Intro to UX: Creating Great Omnichannel Experiences | Stef Miller | Skillshare

Intro to UX: Creating Great Omnichannel Experiences skillshare originals badge

Stef Miller, Marketing Manager, UserTesting

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8 Lessons (50m)
    • 1. Introduction

      3:16
    • 2. What is an omnichannel experience?

      4:09
    • 3. Phases + Touchpoints

      9:12
    • 4. Journeys

      9:18
    • 5. Opportunities

      8:56
    • 6. Improvements

      7:15
    • 7. Buy-In

      6:26
    • 8. Closing

      1:18
13 students are watching this class

About This Class

Join UserTesting's Stef Miller for an easy-to-follow, smart dive into creating great customer experiences!

What: This 45-minute class shares frameworks and tools for identifying, evaluating, and optimizing the touchpoints in your customer journey across different channels — from sites, apps, and emails to phone calls, in-person interactions, and more.


Who: This class is ideal for entrepreneurs, small business owners, product managers, marketing managers, and everyone involved in crafting great customer experiences and UX.

Why: You'll gain a holistic and strategic understanding of how your touchpoints work together — helping you unlock user empathy, customer satisfaction, brand consistency, and business success.

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Explore more Skillshare classes by the experts and strategists at UserTesting, a user experience research platform for fast, real-time feedback.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: I'm Stef Miller. I work at UserTesting in the marketing department. UserTesting is a user research platform. We help people create great experiences by making it really easy and fast for anyone to get customer insights whenever they want, on any device, and they can do it all the time. Today, we're going to be talking about creating great omnichannel customer experiences. That means that we're going to look at what people are interacting with right now on our website, on social media, maybe through our email programs, and we're going to think about those touch points, and we're going to map that back to their journey through the buying cycle, and then we're going to look at how we can make improvements to that process in order to help them have a better experience and help our business grow. One of the things I love about thinking about customer experience is that we often forget about how important it is to take care of the people, the users, the prospects and customers of our business, and so, for me to imagine each moment that someone interacts with my brand or or UserTesting's brand, it leaves a lot of room for improvement because we forget the details, and if we don't sweat the details, then we're probably going to miss an important opportunity to connect with someone that's either going to help them find a solution to a problem that they have, and hopefully, then we become part of that solution and not part of the problem or frustration for them. The way that this class is structured, people can start out not knowing a whole lot about customer experience, get a good sense of what they should be focusing on in areas that they could improve, and together, we're going to map out some ideas for them around what they could focus on next. In this class, your project will be to map a customer journey experience. So, mapping the user journey is really important because it gives us the empathy of the user and reminds us of all the various touch points that we might not always remember and when we're trying to think about what should we optimize to make the customer experience better. Journey maps can be made out of simple things like sticky notes and sharpies. You can go to the whiteboard if you're a creative person and you like to draw a lot, or you can even use something like Excel just to create the main framework for your journey map. So, this class is going to be great for folks who are really focused on the user experience or the customer experience of their business. That could include marketers, digital product managers, UX designers and researchers, really anyone who has a touch point or is responsible for any particular moment that a customer might have with your brand. I encourage you to ask questions of other people's journey maps, maybe find out where people are feeling really strong or where they think they have challenges, and then learn from each other. When people are doing a really great job with a journey map, they've spent the time to really think about the details. So, you're thinking about the emotional response that people have, the mindset of someone as they're actually experiencing your brand, and you've listed lots of touch points and lots of opportunities for improvement along the way. So, it would look really robust, lots of details and notes and even questions that you might be asking yourself, and all of that together is going to give you a really good sense of what it's like to be a customer or a prospect for your business. I'm really excited to start working on this with you and give you a sense of what you can do with this customer experience and mapping the omnichannel experience. So, we're going to jump right in and get started. 2. What is an omnichannel experience?: So, omnichannel experience is really important for people to think about because it's very easy to get distracted or to forget about different touch points along the way. So, even in small companies, someone might be running and writing email campaigns and someone else might be answering the phones. So, if you're not thinking about the journey that a customer has in that entire experience, then you're probably going to drop the ball a little bit. Anytime that we do that as a brand and we forget to put the user first, is a chance that we might frustrate them or make them feel alienated. If we've done our job and provided a great experience and they're going to buy from us and that drives our business, and if our business succeeds, then we can provide great experiences for those people again and again. Depending on the type of business that you are, you might choose to look at this a bit differently. So in e-commerce situations or in retail, you've got people who might be able to come into the store, make a purchase and then later go online and try to find out how to return that. So, we want to make sure that we're thinking about that experience, that omni-channel experience. On the flip side you might have someone who's interested in booking a flight. So they're online, they're researching pricing. Maybe they go directly to an Airline's Website and then they book there. And then later they show up at the airport. And they want to check in, and they can't find their Reservations. So all of those experiences, maybe small business or large business really doesn't matter on the details, I guess when you think about, why should you be doing this we all know it is because we want to create a great experience. But you might approach an omni-channel experience a bit differently for someone who's only shopping and interacting online versus someone who could call could come in, could view your website, could download your app and so you just have more channels basically. Everyday technology is changing, which in some ways makes it easier for us to create an