- What is User Experience?
- Difference between UI and UX
- What are the 5 focus points to improve customer experience?
- Things to consider while on-boarding
- How to leverage community
The concept of User Experience (UX) is one of the many questions that has plagued the minds of marketers for years. Even today, when you pose this question to marketers, you will find that each of them have a different perspective over this.
To some UX is having a straight forward UI, while to others it might be having an effective system on the whole that offers a smooth experience to its users.
But, what really is User Experience?
We have Nikitha Suryadevara, Product Manager from VMware breaking this down for us.
In this blog, we are going to see how to leverage the self-serve platform to enhance user experience. By creating a self-serve platform, you are allowing your users to quickly find the solutions they are looking for by providing the resources.
When it comes to User Experience, there are two things that one must consider:
- Interaction of the users directly with the product (UI Design)
- Interaction of the users indirectly with the product and its services (Customer Experience)
Providing an exceptional combination of these two can help your business grow multiple folds.
User Interface, wireframes, mockups and copy are extremely essential when it comes to design. Because without them, your product would look like this.
User Interface (UI) Design ensures that the interface of your app and other customer-facing elements such as your website is easy to understand, access, and use. A complex product with a simple UI is capable of retaining more customers than a simple product with a complex UI.
A Walker study predicted that by the end of 2020, customer experience will be the key differentiator for any business. This implies that you have to put twice the effort that you generally would to ensure that your customer journey is great.
As a business, you need to clearly distinguish your personas.
Building a buyer persona ensures that all the efforts involved in acquiring and serving your users are tailored to their needs.
Here is a list of personas to start with depending on your type of business.
Once you know your audience, it becomes relatively easier to map their journey.
Nikitha Suryadevara suggests 5 focus points to improve Customer Experience.
- Product Documentation
- API and Integrations
- Feedback loops
Customer on-boarding is the start of their journey. Onboarding experience plays an invisible part in the customer experience.
Why should you keep the sign up process simple?
Signing up for your product is the first action that your user will be doing. Imagine yourself having to fill in multiple forms just to try the product. Would you do it? A lengthy sign-up process can be excruciating.
The goal is to make the user sign up as quickly as possible and take them to the app so that they can see the value that you provide.
Why not to collect payment details during sign up?
Collecting credit cards is a friction point. At this point, the user does not even know if they will make a purchase. Also, when it comes to a B2B product, the person evaluating the product (signs up) might not be the one who is in charge of purchasing it. Asking for card details, even before the user gets to try the product is going to make them apprehensive and lookout for an alternative.
According to a research done by Totango, companies that do not require credit card while signing up for a free trial see 50% more conversions than those that require a credit card.
How to leverage free trials?
Offering trials is probably the best way to allow your users to experience your product. The idea behind this is to allow your prospective viewers to see the value in your product so that they can make a decision. But, if your trial to paid conversion is less than 30% you need to re-evaluate your strategy.
A few things to consider while offering a free trial:
- Have a goal (like to convert to a paid plan, or to try a particular feature.)
- Have a schedule that actively moves your customers towards the goal.
- Ensure that your users follow your schedule.
- Choose a trial period that allows them to unlock the complete potential of your product.
- Make them feel privileged. When Hey.com initially launched its tool, they allowed users to try their product using an invite-only option. This helped them understand the pain points and formulate their upcoming features.
Guiding the user to use your app is essential. But, doing it, again and again, might be an overkill. Design your app in such a way that your users are able to navigate around the product easily and discover it themselves.
Slack does a great job of explaining itself to the new users. They achieve this by using well-designed empty states and highlighting their core functionality wisely.
How to utilize Product Documentation?
Technical documentation is a great resource for a product. This is the place where anyone using the product will look at when they need to know something. Therefore, it is necessary that you keep it clean and up to date.
Product documentation is not just about giving a bunch of instructions. They help the user understand the feature, and explain how it will add value to them. Missing out on any of the above is an example of bad documentation.
Product documentation, when done holistically, can serve as an extensive SEO resource.
The best approach to write killer documentation is to assume that your readers/users know half of what you do. There are times when your audience might know what the feature/product is about, but there are also chances that they do not. Technical documentation should guide anyone who is trying to get help. Therefore, it is best to assume that your customers’ do not know the feature/product and to guide them accordingly.
Humans are visually wired. Using video content helps your users quickly understand the product.
Why should you consider investing resources in API and Integrations?
In today's world, business is all about securely exchanging and making use of the information that is available. API (Application Programming Interface) allows businesses to transform into platforms that others can integrate with.
If you are running a B2B business, you cannot ignore this. Your product needs to have a strong API to communicate and work alongside with other products.
Using an API allows you to use the code written by any third party developer and integrate it with your application to create a platform. It can be written in any language and can be consumed by any technology. This facility increases the profitability of your business.
Zapier and IFTTT are one of the few companies that enable users to create their own functionality mashups using APIs.
Having a good API documentation is crucial when you expose your APIs.
Any API can be broken down into 5 elements irrespective of the language used to implement it.
- Description: This is the description of what the API (Resource) will return.
- Endpoint: Endpoint is a URL or path that shows you how to access the resource.
- Parameters: Parameters are the values that you pass with an endpoint.
- Sample Request: Request example is a sample request generated using the endpoint, along with some of the parameters.
- Sample Response: Sample response is the output of the sample request.
A developer trying to use your API must find this information easily. Stripe has set a high standard for everyone in the industry when it comes to documenting APIs. Take a look at their API documentation.
Building a community can help you go a long way. It increases brand awareness and credibility. When you have users who strongly advocate your product, it also takes a little burden off your shoulders.
Example: How WordPress handles queries?
Let us take WordPress for example, the product is used by people around the globe. The customer base is really massive that they help each other. When you post a question about the product in their forum, you will notice that you have fellow users endorsing and giving you suggestions that worked best for them even before their support comes to your rescue. This is what having good community support can do to your product.
You can increase community interaction by being active on social media, having support forums, publishing case studies, or by sending out emails, newsletters, blogs, etc.
Why do you need Feedback Loops?
Customer feedback is any information shared by your customers about your product, company and services. This feedback can help you understand what you are doing right and where you are going wrong.
It is possible for marketers to get overwhelmed by endless possibilities to collect feedback. With so many options to collect feedback, one might not know where to start. Here are a few strategies that VMware has tried and succeeded with:
Open portal for feature requests: This gives you an overview of what your customers are looking for. Companies like Atlassian also follow this method. Used can suggest features and also upvote the feature requests of others. This gives your users the visibility into your product roadmap.
Social Media: While social media is great for community building, it can also serve as a platform for collecting feedback.
Downgrade Survey: It is sad that a customer has chosen to leave, but you can use this as an opportunity to learn what went wrong. This feedback can help you retain your existing customers and sometimes get back your old ones.
The key to any feedback that you receive is to acknowledge and respond with a workaround or a turn around time.
Sometime around 2015, Google changed the User Interface of maps. They made the lines lighter, which was an issue for most of its users. One such user wrote to Google explaining the problem. And, this was the reply that they received a couple of weeks later.
Customers feel valued when they know that they are heard. In order to deliver a great experience, one must go beyond the surface of each customer interaction. You must instil a systematic view that understands the need of each customer and matches it with the capabilities of your product. We hope that these focus points will steer you in the right direction when it comes to customer experience.
If you have any other queries, we are open to having a discussion. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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