In a previous post we talked about high-level strategic principles that marketing should aim at in creating promotions that users pay attention to and would act upon. That is, Web marketing should work with users’ expectation and present a clear user benefit in order to engage users and drive conversion.
In this follow-up post, we’ll talk about specific, actionable content writing and creative design tips that will bring those principles to life and result in great user experience.
All of the tips below are derived from what we saw through many user interviews and reflect user opinions rather than mine.
1. Provide Only Useful Content, with Value Proposition Presented Upfront
User experience of marketing? This is a tricky topic.
Traditionally, marketers never thought of user experience much because they believe marketing is all about pushing something to users, and user experience can and should be sacrificed in the name of selling services and products. On the other hand, user experience professionals or UXers, as we fondly call ourselves, hold disdain towards such marketing practice because we feel marketing, albeit a necessary evil to keep a business profitable, inherently undermines user experience through aggressively promoting business at the cost of seamlessly supporting user needs.
These are all false assumptions: User experience and marketing can and should come together in driving business success, without compromising user experience.
How? By adopting a mind set of aligning marketing to user needs. Here’s a list of to-dos: Continue reading
Traditionally, customer feedback is collected in a face-to-face manner, be it usability studies, focus groups, or one-one interviews: Users come to on-campus facilities or off-site local 3rd party labs to be interviewed. The advantage of interviewing users locally is obvious: You get to observe their behavior in person, including body language, and you get to discuss with your stakeholders who are sitting in the observation room about additional questions they’d like to ask the participants.
Limitation of In-Person Interviews
Despite the numerous benefits, there’re a few issues associated with interviewing only local users: Continue reading
There are two main approaches of validating your products to see if they perform as expected and identify areas for improvements. One is user experience research, which includes usability studies as well as other forms of user interview methods, gathering user feedback through asking user questions, surveys, and direct observation of user behavior.
The other is A/B testing, also called “launch and learn”, through which we randomly present different versions of the launched product to different users and observe the differences in the resulted Web, mobile, and business metrics.
Given that both approaches are talked a lot about, based on what I’ve seen among clients I helped, there’s much confusion around choosing between the two approaches: Do we need to use both methods? Can we just do A/B testing and forget about user research? If we need to do both, then when do we use each method? Continue reading
When it comes to the all-important issue, listening to user/customer feedback, the first thing that comes to mind for many is focus group or survey. The tendency is so persistent that even when I conducted usability studies, the stakeholders, typically product managers and business owners, kept referring to the exercise as “focus group” or “survey”!
On the other hand, designers and programmers trust usability testing much more and don’t see or understand value of focus groups and surveys.
So, what are the differences between the three and when should we apply each technique? Continue reading
We all want to collect customer feedback, right? Then you might have heard of market research and user research, methods that allow you to systematically gather and analyze customer feedback. But then again, you might be wondering, what’s the difference between the two?
For most of you, I guess, you couldn’t care less about the nomenclature as long as you get the customer insight you want. However, in the corporate world, these two functions do belong to separate departments and, as such, you do need to know which one you should turn to if you seek their help. Even if you hire independent consultants or do it by yourself, a basic understanding of the two approaches would help you get high quality customer feedback.
Market Research — Focusing on Monetization
Most of us working on product development know the importance of getting user feedback, but how can we effectively drive actions based on user feedback? That’s the question.
One of the key questions I heard people asking is: How many users should we talk to?
The answer is, of course, it depends.
To Improve Usability, Interview as Few as Five Users Would Do
Wow, that’s an interesting way to get the products in front of you!
Ok, I was using AVG AntiVirus FREE version to do a routine scan of my computer, and yes, no virus was found! And then, it asked me whether I wanted to analyze my computer’s performance. I thought, why not? So clicked “yes” and then saw the screen below after a few minutes.
Upon seeing this, if you were me, what would you do? Continue reading
Ever wonder how to identify business areas you should improve based on customers’/users’ true needs rather than spend money on something that doesn’t matter to them? Looking at their end-to-end journey — across all touch points with your product/business — is a great way to start!
By Frank Guo
In order to see business opportunities through the lens of customer experience, it’s critical for business leaders to see customer experience through a cross-channel, end-to-end perspective. By looking at customer experience holistically through the so-called Customer Experience Ecosystem (CXE) analysis, we can quickly identify gaps and find solutions to improve customer experience.
Benefits of CXE analysis:
- Making the experience sticky
- Improving conversion/reducing drop-off
- Increasing repeat visits
- Enhancing long-term customer loyalty Continue reading
If you have to name one measure of customer experience that has ubiquitous acceptance among senior executives, it’s NPS, short for Net Promoter Score, a well-studied and indeed very simple way to measure customer loyalty to a brand. Lots of research has shown a strong correlation of NPS and revenue growth.
What’s the Problem, Then?
On the other hand, having conducted customer experience surveys for many years, I’ve found NPS to be a poor and misleading measure of online, mobile, and social media experience. Furthermore, whereas NPS is a great tool to help the company focus on customer loyalty through an easy-to-understand concept, it offers very little help when it comes to developing customer experience solutions. Continue reading
I’ve talked about the business importance of developing a robust customer experience ecosystem or CXE in previous blog posts. Here, I’ll walk through a case study to illustrate how to design a CXE. In this example, my first step was to diagram the current customer experience based on a thorough understanding of the UI workflow and user needs and behavior. Below is a hypothetical CXE created in such way:
© Frank Guo 2012. All rights reserved. Continue reading
As discussed in my previous posts, developing a robust Customer Experience Ecosystem or CXE is key to driving revenues through customer engagement and loyalty. It is of paramount importance for a business to integrate CXE as part of its core business model. This is especially true for start-ups in search of a profitable monetization model and mature companies that seek additional revenue growths (see my post about BlockBuster). Let me talk about the business model of Telsano Health, a healthcare start-up that I’m providing strategy consulting to, as a case study. Continue reading
Many of us still remember the Netflix’s client experience fiasco — the company first abruptly raised the fees of its DVD services by more than 60% and then tried to split the streaming and DVD services into two separate websites to further inconvenience subscribers. As a result, the stock price plummeted from around $300 to less than $80 within just a few months.
Blockbuster, the chief rival of Netflix, at the moment had a good shot at taking advantage of the missteps of Netflix, who broke down its own customer experience ecosystem or CEE by undermining the DVD rental experience. But Blockbuster’s failure of integrating its online and offline client experience made it forfeit this great opportunity. Continue reading
Traditionally, user experience conversations focus on usability, user interface, and design, all related to human computer interaction. This approach unfortunately limits the role of user experience in companies’ strategic planning, because for most businesses, the digital space is but a part of their clients’ touch points with the products and the brand.
Here’s an example. Costco has a multi-channel retail business model, leveraging both a brick-and-mortar store front and a website. There is also a catalog as a third channel. Continue reading