experience. But more likely that we can mess that experience up. Right. So not being an expert in every channel anymore like social media, email marketing. There are so many best practices for all of us to remember that it does become complex. It does become more difficult in some ways to make sure that we're thinking about those micro moments where people are going to interact with our brand. So that's why it's important to take that step back, and really assess the situation and put the user's back at the center of our decisions. There are a lot of different approaches, that someone can take in order to think about omni-channel experiences. So, it could be a very small business with just a website, and a phone line. Or it could be a huge organization with many departments, all sending emails from different systems and a very complex process around customer experience. So, regardless of which path you take and how you approach this. It's important to keep in mind, your own business and your own channels. Regardless of the number of channels that you might have, it's just important to go back to the basics and remember, what is the mindset of someone as they start to experience your brand. What are their emotional feelings or responses to things that they're interacting with. And then what are the key opportunities you have in order to improve those experiences. I really loved to think about experiences in general. But recently I got a Fitbit, our company is doing a big Fitbit challenge. So just in case you're not familiar with it, Fitbit is just a little tracking device that you get to wear either on your wrist or in your pocket. It helps you track your activities throughout the day. So, of course I'm excited. Naturally I go to the website. I research all the different devices. I find one that I like. I purchased that, it shows up in a couple days and I unwrap it and I'm really excited, and I say, "Okay, how do I get started?" And there's literally one little sheet of paper and I'm like I can do this. So, I download the app and like within minutes I was set up ready to go with my Fitbit. Then I started getting the emails. Like here's your account for the day. You reached your first goal. And obviously Fitbit spent a lot of time thinking about that, but as a new user and someone who's excited about something that's a really great example of how they've thought about the omni-channel experience and making that transition from a packaged goods to an App very seamless. I'm really excited to kick things off with a journey map exercise. So, we're going to pick a product and then we're going to walk through what that experience is like together. 3. Phases + Touchpoints: So, a user journey is actually just the process that someone takes as they interact with your brand over time. So, from exploration, maybe comparison shopping and they're looking at your website all the way to what it's like once they're on your website and trying to purchase something, and then afterwards, what happens if they have questions and they call customer support. So, that's actually what we call the user journey. So, the purpose of thinking about user journey is so we understand how a user feels, what motivates them and then what we can do to build upon that experience. So, a user journey map is the actual output that we're going to create in these lessons, and this is actually helping us look at the holistic experience that someone might have with our brand. Every touch point, every moment of interaction and all of their thinking behind what they're doing, so that then we can map that across all of our different departments or different responsibilities within the company, and build better experiences over time. There's going to be five goals that you're going to want to think about as you create this journey map. The first one is actually what do the users need and want? And how can we provide that to them? In order to do this we need to think about the emotional impact that our actions or activities might have on on what it is they need and want, so if they're trying to find out information and we haven't made that very easy for them to do then they're going to feel frustrated, and so that moment of frustration is something that we want to make sure we understand because that's going to be key in finding a better solution than when we're already providing. So, the second goal is actually around how people go about getting what they need. So, what are the specific actions that they're taking in order to get what they need. The third thing that we're going to want to think about is what is people's perception of our brand. So, are we making it easy and fast or is it fun to interact with us, or do they find this cumbersome and slow and outdated? The next goal is actually looking at which interactions interrupt their path. So, looking for the things that we're actually keeping them from getting what they need. So, the fifth and final goal for creating your user map is actually one of the most important, it's defining who it is that owns each of these specific interactions. Those five goals are actually the key to creating a great journey map because what we've done then is understood the mindset behind what people are trying to do, the way that they go about getting what they need and then who's responsible for making the changes that would make that easier or better experiences. A lot of creating a good journey map is actually just using our intuition. So, we've all been in experiences where we were stuck or frustrated and tried to get to the end result as quickly as possible. So, we can use ourselves and put ourselves in the shoes of those users pretty easily. We're also going to look at some other approaches that we can add more value to the journey map and get a little more specific about actual results and tangible outcomes. One of the things that I like to do when I'm going to do a journey map is just spend more time getting to know my users. So, I might look at things like social media conversations, I might ask our support team, if it's a bigger company, if I could get any of those chat records or transcripts so that I could start to put myself into the shoes of the user and just understand some of the complaints or frustrations that they've experienced in their own words. What that does is it helps me become much more empathetic and put them first as I start to map out more specific things like which channels it was in and what it was they were trying to accomplish. We're also going to do things like potentially user research or customer interviews, so we can get a better more holistic view of what it is that they need and want and how we can provide that to them. So, in this journey map, what we're going do is identify all the touch points on one side and then across the top, we're going to put the actual moments of consideration that someone might be in. So if they're doing research or making a purchase or even post-purchase what happens on the support sign, that's a pretty generic way to look at it, but what's going to happen that is gonna allow us to focus on the touch points themselves and then really map out the things that we could do to improve those specific areas and then what we can do is draw the journey through those touch points over time. So, we're focusing on touch points first and then we're going to come back