With so much competition in the tech community user design and customer experience is paramount to any platform’s adoption and success. Look at the industry giants of Facebook and Google and you’ll see the cutting edge in user design – they are constantly rolling out new features and when they do it’s only a matter of time until those features begin to appear elsewhere.
If we take a look into retail banking for example, customers come to expect a certain level of functionality – one that makes their lives easier. Traditionally customer service only took place in person – now it has extended its reach to the online realm. The banking industry has felt the brunt of this extension and is still in the process of a digital transformation; the transition from teller to computer has catalysed the need for slick user design and omni-channel banking.
The customer expects a service that will allow them to fulfil it in as few clicks as possible, and with an array of social media channels to express gratitude or distaste, this service has never been so important.
Understanding customers’ needs can open vast opportunities to increase loyalty and retention by providing products they want. For instance, a retail bank can promote new offerings or features but these need to answer to a need and new functionalities need to add value to the customer banking experience. User experience is all about improving the customer experience and hence creating higher levels of engagement with the brand. Making the customer journey a positive experience is key to retaining customers and gaining new ones.
The amount of information customers now have gives them a huge amount of power over businesses. Moreover, it is not just the huge amount of choice they have at their fingertips; it’s also the numerous channels through which they can express and share their satisfaction or disappointment that gives them leverage. If customers have a bad user experience, they will openly share their experience with others which will impact on the brand.
For example if a customer is limited to how they can manage their banking accounts – they may decide to shift to another competing brand. Banking customers seek the best user experience and functionalities available to them to be able to manage their account through multi-channels that being on desktop, on the phone or on the go on their mobile. It is important that every channel available to customers provide a positive user experience at each touch point, as well as an aim to deliver personalised experiences.
In today’s differentiated market, anything that benefits the customer, benefits the company. The NCR 2010 Global Consumer Research showed that 83% of respondents stated that they were more likely to do business with retailers that allow them to personalise and control where, when and how they interact through their preferred channels. 45% would like points of online customer service, and 44% value organisations that use social media to recognise them as individuals with unique preferences.
The constantly evolving and growing needs of customers are no less important than the industry-specific ones. Poor user experiences can quickly result in frustration, and the customer may simply move on to another product. In some cases, it won’t even matter that the product is inferior or more expensive – not putting the user in control will be the deciding factor.