Every company out there is always trying to improve and build their products. They want to make them better, they want to make them more efficient and, most of all, they want to make them user friendly so that customers enjoy using them. But how do we find out what the customers of a product really want?
I did my masters in Human Computer Interaction, a field that is becoming more and more popular due to the emphasis on usability. One of the basic tasks in any usability study is to get user (customer) feedback. What the users want, or try to achieve, by using your product, so that you can build up on that.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? But this is just the beginning of an extremely complex process. You need to identify suitable users, decide on the questions that you want to ask the user, decide on the most effective platform to gather response and to top it all, you need to consolidate the response, if any and try to identify what the users are trying to say.
Very complex and long, yes. Is there an easier way to do this? We at NextJump are trying a new idea to not only get the customer feedback easily but also to improve the empathy of the company’s employees while doing so.
Introducing Bigger Hearts, one of Next Jump’s new human capital initiatives. Bigger Hearts provides a platform for the engineers and business people of the company to step forward and tackle the customer service requests made by the users of our products. The main idea behind such an initiative is to expose people from all levels of business to the various pain points and concerns experienced by the actual users of the product, thereby giving them an opportunity to take it upon themselves to help out a customer, and also to come up with a solution to make sure others are not faced with the same issues. Several questions might arise after reading this unusual approach to customer service, let me try to answer the most common ones first. If you still have any questions do feel free to write in a comment.
What’s the purpose of engineers handling CS tickets?
Customers are the best quality assurance testers that a company can have for free. Irrespective of the amount of QA engineers you might have, it’s not possible to test your product completely. Customers and their issues help us bridge the gap and move the product towards perfection. It allows the engineer to understand what the customer actually wants or is trying to do in the system and try to solve it if there is an actual bug. So it’s a win-win situation, the customer gets his/her issue resolved and you, as a company, now have a better product. One such instance that we came across was, users of sub - orgs that fell under our US Corporate Perks domain were unable to reset their password using the link that was sent to them over mail. It kept redirecting them to the main login page. When this came to light, the engineers delved into the issue and found that the reset link was being generated for the US corporate perks org instead of the sub – org that resulted in the faulty redirection. This issue was immediately patched up and we have not been seeing any such incidents since then.
A business example is where a page for a theme park offer we have asked the customer to call a number to find out the saving they were making. It’s an evergreen offer, and so hadn’t been managed or checked recently. Our Merchant team found out the latest details for the offer and edited the page so other customers checking will now be able to see the details more efficiently.
Are the engineers/business people going to replace the Customer Service personnel in the company?
No, definitely not. Engineers tend to have deep knowledge about a specific feature, which might make them suitable to answer certain questions, but every person trains to be the best in what they do and Customer Service personnel are the best in handling Customer Service issues in its totality.
What do the engineers get out of it?
The engineer gets the opportunity to view an issue from the eyes of the user. Engineers generally tend to have a lot more contextual knowledge about a particular feature that they might just overlook the complexity involved in a specific process. But not all users are the same and by trying to answer the users’ queries, the engineers tend to see past the boundaries of being a developer and tend to become more understanding and caring towards the users. Also it allows the engineers to get a hang of the entire range of products handled by the company there by giving them a chance to build on their domain knowledge. To top it all off, there are few things more satisfying than hearing a customer write back saying how thankful they are for the help they received.
Bigger Hearts has created a platform to improve our employees and our products. By communicating with our customers directly and trying to understand their concerns and frustrations, we are able to provide the best possible solution for them. It enables Next Jump to build a culture of ‘caring’ where we go above and beyond We have also seen that since the start of the Bigger Hearts the average first response time for a CS issue has dropped significantly and also there have been several new ideas, features and improvements that have been suggested or implemented based on the users requirements which ultimately improves the overall user experience. The project might sound out of the box, but it does not require too much of effort to get it implemented and the returns that we get are remarkable. The goal is to reach the day when there is no customer service requests left in the queue, which in turn reflects the success of the product.