Category: User Experience

What is CX (Customer Experience) and why is it important for your company?

Customer Experience in a train station

Customer Experience seemed to have risen as the holy grail of marketing in the past few years and I’ve seen many definitions floating around the world wide web, some of them more confusing than actually helpful. According to Gartner, 81% of marketers are going to focus on CX in the upcoming two years.

Chances are that your company is already doing many things considered as part of CX. You might have defined customer personas already, maybe worked on your customer touch points and thought about your customer journey.

As Gartner puts it: Managing Customer Experience is “the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed customer expectations and, thus, increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.” So CX is the holistic look at every single interaction between your business and your customers. It includes branding, customer service, the browsing experience in your store, purchase and delivery as much as the customer’s interaction with the product at home. CX encompasses User Experience (UX) as much as all Brand Touch Points and Customer Service (CS). It really should be your key strategy for overall customer satisfaction. As much as it can be a power boost increasing your revenue as much it can limit your business aspirations.

A happy customer returns. Again and again. Loyalty and satisfaction are crucial to your business. A strong relationship with your customers increases the likelihood of word-to-mouth recommendations. So how do you improve it?

4 ways to improve your CX

Don’t get me wrong, improving customer experience is nothing that happens overnight. You have to put time and effort into research and learning and more research. A strong but agile strategy is key for your success.

1. Understand your customer

You must have heard the sentence “The customer is king” a million times already - it’s an oldie but goldie and true to the core. Your customer is the most important part of CX - and it is of significant importance to fully understand your customer and their needs. Creating customer personas can be a first step - but you shouldn’t stop there. Use digital media to gather feedback and most importantly react to it.

2. Keep your Customer Experience Management as simple as possible

With Social Media, customers have the ability to connect with companies on multiple channels such as Phone, Email, Facebook or Twitter - and they normally don’t care which one you as a company prefer. Make their interaction with you as easy as possible. The customer wants to be looked after and doesn’t necessarily cares about if your department is actually in charge of the problem. If all customer data and most importantly all customer interaction is stored in one place (so to say in one system) teams can easier work together to make the customer experience as smooth as possible.

3. Build an emotional connection with your customer

Brands such as Nike are a great example of emotional marketing campaigns that go further than just an emotional message. Their slogan “Just do it” is so simple yet so powerful that it is inspirational to people all over the world. Nike uses the trope of heroism in their advertisement with exceeding their own limits as the heroic act. The emotional factor takes customers on a journey with the brand which creates strong brand loyalty.

4. Take your customers on a journey

Instead of thinking about each Customer Touch Point as a separate item, create a journey for your customer from start to finish, that is as seamless as possible. See the journey from your customer’s point of view and map it. Customer journey maps are a powerful tool to understand not only each step in the process but also pains a customer has to go through before and during a purchase.

Why the Brand Name change? (Part 1)

We've been building brands and crafting digital experiences for 5+ years now. With that said, there has been both, triumphs and challenges as we stick to the core universal design principles and methodologies, which are:

  • Equitable use.
  • Flexibility in use.
  • Simple and intuitive.
  • Perceptible information.
  • Tolerance for error.
  • Low physical effort.
  • Size and space for approach and use.

With changing technology landscapes, cluttered with brands without soul, we thought it would be best for our company to visually demonstrate these principles.

The ye ol' wives tale is that Brands take about 5 years to penetrate market and begin generating revenue from brand.  Ha! So we've flipped the script.

Now, before I go further in providing you the outline of how we came up with it, let me share some of my thoughts on the importance of your companies brand. (Bear with my ramblings ).

Not only does your brand reflect the internal culture of your company, it in essence is the magnetic pole in which all business will be gravitating toward. It continuously expands and develops both your customers and your companies future.

Now, from a macro perspective, think of it like this - think of a mass of stars coming together to form a solid planet. This is your companies brand. The stars = your customers and staff with each star bringing it's own uniqueness to the formation of the planet and gravitating toward it's solidarity, uniformity and function;

  • So what is the planet about?
  • What is its purpose in the cosmos?
  • How do you align all these stars to vibrate on the same frequency?
  • What message are you emitting to each star to help the whole planet you are forming, function, be practical and polarise positive?
  • Why does it exist and what are you doing right, to have so many stars accelerate towards the growth of your planet?

Your brand is the feeling your customers will experience from the start to finish of their purchasing cycle. So with that last statement in mind, consider your clients perception of your company when they first receive your little email signature, receive response to their enquiry online or receive your delivered product.

