How to HEART the User Experience

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I talk a lot about customers and how to implement a Purple Goldfish into your customer service strategy. After all, when you take the time to make your customers feel truly valued, they remember it forever. What’s more, they’ll tell their friends about it and on and on, driving more and more customers to your business. The best part? These customers are the kind of customers that you WANT to have.

What’s one company that really has this figured out? Google. You know what I’m talking about. Google seems to have infinite means of communication with their customers. Utilizing everything from email to feedback forms to tooltips to modals, they work to increase their user experience tenfold which, inevitably, drives their revenue. No doubt that filling Google’s shoes as far as customer experience goes can feel almost impossible. The good news? Google incorporates an incredibly simple framework to improve their user experience. It’s called HEART, which I for one find incredibly fitting.

HEART stands for Happiness, Engagement, Adoption, Retention, and Task Success. Encompassing both macro and micro measurements to help determine impact of products and services they offer to their customers, HEART tracks the customer experience in a whole new way–and you can too when you use it. Let’s break down this acronym for a deeper look into how you can use HEART in your business.

Happiness: A calculation of emotion, this measurements hits the root of the customer experience. It’s difficult to optimize for but it’s incredibly easy to measure. You can find out everything from how likely your current customers are to recommend you, to customer satisfaction using user surveys.

Engagement: Discover how much your current customers use your product. This can be everything from average session time to clicks to how many pages of your website they view. It’s measured through analytics and knowing this can help you make big improvements.

Adoption: Measuring everything from on boarding to new feature releases, adoption is an analytical way to find out who is using what. Measured through analytics, it’s important to know what products and features are working for your customers and which ones can use some improvement, thusly leading to a better overall customer experience.

Retention: This one is easy and is also measured by analytics. Find out how many of your customers stick with you. Retention is a huge revenue driver for any business. That’s because it’s far less expensive to retain old customers than to go out and find new ones. You take this measurement with analytics and it’s yet another one you can’t afford to skip if you want to offer your users a great experience.

Task Success: If you’re asking users to do something–buy a product, fill out a form, answer a question–you want them to be able to do it. By finding out how long it takes to complete a task (hint: it shouldn’t take a terribly long time) and reading up on error rates (dead links, broken forms, uncommon flows). Task Success can be easily measured through simple user tests. This is why many companies launch a beta version of a new product or service to a small group of people before launching it for the world.

Now that you know what HEART is and how to use it, I suggest you learn more about this method and try to implement it into your business. It’s not only a simple strategy that will increase your Purple Goldfish, it will also help to make you an even better business owner. That’s because you’ll be more in tune with what works among your customers, what doesn’t work, and the why of it all.