How a UX Consultant Can Improve Your Business
Organizational issues are most likely to occur when the different members of your organization don’t fully understand how their part affects the whole business operation. Or when established processes no longer work or create bottlenecks for employees trying to complete their tasks.
The Small Business Guide to Service Design
Service design applies a design thinking approach, rooted in social science research methods, to help small businesses and non-profit organizations deliver quality services by addressing the user experience (UX) of employees and customers.
Service Design 101
The Nielsen Norman Group defines service design as a discipline that “improves the experiences of both the user and employee by designing, aligning, and optimizing an organization’s operations to better support customer journeys.”
Service design helps organizations see their services from both the customer’s perspective as well as from an internal one. It’s a holistic approach to designing services that balances the needs of the customer with the needs of the business and, when performed correctly, service design allows businesses to provide better overall customer experiences.
At its core, service design is rooted in design thinking. It brings a creative, humanistic approach to service improvement. Service design can also save companies money by efficiently designing entirely new services or improving existing ones. By fostering collaboration and gathering feedback from customers and people inside the organization, service design helps companies gain a clear understanding of how their service is actually perceived by the customer and by the employee providing the service.
This more complete approach to understanding service delivery enables companies to make truly meaningful service improvements. By taking a bird’s eye view of an organization and considering all the parts and their contribution to the process, service design is able to help individuals, teams, and departments work together to deliver world-class service.
If you have a business problem, chances are it’s a user experience problem. Many companies find bringing in an outside UX consultant is the most effective way to solve underlying service problems, restore organizational health and begin utilizing more streamlined processes to deliver seamless service to customers.
UX consultants can be hired by businesses as part of a larger team, or they may act independently.
What is a UX Consultant?
UX Consultants are design professionals who work with businesses to create solutions that meet specific needs and solve problems. They have a deep understanding of psychology, human behavior, and conflict management. They are creative and empathetic and use active listening techniques along with group facilitation to understand an organization as a whole.
The role requires extensive knowledge in human behavior, psychology, usability testing, information architecture, content creation, graphic design, interaction design, prototyping, research methods, statistics, etc.
A UX consultant helps a company to understand the user experience of their product. They are responsible for designing and implementing strategies that help companies improve their products, services, or websites. A UX designer will work with clients to create an effective design strategy that meets business goals while also meeting users’ needs.
Why Should a Company Hire a UX Consultant?
If you want your business to be successful in this competitive world, you need to survey all aspects of your operations to determine if they run smoothly and efficiently. You’ll want to look at everything from customer service to product design. In fact, there are many ways in which companies can improve their overall user experience.
Another important aspect of improving the user experience is making sure that employees understand how to interact with clients effectively. For example, do salespeople know how to answer questions properly? Do call center agents handle calls correctly? These types of issues can lead to bad experiences for both consumers and businesses. A UX Consultant can help uncover these gaps in services and reveal company needs such as retraining staff on best practices so that everyone understands how to communicate clearly and professionally.
In addition to training, another thing that helps ensure good communication between employees and clients is developing a culture where workers receive feedback regularly. When someone has something negative to say about a particular employee, he or she needs to hear it directly. Otherwise, it could affect future interactions. Similarly, positive comments can motivate workers to continue doing great work. Teams and organizations can only grow to the point where all members are willing to give and receive actionable feedback.
What’s Our Process for Improving the UX Of a Business?
Once a company has determined an area of need and decides to hire a UX consultant, WE Actualize will consult with the team. We will use our five-step process, based on the principles of design thinking, to co-design a workable solution to the current organizational challenge.
Intent: In this initial phase, the UX consultant will sit down with stakeholders to define and identify the problem and to get an early view of the direction for the project.
Inventory: Until all the available resources are uncovered, the UX consultant won’t have a clear picture of what the organization has and needs to reach its goal or gain a competitive advantage. Once full stock is taken, then it’s time to gather research.
Insights: Using qualitative and quantitative research methods, feedback from employees and users will be gathered. Since the UX consultant is separate from management, this insight stage can reveal unexpected data from employees as they feel freer to discuss their likes and dislikes with a neutral third party. These insights inform the next stage of the process.
Innovate: This is where the fun starts. Brainstorming, guided by the data collected from the insight phase helps the UX consultant guide stakeholders toward a strategic plan that has all the components to support the organization’s goals.
Implement: This is where the plan is put into action. It’s put to the test and, if needed, small pivots or tweaks are made to further improve the outcome.
Why Hire a Professional UX Consultant
Hiring a UX consultant can be a benefit to your small business or non-profit by helping you uncover solutions to your biggest business challenges while being mindful of your available resources. A good UX consultant will be a guide who can help you create systems and optimize your processes to free up time and energy while generating higher revenue or meeting key performance metrics.