UCD (User Centred Design), CX (Customer Experience), UX (User experience) are the new buzzwords of the marketing crowd and beyond, to the point that CMO and marketing managers will probably all rebrand themselves as CXO and CX managers in the next few years.
But the reality is, overall, the understanding of the concepts and the will to invest in the method are not quite there yet.
Going through a User Experience project will require the use of some of the following tools and method; Empathy maps, user Interviews, surveys, focus groups, persona creation, user journey mapping, service maps, user testing and so forth.
This requires skilled resources, time and budget that many people are not ready to invest in so here are a few ideas to justify the spend.
It’s all about really knowing your users' needs
I’m sure you have heard that a few times in marketing or research conferences "you are not your user". You may have good assumptions or intuitions about your user’s needs but user centered design will help you turn them into certainties. Going through a thorough user research phase will help you have a better understanding of your audience wants, needs and motivations.
Empathy is the key. Understanding the pains and the gains of your users will allow you to engage and create a stronger relationship with them in the long term.
It helps you build the solution around the relevant touch points
No matter how hype Snapchat or Tik-Tok are, they may not be the most appropriate channels to reach your target audience…
Understanding your audience touch points and needs will help you define what content or message must be created and distributed on which channel or touch point at each stage of the buying journey.
Use customer insights to convince stakeholders and navigate the office politics
Factual insights are the best tool to make stakeholders align their agendas and break silos for the benefit of the user experience. They will help you build a strong business case to sell your project internally and navigate the project successfully through complex governance and stakeholder validation.
Build a solid long-term business case factoring in avoided costs and ROI
1 - Avoid costly design and build errors and rework
In her excellent ROI of User Experience video, Dr. Susan Weinschenk notes that up to
that is avoidable. Accurate user insight gathering and user testing help identify opportunities, challenges and problems early enough for them to be fixed. If your client or boss is not convinced yet, you can definitely list down costs of errors in terms of man days or decreased conversion rates.
If the project business case encompasses design, build, run and evolution phases, the investment in User Centred Design will surely be lower than the cost of launching a service with pain points that will decrease your conversion rate at best or generate users to just never come back to your site. Not to mention the cost of having to roll back and fix these issues after launch…and the cost of maintaining a system that does not work well and impacts negatively other areas of the business –ie calls to helplines and customer service.
2 - Factor in the gain in terms of client experience and sales
User Centred Design will create quick wins and long-term opportunities to improve your customer experience. Consider measuring success in terms of engagement, conversion and extra sales KPIs but also qualitative experience metrics - through NPS, Neteasy scores, and on-site feedback tools. If you are revamping an existing system, try to capture those KPIs before launching the new version so that you can show a strong before/after business case.