Does poor user experience affect the overall customer experience?

In previous articles we have looked at the importance of customer experience. In this article we look at whether poor user experience, whether this is through poor layout of a website or problems in store, can affect the overall experience of the customer.

Customer’s experience is very important and it must be maintained to a high standard from the start of the sales process to it completion. Completion of the sales process in many cases is the actual receipt of physical goods ordered online or physically bought at a store or receipt electronic goods bought online such as music and now films.
It shouldn’t be thought for an instant that customer experience ends with customers leaving the store or website they purchased from.

User experience can be defined as the reactor or nucleus of a brand where the brand is in essence the sum of the experiences a person has with a company or organization.

The overall experience of customer can be affected by a poor user experience in a number of ways. A poor user experience can be bad service in an actual store, poor treatment by customer services, or online at a website that doesn’t make it clear what to do through poor navigation and layout, or misleads you by accident by not displaying terms and conditions appropriately. There are many more reasons beyond the scope of this article.

The result can be that customers will remember their experiences and so not use that company, or service again, or simply grind their teeth about it all and tweet about it to friends. They could just be more careful next time. 

A simple example of a bad experience in a store would be just not finding what you are looking for or in the case with a local Woolworths finding an DVD in a display box and finding out that first that the item wasn’t in stock and second that that item wasn’t on sale anymore.

Another example was in a recent article on linked in called “Does customer experience matter when the price is right?” where a customer booked to stay in a Travelodge and made errors in the dates of the booking. Though this was the customer’s own fault, the rate used was apparently a saver rate with a non-refundable room. They couldn’t get their money back and was not aware of the terms and conditions because these were not clearly displayed and the booking information wasn’t displayed when it came to confirming the booking and paying. Not everything was done to prevent errors in the case.

In contrast, Premier Inn, according to the article, provide the same saver rates but has a much user friendly buying process including constantly displaying the booking information each step of the way and confirming it all as you pay. This ensures that customers can check the details before they make a payment and ensures that the company has done what it can to make the terms of the booking clear, and avoid mistakes where possible. 

User experiences can turn bad through customers own fault, as above, and not reading things properly and realizing too late because they skim read and click through each part as fast as possible.

User experience can affect the overall customer experience in many ways, for better or worse as shown. But is not always due to company involved and how a website is designed. However this does make the point that in order to reduce the likelihood of problems experienced by users, key information should be made very clear at all times and product information or displays be clear too.