As a small business owner, you must devote so much time and energy to keeping up with day to day operations that it can often be a challenge to step back and look at the overall customer experience. Competition today is fierce. In order to succeed, you should strive to remove any friction in interactions between your customers and your business.
As a customer yourself, you know instinctively what it feels like when user experience is executed flawlessly, but you may not be able to translate that to your own business without utilizing key disciplines. Whether you run a dental office or a restaurant, you should attack customer interaction from a design standpoint at a high level.
Wondering where to start? You can begin by determining your customers’ motivations. When you understand specifically what your customers want from your business, you can design all interactions to create the absolute best customer experience possible. User experience design makes software easier to use and can be applied to many areas of businesses to increase customer satisfaction and help drive conversions. You may already utilize user experience design in your business and not even know it.
When you’re ready to implement a user experience design, you should break down all customer interactions and develop a plan to analyze and correct any issues that may exist. Every aspect of how a customer interacts with your business is critical to your success. Examine everything – from how a customer is greeted in-person or on the phone to the design of forms. Every interaction should be designed to reduce friction to your customers and enhance their positive feelings about your business.
When a customer calls your business, your phone system should be designed to get them to the correct place as quickly as possible. A poorly designed phone tree can create strong negative feelings very quickly that can lead to lost sales. When you send an invoice to a customer, the design should be modern, easy to read, and friendly. Your website should allow your customers to easily get the information they need as fast as possible. If you have a waiting area for your customers, make sure to design ways to make the experience more enjoyable and positive for them.
You can implement user experience design in your marketing efforts as well. Marketing is yet another way that your business interacts with your potential, past, and existing customers every day. Traditional advertising is a key part of many small businesses’ overall marketing campaigns. Whether you are using low cost guerilla tactics or more traditional methods such as print, direct mail, or radio, every aspect should be designed around the customer. What information does the customer want? What information does the customer need?
One negative customer experience can do irreparable damage to a customer’s perception of your organization and nine out of ten times you’ll never know about it. That customer will simply switch to one of your competitors. And on top of that, he or she makes sure family and friends stay far away from your business as well. By implementing a disciplined user experience design into your business, you will reduce pain points and increase positive customer feelings that will set your business up to be highly competitive in today’s marketplaces.