Delivering a top experience for both staff and customers

As businesses refocus on digital transformation, interest has grown in streamlining processes. As a result, customer experience and user experience have become a central tenet of the transformation process

Andrea Wallace, director of Ireland, Unifii: ‘Digital transformation has made the concepts of CX and UX more important for business.’ Picture: Maura Hickey

Customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX) are relatively modern coinings, with the terms generally accepted as dating back to the mid-1990s. What they stand for, however, has existed as long as people have been doing business.

After all, what business does not want to promote loyalty and repeat custom by making the process of doing business, whether for staff or customers, smooth and frictionless?

Andrea Wallace, director of Ireland, Unifii, which is an elite-level partner for ServiceNow, said that for businesses today, which are increasingly able to quantify performance, CX and UX were essential parts of their operations.

“CX and UX are just massive. It’s about how businesses work, and it’s important to distinguish between the two,” she said.

Company details Unifii

Year founded: 2010

Number of staff: 140

Why it is in the news: Unifii wants to help Irish businesses meet CX expectations set by the major multinationals.

There is confusion between CX and UX, certainly – and also user interface (UI) design. Wallace said that this was understandable, but simple definitions could bring clarity.

“UX, in my opinion, would be the user experience in terms of the design, the dashboards and workflows. CX would be the customer experience, including the UI behind all of that,” she said.

Indeed, particularly when it comes to websites, apps and enterprise software, UX is often mistaken for user interface (UI) design. UI is important, Wallace said, as it will have a major impact on interactions, but it should be seen as part of a focus on UX.

“Businesses do prioritise UI design, but typically they don't think about UX and CX more broadly. A good design is important, but it is only a part of something wider,” she said.

As an elite ServiceNow partner, Unifii deploys its cloud-based platform for workflow and process automation in order to help organisations manage digital workflows for operations including incident, problem and change management, as well as employee, customer and creator workflows.

As a result, Unifii consults with its clients to ensure that both CX and UX are about more than slick-looking apps: instead, the company works to understand the processes and then improve them.

“We go in, we get to know the customer’s business inside out, we build up the story of how they want it to work, and then there is ongoing support,” she said.

When it comes to providing staff with the best user experience, the core task is to ensure that they have clear and easy access to the information they need. This, in turn, pleases customers as it means the person they are interacting with can better and more rapidly meet their needs.

“It’s the look and the feel; it’s about people feeling good going into work every day,” said Wallace.

Transforming today

The focus on CX and UX has grown as the internet has become central to business, with staff and customers typically logging into applications to manage increasingly large amounts of data.

“Digital transformation has made the concepts of CX and UX more important for business; it involves the integration of the digital technologies into all aspects of the organisation and delivering value to the customer,” Wallace said.

“Digital transformation often involves automating processes, [so] ServiceNow has a lot of robotic process automation. What’s important there is that it improves efficiency and accuracy while reducing the burden of repetitive work.”

Typical tasks can include data entry, data extraction and data validation, with bots performing tasks such as clicking buttons, filling out forms and navigating user interfaces, thus simplifying processes.

“Accuracy is essential. The C-suite wants that,” Wallace said. “You can report on the bot and you can teach it and make sure it learns the way you want it to learn.”

At the core of getting CX and UX right is taking a fact-based approach. Happily, modern software allows for a quantitative approach to transactions and other activities, so businesses are able, with the right partners, to restructure their systems to tackle fundamental problems rather than just giving them a fresh coat of paint.

“There is no point doing something pretty if it doesn’t work in the background. Gathering user research and feedback is essential,” Wallace said.

For Wallace, Unifii being ranked as an elite partner by ServiceNow is validation of the company’s work. Moreover, the company is focused on helping Irish businesses modernise, she said.

“We are on the ground in Ireland, and also have offices in London, Edinburgh and Hyderabad,” she said.