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KUALA LUMPUR, July 29: Getting to the crux of the matter is often something that is preached by many companies.
On the other hand, as the common business mantra goes, time is money and for that reason solving a problem as quickly as possible is usually the most tempting option, even if it only means a short-term reprieve.
However, this is just like pushing a pawn on a chessboard, wherein most circumstances it is the weakest move a company can make for their customer experiences, whether for external customers or internal customers.
Better user experiences mean money.
Customer and employee satisfaction, brand loyalty, conversion rates, churn reduction as well as staff productivity, always make businesses better and more profitable in the long run.
Imagine being an internet service provider with a call centre that is constantly ringing off the hook with numerous problems regarding disruption, bad service and so on.
Callers are often subjected to long waits over the phone, causing them to feel even more frustrated than they already are.
The question here is, why the hold-up? Is it because of the call duration, a shortage of manpower or simply just bad phone etiquette?
To counter this, throwing technology in the mix for a hassle-free solution is what most companies would do.
In this instance, virtual chats online may be incorporated or even automated replies with instructions on how to self-troubleshoot.
As these tools may divert calls to other platforms, it does not in any way improve
Customer Experience (CX) or User Experience (UX). Better UX is equally important for employees of an organization, as they are ‘internal customers’ of tools, processes and operations in the company.
“These quick fixes have time and again proven to only be a temporary fix which ultimately leads to more problems in the long run. What companies should be doing is to unearth the root of the matter and address it accordingly to transform their CX.
“About 90 per cent of our corporate clients only treat the symptoms of their business challenges rather than tackling the underlying problems,” projekt202 co-founder & Chief Experience Officer Peter Eckert said.
Based in the United States, projekt202 has recently established its presence in Kuala Lumpur to serve the Malaysian and APAC market.
Eckert believes that companies should be looking at experience-driven transformation because having a deeper customer understanding ultimately delivers better business returns by studying the qualitative data available and understanding “why” things are happening before looking at the quantitative data to analyse what is happening.
Most corporations have very little understanding about why their customers behave the way they do, despite already amassing a huge dataset over the years.
“Companies should look at both data sets combined to get a better understanding of the root cause or breakdown in CX and how to improve,” Eckert said.
Hence, better customer experiences (CX) start with uncovering the root cause of the core issues, which Eckert terms as “Revealing Reality.”
One timely and relatable example would be how Malaysia battles the COVID-19 pandemic.
To flatten the curve and bring down the numbers, a nationwide vaccination drive was implemented to achieve herd immunity.
To streamline appointments and to trace people’s movements, the MySejahtera app was developed and used by the masses.
However, this app is sorely lacking when it comes to CX and UX.
Users who have registered to get inoculated a few months ago are still waiting to receive appointment dates and have been told to persistently refresh to see if anything changes.
Frustration also mounts when appointment dates come in but the user was not notified.
Meanwhile, for those who were vying for the opt-in AstraZeneca vaccinations earlier on, many took to social media to vent their anger when the registration website crashed multiple times, making it almost impossible for many to register.
But there are only so many times you can ask people to verify they are ‘not a robot’ before human frustration reaches boiling point!
So, based on customer feedback and experiences, a study of the core issues should be conducted and applied towards experience-driven improvements of the app interface, scheduling operations and the underlying messaging and notification systems to achieve a better CX and UX.
projekt202 worked with a large telecommunications service provider to drastically improve omnichannel experiences made through customer support tools that raise employee effectiveness.
This includes using natural language versus codes and regrouping information.
Improvements made included replacing the credit class jargon with a language that both agents and customers can mutually understand, and identifying opportunities like device upgrades, suspended lines and other status messages.
The transformation also helped the customer understand the organisation better.
Next is an automotive leader who was looking to improve their lead conversion funnel, from a quality and quantity standpoint for online sales.
This business needed dire help especially after its customers described its current flow as clunky with a poor overall UX.
projekt202 helped improve its automobile imagery, enhance existing finance tools and shift the focus on getting customers to interact faster.
What are the dimensions to look out for to achieve a better UX?
The first is of course customers.
Companies need to understand in-depth the customer’s pain points and get to the bottom of what their core needs are.
Why are customers behaving in a certain way and what is happening can be identified in that process?
Then comes the business itself. How do we use customer insights in a way that allows for a focused investment into innovative new services and solutions and how does it help to improve business performance?
Competition from others in the industry is also a driving factor and companies cannot get too comfortable but constantly strive to bring in transformational experiences beyond their peers.
Skill dimension is another key factor.
Organisations should constantly ask if they have the right skillset on board to create better experiences.
Putting together a skilful team is pivotal to how changes and transformations will be done.
Technology comes last. Companies have to constantly ask themselves if the technology used currently is up to par and if the CX and UX meet expectations.
However, if you start with the customer insights, selecting technologies that support the underlying need, delivers a superior CX and improves the business becomes easy.