through and actually layer in what might be some of the common or typical journeys that a user might take to get from research to decision to purchase. You might have seen, in different exercises, people starting with the journey first, and in this case I recommend starting with the touch points and the reason for that is that what we're gonna do is actually choose different personas that are going to use different touch points to accomplish the same thing, and so starting with touch points first means we're not going to forget anything along the way and then what we're really looking for are the opportunities to improve each of those touch points regardless of the consumer or the person that's actually going to be using them. I mentioned a few of the different tools that you can use to create a matrix that really captures this information, but in this case I've created a simple grid and I've dropped in all of my main touch points along the left hand side, so you can see those listed out; Website, mobile app, customer support chat, email, phone, social media, and then I've also added another layer of what I think is really interesting which are the feelings and motivations and the questions that might come up during each of the different phases that we're going to cover. For our purposes today, I've put together a really simple sales process, right? So, research, evaluation, purchase decision-making and then support, so what happens after someone does buy from you. These might be tailored or changed depending on your own business model and the type of mapping that you'd like to do, but this is a good framework, a good place to start. So, you can see that what I've done here initially is I said, "Okay, if someone's going to research about my product, let me get in the mindset of who that person is and what it is they're trying to accomplish." So, phrases like, "I wonder how I can" or "I heard about this one thing", phrases like that are great to capture because that really shows us the intent behind a research purpose on the website or maybe through customer support chat, and so what we're trying to do is identify the primary use case for using the website or using customer support chat or potentially even social media to get a better sense of what it is people need to find out information on. If you want to jump to, sort of the next column there, you can see where I've put evaluating. In this case, we're trying to help people know if they made the right decision. So, before they can actually purchase something they have to decide that this is the thing that they want to purchase, and so in that evaluation stage, we assume that people might come to our website to learn more about us or our service or projects or products, and then we're going to also think that maybe somebody might say," You know what? I just need to chat in to verify something that I think might be true," and so that's a good use case for why, someone might be chatting in during the evaluation phase, and then you can say that, "Maybe they need to talk to someone." So, in some cases they want to get a demo of your software as a service, you're offering free demos, and so someone might need to get on the phone and actually requests that demo. Then on social media, they're also going to be looking to see what other people are saying about your product or service. So, are there a lot of mentions about the company? Are they actually asking you directly on social media for more information? So there's a lot of ways that someone might use different touch points just to find out whether or not they're ready to buy. Then in the purchase phase, we're actually saying, "Here hand us your money," and there are ways that that can happen. So, that might happen at a cash register, we didn't put that as one of our specific touch points, but you might have that as a line item specifically for your type of business. So, that's one place that people are going to be making a purchase decision. But also we're looking at things like email and phone, so maybe they're emailing and if you're an accountant, then they're asking for an invoice or they can pay. So, that would be a use case for how email might be used in this case. What we're going to be doing then is how is it that I can make this purchase and what do I need to do in order to get the thing that I want. Then in the last column, one of the most important things to think about is what happens after that purchase. Maybe it was a one time purchase or maybe they're going to need to get replacement parts for that thing, so how is it that someone's going to get the information they need? How are they going to contact you? And what are the things that they're going to be able to do once you've made a purchase that are going to make that experience better or make them come back to buy more later? So, in this case, I mapped out for support the use of a mobile app. So, for example, my Fitbit example earlier, everything that I do with Fitbit comes through my mobile app and through email. So, I'm seeing daily how I'm doing, how many steps I've taken, how many glasses of water I drink, for example, but I'm also then getting emails that say, "Here's how we're doing and look how you're doing against your friends and here's some of the challenges that you might want to participate in." So, they're thinking about the long tail approach of keeping me engaged over time. 4. Journeys: So, now that we've gone through this grid once, let's talk a little bit more about some of the feelings and motivations or questions that people might have because this is where you should probably have a lot more information showing than what I do here, this is just a place for us to get started. This is really going to be the place where you're going to identify what people are thinking, what it is they need, and then probably list out a whole lot of ideas that you might have that would solve for those questions or help provide a better more rich experience for someone so that they can move on to the next phase of that purchase. One of the places that you can think about getting those feelings and motivations is actually through some of that research that we talked about a little bit earlier. So, you might decide to read the support chat, you might decide to do some customer interviews. Basically, you're going to be looking for what are the things that you need to know in this stage in order to move forward and how can we make that as easy as possible. So those are the types of questions you're going to ask, and you might be able to get that through email, through support, through social media, and even just some interviews. You'll notice that I didn't star every single touchpoint for every single phase and that's because sometimes businesses are focused on certain moments and maybe don't have everything built out just right to support each phase across the board, and that's totally okay and really natural. So, it might make sense that someone's doing research on a website, but then the actual purchase must happen with a credit card machine. So, if you're a restaurant, the website is going to have the menu, it's going to have the hours of operations, probably even going to have a way to reserve a table, but you're not actually going to pay on that website. So that's why you wouldn't see it marked off on this box. You can see along the bottom, I've