Customer experience is a competitive advantage in digital services – Redland
Go Back

Customer experience is a competitive advantage in digital services

The requirements for a good user experience are continuously growing, as digital services become more common. A busy user will not waste much time on a poorly functioning service, which is why good user experience offer a great advantage when competing for the attention of customers.

As a result of digitalization, direct interaction between customers and companies is decreasing, and customers are more interested in straightforward experiences which enable them, for example, to make online purchases or book appointments. Having to contact customer service is often a sign of dissatisfaction in the digital user experience, i.e. for some reason, the matter could not be taken care of online. Turning the situation described above into a good customer experience depends on the success of customer service. Thus, the user experience and the customer experience are not exactly the same thing, but they are very much reliant on each other.

In order to improve digital customer experiences, we developed the UX Audit analysis, by which we evaluate what using an online service feels like, and how it succeeds in redeeming its defined business objectives.

Digital Customer Experience Summit 2018 in Chicago

This September, a small team from Redland attended the Digital Customer Experience Summit 2018 in Chicago, where we wanted to test our views on digital customer and user experiences. It was already the 5th annual DCX18 Summit.

The theme of the two-day conference was genuinely listening to customers and including them in product development and marketing.

A good example of the above was given by Carissa Ganelli, the CDO of Subway. During the last two years, Subway invested in the customer experience in all its customer encounters. For example, a personalized customer message for the buyers of a turkey sandwich had increased their sales by 6-8 %, which is a large number of sandwiches on Subway’s scale. Subway’s mobile experience is at the core of customer experiences and their customer loyalty is optimized for mobile use.

Kristen Engelhardt, for her part, spoke of Saleforce’s brand renewal and how their newest value, equality, did not resonate with all of their target groups. This lead them to reconsider the realization of their values together with their customers.

When we at Redland undertake brand renewal for clients, a key phase is reviewing the new brand identity together with customers of the client, using different methods. By various means of service design, authentic experiences are revealed at a very early stage when executing product development or a new service. By surveying user paths and profiles, the company gets a better understanding of their customers, through which they can direct both marketing and user experience development.

It was pleasant to notice that the underlying theme at the DCX18 Summit, customer service, has for many years been a natural part of Redland’s doings. We create and develop digital services through customer understanding, and we offer our clients comprehensive services, which serve the end user and promote the company brand.

Is the problem technological, or based on user needs?

Technology offers us a variety of possibilities to improve our services and products, but we should not be blinded by it.

At the DCX18 Summit, Chriss Watt from the Tigerspike technology company spoke about assumptions, when it comes to customer needs. As an excellent example he used Kodak, a very successful technology company in its time. Kodak assumed that their customers used Kodak products because they had the best technology on the market, when in reality people only wanted to save and share their memories effortlessly. Kodak focused on developing their technology and bringing new cameras to the market, while Instagram responded to user demands with a simpler and non-technology-driven service. The end result of this battle is well known.

When renewing a service or developing something completely new, it’s good to critically regard the assumed problem. A problem to be solved by website reform could actually be due to a poor user experience rather than the need to update the Content Management System (CMS), which generates bad analytics. This, too, can be easily clarified, for example, by having a user experience analysis executed by our experts at Redland.

The Core UX Audit – a comprehensive digital customer experience analysis

At Redland, we continually develop our services according to prevailing demand. Since the user experience is valued more than ever before, every service should be thoroughly scrutinized, both from the perspective of the user and of the business. Since Redland has professional expertise in brand strategy and digital services, as well as communication and digital marketing, it’s only natural for us to analyze all of these aspects when renewing a service.

We believe that a sound digital user experience is also influenced by factors other than usability and accessibility. On the basis of this thesis, the Core UX Audit was born. It was launched at the DCX18 Summit in Chicago and we received good feedback related to the product.

Evaluating usability, accessibility, customer engagement and brand experience

The Core UX Audit consists of four parts: usability, accessibility, customer engagement and brand experience.

Usability is evaluated, among other things, by the consistency of the user interface (functionality and layout), by the intuitive structure of navigation, and by user guiding in different situations.

Accessibility includes readability, user friendliness on different platforms, and content accessibility.

Customer engagement to the online service means keeping the attention and interest of the customer as long as possible, in order to reach goals that are commercially significant, be they leads or direct purchases. In the analysis, we evaluate how the user experience supports different goals and how the service leads the customer towards these goals, as well as how the marketing automation is utilized.

Whether a website or a product, the values and promises of a brand should be reflected from the service both by its user experience and its layout. A service that is marketed as user friendly and safe might cause customers to back away if the commissioning process is long and disorganized, and if there is no certainty as to what information is stored and for what purpose. The objective of brand experience analysis is to validate how well a company’s identity is realized in the service.

If you would like to hear more about improving customer and user experiences, please ask us for a quotation, or contact us at info@redland.fi to discuss how we could help you!