User Experience (UX) – the major selling factor for any business offline or online. The way your end-users feel about your products/services will ultimately determine the success of your business.
As we carry out more of our daily business interactions on the internet, it’s never been more important to provide users a frictionless and seamless digital experience that aligns with their everyday life. Users now expect an optimized user experience as a basic requirement, and it has now become a prerequisite implementation strategy across all devices and platforms.[thrive_text_block color=”red” headline=””]The truth is that knowing why customers visit a site and what they need works in favor of both the business and the audience, thereby offering brands the rationale and pathways for optimized user experience.[/thrive_text_block]
Companies now have the opportunity to effectively impact their business by implementing targeted strategies throughout their market and its digital ecosystem. Today, if you are not yet prioritizing user experience (UX) in your business, you are probably neglecting user satisfaction and consequently losing your valued clientele.
It might interest you to know that most of the companies that were minor start-ups some years ago are now multi-billion dollar institutions, and this comes as a result of their unique user experience. Whether it’s Google, Apple, or Facebook, each of these companies’ banks on great user experience to boost their ROI.
What Is User Experience (UX)?
Lots of theories have been put forward on this topic; studies carried out, research and discussions have equally been undertaken – which resulted in User Experience having several formal definitions that co-exist.
ISO 9241-210 (Ergonomics of human-system interaction) describe UX as a person’s perception and response that comes from the use of a system, product or service.
Similarly, Lindsey Weber defined UX as “a business’s online customer service. It’s all about taking the time to discover what your users are looking for – and even what they didn’t know they wanted it. It’s about offering a convenient, efficient, and pleasant, online experience that will hopefully convert that casual browser into a loyal customer.”
However, the principles of an outstanding User Experience (UX) can be summarized in Henry Dreyfuss’ quote as seen in the book “Designing for People”:[thrive_text_block color=”dark” headline=””]“When the point of contact between the people and the product becomes a point of friction, then the designer has already failed. On the other way round, if people are made more comfortable, more eager to purchase, more efficient, safer — or just happier — by contact with the product, then the designer has won.”[/thrive_text_block]
This makes more sense considering the fact that you only have about 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression or, stand the chance of losing the customer.
Why User Experience Is Important In Every Business
You’ve probably had an interaction in the past with a product or service that doesn’t work just the way you expected. If that’s true, I want you to think back to the time, and how it made you feel:
- Angry? Stupid?
I guess you know better.
Here’s the problem. When your product or interface doesn’t meet the need of your users, they equally experience these same feelings (and even more). Ideally, your users are your customers. Hence, the last thing you want them to experience when engaging with your business is a negative emotion. If by choice or mistake, you fail to provide them a good experience the first time; your business becomes ripe for disruption.
Below are some key areas in your business that can be hugely affected by the user experience you offer.
1. Conversion Rate and Return on Investments
Having an excellent user experience (UX) ensures that your business gets a significant return on every investment. It also ensures that all the money you invested in the business translates into measurable value either in dollar terms or other factors like conversion rates. For instance, because you have a great user-experience:
- Your customers will believe it’s easy to find or use your products or services compared to that of your competitors
- You’ll have happy users who frequently return to patronize you
- You can easily convert generic web surfers into happy buyers thereby boosting your “browser to buyer” conversion rates
Tracking what percentage of your visitors you convert into customers enables you to adequately measure how effective your efforts are at meeting your business goals. This is called Conversion Rate.
2. Productivity and Efficiency
A good user experience equally improves efficiency – either by helping your users makes fewer mistakes on your website or by helping them to do things faster. Similarly, while looking at UX for an internal customer such as your employees, improving the efficiency of your tools also improves productivity.
The bottom line is – the less time it takes to complete a task, the more you’ll be able to achieve in a day. Using an eCommerce website as an example, the simpler and faster it is to purchase a product, the more likely it becomes that users will buy multiple products.
3. Boosts Customer Trust and Loyalty
User Experience generally involves two things (the User and the Experience). When you offer users a super positive experience, they will certainly reward you with their trust and loyalty. A recent study had it that, companies whose UX is insanely effective saw a 37% increase in revenue. However, when you provide your customers with a poor user experience, the death of your business becomes imminent.
To put it succinctly, if your product or services leave a user with a foul taste in his mouth, he will immediately take his business elsewhere which is often to your competitor. Interestingly, 90 percent of users stated that they stopped using an app as a result of poor performance, and 86 percent uninstalled or deleted an app because they encountered problems with its design or functionality.
Meanwhile, a certain study by Market Watch proved that “86% of consumers agree that excellent customer experience is worth paying extra. Now, with all these statistics, you can easily understand why User Experience focused companies like Amazon, Skype, Google, Apple, and Dropbox are regularly sitting in the leaders’ position in their respective fields.
Another good point to note is that loyal and happy customers make some of the finest brand evangelists.
4. Customer Satisfaction
Now, here’s the fact:
Whether you’re into physical or digital business, a product is meant to stir both an intellectual and emotional response in the mind of its consumers not just because of its functionality, but also how it looks and feel. Now, the type of emotion they got from the product (positive or negative) is going to create an enormous impact on your sales.
Your customers are equally your users – when you make it easy, pleasant, and fun for them to achieve a given task, they’re much likely to do the task often.
For example, let’s assume this customer is your employee – making it easy, pleasant and fun to complete a task will help to ensure the employee experiences a high level of satisfaction – which will, in turn, help him become more productive.
Put on the contrary, if the user was your customer, the satisfaction experienced because the product was easy to use, means there’s a possibility that the product (e.g. a website) will be used more often which translates to higher conversion rates and often, to higher sales numbers.
Finally, I hope this article has improved your understanding of what User Experience (UX) is all about, and why you should put it first in your business.
Remember, the happier and satisfied your customers are with your products and services, the more they’ll not only become repeat and loyal customers, but they’ll also spread the word about it which means more customers, and more money.
Now, is your turn; tell us your own take on this topic – what do you understand as user experience? Do you think it’s important or not in business, and why?