How To Drive and Measure User Experience - Part 1
September 18, 2019

Ron van Haasteren
TOPdesk

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Service desks teams use internally focused performance-based metrics more than many might think. These metrics are essential and remain relevant, but they do not provide any insight into the user experience. To gain actual insight into user satisfaction, you need to change your metrics. The question becomes: How do I efficiently change my metrics? Then, how do you best go about it?

Living in the Age of Customer Experience

The customer experience is vital to the outcomes of your service team. The word "experience" is critical. The quality of the user experiences is paramount.

When we look at our internal customers — our employees — their expectations are continually changing. For them, they want to stay in the flow, remain productive, and make meaningful progress in their work.

Customer experience is the sum of the employees' perceptions of working in an organization, "perception" being most important. To understand the experience, service desk members must ask their users to define their experiences. Part of this journey is managing the emotional parts of the customer journey. However, even if you meet expectations, but somehow, the emotional experience goes south. Then, while the issue may have gotten resolved, this doesn't mean the user is happy. Perceptions are not the same as results. So, even if the service desk meets all pre-defined success metrics, this doesn't mean user satisfaction is excellent.

Taking the pulse of the user is vital to organizational success.

What is the User's Experience?

The service desk delivers support to users, but they must measure the services provided and which are the most important to them. When measuring the user experience, you may find that your services need improvement.

For example, one organization I recently worked with let their customers ask them questions whenever they needed assistance. Thus, users found that the service desk remained open for users, who soon understood that their concerns were always valid; this only occurred because the service desk asked users how to support them best.

There are likely dozens of things that your department can address, but the team can't handle everything at once. Start with what's most important to the user so they can experience the best benefit for your effort. You can achieve this in several ways. For example, consider focus groups. These are what you think they are: teams sitting down with a group of users to ask them about the services provided. You are asking about specific goals and measuring outcomes.

Even though these groups can be a good starting point if you have nothing in place and can be easy to implement, they can require a fair amount of trust otherwise these groups can turn them into ranting sessions. Get through the negativity to regain confidence before diving into what you want out of these focus groups.

Periodic Measurements and Continuous Measurements

Periodic measurement is examining your services regularly, through a survey, for example. Alternatively, continuous measurement is the use of a brief survey to ask for feedback from customers about the services they just received after every interaction. Periodic measurement only provides a general overview of aspects that apply to multiple services, such as how friendly the department is and how well the communication is. These assessments are a great place to start because they help provide a picture in terms of user experience.

Because periodic measurements can be pretty general, how you phrase your survey questions to users matters. "How do you rate our services?" will not suffice. You must dive into various aspects or themes of the service so that you can gauge authentic user experience.

There are usually five main themes that the customer thinks of when experiencing a service ...

Read How To Drive and Measure User Experience - Part 2, covering the five main themes and more.

Ron van Haasteren is the Global Culture Strategist at TOPdesk
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