Why user experience is a critical part of technology success for SMEs

The digital era has magnified the importance of developing a winning user experience (UX). Technology has made it possible for businesses to understand their customers better and address their issues much faster.

However, these advancements have also resulted in consumer devices infiltrating businesses and changing how customers view UX. Customers have raised expectations and now demand the same, if not better, UX with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as they do with large organisations.

UX can be perceived differently in different situations. A great UX is not always one that is overly personalised, with some customers finding this invasive. However, there are times when customers prefer and welcome personalisation. SMEs must find the right balance by identifying, segmenting and following their audience across multiple stages of the purchase journey to develop a strong UX.

Businesses need complete, shared customer profiles across all front and back-office applications, letting them access full customer histories detailing all transactions and interactions customers have had with their company. This data can help SMEs to address customer issues as it simplifies the process, while also making a business more likely to make, or add to, a sale as customers believe the business has invested in the buyer-seller relationship.

For SMEs striving to become more intelligent about their customers, the best place to start is with customer data. A smart UX approach leverages emerging technology and connects all customer data points to generate complete customer profiles. This kind of visibility makes it possible for businesses to generate more personalised customer experiences based on individual activity and interactions, which can enhance the UX provided to customers.

Optimising business processes is no easy task but it is crucial to efficiently deliver preferred end-to-end customer experiences. SMBs can look to optimise their UX by improving their web design, investing in retargeting, using analytics to get to know their customers, and investing in cross-channel marketing.

SMEs can, therefore, engage customers and win their loyalty at multiple points during engagement by optimising the right processes and technology.

The first thing SMBs must recognise is that a UX strategy must span across all areas of a business to make sure that customers have a seamless and consistent UX at every stage of their buying journey. If a business’s goal is to develop long-term customer loyalty and trust, a smart technology-driven UX approach can help them to achieve this.

Shane Blandford, director of marketing and innovation, Konica Minolta

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