These days, customer service is king. According to a recent report from customer intelligence consulting firm Walker, customer experience is expected to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator within the next three years. Forward-thinking businesses that want to cultivate sustainable long-term growth and a positive brand image are already laying the foundation for a more customer-minded approach today.
A failure to adapt, however, may have dire consequences for businesses that don’t grasp the changing nature of the dynamic between business and consumer. And according to Gartner’s research, enterprise-class organizations across industries are likely to be the hardest hit.
Based on findings from the Temkin Group’s annual customer experience report, it was found that only two industries garnered an experience rating of 70 percent or higher—supermarket chains and fast food chains. But businesses outside of food services are being challenged by an increasingly digital economy.
While the bellweathers in industries like telecoms, hospitality and financial services have been able to rest on the fact that they have had little competition in their respective industries for years, smaller competitors are now beginning to enter the marketplace. These agile organizations must rely on customer service to set themselves apart, and are poised to pose a challenge to enterprises that have been resistant to change.
The good news for enterprises struggling with a bad reputation? Restoring your image doesn’t have to be a cataclysmic proposition. Though resource management is always a necessary consideration, making the investment in user experience work can garner any organization with a tremendous return on their investment and leave them poised for long-term success.
Consumer-Facing UX Can Boost Service and Sales
Consumers today have a variety of touch points by which to communicate with your organization. While this has certainly led to a consumer that demands faster resolution, the companies that rise to the occasion have a lot to gain. Social media, chatbots, mobile apps and tools like embedded WebRTC that live directly on websites all offer a chance to foster communication between your customers and your organization. However, you’ve got to make it easy for your customers to use these features in the first place.
By taking a UX-minded approach to the development of new service features, you’ll ensure that your customers can find the right representative for their needs at the right time, without giving your customer another headache just trying to figure out how to contact you.
UX Can Streamline Internal Functions
There is a lot of back-end work that goes into service that customers will never see. And though these tools might be invisible to the customer, dysfunctional tools can certainly leave an impression. By developing portals, Intranets or other internal platforms with UX in mind, you have the opportunity to improve collaboration between departments while increasing productivity and engagement. If your back-end operations are running on all cylinders, providing customer service will happen much more naturally.
UX Research and Testing Can Preserve Brand Image
A negative brand image can spread like a virus—especially in the social media age. Pulling your brand out of a PR tailspin can be costly and disruptive. Instead, savvy enterprises can use UX testing to find out what makes customers tick before your project goes to market. By conducting UX research and testing, you’ll know how your customers navigate your sites and use your applications. You’ll see which functions delight your users, which confound them, and be better equipped to provide a seamless user experience at launch.
Enterprises have enjoyed decades of unrivaled success. But in a rapidly changing business environment that favors agility and quality service, it is vital that C-level executives at major enterprises put themselves in the shoes of their consumers. Learn how user experience design and research can help position your brand positively in the eyes of the consumer.