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What end-user experience do you expect from your cloud service?

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Let’s imagine that you’ve just signed up for a new solution for your cloud service; this really should be a time for celebration as your information is now easily manageable and secure. However, this is unfortunately, for many, the beginning of a long process where you’re required to validate all relevant parameters and pay special attention to the design and screens in use.

So how can we improve this experience?

Joan Rothman of Perficient wrote a recent blog on the “Top 5 of the 10 Most Important Service Cloud Enhancements to Implement in 2014” which touched on this. And in particular highlighted the new features offered as part of Perficient’s service cloud. However, in contrast to these enhancements, I’d prefer to share a more generic set of tips and thoughts regarding improving cloud service performance; tips that may be applied through either our own service, or others.

For a variety of reasons, it is crucial that we think about cloud services by putting ourselves in the shoes of the user. The key point of the above scenario is that it describes a first time user experience. First impressions of a service are incredibly influential for customer retention; a user is far more likely to come back if the experience is positive and hassle free.

It’s also important to consider pre-requisites such as specific word use in messages, as well as the order in which they should appear (well thought out word order and choice should never be underestimated). And when drafting scenario management protocol, we must bear in mind how end-users will assess the added value of their chosen service. This process might be obvious; however, these steps are frequently bypassed due to operational constraints and delivery timing which may negatively affect the experience.

Upfront pricing can also be a key factor in the experience. A possible incentive and way of improving the first time usage would be to grant a free trial period in a carefully considered way. Furthermore, during the trial duration, a provider could offer instant messaging services for free in conjunction with other promotional extras. These extras and trials can be surprisingly effective.

Finally, communications. There are numerous ways to communicate through a service depending on the material support you use (packaging, advert, newspaper /TV). These cheapest and most obvious forms of communication, do have proven strengths; clear brand messaging, or spreading the word through other visual packaging mediums will always produce more results than displaying posters in the street. However, communication of your service also starts with other embedded mechanisms, perhaps embedded within a SIM, to communicate the service and increase end-user awareness.

One of these mechanisms is the welcome message communicating the service’s added value after the end-user has inserted their SIM card into a new phone. Similarly to welcome email strategy, there are numerous tips that can be applied to this.

The impact of messaging such as this is impressive. Here we can see the typical impact on new users on a given service when introducing an appropriate welcome message.

Of course some basic policy rules need to be followed here: it’s important to send the right message, to right people, at the right time. If mobile operators know their customer and send messages when relevant to them, they will increase customer loyalty. This approach fits well with the four ‘golden rules’ of mobile marketing highlighted by Kristel Teyras in her blog during GITEX.

Once these rules are in place, and user experience is prioritized you can then turn your focus towards actions for driving usage and uptake, which we’ll look into in the next post of this series.

Do you have any questions on personal cloud services? Let us know using the comments box below.

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