Harmony of services - usability should be part of entire customer experience

Harmony of services - usability should be part of entire customer experience

Why not considering excellent customer experience as a harmony of services; how to make all the relevant service points to serve growth of customer satisfaction and loyalty. Especially in digital services positive experience would directly lead to business rewards such as reduced churn and increased revenue. Hence, understanding customers or users of services should be the starting point of developing solutions that take into account full customer value creation process.

In the end of the day, customers need a solution that is smooth to use. Therefore, service design aims at designing services that are useful, usable and desirable from the user perspective – and not forgetting the service provider's perspective of efficient services. Moreover, service design takes into account all user-centric ways of working and problem solving in order to develop digital solutions and other relevant services during a service path.

Overall customer experience is a multi-dimensional path of various service points that consist of positive and negative experiences for the end-user. Many service points can fail; customers don't like the marketing message, usability of the travel agency's website is poor, retrieving your booking information from trip planner site is discomfortable, airline mobile application is not linked to purchase details when trying to check-in, inconvenience with customer service when asking for extra-large items on-board, vending machine at the airport don't response to all identification methods provided on home screen when trying to print boarding pass. Does this example, at least partly, sound familiar to anyone who has taken a flight recently? Even though there are many providers linked to the overall path, most probably the airline would be associated with customers' experience.

The key to develop overall customer experience should be a thorough understanding of the user and other relevant stakeholders. Service designers utilize various service design methods such as ptototyping and user profiling by involving users in their authentic work or use-environment of a particular service. Service designers are often recognized professionals on their field, hence, they can help service providers to mutually develop ideas further. This can be done through building authentic interaction with people by combining people's tacit knowledge - thoughts and feelings - into new ideas. Often none of the service design methods is not suitable solely as such but they need to be applied to the use-context to increase creative exploration.

Recording user feedback at service points

One truly user-centric way to capture user/customer experience is to follow users authentic feedback in the real use-environment. Therefore, Adusso's UXblackbox technology can help, for example, in service design and in developing customer experience of services by recording user-triggered feedback during service points. At these points understanding of the user is the most crucial for the harmony of services.

To begin with, Adusso's method could provide valuable support not only for service designers, consultants and application developers but also for airlines, travel agengies and airport operators for their working methods and digital services development. Secondly, Adusso's technology could be utilized at different service points from digital services perspective. For example:

  • Development of front-end user interface (UI) of websites
  • Development of front-end UI of mobile applications
  • Monitoring of back-end activity and user interactions
  • Combining user interaction of vending machines with user interaction

Finally, to ensure the harmony of services, people should be taken into the center of the development. Therefore, other areas for user-centric development in the real use-environment is to monitor other service points, for example, "user experience" of service personnels working methods and usability of informations systems used at the airport.

Previously mentioned areas are just examples of how UXblackbox supports improvement of customer experience on websites, mobile applications, software and hardware. In general, the best design and supporting methods should be user to ensure harmony of services.