End-user experience is critical to the success of every business. For example, almost 90% of people say they won’t shop again on a website after having a poor user experience, and bad mobile optimization can alienate as much as half of a company’s user base.
A positive customer experience ensures a better customer experience overall. No matter how great everything else is, if the final product or end-user interaction doesn’t meet customer needs, the overall user experience is negative. That can lead to poor word-of-mouth marketing, reduced sales and revenue, and customer churn.
However, businesses seeking to create a great user experience can run into a challenge: How do they improve client experience without exceeding their managed services budget? Discover more about the user experience design thinking process and other factors that can help balance the development of an enhanced user experience while considering budget constraints.
What Is End-User Experience?
End-user experience is the experience people have when they use a product or receive the results of a service. In business, the users at the end of the process can be external or internal customers. Employees working within a proprietary system are customers of the tech processes that built the system. Individuals using a messaging app are the end customers of the app company.
Factors that contribute to a good experience for such users include:
- Strong user testing. Improve end-user experience by letting customers provide ample feedback before products are finalized. Build testing and feedback into the process so you can create a competitive advantage with constant customer-centric improvements.
- Excellent user interface design. Invest in your UX design process to ensure user-friendly UI design that supports customers in creating efficiencies and driving productivity.
- Proactive user research. Take time to understand pain points, desired user flows, and what people expect out of user experiences as you develop products or provide services.
Understanding the End-Users
For many businesses and Managed Services providers, this is a paradigm shift. Executives bring on Managed Services providers, distribute a bunch of laptops or mobile devices, place bodies in the seats of call centers, and typically must move on to the next item on their to-do list. Managed Services providers, meanwhile, often focus too much of their attention on pleasing the paying client — to the detriment of the end-users.
When businesses implement specific Managed Services solutions — say switching to a different cloud-based platform — they often do so in a vacuum with the assumption that the end user will benefit. In most cases, though, no one has run the solution by the end users to see what challenges the platform change might introduce or the effects it could have on their day-to-day work.
A proven way to enhance your end-user experience without stretching your budget is to involve groups of end-users before settling on a solution that may or may not impact them, while also providing insights on the problem that is being addressed.
At DMI, it is our goal to build that rapport with such groups of end-users — organizing work groups and taking the time to listen — so that we can understand their experience. We then provide our customers with suggestions that come out of those meetings.
Our customers ultimately decide whether to implement our recommendations, but we do our very best to put the end-user first and to address and find ways to solve common problems.
“I sometimes joke with our clients when talking with them about solutions and support,” said DMI’s DJ Oreb, President, Managed Services. “I say, ‘Look, at the end of the day, we are looking to try and solve problems that impact your constituents. Your feedback is valuable, but at the end of the day your end users’ feedback is more important.’
“What I mean by this is that if we can deliver a great Managed Services experience, then our executive contacts and POCs are not receiving feedback and escalations. So when we meet, we can collaborate and solve future challenges and continue to grow our partnership, evolving and adapting new things towards your business goals and objectives. However, if you are being bombarded constantly by end-users who are unhappy with the experience they’re getting, that makes your job ten times harder. So we tell them it is our job to make your job easier by really focusing on your end-users.”
Maximizing Managed Services
Managed services allow businesses to outsource a variety of technical processes to partners, reducing internal overhead and ensuring companies can draw on specific skills and tools to meet technical needs that might vary depending on the project at hand. Managed services can help with creating accessible design, conducting usability testing, supplementing internal UX designers’ work, and many other tasks.
By working with experts outside your organization, you can actually enhance your own service offerings and better drive customer satisfaction while keeping your budget within the lines. Here are a few ways maximizing managed services can positively impact business output without overdrawing technical budgets:
- Access to skilled professionals without paying for a full-time salary. You might need a user experience designer a few times a year, for example, to complete a visual design project. Leveraging managed services, you don’t have to hire that person to benefit from their skills.
- Scaling up to meet growing needs. Your end user’s interaction still matters, even if you have thousands of end customers. From interaction design to information architecture, managed services let you continue to meet your needs as you grow.
- Test your need for internal skills. Working with managed services firms can help you identify what processes you can continue to outsource and what you need to hire in-house. You might decide you need that UX designer after all, and you now have more data to ensure you hire the right person.
Strategies to Enhance End-User Experience Without Stretching Managed Services Budget
If you’re mindful of your managed services budget, use some of the strategies below to address customer needs without overspending:
- Prioritize user needs. Don’t work on solving problems that don’t exist for your end customers. Instead, seek to understand your user’s journey so you can spend effort and money on what really matters to customers. This ensures you get a better return on your investment, which can help balance your managed services budget.
- Seek regular feedback. Ask customers what they want; never assume you know. Create feedback loops through surveys and regular conversations with your customers.
- Make constant improvements. Get customer feedback into the hands of UI designers and others who can make improvements to help increase positive customer experiences with your products.
- Train and upskill in-house staff. Identify ongoing needs that you can meet in-house to reduce some of your reliance on outsourcing. Train in-house staff to meet those needs when it makes sense to do so.
- Utilize existing resources optimally. Use good resource management to align internal and external resources with the right projects to meet customer needs.
- Leverage technology and automation. Keep up with innovations in computer science, including human-computer interaction and augmented reality. Whenever possible, leverage technology and automation to successfully meet customer needs.
The experience of your customers matters — to your brand reputation, your sales figures, and your overall bottom line. Developing and improving products to meet customer needs is important, and managed services can help with that. Of course, you must always balance the return you get on those investments with how much you spend on such services. Take some time to evaluate your strategies to ensure they’re aligned. Contact DMI for a consultation to learn how our managed services can help you meet the needs of end users without breaking the bank.