• A Great User Experience Reduces Risk

    by  • August 2, 2012 • Customer Experience, Social Media Risk

    One of the ah-ha moments that many of the companies I work with go through is accepting that digital risk management (and for that matter many other aspects of risk management) are directly tied to the customer experience.

    It makes sense – if a user has a good experience that is supported by a great digital experience, that reduces risk. Customers don’t complain as much.

    If customers aren’t happy, you will hear about it in social media.

    How many social media risks are tied to a good customer experience? Most of them, especially those risks tied to reputation.

    How many social media crises could have been avoided if the user would have had a good experience? Countless.

    So you need to examine your user experience with the intent of increasing customer satisfaction, reducing user frustration, and reducing risk. So what do you look at as a risk manager examining a digital asset to improve customer experience and reduce risk? Three primary areas to look at based on the early usability work of Jakob Nielsen are:

    • Useful – Every user comes to your site or your social media channel with a question or a task to accomplish. It might be as simple as catching up on the news from Company A or as complicated as submitting a service request. Does your site allow the user to accomplish that task or answer that question?
    • Usable – Is it relatively simple and easy to get to the point of actually accomplishing the task or answering the question? Can the user find the content easily without having to search too much? Is it easy to “like” you? Is the form simple to fill out?
    • Enjoyable – This is the toughest one. Simply, from a customers perspective is your digital presence a pain-in-the-butt to deal with? When your favorite widget is broken and you need a spare part, is the overall experience at least tolerable? Is it easy to register a customer service issue via twitter?

    If you are looking at doing this for the first time, start with useful and usable. Save enjoyable for later.

    Go through all of your digital channels – Web site, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc – as if you were a customer. Try to accomplish tasks a customer would want to do. Submit a request. Download content. Fill out a form. Ask for help.

    Then assess your experience, and don’t give yourself any latitude. Was the experience great? If it wasn’t, there is a risk of at the least an unhappy customer and you have work to do.

    The Bottom Line: If you want to reduce your risk, improve the user experience. It won’t remove all the risks, but it can negate a number of them.