Have you ever tried to do something online that should have been easy but wasn’t? This issue could be with your cell carrier, or computer company, or utility. Maybe you cannot figure out what link to click. Or you click the right button but nothing happens. Or you click a link, and then another, and another just to end up right where you started. Soon it becomes apparent you have to talk to someone. But, the options are still not good.
Calling can mean a super annoying, time-consuming, automated answering service. Online chats can lead to slow, frustrating conversations. Tickets and emails can take forever and sometimes do not even get a response.
Why is this so difficult?!?!
Problems like this happen to all of us all the time. Organizations of all sizes and types unknowingly deliver poor user experiences. Avinash Kaushik gives a couple of detailed examples in his recent blog.
Associations are not exempt. Members are frustrated by websites that don’t remember their login or that they need to manage multiple logins, applications that ask for too much information, unreturned calls, receiving emails that do not apply to them, not getting timely event notifications, and more. We can easily fix these problems, but first, we have to know the problem is there.
We often do not know a user interface problem even exists because we live in the world behind the scenes. As Avinash says, one great solution is to be a secret shopper (or hire a secret shopper).
As a secret shopper:
- Search for 10 of the most common resources on your website
- Now search for 10 important but not as popular resources
- Join as a member and read every single automatic message the system sends and note how quickly you have access to resources
- Try logging in and pretend you forgot your password
- Change your contact information
- Register for the annual conference, a webinar, and a course
- Buy a research report, now a book
- Call the main number
- Attend the conference, chapter meetings, and other in-person events. Notice all of your first impressions
- Pretend you have a standard member question. Look for the answer on the website, in the community, and in research reports
Every time a member has a user experience problem, their engagement erodes just a bit. Instead, find these user problems and leave members with a great impression every time!