How many exposure hours have you had with your customers over the last few months? – Interview with Andy MacMillan of UserTesting


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Today’s interview is with Andy MacMillan is CEO of UserTesting and joins me today to talk about their new research report: The Rise of the Experience Economy – The 2019 CX Industry Report, the work that they do, what the best brands do to understand their clients and what leaders and professionals in the CX space should be doing more of.

This interview follows on from my recent interview – Everyone in an organisation should be a loyalty leader – Interview with Sandy Rogers of FranklinCovey – and is number 301 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.

Here’s the highlights of my chat with Andy:

  • Talking today about UserTesting’s new report called The Rise of the Experience Economy – The 2019 CX Industry Report.
  • The big headline this year was that people have really starting to talk more about the overall experience more than technology or just digital.
  • The implication from this is that in the last few years whilst firms might have said they wanted to be customer centric or customer focused much of that was getting lost in digital and tech initiatives.
  • No longer are we worried about whether the tech will work or not but rather now we are focusing on how well we can engage our customers.
  • When people still talk about wallet share isn’t that anathema to the notion of being customer centric?
  • Consumers are reporting that they are really looking for more and better touch interfaces……tablets, kiosks etc.
  • Conversely, companies are very focused on (intelligent) voice right now.
  • Brands need to focus on being less right with their technology choices and focus more on being more thoughtful about what their customers really want.
  • More and more companies are no longer actually engaging with the people that they’re doing business with.
  • Companies are lacking in true understanding or empathy with their customers.
  • We need to grow our appreciation of the fact that our customers are not just their data.
  • Customers behaviours might change more slowly than their engagement with brands.
  • Customer case example: One customer told us to use big data to do a whole bunch of work to shorten their checkout experience and they felt like this was going to be a huge win. However, in doing that they found that their subscription churn skyrocketed. When they looked closer at this they found that they were building brand loyalty with a longer checkout process. People felt like they were getting a box of goods that was designed for them. Their analysis of the data led them astray. Now you could argue that over time they would have figured that out but they could have taken a short-cut by talking to some customers along the way and through that they would have seen what the experience was like through their customers eyes.
  • The best brands in the world are not the ones that just churn through their customer touch points the quickest. They are companies that think about the value they’re providing their customers in an empathetic and valued way. They understand the problem they have and they take the time to deliver a great experience that solves their problem. That can be difficult to portray in a bar chart in a meeting where nobody in the room actually talks to customers.
  • Those type of decisions may help the balance sheet in the short term but can really will cost you in terms of customer loyalty and customer engagement over time.
  • Companies need to make a deliberate effort to have people involved in building and marketing a product actually see, hear and feel what their customers experience and they need to do it from their perspective.
  • Example: A large mobile phone carrier in the United States used UserTesting’s platform to help their pricing team better understand their customers as the pricing team were a very different demographic than their target audience.
  • If you don’t want your customers to feel like you treat them like a number then stop treating them like they’re just a number.
  • People who build your products suffer from what researchers call the curse of knowledge. They are, almost by default, expert users of your product.
  • Most folks that are in the software/application development space are like craftspeople. They want to build something great that people like. So, if you can bring the customer into the process in a very real way then there is nothing more motivating to a team than that.
  • It’s pretty hard to build a great experience if you don’t have empathy for your end user.
  • Think about the exposure time that your team has to your customer directly. For example, if you have 25 engineers on your team, ask yourself how many exposure hours does each of them have to customers every quarter? If the answer is zero, then that is a case for concern. If it’s much higher than zero then think about how you can scale that.
  • Exposure time could mean anything from volunteering on a help or support desk, listening in to calls to visiting them on site.
  • If you can find a way to scale that exposure time you will get it back tenfold.
  • One large customer that made an e-reader rolled out a program where every executive had a 30 minute call, once a month, with a customer to better understand their reading habits and how they used their e-reader.
  • How many exposure hours have you had with your customers over the last few months?

About Andy

andy macmillanAndy MacMillan is CEO of UserTesting and brings 20 years of enterprise SaaS experience to UserTesting. As a former product executive at Oracle and Salesforce, he saw the critical role that customer centricity plays in creating great experiences. By helping companies become more customer-centric, he has grown multiple enterprise SaaS businesses to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Find out more about UserTesting here, check out the report: The Rise of the Experience Economy – The 2019 CX Industry Report, say Hi to them and Andy on Twitter @usertesting and @apmacmillan and feel free to connect with Andy on LinkedIn here.



Thanks to Pixabay for the image.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adrian Swinscoe
Adrian Swinscoe brings over 25 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies.


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