You may think great customer experience means a coupon for birthdays, and it might. Or you may think it means personalized recommendations next time a customer logs onto your site, and that could be part of it. But ultimately, all great customer experience is built on a foundation: understanding customer needs.
While customer experience may seem like a no-brainer at face value, current conversations, newly created roles and the popularity of the topic suggest otherwise. This week Charlene Li shared this common sense with Forbes: “Customers will more naturally want to shop from a brand that is... finding the best ways to meet their needs instead of a company that is stuck in the past.” But there’s a reason that’s worth saying.
Change is risky, and many companies aren’t sure what exactly their customers need. How can you feature engineer, create new products or add additional services if you can’t read your customers’ minds? Sales numbers don’t tell the whole story, and you can’t exactly send a survey to everyone and expect their responses to divine your quarterly business objectives.
As many UX professionals can tell you, you need to watch customers to learn what they need. Anyone acquainted with software or app development knows end users are great at pointing out flaws in the interface, even subconsciously. Have you ever had trouble locating a specific feature in an app, no matter how many times you look up how to do it? Or confused a “share” button with another function, only to keep accidentally sending your boss blank texts? These are issues that are easily addressed when developers and designers see users interacting with the product.
Similarly, companies need to be able to see their customers to understand their needs. And the key to seeing your customers? Data. A holistic view of your customer, from start to finish, provides insight into what they love, what they don’t and what they need, allowing you to respond to their needs and provide great customer experience.
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