Building a better UI with chat

Tags: Self-service, Customer experience, Digitalization, Chat

The idea of implementing a chat feature to improve users experience (UX) is pretty self-explanatory. Giving users a quick and easy way to communicate with knowledgeable help will of course help their overall experience. However, can a chat feature also help improve the user interface (UI) and service design?

The use of corporate self-service portals have been around for a while. The benefits of providing employees with a single and easy-to-use location for all of their services are well known. Employees no longer need to send emails asking who they should contact when they have a problem, or what services and devices are available.

But how logical are these services, how easy are they to understand, how are they being developed and how well do they serve employees?

You might be thinking to yourself that your services are extremely easy to use and logical, and they might be. However, by adding a chat feature you give yourself another very powerful tool to better serve employees, gain feedback and record key information to make informed decisions.

Are you providing employees with the services they need?

When many organizations first design their portal, they design the offerings around what items and services they currently provide to employees and who is responsible. This serves as a good starting point, especially for the items (e.g. computers, phones, accessories). But how confident are you that you remembered every issue, case or incident that users repeatedly have. How easy is this information to understand and what systems are in place to make sure it stays up-to-date?

Of course, these services can be updated by looking at the number of “other” requests, emails, calls and office interactions. But didn’t you decide to implement a self-service portal to reduce or even eliminate these?

Chat allow users to ask questions and receive instant answers helping their issues to be solved faster. It also creates a record of the complete interaction, including the steps needed to complete the request or find the answer and can show where problems might be. During this back-and-forth communication the service personnel might realize that a second look needs to be taken at the structure of your services, their descriptions or even the  included information. 

Are you getting the most out of your portal? 

Self-service portals can be used for more than just making requests for devices, access or reporting problems. They can also serve as an effective location to provide answers to common problems, communicate company policies and other key information. In our Edge solution this is done through the use of “knowledge base articles”. These articles can be grouped based on category, and then linked with requests or issues to help users get an answer even before asking their question. By providing a single location for all the requests and information employees need, will help improve UX and helps service providers by reducing the number of simple questions and requests. Letting them focus on the more pressing or complicated processes.

But what happens when users can’t find the information they are looking for, or worse they don’t understand what to do?

In a similar way that libraries need to have a clear structure to be useful, a knowledge base is only helpful for employees if they are able to easily find what they are looking for. If the information is hard to find, confusing, missing or out-of-date; the extensive knowledge base you built is essentially useless, the benefits eliminated, and employees are further frustrated.

With chat, users can instantly ask the question they couldn’t find the answer to in the knowledge base or ask how to solve their problem if the information in the article didn’t help. The ability to have this instant interaction will ultimately help user experience, but it can also be used to improve the UI in a few ways. If there is a noticeable trend that employees aren’t able to find the information they are looking for, maybe the location or title needs to be re-thought to make it easier to find. If an article is outdated or doesn’t work the service personnel will instantly know and can update the article to include the correct information. If an article is missing, they can take the solution or answer from the conversation and instantly create a new article for future questions.

What is the true cost of slow services?

The benefits and advantages of improving UI, UX, processes and overall efficiency are known. Companies can do more with less but are these improvements really worthwhile. Is implementing a chat really worth it when potentially only few users are having problems finding the information they need? But how long did it those who were able find what they were looking for, seconds or minutes? Did they still need to send an email or ask a someone what to do? Even having a single employee who is unable to complete their work can easily start a chain reaction, slowing down or even stopping multiple areas of any organization.

By providing employees with the ability to instantly communicate with someone when they are having an issue and unable to find the information they are looking for, will help to improve the current UI by showing what needed to be developed. This will in turn improving UX, help simplify processes, reduce downtimes and ultimately improve overall organizational efficiency.

Want to find out more?

You can learn more about how we are improving UI and UX and explaining why we have expanded the search within our self-service portal.

If you want to see how the new chat works, you can see a short video from our Efecte Highlights site. You can also find out more about the technical features of our chat.

Want to talk with us more about any of our solutions, features or how they can help optimize and improve your business.

Request for a demo or consultation meeting

Patrick Thurman

Written by Patrick Thurman

I am the product marketing expert at Efecte and have a passion for identifying and experimenting with new project and management concepts and strategies.