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Content Strategy, UX Design

Want Better Service Quality? Start by Improving the Customer Experience

April 26, 2017

If a website or mobile app is designed to help users do something — whether for business, pleasure or information, shouldn’t it, by definition, benefit that user? Most designers are aware of this principle; however they still struggle with utilizing it. Service Quality, as a result, has become a relevant measurement of the success of a website or app.

Service Quality is heavily based on the customer’s experience. The customer determines whether or not the service they received satisfied their initial expectations. Their experience will be what they base it on.

If you want your customers to report better Service Quality, plan a user experience that promotes it.

How UX Compares to CX

Before you can start improving the customer experience, you must first understand what it is. Most designers are familiar with User Experience, but not necessarily the customer experience. There are some specific differences between the two. User Experience (UX) deals with the research, design and development of your website or app. Its main goal is to create a product that is both easy and enjoyable to use.

Customer experience (CX), on the other hand, encompasses the total experience a customer has with the brand. It includes everything that the customer interacts with – not just the user interface, although the interface can weigh heavily on that experience.

Customer experience involves the user’s impressions and feelings. It asks questions such as:

  • did they enjoy themselves
  • would they come back again
  • would they recommend the site or apps to others

The customer experience, therefore, is a big-picture metric that relies on the User Experience.

Because these are two very different things, their quality metrics are also different. UX quality metrics track factors such as task success rate, error rate, conversion / abandonment rate, task completion time, and clicks to task completion. CX quality metrics dig deeper to measure factors such as overall customer satisfaction and likelihood of continued use or recommendation.

Enhancing the Customer Experience

The first step to improving the customer experience is understanding the entire customer service process. This is a process that will include much more than just their interaction with your website or app.

When considering this process, we must challenge ourselves, as designers, to think about the customer’s entire journey. To do this, we must be knowledgeable about the company’s processes and engage strong business skills. Once we understand this process, we can then focus on the underlying service purpose, design and blueprint for the website or app.

From a UI point of view, a designer should have a specific mindset when enhancing CX. They should remember the key objective- to convert a user into a customer. Therefore, we must design an interface that makes it easy for that user to ‘buy’ whatever the site is ‘selling’. For this reason, a good CX designer is more of a business expert that has a deep knowledge of service design, UX design and business strategy.

Once a design has been planned, it is important to create a responsive environment that personalizes the experience while staying consistent across different device types. To measure the effectiveness of your CX design, try using Forrester’s CX Index.

Forrester’s CX Index lets CX design teams:

  • Measure loyalty levels and the quality of experience
  • Locate which unique drivers shape a customer’s experience
  • Predict customer impact with a variety of models
  • Institute a decision framework that identifies best practices

 

Why Bother with Service Quality?

There are clear benefits to improved Service Quality. Here are just a few of them.

One-time users are more likely to become repeat customers
Statistics show 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer perceives they are being treated. Additionally, 78% of consumers decided not to buy because of poor service experience.

The longer customers stay, the more loyal they are to your brand and company
Loyalty indeed matters, and it makes money. Customers that stay long-term are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase on average.

Loyal customers are more likely to promote your service to others
News about bad Service Quality travels further than news about good Service Quality. Americans tell (on average) 9 people about good experiences while they likely tell 16 (nearly two times more) people about the bad ones.

Loyal customers are more willing to try new offerings
Before for focus on reaching new customers, try retaining the ones you have. Focusing on current customers is likely to pay off since the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60% – 70% while new customers only reach around 5% – 20%.

Customers are willing to pay a premium for what they perceive as higher quality
The numbers show that 86% of consumers are willing to pay more if it means they would receive a better customer experience. The numbers also show that 81% of companies with strong capabilities and competencies for delivering customer experience excellence outperform their competition.

For more revealing numbers, read this article from Help Scout.

By improving both CX and overall Service Quality, you can create projects that bring repeat customers, develop brand loyalty and build a more profitable business.

For additional resources on customer experience’s role in Service Quality, visit these websites:
UX vs. CX
UX vs. CX Infographic
The Importance of CX
Customer Experience Metrics

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