Usabilla recently launched its new CX analytics solution, a platform that offers a flexible environment for users to combine, segment, and compare all of their customers’ feedback in one dynamic space.
Gal Agmon, Senior Product Designer at Usabilla, is behind its creation. We sat with Gal to explain how and why Usabilla came up with the new platform, starting with the process of interviewing customers to discover their feedback needs, then designing the platform, and eventually bringing value.
You created a team of people to sit down together and think of ways to make Usabilla’s feedback solution even better. Can you tell us about that?
About two years ago, there was an opportunity from the development side, and an urgency from the design side to take a look at the Usabilla product as a whole to get a better understanding of who our clients are and what they are trying to achieve. We didn’t want to think of new features to implement, but rather the whole idea of user feedback and how real people work with it at their organizations. This was a moment to really stop for a minute and think– really think– what our clients need.
A task force was created to tackle the project. It consisted of myself, another UX Designer, a Customer Support Manager, and a Product Manager and was called the Usabilla Concept Team. For two days each week we sat in a room with walls full of post-its. Our first task: where do we start? We began working with the foundations of the research of Usabilla. This naturally included taking a look at our user personas and by parsing new ones out. We asked ourselves questions like: “Do we know who our users are?” “What are our users’ jobs, what do they do in the day-to-day work?” “What time do they interact with Usabilla?” “What are the similarities and differences between those personas?”
It was important to us to create the future of Usabilla with input from our customers.
I felt lucky to participate. We became the people meeting face to face with clients, interviewing, exploring their customer journeys and validating ideas. We grew to know our clients really well. Doing our own research made it incredibly easy to relate to them, to understand what their problems and needs are, and keep their day-to-day jobs in mind as we conceptualized the next generation of Usabilla software.
It came down to three main challenges:
1. How do I engage more teams with user feedback?
Democratizing data within an organization and keeping teams engaged is one of the hardest parts of running a VoC program.
2. How can I ensure that the feedback data is actionable and relevant per team?
Every team is collecting customer insights for different purposes and based on different channels, customer journeys, brands, etc. Our clients found it difficult to organize and make data relevant to each different problem or project.
3. How can I make user feedback relevant for different roles and their various projects?
Every role has different preferences in handling user feedback. Some users are just monitoring, where others are looking for all the details. Moreover, different personas might be using feedback in different ways depending on their project and the timeline of that project.
After you did the research, what happened next?
We didn’t want to do a full-on design sprint, because this method felt too short and too time-boxed. We wanted to do something a bit longer, using a bit more research, but also in the same sprint-based strategy with outcomes that are fairly similar. At this early stage, we were validating concepts and not solutions which added some difficulty in defining a clear process. One question remained in all of our minds throughout the planning process:
What is the best way to help different teams and different roles to analyze feedback?
We ultimately came up with 3 different concepts, the three most important pillars we wanted to focus on that built upon each other and validated one another:
“In what ways should our customers be able to structure and organize their data?”
Allow our clients to organize their feedback data in ways that fit their company structure and workflows, ensuring increased flexibility, effectiveness, relevancy and better manageability.
“What tools or processes do our users need in order to handle data more efficiently?”
Allow our clients to create an overview of the right data in the right format. Enable them to draw conclusions from the dataset while minimizing repetitive and manual effort.
“How can we support our users in creating reports and building cases?”
Allow clients to share their findings and insights with relevant stakeholders in and outside of the Usabilla platform. We then began tackling these concepts one by one. For each persona, we considered their unique goals and began sketching a solution and ideating. We built abstract mock-ups, just to get the conversation started with our clients about the real thing.
We had to ask ourselves, with feedback data from multiple channels (websites, apps, email, more channels in the future), how can we help people make sense of it? Some organizations structure their teams by step of the funnel: for example, one team is in charge of checkout, while another is in charge of the returns funnel, versus the FAQ page, etc.
We wanted to ensure we could cater to the multitude of ways a team might need their data structured.
While we were researching the needs and possible solutions a team in the engineering department started the proof of concept. This project is bigger than the new CX analytics solution, it is a whole new platform with a robust and flexible infrastructure, we just had to dream up what to do with all this power.
In your own words, what is the vision of the new CX analytics solution?
The vision is to empower more teams to become more engaged with user feedback. The CX analytics solution is meant to make it easy for people to see the data most relevant to them and analyze it in an efficient way so they know exactly what action to take and how to prioritize their actions.
We wanted to give both breadth and depth to the product, so that C-level executives could gather a wide overview and benchmark overall, partnered with the ability for every user in the client’s organization to get as granular as they needed.
Overall, this solution is meant to help our clients get the most out of their users’ feedback data.
What is the future of the new CX analytics solution?
Our customers are analyzing their data and building charts and workspaces that fits their needs, giving us feedback along the way. Currently, we are adding more and more features into it. Every few weeks something new is happening so we make sure we can facilitate all the different use cases and client needs.
Where did the name of the CX analytics solution come from?
Before we had decided on a name, I kept referring to the dashboards as ‘working-spaces’, as they were more than just charts you monitor but rather a collaborative life environment. One day, our VP of Product said to me, “Gal, why don’t we just call it Usabilla Workspaces?”
What were your major challenges in creating the new CX analytics solution?
Whenever you’re building an entirely new product or feature, it’s a balance between the details and the overall impact. This manifests itself in the challenge that is bringing together the Product side of the business with the Commercial side under the same vision. Obviously for us at Usabilla, this development was very important to people at Usabilla from all teams, and you want to do your best to help everyone. I wanted the input and involvement from other teams like Sales and Customer Success, but it was always a balance of showing them the vision of the product we had and getting them excited about its functionality while keeping them patient enough to not start selling it to their clients before the infrastructure was ready.
Similarly, there was an immense amount of responsibility on my side, and quite a bit of responsibility for success. At a certain point, I was so anxious for someone outside of Usabilla to try the product just so I could get some feedback. I wanted so badly for someone to use the product – I literally screamed in the office when we got our first piece of user feedback through the feedback button. Lastly, it is a complex environment from a UX perspective. I had to go back and forth in the analysis environment to ensure that it was simple enough for UX designers to quickly navigate, but robust enough to be taken seriously for a super analytical person.
In your view, what is the value of the CX analytics solution?
A lot of companies are talking about being user-centric and customer-centric. But they don’t actually do it.
Usabilla is great at collecting feedback – we’ve always been proud and confident in our agility and quickness. And we knew there was room to grow in analysis and action.
There’s no point in collecting feedback if you can’t act on it. We need to guide our clients in what to act on and when. In order to really take our clients to the next phase, we had to help them find the data that is relevant to them, fits their organizational structure, and fits their needs and preferences. It has to be simple enough for multiple users from different teams to be able to rely on themselves and nobody else, and be able to act on feedback to improve the digital channels.
To me, this is the value of the CX analytics solution. A breadth and depth of functionality for everyone in your organization to see, analyze, and act on feedback with agility and speed. The CX analytics solution is not only being user-centric and customer-centric but something that fuels and perpetuates a successful CX program.
Thank you, Gal! We look forward to the evolution of this solution.