If you are starting or running a business, the first thing you should ask is – how will my customers enjoy their experience with my brand?
User experience (UX) and customer experience (CX) may seem like buzzwords. However, they’ve been around for a very long time, it’s just now, in the digital and social age, they matter more than ever.
Danielle O’Connell’s and Lauren Higgs’ new company, Good as Gold, is a brand experience agency. Higgs says the way your customers experience your brand defines you and can make or break your business.
“The brand experience is the emotive experience people have of your company at all touch points – physically, visually and digitally,” says Higgs.
“People want things now, at the touch of a button, and we want convenience. Brands need to know that if a person has a poor experience at any stage of the interaction with their brand they will not only switch off, but they’ll tell others about it too.”
Don’t lose customers, win them
Your website is often the first time a customer will experience your brand. If it doesn’t look right or they can’t navigate it easily, you will lose them.
“Understanding UX and ensuring a user can navigate a website intuitively is vital, it’ll guarantee their return and continued use,” says O’Connell.
However, Good as Gold doesn’t just focus on digital. We all live in the non-digital world. UX and CX apply just as much, if not more, in the tangible world of sight, smell and touch.
“We don’t separate ‘digital’ and ‘non-digital’. For example, we recently worked on the launch of a new restaurant which based its ethos around becoming part of the local community. Before it opened the doors, we designed and wrote a beautiful letter, hand-signed and delivered by the owners to the surrounding residents telling them what was happening,” says O’Connell. “This became social media gold as residents took to their Twitter accounts to publicly thank the restaurant – achieving the kind of brand associations we wanted and at the same time making the community feel they were part of this new business.”
What does good CX look like?
“Check out Irish company mustard.ie – superb UX with integrated customer communication tools to get the most out of their users,” suggests Higgs.
Is there a brand/company out there you’d love to work on because you can see its potential if it was to reconsider its UX & CX?
“We’ll aim high with this one but to be perfectly honest, we’d love to work with Apple,” says O’Connell.
“In the past, it led the way in UX design and set an exceptional standard when it came to making great products. But, somewhere along the way it slipped.
“Experience is not high on the priority list with Apple at the moment. The company’s original tagline – ‘Does more, costs less. It’s that simple’ – is just an indicator of how far it’s away from its initial focus.”
If you were in charge of a city’s UX, take Dublin as an example, what would you do?
“The first place to begin with an existing, established product is to find out what makes it so unfriendly to users.
“If we find out what is currently creating the poor experience, we can work to redesign things in a way that makes for happy users.
“When it comes to Dublin City, we all have our grievances, the top four being; anti-social behavior and crime, traffic and public transport, litter and rude people.
“We’d propose a solution to focus on the route of these problems.
“If you take yourself out of Dublin and look at what cities around the world are doing to ensure the best possible experience for their inhabitants and tourists, you’ll find our European counterparts are leagues ahead. Smart cities like Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Barcelona are leading the way,” says O’Connell.
“By establishing an inclusive society and embracing creativity, we can reduce anti-social behaviour and crime,” suggests Higgs.
“By ensuring a healthy, safe, culturally vibrant and happy community, we can minimise the number of rude people.
“Obviously, throw in some free city wifi, a give-a-hug initiative and free balloons on Fridays to get the ball rolling!”
Images from Good as Gold. Dublin image by Bartkowski, Shutterstock.
The main image features Danielle O’Connell (left) and Lauren Higgs (right). ⊕