Guest post by Danielle Arad’s How Service Design Thinking Will Save Your Business and Increase Your Conversion

I invited Danielle Arad to write a post about Service Design and Conversion.  Danielle Arad is Director of Marketing and User Experience Specialist of WalkMe.com, the world’s first interactive website guidance system. She is also chief writer and editor of UX Motel, a blog for user experience experts. Follow her @danirarad.

A burgeoning field that has caught the attention of many UX professionals lately has been that of Service Design – a holistic approach to the creation of websites that focuses on improving the customer experience for an effective service experience. In Service Design, a broad perspective is used in orchestrating the various elements of a service and understanding how things can fall apart.

This practice couldn’t come at a better time – the world is moving to the web as customers and business partners can more easily find out more about a business, the products, or the services they have to offer through an online presence. Consumers are gauging the professionalism of your product or service online before setting foot in a brick-and-mortar store; failing to have a website means you’re missing out on a lot of exposure to potential clients. Additionally, the software industry has seen an influx of movement
towards the SaaS model, as these applications allow for ease of customization and configuration while cutting back on costly software upgrades. This shift necessitates the need to understand your users as well as their thoughts and emotions in developing a service design process uniquely tailored to them.

Don’t Jump the Gun – It Starts at Square One

A large part of implementing a service design in your business solution requires you to make sure that you and anyone involved in the ultimate success of your business develops an understanding of your visitor’s expectations, needs, and objections. Gaining a deeper understanding of who is visiting a website will give leverage in what those visitors are genuinely interested in viewing and will provide clarity as to what makes them buy. It’s equally as necessary to know what makes qualified visitors refrain from buying. Only when you have identified with this step, will you be able to implement a service design uniquely tailored to your visitors and improve your business solution so that issues with customer experience do not arise.

How do I pin-point my visitors’ objections?

In the process of creating the customer journey, you must understand the pain points that can arise as part of any website-building process. The tools and resources that are available today are nearly endless, so, do not hesitate to take advantage of these resources to pinpoint which aspect of your users’ experience is flawed.

Know what your customers are doing

Clicktale and Crazy Egg are resources that provide in-depth information as to your users’ navigation patterns, clicks, and scrolls. Want to know where in the conversion funnel your customers are abandoning your site? You’ll get a clear idea after running a detailed report via these tools’ in-depth options, which
can later be used to enhance the customer service design of your site.

Know what your customers are thinking

Be brave. Be bold. Ask your customers what they think of your product. Utilizing tools such as SurveyMonkey can give insight into what your customers are thinking about your solution. Trust me, not only will you benefit from the feedback they give you, but you’ll gain the trust of your customer when they see you care about what they think.

Know what your customers are saying

A frequently overlooked resource, social media and networking is a fabulous way to listen to what your customers are saying about your product. Be social! Check out Twitter feeds, Facebook walls, or even LinkedIn discussions.

Now that you’ve gained a deep understanding of your customers’ needs and objections, you can begin designing a website or application that is streamlined and intuitive for your user. Boost your conversion and provide the ultimate user experience for your visitors by engaging UI design principles and structuring the flow of your website in an intuitive manner. Keep in mind that despite your hard work in identifying customer needs and objections, you will stumble upon a small percentage of visitors that will eventually
drop off of your website or application due to several varying circumstances that are beyond your control.
Unfortunately, as UI designers, we are unable to make user interfaces 100% intuitive, and although it is popular as a designer to think, “I can design that for the user,” well, sometimes, it’s just too hard and time consuming. Don’t channel your designer ego and don’t be afraid to implement supplementary tools
that can do the job for you, and more. Tools like WalkMe can assist designers and website owners alike in creating intuitive flows on the website or applications to help users feel securely guided through the interface, while improving their performance.

The old days of accessing a website or web application are over. In 2008, the Web had at least 1.5 billion users globally and as the industry’s technologies advance, business owners must be equipped with the knowledge to respond accordingly. By utilizing service design thinking, not only in your website, but in your business environment, you’ll make what you do more useful, useable, and desirable for your visitors and, in return, more effective and valuable for you and your business.

Sources: Entreprenuer.com- http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/65204

Incontact.com- http://blog.incontact.com/blog/ron-goldman/six-reasons-consider-cloud-model

Experiencesolutions.co.uk – http://www.experiencesolutions.co.uk/questions/
what_are_user_journeys.php

Smashing Magazine
http://uxdesign.smashingmagazine.com/2010/10/05/what-is-user-experience-design-overview-tools-and-
resources/

My point of view:  Not only your business will prosper. Other involved stakeholders will benefit from design thinking. And – indeed – conversion will increase. Not limited to the online world.

Disclosure: i do not have any commercial interest in walkme.com or with its representatives.  I blogged for the company and – in exchange – Danielle is that kind to write for this blog.

500px / Photo “here is the news” by Andy Teo aka Photocillin

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The ROI of User Experience with Dr. Susan Weinschenk

About this video:

In this animated video Dr. Susan Weinschenk demonstrates how user centered design results in significant return on investment (ROI).

Transcript:

User experience is the science and art of designing a product like a website or a software application so that it’s easy to use. So that it fits the expectation that the user has for it, and so that it meets business goals.

There’s a whole methodology around designing a user experience, and sometimes people ask me is it worth it to do all that work to design a user experience?

ROI Poster

So let’s talk about the return on investment, or ROI, of doing user experience work.

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