First, you’ll need to understand the roller-coaster of customer emotions…
At social gatherings, anyone working in CX management, or the user experience space, should be prepared for the inevitable question surrounding a day in their life: “What does it entail?” It’s an interesting question because a day in the life of a customer is something CX professionals care about and must regularly delve into on behalf of their clients.
So, what is customer experience?
A digital CX expert bridges the gaps between business, technology and the customer. The goal is to engage with them in a deep and meaningful way – taking into account their emotional state, reasoning, and expectations. All of these factors fall under the CX umbrella.
What do they feel, and when? Why? Do they like that feeling, or do they want less of it? While data collection is vital, we have to remember that this data comes from humans, who are emotional beings. We have to factor that into the data collection process.
Developing the ultimate customer experience strategy requires one to first fully understand the customer’s emotions and needs, which can be a roller-coaster ride. In fact, a roller-coaster ride is the perfect example to help one explain the process. So, let’s take that ride together…
User Experience Lab 101: The Roller-Coaster Analogy
A theme park wants to build a new roller-coaster in place of their existing one.
They want their CX specialist to ensure they offer the ultimate roller-coaster experience.
Step 1: Analysing the users’ expectations
- Talk to a group of theme-park-going enthusiasts
- Recruit a broad range of willing candidates of all backgrounds
- Circulate a basic questionnaire about what they might ‘want’ to experience
The results of this step could indicate: “I want high-speed, dramatic twists and turns, with air whipping through my hair!”
Step 2: Testing the users’ experience
- Conduct user tests using a wide range of tools (Video recordings or typical rollercoaster photographs)
- Conduct a post-ride interview of all candidates to gather their first-hand experiences
- Some guests may express fear, stress and anxiety during the ride
- Others may express excitement, exhilaration and fun
These results could indicate: Not many stated they wanted to feel fear or anxiety during the ride but, in the same experience, they were full of joy as they had done something brave, new and “once-in-a-lifetime.”
Step 3: Client debriefing
Armed with CX analytics and insights, the CX expert can now unpack this experience for the client and explore the pragmatic features for the next iteration of Roller-coaster 2.0 – meeting the unmet needs and expectations of the theme park’s customers.
Above is an oversimplified example of the insights one might draw from such an exercise. Now, an array of recommendations and suggestions for improving the user experience can be generated. Initial assumptions can differ significantly from the outcomes of user testing.
The key is never to assume anything. Albert Einstein said, “Assumptions are made and most assumptions are wrong.” There are many other quotes about assumptions out there – none are in favour of making them. Do not assume anything about the user/customer’s experience.
It is essential to keep an open mind and empathise with the user, uncover a plethora of emotions, record the user in their experience, analyse the data (using heatmaps and facial recording), conduct in-person interviews, conduct industry research and generate new insights to inform the client’s next product or service.
“71% of customers expect companies to deliver personalised interactions, and 76% get frustrated when they don’t receive a personalised experience.”
Source: McKinsey & Company study, Next in Personalization 2021 Report
Realm Digital’s insight into the digital experience customers want in 2022
- Consumers now expect a personalised experience
- Hyper-local in-stock product information at shops close to the customer
- Personalised communication addressed specifically to the customer
- Celebrating customer lifetime milestones
- Post-purchase ‘check-in’ and review opportunities
Realm’s User Experience (UX) Lab
Realm Digital has developed and refined its UX Lab’s offering over the years to ensure a complete understanding of the target audience’s roller-coaster of emotions, before taking anything into development. We don’t make assumptions.
Realm uses design thinking methodology to unpack existing product or service changes or create an entirely new innovative offering. We combine customer insights and citations, market trends, and professional CX reviews into a multistakeholder workshop, and go on to develop new innovative approaches to your customer experience.
If that sounds like a ride you would like to take…LET’S TAKE THAT RIDE TOGETHER
About the author:
Miles Wolfe is a Consultant at Realm Digital – He leads the UX Lab, driven by curiosity to unearth rich cultural insights, which he overlays with future-proofing business and product strategy and development.
What matters most to him is having an impact, evolving the state of an organisation using industry-tested methodologies and industry experience.
Realm’s UX Lab is set up to deliver user tests, analytics and diagnostics to pinpoint issues and opportunities with your digital products. Uncovering your customers’ experiences and how to improve them creates long-lasting, loyal customers.