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The world is changing fast. Today's consumers have endless opportunities in regards to where to take their business. In this increasingly consumer-oriented environment, being at the forefront of the customer's mind is crucial for survival. But what can you do to get there?
This is the first part, out of two, guiding you on how to attract and engage consumers by 1) digging into user experience, and 2) broadening the scope to explore the evolution of user Experience, namely customer experience.
User experience (UX) has been around for quite some time, but there is still some mystique around the term. So what does it really mean?
UX is defined as "a person's perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service" (ISO). Let’s simplify it to “the experience the user has when performing a specific task”. Experience is often reflected upon as something vague and immeasurable. But how could a customer have a good experience if the service isn’t useful? It is not possible. This is where it starts to become clear that UX includes many disciplines and principles to create good experiences. Not the least of which is usability - creating a good experience by making it useful.
Let’s sort out some typical misunderstandings, by busting some UX myths:
With so many offers on the market, distinguishing your brand by providing extraordinary experiences is essential to gaining a leading position in customers' mindsets. But in order to do so, you need to truly understand whom you are trying to attract. Know your customer and their journey in depth. A powerful method commonly used by UXers is the “customer journey”. This compelling narrative tool maps every interaction between the user and your service/product by putting the users’ context in the center. The power of customer journeys lies in the deeper understanding of how and why your customers interact with your business. Using customer journeys as an evaluation of the current state of a service/product makes it easy to pinpoint opportunities for improvement and to create even smoother experiences in the future.
A simplified version of a customer journey, portraying the user’s task, thoughts and feelings. Also included are opportunities for improvements to the journey.
UX, and its strategic methods such as customer journeys, provides a deeper understanding of how to align your business with the customers’ context. This equates to happier customers - and also attracts more of them. Some more quick wins for your business when involving UX are:
The greatest opportunity for your business might be in small and strategic improvements, but sometimes the customer journey reveals that change is needed in the bigger picture. This is where customer experience (CX) enters the picture...
This was part 1 out of 2 of “Why the difference between success and failure is called UX”. Part 2 will widen the scope of UX by putting it in perspective and discovering its relation to its evolution, the discipline of CX.