indicated that there are two personas that we're talking about today when we're thinking about the customer journey. One of them is a director or a VP level and the other is a junior role. So, they're actually going to interact with us differently, and so you can see the dotted lines different colors represent those two types of customers. So, both of them started out doing research on the website, but maybe for the executive level, someone doesn't have as much time available. So, they're also really ready and quick to move on evaluation because they have less time. Whereas, someone who's in a more junior role, you can see that they went from researching on the website down to making a phone call and seeing if they can get more specific information that they could then surface back to someone else on their team. So, by indicating different types of personas, we can start to get a sense of how people move through each of these stages and make it more relevant, more personal for each of those types of persona so we can solve for their needs specifically. I'm not going to spend too much time on personas right now because it can get pretty in-depth, but the focus here for us is to think about who are core target audiences and then what is it that they're actually doing on our website or through email or phone to get what it is that they need. So, you can see that I've outlined two in this grid, and then you could probably imagine you've got three, four, maybe five personas for your most common or typical customers. So, that's really how you should think about mapping these user journeys. Creating something like this grid is actually a really great way to see and visualize what's going on with your customer journey right now and think about all the different touchpoints in that omnichannel experience, and it's definitely something that you can refer back to that should always be changing and molding and shifting. So, eventually, getting this to a place where it's living online somewhere or on a white board that you're not going to erase every day would be really helpful for you because eventually you would see that there are patterns that emerge around where people need certain types of information, and then you can focus on those touchpoints and provide better experiences there, and eventually you're going to get to a place where your brand is a seamless experience across all touchpoints. A lot of people that I know have actually created these journey maps as a way to frame a conversation with others. So, if you're really interested in building a better omnichannel experience or you've got certain conversion rate issues that are going on with your website, then you can use something like this to say, "Hey, listen, these are all the different touchpoints that are impacting our customers right now, and I think it's worth us digging into some of the challenges that our customers are facing, and maybe together we can pull our resources and come up with the best solution for these specific needs." User empathy and really putting yourself in the situation of the user, and so that takes a lot of uncovering. So, I mentioned earlier looking at analytics to see the different pages of a website someone might visit. I would also spend a lot of time, if you have an app, in the app yourself make sure that you understand it as a user and not just thinking about it from the product management side, for example. Another thing that we can do is just user interviews and getting that feedback on the fly. So, you can do things like user testing, you can interview people sitting next to you, and you might actually decide to put out a survey or something and ask for that feedback. But the important thing is that you're gathering all that information because that's going to help inform what you plot out on that matrix. For your project, you might decide to map your own customer's user journey, and so in that case you can use the steps that we just went through to get really specific about your business and the touchpoints that you've got that you know of. But I realized that not everyone's going to have a business or maybe they don't really know where to start with this. So, in that case, why don't you choose a product or a service you've interacted with recently and map the touchpoints that you interacted with and the thinking that you had in each of those different phases. An example of something that I recently purchased that I thought might make a good example was my Fitbit, which I mentioned earlier in this lesson, but I was going through three different really distinct phases. I was looking for the research and purchase phase, and then I was going through the onboarding and the setting up of the actual Fitbit itself, and now I'm in the usage phase and I'm actually, every day, checking my steps and counting my calories. So, what I think is really important to do is map out, in this case, what were the touchpoints for each of those three phases. So, for me, when I was going to make that purchase, I can remember that I went to their website and I read up about the product. I, then, actually went to a couple other websites to see about pricing and see if those were good competitive prices, and I talked to someone else just to get their feedback on it. So, I didn't hit social media or anything like that, but I did talk to some folks in my office just to get a sense of what is Fitbit like for them. So, those are things that you would want to map out as far as touchpoints in the first phase. Then in the second phase, I actually had already purchased it and I had to set it up. So, in that case, there was a physical product, so that would definitely be a touchpoint. If you think about specific touchpoints within that, there was a little pamphlet that was included. So, that is actually a touchpoint within the product. Then, I had to download an app, so I have a touchpoint of the app and then getting that installed and what that experience is like what I expected to see out of that. Then, there was sinking the two together and making sure that all of my data was in the right place. So, I went back to the website to make sure my profile was updated and that everything had worked. So, you can see several touchpoints in each of these phases so far. Now that I've moved on and I'm using my Fitbit and it's in my pocket every day, I'm actually getting emails on my status and how I'm doing. If I hit certain goals or I participate in a sort of challenge, then I get notifications around how I'm doing and how people are friends that I'm also competing with are doing. So, their touchpoints, there are less of them, but they're specifically thinking about how can they keep me engaged and how can they keep me interested in Fitbit over time because eventually they're going to release a new Fitbit and I'll be really excited about getting the new Fitbit because I love my Fitbit experience. So, that's actually tying all that back to why it's so important to think about this customer journey and really think about the omnichannel experiences because all of those together make a really seamless experience for me and I could easily say to somebody, "I think Fitbit is great and you should give it a try." When I was doing my research for Fitbit, I actually didn't do this until later because I was a little curious about what other options were available for