Why You Must Measure, Understand and Design Exceptional Experiences Across Every Interaction People Have with Your Brand
When people think about your brand, they think about all of their interactions with your brand, not just the good ones.
Your customer service is exceptional but at the same time your store layout is confusing so people can’t find anything. Your price point is low but also your product is incredibly slow and difficult to use. Guess which of these things your customer will remember about you.
The best (worst) example I’ll always remember when I think about holistic experience design is The New York Times. Regardless of your political viewpoints, or the ‘Caliphate’ podcast, hear me out.
When it comes to the storytelling experience and how people want to receive their news, The New York Times has always prioritized the design of these experiences. Remember Snow Fall? However, most threads you’ll find about the Times experience online will be complaints about how difficult it was to unsubscribe from nytimes.com before they updated the experience.
The subscriber experience (see note below**) will probably be the experience former subscribers remember most vividly, not the storytelling.
You can easily find threads about this issue with a quick internet search, but I’ll save you the time. This is what the experience was like previously:
In this Reddit thread, an insider shares why the experience was like this and how it was intentionally designed by someone at The New York Times.
Subscribers were in subscriber jail unable to manage their subscription through a self-service option. This was unacceptable. Subscribers of The New York Times expected more from their beloved “Old Gray Lady.”
Consumers demand flexibility today. Creating a delightful subscriber experience, whether you are onboarding or offboarding, is not optional if you want to maintain your brand reputation. Just because subscribers are leaving you today, it doesn’t mean they will not promote you tomorrow or even subscribe again when their needs change.
As John Maeda pointed out in his 2021 CX Report, we should think about the user experience holistically from the buyer experience to the experience people have as users of your products and services. Maeda describes “infinite loops” people go through over a lifetime of touchpoints with your brand, moving back and forth between moments of being a buyer and moments of being a user or customer.
This is why Valley Bank is beginning to measure every interaction someone has with Valley Bank during their lifetime. We are listening to how we did in the branch, how easy it is to use our desktop and mobile apps and how we are resolving your issues when you call customer care.
We are listening. And, we are taking a mixed-methods approach to avoid blindspots. With a tech stack that includes UserTesting, Qualtrics, Figma, Power BI and Miro, we are able to listen then create understanding and meaning from the signals we are getting and design solutions to remove friction and increase delight in our customers.
If this all sounds exciting to you, I would like to invite you to join our growing team of researchers, designers and strategists. We’re beginning to tackle each user journey, from the moment of the trigger, to onboarding, to using, and to getting support. Currently, we are interviewing UX Researchers and UX Designers. You can check out our job posts below, but the team will continue to grow so find me on LinkedIn. DMs are open.
[**The New York Times subscription experience has been updated! It is much easier to unsubscribe today even though it means letting some subscribers find greener pastures.]