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Virtually Speaking

Website Usability Redefined

Posted by Next IT on Jun 11, 2012 12:49:35 PM


Website Usability Redefined

Today’s brands do their best to build websites that cater to their customers. They use targeted research data, purchasing-trend analytics and other complicated formulas to build out content and website flow that will not only attract customers but engage them as well. The goal of this careful website craftsmanship is to make self-service effortless and enjoyable for customers and profitable for the company.

The problem for most websites is not a lack of content but rather the inability to deliver flawless navigation. As far as websites have come in some areas, the burden of navigating an unfamiliar site is still placed on the customer, and with over 555 million known websites with unique layouts, there is no scarcity of customer frustration when it comes to usability shortcomings.  In fact, in a recent report, ease-of-use, or lack thereof, was cited as the second largest contributor to user frustration.

With the current overload of information on websites, Intelligent Virtual Assistants provide much-needed clarity. They ensure an incredibly fast ‘need to resolution’ time, and they make the experience pleasant – sometimes even fun (visit the U.S. Army’s SGT STAR).  Different from search, a Next IT IVA is designed to understand the user's intent with such clarity that it delivers only the one right answer that provides resolution – rather than delivering pages of links that the customer has to weed through.

So, what kind of results can brands expect from their websites when they incorporate Next ITs patented technology – basically eliminating navigation issues and allowing the customer to ask for what they are looking for in their own words? Take Aetna’s ‘Ann,’ for instance. During the 5th month after implementation, they saw a 29% decrease in calls to their member-services technical help desk – an incredible operational cost savings and a big improvement in website usability.

In a landscape where more customers are going to a company’s website first to get things done, it’s safe to assume that website functionality will become a competitive differentiator in the push to secure the next wave of consumers: Gen Y, now totaling more than 80 million. This super-connected group is already demanding better solutions when it comes to website usability and customer service, and brands are paying attention to their requests by investing in their own IVAs that benefit both the company as well as their customers.

Topics: Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVA), User Experience, Technology