information, but I went over to Twitter, I'm a big twitter user, and I looked up Fitbit and I saw that they had a really active social network there and they have a Fitbit support handle. So, I could specifically have asked questions about how do I get this setup or how do I find out how to change my profile picture, that sort of thing. I think that since this is a personal project and you're going to be just identifying the touchpoints for yourself, we're not actually going to know all of the different touchpoints that might be available to us, but what we're thinking about are the ones that we did interact with and what was that like. Remember the document, what was our mindset, what were the questions we had, and how could that have been easier or more seamless. The work that we're doing today is really a way for us to imagine what the customer journey is like by putting ourselves in that role, and by mapping out this journey, we're getting a better sense of what it's like to be on the business side of things when we're thinking about what it is people need and how we can help them get there. In the next lesson, we're going to take this journey map, the exercise that we've done. We're going to talk about how that applies back to our business goals. 5. Opportunities: So, now we have a journey map, and we're going to use that journey map to plot out some of the things that we could look for within our business and optimize process, make changes may be publicly, like on the website, and build something that really works to help solve the needs of our customers. So, you got a user journey, you've mapped it out, and you probably need to spend some time now evaluating that map and thinking about some opportunities for improvement. We need to optimize some of those experiences. So, what I would recommend that you do is look through each of those touch points, look at each of the stages and then write down as many ideas as you can for how to optimize each of those moments. By doing that, you're going to get a really clear sense of some big areas that we probably want to focus on first, and we're going to talk a little bit more about how we can do that. Once you've got a bunch of ideas on the table, it's going to be important that we prioritize those a bit so you want to think about your business goals. So, we're going to set the journey aside for a second, we're going to focus on business goals, and what I'd like for you to do now is just jot down your top two or three business goals keeping in mind that these should be things that really move the needle for you for success in the business, so whether it's improving sales, making customers buy more products from you later on or even potentially just getting people into your newsletter so that when you do launch something, you've got something great to say and a lot of people you can tell it to. The business goals that you define are going to be a way for us to now go back to the journey map and say, look for areas that would have the biggest impact on your goals and still leave room for you to actually improve the experience. So to say that in another way, you can now use your business goals as a way to justify the work that you're going to do to improve the customer journey. So, maybe you've jotted down a bunch of ideas and we're going to think a little bit more about what it actually means to optimize something, and I'm just going to share a few tips and ideas for how that might play out for you. So, if you've found a particular area of interest or something that you think could be better or something you think that could be improved, then what I recommend you do is research that specific thing a little bit more. So, maybe you want to do some more customer interviews around people identifying their choices for what to buy, and so you might ask people to do that. You might use a platform like user testing to get user feedback, what people are thinking and doing in order to make a decision on what to buy. You might also run competitor tests. So, you want to find out how people interact with your competitors and then see if you can improve your process to at least meet what they're doing, but ideally, of course, you want to beat that. You might consider just doing something like surveys, where you're getting that feedback in maybe a more quantitative form. So, you've got lots of people giving you some insights and then you can take that and use that information to decide what it is you're going to do that actually moves the needle and improves the experience. I'm giving you a lot of best practices and things to consider. So, I thought I might walk through one way to organize your information and hopefully get to a place where you can make some decisions based on what you're finding. So, you can see in this chart here that we've decided to focus on one business goal. In this case, it's increase the number of first orders. So I've broken this out into three areas where I think we can make a big difference in getting those number first orders up. So, given my research and the user journey map, I've jotted down several things here. You can see product information, possibly the checkout flow is something that we might want to optimize, and then also just reviews. So, getting that social proof and getting that trust for the product up so that people make a decision to buy from us. So, you can see here that what I've done is I've outlined a few of the different things that actually help us think about these areas. So, for product information for example, it says, is the right information present? Good question. So, when you're doing your user map and you refer back to that, how are people getting product information right now and then what is it that you can do to improve that? So, that's why that would show up here. Then do visitors understand what we are selling? So again, have we done a really good job of explaining what's available and making sure that people have the information that they need so they can make a decision, and is that presented in a way that works across different channels? So, that's an area where you really want to focus on. Is this available on the website? Is it available inside your app, perhaps? Even if someone were to call for information, does your support team have the same knowledge available to them so that they could answer those questions on the phone? So, if you're going to make changes to your website, specifically to your website, you want to think about the metrics that you'll use in order to see whether or not the improvements that you've made are actually improvements, if they're moving the needle. So, on the first section there under product information, I've called out a few of the key metrics. One of them is internal search. So, if someone's having a hard time finding information about something, we should probably be monitoring how often people are using our onsite search to find something, and then looking for what those search terms are then getting that information on the site in a way that makes sense so that people don't need to use a search but would find it intuitively. Another metric that you might consider for something like this is maybe a way to track the number of clicks on expand this section so you would know if people are really interested in the product details of something that they're getting that information and