There’s a lot of talk about ‘customer experience’ these days, especially in the IT and support world. But do we know what truly makes for a good experience? Is it about the solution, speed, design, convenience or simply a human touch?
What Are Micro-Experiences?
You have probably had a few micro-experiences this week, from hearing the familiar sound of the notification on your phone to seeing Amazon’s suggestions based on your past browsing. These are all micro-experiences. Micro-experiences have long been a focus of digital UX design — but they are not confined to it!
“Micro-experiences go beyond graphics, colours, fonts, nice-looking websites, and mobile apps.”
They describe every interaction with customers across all the digital channels you have on hand today. But more importantly still, they should describe how you connect with your customers on a deeper emotional level.
The UX Collective – Source
As we already know, if you want to provide an outstanding customer experience, knowing how your customers feel, what affects these feelings and their actions — is essential. But why is this so important to the IT and support world? And how do you even start with a micro-experience?
Let’s answer this together!
Why Do Micro-Experiences Matter?
In the dynamic IT industry, where changes have a relatively strong effect on the customer’s behaviour, providing a great product or fantastic service that solves a real problem and makes the customer’s life easier is important.
But what if we tell you that might not be enough. Having excellent products or services adds great value to your business. But how many companies actually shift their focus to creating authentic experiences for their customers?
“According to Gartner.com customer-centricity can be a powerful way for organisations to differentiate themselves from competitors.”
According to SDI research with Freshworks, all respondent data shows that the top 3 focus areas in 2022 in the ITSM industry are improving the end-user experience, digital transformation strategies and enabling the self-sufficient end-user.
Can you relate to these trends too? If yes, then you are aware of the importance of offering personalised and proactive communication and support.
So, let’s go back to our question. Why are micro-experiences so important to the IT and support world? Customers like choices and a personalised approach, and that’s a fact! Some of them may prefer live chat to find a resolution, some like independency and knowledge base or self-help searches, and some prefer a human touch and a simple phone call.
With micro-experiences, you have the opportunity to digitally shape the interaction with your customers and influence their perception of your brand, product or service. What’s more, you can build loyalty and shape how you communicate with your customers in a way that really resonates with them.
How to Create a Meaningful Micro-Experience
So, now that we know what they can do, let’s see how you can provide customers with a great micro-experience. We know that one way to improve customer experience is to improve the customer journey.
According to McKinsey, companies with better customer journeys tend to win in the market. What’s more, when most companies focus on improving the experience, they think about touchpoints. And with micro-experiences, you can manage every single channel and touchpoint to shape the best customer journey.
The Interaction Design Foundation – Source
What to do…
Let’s take your self-service portal as an example. When your end-users use your self- service portal, what would they see? Do you know what you want them to see there?
There is usually a lot of ‘stuff’ built into a self- service portal, so finding the exact things an end-user needs can be challenging. This is why micro-experiences matter. If you know what you want your customers to see in every stage of the customer journey and if the navigation through your self- service portal is clear and user friendly, there is a higher chance of creating a better experience.
We also like to think of micro-experiences as a way of offering your customers a choice of how they want to engage with you. And given the rise of self-service, you may have to consider the availability of the best channels and tools for your end-users to solve their problems by themselves quickly and easily.
But be careful; you don’t want to overwhelm your end-users with too many choices, so answering some of these questions can help you to find your focus:
- Are there ways to improve the end-user experience prior to interacting with your product or service?
- How was the first end-user interaction with your service desk?
- Are there any ways to create a better first experience or add more value to your product or service?
- What was the result of the interaction?
- How did you make the end-users feel after the interaction? Or how did you want them to feel?
- Could end-users interact easily enough with your support channel interface?
What not to do…
Just imagine; if every interaction with your customers, regardless of where it takes place, is successful, you have the opportunity to use your business potential to the fullest and positively influence your customers.
But let’s look at some of the mistakes you might want to avoid:
- Forgetting to put yourself in your customer’s shoes
- Making it hard for customers to leave feedback
- Ignoring the importance of feedback
- Neglecting self-service
- Not being proactive enough
For most companies who provide IT services and service support, improving the end-user experience is a clear focus for 2022. By considering micro-experiences as a part of your customer support strategy, you could be one step closer to achieving your goals.