What is your business? How is it creating positive culture?

It's NOT just about a logo. If it was, plenty of $200 logos would become monsters in the business world. Brand is a by-product of the invested time of collaborative contribution, research, revision, support and evaluation of the inner and outer workings of your business.

Now, that you have a little bit of the background behind the decision. In Part 2. I will enlighten you to our process. I hope you enjoyed the read. Stay tuned.

George.

 

Difference between UX and UI

Right. So here we go again. I'm writing. Be careful.

So in order to enlighten you great minds and thinkers, we've had a lot of questions around the abbreviations for UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface) design. Most of the time when we pitch clients or send proposals, we do our utmost to break it on down as simple as we can.

It's pretty easy to understand but I thought it worth some time to throw something zhush mush (as my grandma would say) together to help explain.

(Masters of the arts, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I'm pretty on point.)

Both of these work together but I wanted to take the time to illustrate how and their importance in the web world in particular.

So with that said Imma' take you on a date:

 

User Experience is the greeting on entry to the resteraunt, the atmosphere, smells, eating the wonderful meal, and feels of satisfaction when you hand over your cash money.

 

User Interface is the door, the decor, the polite waitress, the plate, the Sirlon 350gram (sorry vegans) served with grilled zuchinni and roasted heirloom carrots, the cuttlery, laser engraved glasses, embossed servietes, wine, and the fancy door handle you grabbed on the way out.

 

UX - User Experience

 

Now that I've made you hungry, UX is the beast that embodies everything. User experience is exactly that, it is what the user experiences. I know it is broad, but essentially, it is all about the experience from start to finish within your application or website. From the time they click your URL to the time they send their enquiry or make a purchase and everything in between. The User experience is the combination of elements that make things awesome to use.

It ALL starts with Reseach, Content and Strategy. Taking into account your business message and feel, competitors, market challenges and problems. Your audience and formulating a strategy on how to tackle the problems. Once all of this magic is done, we usually get right into the Wireframing. Wireframing allows us to build out quick sketches of how the interaction and flow will work. It allows us to do all the testing and iterations to work out how we will direct the customer through, what they will see, feel and how they will interact. (side note: Interaction specialists can be specialised) We can usually test the Experience on users before heading into any development and this is the best way to get user feedback on your website or application before the world come in to eat.

With user experience, we usually get all the team and clients involved, in the initial phases and prototyping. What this does is it makes sure everyone knows where everything is at all the time. No ones left in the dark. We also ensure we have all the right tools in place here, to track analyse and further improve the experience once we run the heard through the funnel.

 

Now to the other partner:

UI - User Interface

 

Now that you're all up to 'date' (pun intended). All the items you interact with through your epic meal time are what help with the overall experience. The User Interface is all about the 'tools' you just used to consume that meal that you indulged in.

When we approach User Interface design it all starts with the brand. We throw in a pinch of reference from the Atomic Design Methodology and refer to the UI as the Atoms, that basically make up everything.

The user interface design is the process in which the User Experience is translated to the user. In simple terms the interactional components. Taking it back to the date it is the; door, the decor, the polite waitress, the plate, the Sirlon 350gram etc.

With the user interface design, we need to know about the brand. (If we haven't designed or developed it) we need to deeply understand the customer. We do that through Research. Design research, brand guidelines, the brand landscape, colours, typography etc. We use all of these elements to translate into the User Experience to create the look and feel.

We are continually doing research on and keeping up to date with developments in technology and it's advanced to ensure your customers' meals look as delectable as they are to consuming.

Here is where we 'dress' the prototypes we developed above prior to going into development. We call this UI Prototyping and are known for using tools such as Invision Sketch to showcase the functions for further research, testing and approvals. UI design also encapsulates the interactivity and animations used to give users the extra 'spice'.

It's also important we design the interface to work on all devices. With the ongoing growth in technology and variations in devices and attention, it's important we keep each experience unique. Google also keeps up on these things and ensures those who use the right 'recipe' are kept top-shelf in their cake.

Once the Interface is done, we hand it over to our wizard to put it in the oven and use science to cook the experience so you can deliver it to the customers' table as quick as possible.

And there you have it. A tasty delectable experience is lovingly crafted in the kitchen for your projects.

I hope I have left you full and satisfied with this article. If you have any questions or want to know more about UX and UI, or hit us up here.