Why User Experience Is Critical To Customer Relationships

Some of the biggest trends today–mobile, geoloco, social, real-time–are changing how consumers discover and share information and connect with one another. Technology aside, consumers are driving the rapid adoption of technology because of the capabilities that are unlocked through each device. From self-expression and validation to communication and connections to knowledge and collaboration, new opportunities unfold with each new device and platform.

As smart and connected technology matures beyond a luxury into everyday commodities, consumer expectations only inflate. As a result, functionality, connectedness, and experiences emerge as the lures for attention. For brands to compete for attention now takes something greater than mere presences in the right channels or support for the most popular devices. User experience (UX) is now becoming a critical point in customer engagement in order to compete for attention now and in the future. For without thoughtful UX, consumers meander without direction, reward, or utility. And their attention, and ultimately loyalty, follows.

The CrUX of Engagement Is Intention and Purpose

Brands as a whole suffer from medium-alism, where inordinate value and weight is placed on the technology of any medium rather than amplifying platform strengths and ideas to deliver desired and beneficial experiences and outcomes. Said another way, businesses are designing for the sake of designing, without regard for how someone feels, thinks, or acts as a result.

Thankfully, there’s a cure for medium-alism. UX is the new Rx for most new media deployments. From social networks to mobile apps to commerce to digital, experiential strategies form the bridge where intentions meet outcomes. By starting with the end in mind, UX packages efficiency and enchantment to deliver more meaningful, engaging, and rewarding consumer journeys.

It’s easier said than done, however.

UX is an art and science, and it is all but ignored in the development of new media channels where customers control their own fate. If the appeal of an app diminishes, it’s removed from the device. If a brand page in a social or mobile network no longer delivers value, a customer can effortlessly unlike, unfollow, or unsubscribe. If the rewards for taking action on behalf of a brand–think check-in, QR, barcode scans, or augmented reality plays–are intangible, or gimmicky without intent, customers will simply power off. And, if a consumer cannot take action in your favor, within their channel of relevance, with ease and elegance, value or ROI will forever escape your grasp.

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BY FC EXPERT BLOGGER BRIAN SOLIS | http://www.fastcompany.comUser experience is a priority that should, in some way, find a home within the design of any new-media strategy.

This is part one of a limited series on the need for brands to employ UX in new-media strategies to improve customer experiences and engagement.

With the explosion of social media and smart devices, customers are becoming incredibly sophisticated, elusive, and empowered. As a result, the dynamics that govern the relationship between brands and customers is evolving.

But even in this era of engagement and “two-way” conversations, the reality is that the relationship businesses hope to have with customers through these new devices, applications, or networks and their true state are not one in the same. In fact, it is woefully one-sided, and usually not to the advantage of customers, which for all intents and purposes still affects businesses.

Rather than examine the role new technologies and platforms can play in improving customer relationships and experiences, many businesses invest in “attendance” strategies where a brand is present in both trendy and established channels, but not defining meaningful experiences or outcomes. Simply stated, businesses are underestimating the significance of customer experiences. Leer más “Why User Experience Is Critical To Customer Relationships”