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User experience design

What is user experience design?

User experience (UX) design—also referred to as experience design or user interface design—maps customer experiences and shows how they interact with applications, websites, products or services. Organizations that focus on their users’ experiences generally increase customer fulfillment and, as a result, revenue. By focusing on customer needs, companies help ensure that they deliver what their customers want, when it’s needed and in the exact manner they prefer to engage.

What are the business benefits of an effective user experience design?

Hyper-personalized customer experiences improve customer satisfaction, engagement, usability, retention and loyalty. They also reduce bounce rate and increase cross-selling, upselling and overall sales.

How does an organization know that its UX needs to be improved?

Here are some sure-fire signs that the organization’s UX needs improving:

  • Users feel frustrated with impersonal interactions. Legacy service operations lack the digital capabilities, such as analytics and AI, to know customers as individuals and engage them across channels in the personalized ways they expect. With an impersonal approach, organizations make users feel ignored, underwhelmed and, in the worst case, disrespected, which can lead to broken relationships and abandonment.
  • Users can interact only on the organization’s terms. Users want to interact with brands on their own terms, quickly and conveniently through their preferred channels, but traditional service operations often can’t support multiple channels of engagement. This is most prevalent with organizations that have acquired multiple service systems through growth via mergers and acquisitions. It’s difficult and expensive to integrate data from multiple sources and combine it into a single view of a customer that’s accessible from any channel. An inability to provide seamless support across multiple channels jeopardizes repeat business and future growth.
  • Users are left hanging. Many service operations lack technologies and processes that let users start a conversation on one channel and finish it on another. While many users prefer self-service options, service personnel need to intervene when those options don’t get the job done. That handoff must be automatic and seamless. Otherwise, users often must take the next step on their own, whether that’s making a phone call or writing an email.
  • Agents must fend for themselves. When users switch among channels, they expect service reps to immediately be on the same page and don’t want to repeat information or retrace steps. Yet many service applications lack the ability to document interactions from all channels, such as a browsing history or phone conversation with a service rep. This results in dissatisfaction and attrition.
  • Failure to capture and share customer insights with the business. Many service centers are disconnected from the rest of the business. They lack the analytic capabilities and feedback loops required to pass critical information to the appropriate business function. Whether failing to analyze that an uptick in complaints signals a problem with a new product and requires immediate attention or being unable to spark innovation based on user feedback, service-as-a-silo hurts an organization’s ability to compete.
How can chatbots be used to enhance the user experience?

To make chatbots effective, keep the design simple and the “conversation” to a minimum. Create utility bots that specialize in specific tasks, provide recommendations to users and excel at helping users complete those tasks. Rapid, contextual responses will be key to improving outcomes. Bots are evolving from systems that perform rote and repetitive tasks to those that learn over time and can offer personalized interactions with recommendations. This is possible through a bot’s ability to access data, process it and respond quickly, using technologies such as neural networks and machine learning. 

Self-learning algorithms and graph databases can help machines comprehend larger representations of data by making it easier to understand what users are referring to without ambiguity. To speed and streamline retrieval, it’s important to dynamically update these semantic graphs, which store data types and their relationships. This is key to improving response quality. 

Effective chatbots will demonstrate an understanding of user needs and complement these needs with quick access buttons and images that depict the available options. By incorporating these visual aids, chatbots can reduce the time and effort spent on interacting with the chatbot, resulting in a quality user experience. 

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