How would you describe a good e-experience?
I would say, first of all, it’s got to be simple, easy-to-use, probably more important than anything else. You have a goal, it’s gotta be easy to achieve that goal, and then if you can add on top of that that it’s an enjoyable experience and it feels like a joy to use then you’re really in there. A low effort for the customer is the primary objective.
How would you deliver a great e-experience, what tools would you use?
We always start with the goal that we want to achieve, whether it’s a business goal or a customer goal from some feedback that we’ve had.
We will commence a kind of creative user experience design process, which is a user-centered design methodology, which means that we’ll be checking in with customer and real end-users of the product all the way from the early end of the design process and we’ll be fine tuning as we go along.
But we’ll basically say this is the task, this is your tools what we’re designing to allow you to do that task, and then we’ll be observing whether customers can understand it, do it and whether that’s easy and a great experience.
So we do user-centered design which involves real users right from the early days and then we only go in to build when we know we’ve got something that’s gonna work.
What steps do you think small businesses can take to improve customer experience online?
I just first of all, you should listen to your customers, and watch them in action. It doesn’t have to be clever, you just have to be clear about what it is you’d like people to be able to do and them watch them trying to do it, and respond.
Do you think you can give an example of what something BSkyB did that maybe even a small business can do?
Um, what’s the best example? I think I would say around our bill. So we have quite an expansive range of products, and we bill for products on both, sort of on a standing monthly charge and we also charge for usage of products within a month.
So an example of that would be a telephone, to link it to a telephone call package, there’d be a monthly charge and then the cost of a phone call. Now, we have significantly developed our online bill by presenting the bill online and then watching customers use that bill, asking them questions about what their understanding was of the bill.
We use live chat, so we particularly have live chat opportunities in the billing area. Using live chat, we’ve understood which things on the bill people understand and don’t understand. We go over and then try to add in better explanations, context-sensitive help, we’ve relabeled elements of the bill, and we change the layout to make expandable and collapsible.
So our ratings for that piece of information and functionality is now one of the strongest on the site with I think over 80% of our customers understand it and find it easy to read, which is a significant improvement on a couple of years ago.
Would you say that live chat has helped you deliver a good e-experience and how does it do so?
Live chat does two things. So firstly, if a customer has a problem that they feel is complicated, or where our online self-service help doesn’t quite address their issue, or they don’t understand it fully, then live chat makes sure that we give customers additional certainty, or specialist help.
The second thing that it does, so there’s the kind of practical way that it allows us to answer fully all the customers questions and to reassure them, where self-service might not be quite sufficient (and obviously the feedback lead then helps us to make it better).
The other thing it does which is more emotional than practical, it allows us to bring human beings into contact with each other on the site, as a part of the e-experience. And what we know from our customers is that sometimes they might just want the reassurance of knowing that another person is confirming what they read or what they should do next.
So it allows a much more human experience and that’s often reassuring and gives customers the confidence to actually complete something online where historically they have just phoned up to check.