if you can monitor the number of clicks of something, then you have a better sense of them. One of the things to think about with this chart is that this is just one of our business goals. So, you would want to go through and do something similar for each of your business goals, and remember to use your user journey map to inform the areas where you think you're doing a good job or areas where you could improve. When we're examining the cross-channel experience, it's important to keep a few things in mind. One of them is just user intent. What is it that a user's specifically trying to achieve, and then making sure that we understand that as we move through this process. I'm going to use the example of a restaurant again because I think it's pretty easy to relate to. If you're out and about and you're shopping with friends, then the use case for someone on their mobile device to look up your restaurant is probably to see if you're open or they can make a reservation for later that evening. So you want to focus on their core use cases first, and not worry too much about all the details of one person's specific needs but focus on the big stuff first. There are a few common scenarios that you're going to make sure you solve for for every type of device and every channel. In some cases, like password recovery, it doesn't matter if you're on a mobile device or if you're actually trying to solve that through customer chat, everyone needs to know how to get their passwords reset so they can log in and get done what they want to get done. So that's a good example of thinking about some scenarios that regardless of the channel or the specific touch point, need to be solved for. Another thing that you want to remember is to focus on the strength of each channel. So, if you've got someone who is looking for online information and there's a lot of data and maybe they're going to be registering for a class, and so there's a lot of information that needs to be gathered in a form, that's going to work really well on a website that's on desktop. But filling out a six page form on a mobile device is just not an experience that's really all that great. So, think about those core uses and then design for that. They're going to be times when you're thinking about experiences and you're really not sure what the right solution is, so rather than move into prototype phase or actually building something new or launching something on your website, you might want to get some more feedback earlier on. You might want to understand the user in a different way. So, in that case I recommend you do research, and that can take on many different forms. You could just do in-person interview, you could ask someone sitting next you for how they would interact with something or you can do some sketching and then show that to some folks and see if you can get a little bit more insight around, what is the right solution, what is the right fit. As you're gathering all this information and you're doing your research, and you're coming up with new optimization ideas, it's important that you organize all that somehow. So, oftentimes I see lots of Google Docs being created where you've got a specific business problem and then you've identified parts of the user journey where you think you can optimize and solve for not only the user but also for your business, and then you might document the next steps for yourself, which might include research, competitor research, like I mentioned before, or even just some of the things that tactically you can do right away, right. So, it's important that you keep that someplace where you can reference it a lot and share it with other people. So now that you've got a journey map, you've got your business goals defined and a whole lot of ideas for what you could do in order to improve some experiences, we're going to use the next lesson to actually dig into what it is you should do next. 6. Improvements: To bring all this back to the customer experience, let's talk a little bit about how to prioritize some of the ideas that we've had. So we're relying on that user journey to give us some insights. We're definitely looking at our business goals, and now we need to think about what things should we do that are worth our time and energy, and we're going to have the biggest pay off for us in the business. I recommend that you look for the intersection between business needs and the customer journey. What happens in that moment is a little bit of magic. Right? Because you're not putting one thing over the other as far as priorities are concerned, because we know that our customers drive our business, and that our good business practices drive more customers. I'm sure you've been to a website where they've got a form they're asking you to fill out in order to get access to something, maybe it's a webinar for example. The way that I look at forms is it's collecting valuable information. That information is a form of currency. So, as a business, I'm looking to gather information on my users. So that then I can turn around and turn that information to value back to them. So, if I understand your interests, and I were to ask you for that up front, then I could then write content or create a webinar that then speaks to that interests. But I had to be willing to do the trade off. So, if a form has seven fields in it, more people are going to be like, "It's just too much work. I don't really want to give you all that information. It's not worth it to me." So, I have to think about how can I optimize that form experience to make sure I get enough information for my business. But also make sure that this is going to be a great experience for somebody on the other end. You probably got a lot of ideas about what could create a better experience, and some of those are going to be really good for business. So, it's important for you to think about the impact on your business, and not sacrificing great experience, because that's ultimately what we're going for. Right? So, if you've got someone, for example, who is experiencing something on your website, but it's slowing them down, it's keeping them from getting to what they need. Then chances are you might lose them as a potential customer. But if you make a decision that the pay off is greater for your business, you might scare away some people, the people that come through are going to be the ones that you need anyway. I personally think that making decisions is one of the hardest things about business. So, I've put together a really lightweight framework that can help you decide what you should prioritize and what you should focus on first, and that's going to help us make sure that we're answering the needs of our stakeholders, as well as the business and our customers. So, take a list of all of your ideas, and focus on one business goal at this point. So, take your number one business goal, and then all of the ideas that you came up with using that user journey to guide some of those decisions, and then we're going go ahead and just do something simple like circle the things that you think are be high engagement for user. Again, have high impact on the customer experience, let's just circle those. Because it's important to remember that this is about them. Then I will go ahead and highlight things that you think are going to make a major impact on the business. So, what you've