Recently, I’ve been conducting some research for a medium-sized organisation that asked me to help them develop the next phase of their website.
As I sat waiting for a meeting in reception, I got to overhear some of the phonecalls they get from customers; mostly people needing help with a web-based booking system they’ve implemented (away from the website itself).
Hearing these calls, it became clear that the process of using this system (which is quite time-sensitive for customers) provokes quite a lot of questions for an unfamiliar user: they need to ask a human about specific form fields in the system in order to complete a booking.
An improved user flow + design will reduce these calls (time/cost-save) and instil greater confidence in users (increased customer loyalty).
The lesson here is that I identified a pain-point for users simply by sitting in reception. I didn’t use a computer. I didn’t even talk to anyone.
The website-specific work was unlikely to identify this problem: I got lucky really. However, its a great example of how thinking holistically about the customer experience can produce interesting results.