With new users coming online and existing customers now following new behaviours, what was once customary user behaviour is now changing rapidly. More than ever, customers need seamless support and a positive, frictionless digital experience. Testing new digital experiences and learning rapidly is essential to emerging as a leader from this economic crisis.
Here’s a few ways we think you can do this:
Identify positive changes for your users
Users have shifted in their digital behaviours, with new types of users accessing many services for the first time. Past assumptions about your users and their motivations may have shifted – revisit these assumptions and pivot your strategy where needed.
Prioritise removing pain points. Identify practical, tactical changes that can improve your user experience (e.g. reduce time for your customers and reduce processing costs for your company), and prioritise quick builds to provide them with easy answers and seamless user experiences. Beyond these quick wins, build a roadmap for additional parts of your digital experience that need to be refined, tested, and improved.
Keep digital experiences at the heart of your strategy
According to McKinsey & Company (April 2020), customer experience is a key factor in determining which companies will generate value and weather this crisis. McKinsey research showed that customer service leaders had 3x greater returns in the last recession than their peers.
McKinsey’s advice includes migrating customers to digital channels to save money and boost satisfaction. To do this, focus first on the fundamentals of a digital user experience, providing excellent support and empathy to your customers, as well as pragmatic, tactical help to those that need it — streamlining your FAQ pages to allow more self-service, adapting messaging to clearly display revised cancellation and return policies, ensuring that your customer service numbers are easy to find for new users.
Revisit your product portfolio and changes in your customer journey to prioritise rapidly deploying new features that matter most to your customers. Test and iterate on new features to provide better digital models, and build the capacity of your team to be more agile for the changes ahead.
Build a plan for digital resilience
Instead of thinking of COVID-19 as an on-off switch of pre- and post-COVID-19, a return to previous behaviours will likely be muted, slow, or forever changed. Digital will continue to be the primary channel for 2020, and it is key to build resilience in your strategy to meet the needs of all of your customers online.
Experimentation can be your compass during changing times. By definition, statistically rigorous experimentation allows you to make decisions by reducing uncertainty – let the experiment tell you what changes will deliver before rolling out to the whole customer base. Put your customers first, by validating new features, carefully testing their engagement, and rolling them out gradually to remove risk of failure. Enable your teams, empowering them with progressive delivery principles and building a culture of experimentation.
From Bain & Company, “the things that worked before COVID probably aren’t the things that are going to work now, so you need to have a rapid test-results approach that has a much wider range of things to test to figure out what will actually work rapidly and go with that, rather than your gut. […] This is the time to be more agile, this is the time to move faster, this is the time to test what works and what doesn’t.”
Experimentation, or test-and-learn, allows you to navigate how your customers are shifting their behaviours and what resonates with them, reducing uncertainty and providing value revenue growth. To help you start, or accelerate, your experimentation program, download Optimizely’s Product Experimentation Playbook full of worksheets and helpful approaches. To know what to test, checkout the Big Book of Experimentation for retail to see how retailers like Delivery Hero, Missguided, Brooks and Vitamix used experimentation to improve their business.