your target customer. A sample persona would include the job title, decision-maker or the position of your target customer. Personas are underutilized tools when it comes to gaining a better understanding of the users’ experience. Personas allow you to empathize with users and place yourself in their shoes. Using personas allows you to have a customer-centric perspective when it comes to making improvements to your product. With personas, you can accurately identify customer pain points and work to solve them.
3. Systems mapping: Systems mapping, also known as customer journey mapping or customer experience mapping, is a way for businesses to visually exhibit customer interactions with a product. Systems mapping is effective when it comes to identifying customer pain points because it analyzes all avenues of the customer’s journey with your product. By visualizing the entire customer experience journey, you can vividly see which areas need improvement in a product. Some aspects of systems mapping include customer profiles, pain points and barriers, channels, touchpoints and more.
4. Competition analysis: A competition analysis can be one of the quickest ways to identify and improve your customers’ experience. Competing products will often try to take advantage of your weak points, so doing analysis on what your competitors are doing is a great way to improve your product. One of the first steps of doing competition analysis is correctly identifying a competing product. This can be similar products that your target customer uses or different products that achieve similar results. After doing this, you can make a short list of what improvements you should make on your product after analyzing the competition.
5. Analyze physical evidence: Analyzing physical evidence like emails and advertisements is a subtle way to increase the customer experience of your product. The most important part of analyzing things like email and advertisements is to make sure it is consistent with the interactions your customer has with your product. This can help eliminate any additional pain points that can come from inaccurate advertising.
6. Asking for other products the customer uses: Although this sounds very intuitive, many companies don’t take the time to ask the customer what products they currently use. By doing so, you can have access to the customer’s perspective and try to find a better solution for their problems. For example, if a customer is using another product that directly competes with your product, you can improve your product to add more value for the customer than the competitor.
7. Event storming: Event storming is one of the best ways to improve the customer experience for your product. Event storming is a practice in which all the key stakeholders in a product (developers, designers, customers, etc.) meet to improve the understanding and productivity of a product. Event storming is crucial because it allows the stakeholders of a product to meet and exchange ideas. In an event storming meeting, the customer can highlight any issues they are having with the product and that can be used to further enhance their experience with using the product.
Why is it important to invest in UX improvements?
After identifying key pain points of the customers, it’s time to decide how to make improvements to the product.
I’d like to take a moment to emphasize how important UX is to a business. Customer experience can be summed up as how a customer views your business comprehensively. The user’s experience through all the touch points in your product will determine their perception of your product and business as a whole.
Any improvement in UX will lead to an improvement in the perception of your product and business. Some of the main reasons you should invest in UX improvements include:
Improve KPIs: Making an improvement to UX can lead to significant gains in KPIs in your product like customer lifetime value, customer acquisition cost and more. The growth of these KPIs is closely linked with increased customer loyalty that is derived from improvements to UX. Loyal customers are far more likely to recommend your product, leave positive feedback and become ambassadors of your product.
By doing this, your product will gain organic traction that is not dependent on the marketing dollars you spend. This consequently drives the KPIs for your product and the cycle continues.
This can quickly add significant dollars to your bottom line; it’s reported, for example, that retailers with 40% repeat customers generate 50% more revenue than retailers that have 10% or less repeat customers. All of these extra benefits stem from an emphasis on improving the customer experience for users.
Customer retention: Having great UX for your product will be a key factor in retaining customers while growing your business. With great UX, customers will find it easy and intuitive to use your product and you can retain them much easier. This can save your business significant capital because it can cost 5-25 times more money to acquire a new customer in comparison to retaining an existing customer.
Customer retention is also one of the biggest factors in growing your business and product. Without a solid customer base, any new customers will likely replace the ones that have stopped using your product. This will cause a plateau and make your business stagnant. With retained customers, the growth of your product can be exponentially higher.
Branding: Branding is likely the single most important benefit from improving your UX. It’s important to evaluate your brand routinely to make sure it is congruent with your desired reputation and service for your product. By investing in your UX, you can establish a brand for your product and reap the benefits that accompany branding.
Branding enables you to position your product as a premium product. Even if your product performs numerous functions for your client, you will not be able to charge a premium price if your customer doesn’t think highly of your product.
By improving the customer experience of your product, you can ensure that your product feels and looks professional throughout every area where the user interacts with your product. In addition to being able to charge a premium price, branding allows you to differentiate your products from competitors. Other benefits that can come with increase your brand through improving your UX include:
● Marketing consistency
● Brand loyalty
● Customer recognition
● Attracting talent and more
Issues in your customer experience journey can be resolved with the use of research and the other methods mentioned above. Improving your customer experience is crucial to continuous growth, high retention and long-term user engagement.
If you’d like to discuss this with one of our experts, you can reach us anytime through the contact us tab on the right-hand side of this window!