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How's Your User Experience?

by Steve Knutson on December 7

Think about the last time you called IT support. How did it go? How did it make you feel? In many cases, one of two emotions come to mind – frustration or gratitude.

Frustration when something stops working, you can’t find the phone number, you wait on hold, you can’t speak to a live person, you get the run around or when you spend time waiting for a resolution without communication. Gratitude when someone picks up, diagnoses the issue and fixes it faster than you expected or communicates clear expectations with you.

business man hand working on laptop computer on wooden desk as concept .jpegYou won’t know how your end user experience is unless you measure it. More organizations are doing just that to ensure they achieve the results they expect.

The user experience, sometimes referred to as UX in the technology world, encompasses all aspects of the end user’s interaction with the company’s technology – services, products and personnel.

It is not the same as the customer experience. The customer experience has a broader scope, representing every step of the customer’s journey. The customer experience relates to everything from advertising and brand reputation to the sales process and product delivery. The user experience is a piece of the customer experience and can significantly impact satisfaction.

Providing a good user experience requires a thorough understanding of users, what they need, what they value, their abilities and their limitations. Users assess the value based on how useful, usable, desirable, accessible and credible the service or product is.

Our expectations have changed as users. In our experience at Marco, gaining high marks for a user experience requires organizations to:

  • Meet the exact needs of the user, without bother.
    As users, we want it fixed – promptly with little effort on our behalf and no excuses.
  • Make the experience enjoyable.
    That means merging multiple services together and providing a seamless integration of new services. As users, we don’t care how it works or “what talks to what.” We just expect it all to happen on the backend.
  • Go beyond what’s expected.
    We all like to be “wowed.” In a world inundated with technology, we’ve found sometimes that can be as simple as having a person answer a call in a matter of seconds and be knowledgeable about your issue and your organization. That’s why at Marco we set high standards for a live call answer rate at our Support Desk. Being friendly and personable help, too.

So how is your user experience? Take a survey of your IT end users, asking questions like:

  • How satisfied are you with responsiveness of the Support Desk ?
  • How friendly is the Support Desk ?
  • How satisfied are you with the time it took to resolve your issue?
  • How knowledgeable is the Support Desk ?
  • How satisfied are you with the quality of the work?
  • Do you have the tools you need to do your job in an efficient and effective manner?

It’s important to ask everyone – not just take an informal poll. You may have leaders who have the best hardware, but what about the entry level professionals or a new hire? Support may respond promptly to the CEO or other executives, given their authority or ask, but what about everyone else?

It can feel like we “survey” everything. Keep it simple and straightforward and share with the respondents that the survey is one of the ways you gain valuable information on how to improve. Commit to making a change based on the results.

After users connect with our Support Desk regarding an issue, we ask them to give us a quick rating with a happy, straight or sad face. It helps us keep a pulse of how we’re doing and when we get a sad face, we follow up. We want to learn how we can do better. In the latest quarter, Marco received a positive response (happy faces) 96 percent of the time for IT across our divisions and only 1.6 percent for negative responses.

Keep your eye on this. Our annual employee survey at Marco includes a series of questions on our internal IT for that reason. We know this user experience impacts the satisfaction of our employees, too.

At Marco, we identified a series of metrics to evaluate our end user experience to continue to learn how we can raise the bar. We don’t always get it right. But we’re committed to continuous improvement.

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Topics: Business IT

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