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6 Steps to Establishing & Measuring the End User Experience

February 2013

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Measuring the End User Experience

We talk a lot about helping customers create a great end user experience, but what does that actually look like? 

How do you measure that? 

How exactly do you determine if you are delivering a great end user experience?

1. Determine where your End User Experience is today.  The first step in the process is to establish a baseline for where your end user experience is at today.  You need to determine what specific areas you want to measure, and capture a baseline of those measurement points to begin to get visibility into your end users experience.  NOTE:  Older desktop hardware may not perform as well as newer equipment, so make sure you capture baselines for each platform you support.

 

Case Example:  A regional bank experiencing slow response times at their teller windows in each of their branch locations wanted to improve the “end user experience.” Tellers at the branch locations were not as productive as the main bank, reported higher stress levels and lower customer service scores.   

         
The bank decided to measure 5 processes within their core banking application as well as a handful of other metrics for email, and Microsoft Office.  Looking at logon times, time to open a customer’s account, time to open a signature card image, time to print loan documentation and time to execute the open new account functions they were able to see that tellers were waiting 2.5 minutes to logon on average, and waiting a full minute for a signature card to display on their screen to confirm the customers identity. 
           
With proper metrics identified, baselines can be established for “normal.”  The bank now knows what they need to measure to make sure they can “see” what the end user experience is like for their employees and customers.  Baselines can be established for “normal.”     
      
If you are still not sure what you need to be measuring, interview your employees and find out what they spend the majority of their time doing, what are the most time sensitive functions they perform daily, and any “work-around” they have devised to get their work done faster than the normal process.

 


2. Caution: Do not take measurements based exclusively on what your ticketing system is telling you.  Use that repository of information, but understand that is not going to be the full picture.  End users will complain to those around them immediately when there is a problem, but wait on average 8-9 times for the issue to reoccur (assuming it is not a major issue) before calling in a support ticket.


3. Establish your baselines.  For every key application, or even key processes within applications, establish your metrics for “normal” taking into account variances for equipment age, software version variances, etc.
Taking baseline measurements for each platform is critical because if you only establish one metric for measuring CPU utilization across the company, you are not going to get an accurate picture of how new Windows 8 machines are performing with Windows 7, Windows XP, and Macs.


4. Proactively manage your baselines and set tolerance thresholds.  Set thresholds for notification and response from IT when performance degrades outside of your acceptable tolerances.  In the early stages your objective should just be to identify the problem before your end users submit a ticket.  Analysts point to research stating that identifying problems before your end users do 60% of the time is a good goal, with best in class organizations hitting 80-84%.

 
5. Develop processes to address anomalies automatically or at least as efficiently as possible.  Look to create automatic responses (scripts, service resets, etc.) to issues that break your baseline thresholds where possible to improve customer service and lower your Mean Time to Repair (MTR) numbers.


6. Measure your results and refine.  This is a process.  It won’t be perfect, but it will get consistently better once you have identified what needs to be measured, establish your baseline metrics and start managing the exceptions to the rule instead of managing the rules themselves.

  

A word on tools

If you are scratching your head trying to figure out what tools you can use to help find your baselines and measure your key application processes, you are not alone.  This topic alone is worth a full series of blogs.

We use Aternity and eG Innovations to help us deliver the best possible end user experience as they are a perfect fit for our business and the clients we serve, but our business is not your business.  Your requirements may be different, but the six points above should give you the framework you need to begin down the path of delivering an exceptional end user experience. 

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