done now, hopefully, you have some circles and some highlights, and those overlap a little bit. What that's going do is say, "Okay, now we've got three or four ideas that we should really think about what to do next, and we're going to set aside the other idea." It's not to say they're bad, but maybe just not as high a priority. We're going to focus on those three or four ideas, and use this framework to decide what to do with them. In this grid, you can see that I've set it up so that there's a level of complexity on the left side, and then along the bottom, moving from light impact to high impact, is the outcome of the project. So, you can imagine that if something has little impact on the business and is really difficult to do, there'd be no reason to prioritize that over other work. Unless you had a very demanding boss that said, "I don't care no matter what, put my face on the homepage". Sometimes, these decisions are out of our control. But a lot of times, just having a little bit of framework and a little bit of thinking behind what we're prioritizing, can mean that we can get the resources that we need or justify the budget to make the changes that we want to make. On the flip side, you might have something that seems really, really big on the business side, you're going to triple your number of sales by doing this one thing, and it happens to be really, really easy like putting a buy now button on a page. So, you could see that that project should be definitely prioritize, it might even be low-hanging fruit, but at the end of the day, that's going to drive a lot of business for you and that's also going to help with the customer experience. So, you spent some time prioritizing the work that you're going to do. I recommend that you create some type of an optimization roadmap. Basically, it's your big lists of the things that you want to do, they're going to have the biggest impact on your business, and are really going to drive a great customer experience. You want to put those in priority order. So, you might say that there are certain things that you need to improve around your website or around a specific customer support issue. Then you're going to say these are the three or four things that we're going to do based on the impact on the business and the customer, and then you're going to slowly work through those items. There could be some things that seem really easy and very quick fixes, and so they might get put at the top of the list, just because you can knock them out, and that progress really does feel great. But they're going to be longer-term projects that you want to make sure you prioritize now, so that when they are live on the site in three or six months for example, that you can see the return of that in addition to some of the smaller things that you might do along the way. Your optimization roadmap should focus on specific touchpoints. So, we've gone over those already in our user journey. We know that there are going to be key initiatives like customer support that should be focused on regardless of the channel that you're looking at. So, customer support on the website, you might want to get chat loaded up on your website, you may also want to automate your knowledge base, so that people could go somewhere and find a lot of detailed information about your product without having to talk to somebody, or you might just want to make sure that when someone calls in, there's really nice music playing and someone has a really friendly voice on the other end of the line. So, those are all optimization techniques that you might want to do to support your customer, and that's actually based on different touch points along the way. In small businesses, an optimization roadmap might be just up to you, or might be up to the founder of a startup. In some companies, you might have marketing teams that are running optimization around the website or maybe even product purchasing. But they're going to work really closely with other departments in the organization to make sure that those changes happen. So, you might need engineering resources, you might need someone in customer support to help you identify product knowledge or product information that you'd want to add. Then you might even have somebody say a designer who's going create assets for that website. So, you're working with lots of different teams to optimize across away. So, you're working with lots of different teams to optimize across the channel. A few other things to think about when you're doing an optimization roadmap is the timeline that it takes to complete something. So you might want to schedule things out, so you have a sense of what am I doing this week, this month, this quarter, and this year. Then you want to plot in some of those initiatives that seem like they're going to have really high impact and aren't very hard to do. You might want to get some of those done right away. So, that comes back to like let's focus on some quick wins, let's get a little support from other people, and let's really use those wins to justify more resources or more energy down the road on those bigger projects that might take a quarter or a year even to implement. 7. Buy-In: So, now you have this great prioritized list of things that you want to accomplish, and you might need to be looking for buy-in from other people in order to make those things come to life. So, if you're at a medium-sized company or even a really big company, the chances are you don't have control over every decision that's going to be made and the way that those changes are going to actually be implemented. So, it's important to think about how can we bring other people into the project, make them feel like they own part of this value and that they're going to help deliver a better customer experience. So, getting that buy-in up front is going to be really important for some of these bigger projects. Some of the initiatives that you want to take on might feel a little daunting or a little bit big but the beauty of a team or having others that you can work with is that you can divide and conquer and create a really great experience without having to do all of it yourself. So, if you bring in people from other departments, maybe you're working with a designer and a writer and then you've got someone from engineering who is actually going to implement, then you've got a team of people that you can rely on to make sure that you are bouncing ideas off of each other and that you're all working towards a common goal. There are four ways that you can think about how to leverage your team to help get things done. The first thing that you can do is really understand your own position within the company. You might have a lot of clout or you might be just starting out and no one really even knows your name. So, it's important to understand what it is you think you can do and the ideas on how you're going to get to the end result that you're looking for, and then look for allies in the company who would be a natural fit for joining this project. Since I'm a marketer, I'm thinking about things from that perspective and if I notice that people were having a hard time understanding the product on our website, then I might not be responsible for changing the information on the site alone, but I might go to somebody on the customer support team and say "Hey, you guys have a lot of information