Tags Search: customers

RAMP Enterprises LLC redesigned web site launch

May
6

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: News

6 May 2016
We are pleased to announce the launch of the redesigned web site for RAMP Enterprises LLC www.rampenterprises.com, a quality assurance consulting firm located in Connecticut.

New Customer Request System

Jun
26

Posted by Cyber View Tech Support | Topic: News

26 June 2011
We are excited to announce the new beta version of the Cyber View Request for Service system. Some of the new features include:

  • New easy-to-use file attachment feature - including the ability to drag and drop files (depending on the Internet browser used).
  • Advanced integration with CyberStudio Articles Module - CyberStudio customers can login and select from a list of their web pages from the Articles Module.
  • Simplified Steps - the previous version had 4 steps, now the process has only 2 steps.

Our customers can try the new system now: http://request.cyberviewcloud.com/

Treating Users as Customers: Designing the end-to-end

Jan
6

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Strategy

6 January 2011

"Treating Users as Customers: Designing the end-to-end" (what a brilliant concept), is the title of an article by Steve Workman, a consultant at PA Consulting Group in London, UK. Workman begins his article with a discussion about how for web designers it is easy to divide elements of the user interface and/or the user experience into small parts. He states: "Breaking an experience into small parts allows the details to be worked through and perfected." This is true. However, only looking at the situation with a magnifying glass can miss details seen at the big picture level, as Workman describes: "It's rare that web designers think of the bigger picture - not just the end-to-end journey of a user, but the entirety of a customer's experience." The full span of the customer experience can take numerous weeks to occur, or "it can be as immediate as someone being told about an app, downloading it, playing with it for five minutes, and leaving a review." I strongly agree with Workman's point of: "...the need for designers to think big in order to deliver customer experience has never been so important."

The path a customer takes to arrive to your user interface can greatly affect the expectations they will have of your interface/system. Workman breaks these path/expectation combinations into three categories, to quote:

  • Search gives the lowest expectation because relatively little information is contained within search results.
  • Advertising often paints a rosy picture of products or services so expectations are higher.
  • Social networks produce the most realistic expectations, as this is the only channel where both negative information and independent praise can be found.

Trying to match what a customer is expecting with methods to develop the interface/system to meet those expectations, UX professionals usually turn to generating use cases. Workman states:

Many designers simply view this touchpoint as a single use case, and attempt to group people into buckets to predict what they will do. If customers expect more than a use case can describe, it is entirely possible that they won't be happy with a product or service - their expectations won’t be met.

With the increased number of web sites and mobile apps available on the web, customers' standards for customer support have also increased. I agree with Workman's thoughts on this:

A few years ago, a frustrated customer would simply sigh and give up on a difficult product, or try to accomplish the same thing using another service. More recently, though, people have been treating web sites and "garage-made" apps as if they were products from multi-national corporations, expecting the same level of service from a one-man band as they would get from their electric company.

This is now presenting one-man bands as well as companies of all sizes with several new challenges; "...expectations for support are also going up, often faster than the companies can keep up with," says Workman. He goes on to make the observation, which I agree with, of "...many companies, both large and small, are not providing the same quality of customer service that they provide for their core services as for their mobile apps... they make the mistake of assuming their application is good enough and their customers are technically savvy, so they don’t have to put much effort into customer support."

Looking at the big picture there are several actions that can be taken to improve the full experience of interacting with a company. Workman describes this as:

The customer's experience must be considered at all stages of UX design; the big picture should always affect in the design of the small picture, as each touchpoint in the ecosystem is crafted. Marketing teams must be involved in designing the customer experience, so that the holistic experience of using a service or interacting with a company conveys the right message every time.

Once again, the discussion leads towards collaboration with user experience, information technology, marketing, operations, and customer support. Customers today are expecting an open dialogue with a company to resolve any issues they may encounter. Not only are customer support departments being called upon to help resolve these issues quickly, but information about the issues need to be communicated efficiently to the other departments within the company so that the company can learn from these issues and better respond to the customers' needs thus moving towards the continual goal of providing the best experiences.

I'll wrap up this post with the last paragraph from Workman, which ties the idea together very well:

Thinking of the customer experience, rather than just the user experience, leads to a more complete product, one where customers’ expectations are met before, during, and after their journeys. Thinking of the big picture leads to happier customers, not just happier users.

Read Steve Workman's full article on UX Magazine at: http://uxmag.com/strategy/treating-users-as-customers

Accept credit cards on a smartphone?

May
13

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Innovation

13 May 2010
A company launched back in December 2009, named Square Inc. (www.squareup.com), has figured out a means to let business owners accept credit card payments through their tablet devices (such as an Apple iPad) and smartphone devices (such as Apple iPhones, Android phones, and others). A small device they developed plugs into the headphone jack. Then with the Square software you can accept payments securely. The customer can even provide their signature by signing their name on the device with their finger, plus have a copy of the receipt e-mailed to them. The software further lets the customer specify a tip account, if appropriate. The transaction rates are very competitive and there are currently no set-up fees. This is a really neat device and a very impressive innovation.

Have a 2-way conversation with your customers

Apr
2

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Strategy

2 April 2010
With the continual growth of "social media networks" such as Twitter and Facebook, new mediums of interacting with your customers are now available to business owners of all sizes. However many businesses are attempting to use the "old school" mentality of pushing out information to their customers using this new medium of social media networks. In this case they are missing the boat, to use a metaphor.

The real power with social media is the ability to engage your customers in a two-way conversation. You are able to receive feedback from your customers in real-time. All you have to do is monitor it. Now this doesn't mean that you have to be at your computer 24/7, but you do need to be listening. Tools have been developed, such as CoTweet (recently acquired by ExactTarget), which aid in monitoring the two-way conversations you are having with your customers. Through these conversations it is even possible to engage your most loyal customers as well as your most disgruntled customers.

Engage customers through FourSquare

Mar
31

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Technology

31 March 2010
First of all, what is FourSquare? Well its an on-line social media game that allows individuals to "check-in" to locations they visit using a mobile device (typically needing a data plan with web capabilities). This also provides the ability to keep your closest friends notified of where you are so, for example, you can meet up at a nearby coffee shop. In some ways, it also encourages individuals to get out an explore their communities to gain "badges" - which are awards for being a more active player in FourSquare.

So what does this mean for businesses? The individual who "checks-in" at a location the most frequent will become the FourSquare "Mayor" of that location. Businesses can register with FourSquare and offer discounts to whomever is the current mayor of their business.

For assistance of how to get your business connected with FourSquare and how to market this brand loyalty to your customers, contact us. This technology is quickly becoming a new popular means to interact through the Internet with your most loyal customers.

For more, read the NY Times article: "Foursquare Introduces New Tools for Businesses"

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