“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.” – Steve Jobs.
Organizations across the globe and industry verticals are undergoing rapid digital transformation. This transformation has been largely driven by changing consumer behaviour and expectations amidst proliferation of devices and technology advancement. With consumer being at the center of everything companies do, ensuring a great consumer experience is the key to survival.
Ignoring consumer perception can be a costly affair. Do you remember the Coca Cola case of ‘New Coke’ which was launched in response to Pepsi’s sweeter taste and improved market share? Well, consumers refused to buy the ‘New Coke’ as they didn’t feel the same association they did with the original one. Having realized that ‘consumer emotions/feelings’, and not ‘taste’ was the deciding factor, they brought back the original formula. This happened years ago, and today in the age of the ‘connected consumer’, can you leave consumer experience to chance? A dissatisfied customer can deliver a severe blow to a brand’s reputation overnight.
That being said, last few years have been transformational for QA as well. The role of QA has extended far beyond functional/non-functional testing. Along with massive agility, today’s QA is tasked with assuring a certain level of customer stickiness.
In this age of rapid digitization, customer experience is going to be the next competitive battleground for companies. To be a winner in the marketplace, they will have to deliver exceptional experiences, or at least better than their competition. To achieve this level of competitiveness, traditional ways of measuring consumer experience will not suffice, and Consumer Experience Testing will evolve in unexpected directions. In this blog, I am going to talk about one very interesting element of consumer experience – ‘Unsaid Consumer Emotions.’
So what are unsaid consumer emotions? Well, whenever you use an app or browse a website, there are several emotions running through your mind. There is a certain way human brain responds to what it sees visually. To put it in a word, you may call it ‘Consumer Perception’. If there was a way to measure ‘perception’, imagine what impact you can create when it comes to your brand image and consumer loyalty.
I know other parameters like Omni-channel, Performance, Discoverability, etc. are important too, but aren’t these hygiene now? Most of your competitors are already doing that. Measurement of ‘consumer perception’ is what will take you to another level experience testing.
We all know how complex is the human brain. Measuring perception may be a complex phenomenon. But then, it is possible. Perception Analysis (Visual Appeal, Thinking, Patience and Learn ability Analytics) can be done by reading the mind waves of end users, and converting their emotions and feelings into heuristic value.
This information which is hidden in unspoken consumer emotions, can be of great competitive advantage. It would open up a world of endless possibilities. You would be able to build consumer experience in your products/services even before you go live, and exactly the way your consumers would want it. And what is even more interesting is that you need not wait for negative consumer feedback on AppStore, or other channels. Building consumer experience early in the development lifecycle will not only save a lot of time and effort, it will also be a potent sales driver.
To conclude, consumer perception analytics will change the way consumer experience testing is done today. Winners in the marketplace would be able to transform ‘good experiences’ into ‘exceptional experiences’ by measuring and managing perception.
Today, if you ask me, it remains – Untapped Competitive Advantage.