and the knowledge base that I think would be really helpful and useful, would you mind working with me to get some of that information added to the site? " And then bring in engineering and say, "I think we could really reduce the number of people filling out that form on our page, if we could add some of this information to the specific page." So, what I've done there is I've looked for allies that are going to help me accomplish my goals and I'm also thinking about the impact of our business and reminding them of how much easier it would be for a customer, or how many less people we writing in with customer support issues, if we provided the information up front. One really great way to get some quick buy-in is to focus on a bite sized solution and implement that really quickly. So, for example if you've got an 800 number that lives across your website on every page in the footer, but on the plans page a lot of people are calling customer support asking for details around pricing, why not directly connect them to the sales team right away? So, that means you are reducing the number of calls to customer support so they can focus on issues around customer support and the sales teams is going to a get a lift in the number of calls of people interested in buying from you. Once you've done something like that, you can use that solution and you can use the results of that to say, "Hey, look we got some other great ideas, it's going to take a little more work, I really need some support from another department maybe and I'm asking for a little support here so that we can turn this into a great experience and I think it's really going to impact the business in this way." And then you can describe what you think is actually going to happen if you can get the support that you need from others. The third thing to focus on is actually just sharing the insights that you've found with other people. So, it's important that you approach this from a place of goodwill and learning and not pointing fingers or blaming on bad experience. So, what I would recommend in that case is, hey we did some user testing or we did some research and we've been working on this customer journey, and I noticed that there are some areas here that would really be probably great for us to optimize and I thought I might share some of that with you, would you be open for a coffee sometimes so I could walk you through that? So, what I'm doing is diffusing the fact that maybe something wasn't quite right and I'm focusing on some really great ideas that are coming from a place of let's build on the customer experience first not there's a problem with our business let's fix it. The fourth way to really get buy-in in your organization is to actually create something more formal like a customer experience panel or something. So, maybe you've got committee of folks that get together monthly bi-monthly or quarterly and they talk about customer experience as a whole. So, you could have representatives from sales, from marketing, from your product team potentially, maybe someone from engineering, and you sit down and you talk about some of the findings that you had from your user research. And you focus on one priority or one initiative at a time and that means that you've got buy-in from multiple departments right off the bat who can help you get your work prioritized and make change in the organization. The great thing about a council like this is that you've got representatives from every department putting their heads together to think about touch points, but really what you're thinking about is the omni-channel experience and that means that you're putting the customer first in every decision across the company and you're going to lead to much better business results because you're all rowing in the same direction towards the same goals. Getting buy-in can take time so I wouldn't expect that to be an overnight change, but what you will see is that if you're the person who's leading with the customer story and you're the person who's bringing empathy into every conversation, then you're going to be really putting forward the right foot when it comes to building the right customer experience and people are going to respect you for that. They're going to see that that's your ulterior motive and that's actually a great thing. So, it may take time to get buy-in and you may see some rejections along the way, but if you can focus on some small wins things that are within your purview, then eventually, you can start to vie for support for bigger initiatives. Like in all presentations, a lot of ways the way to connect with someone is through a story. So, focus on the user and tell the story from their perspective and then tie in the business results or the expected business results you could find if you were to make some changes. So, what you're doing is you're taking away blame, you're taking away any anxiety that someone might have about a failed project in the past maybe it's coming up to haunt them, and you're really focusing on like "Hey, here's what I think we can do now given the situation and given the resources that we have." Sometimes user journey maps can be a great way to aid in this conversation and you could use that as a tool. You might want to strip out some of the extra ideas and objections that you've found along the way and focus on sort of the core journey perhaps, but what you might also do is say, "Hey, I started this but I would love your input, would you mind spending a few minutes with me to go through this user journey and talk about some of the ideas I had? You probably have some of your own." So, what you're doing is you're not only getting buy-in but you're getting participation and that can get people really excited about how they can help. 8. Closing: Wow, thanks so much for joining me. I'm really excited to share with you some thoughts around creating great omni-channel experiences. I think that with your ability now to create a user journey map that ties back to your business goals and then really think about some of the ideas that are going to move the needle for you from a business perspective and keep the user at the center of all that is going to be really exciting. That's going to be a great way for you to get buy-in from other people and make sure that the work that you're doing pays off in the long run. If you haven't yet made your journey map, I hope you'll start and do that right now. It's a really fun way for you to think about your own business or maybe even just hypothetically looking at what it is that's out there in the world that could impact the experience and bring all that together. Start looking at the omni-channel experience, upload your journey maps, and share with other people what you found really interesting about your own business or even find out from other people where they got hung up so that when you're ready to apply this to your own learnings, you can. If there's only one takeaway, I hope that you'll consider that the customer should be at the heart of everything that we do. Without businesses, customers don't get what they need but without customers, there is no business. So every time that we have a chance to put those two together and really think about both business and customers in the same sentence and really think about the customer experience, then that means it's a win for everybody.