Are you part of an enterprise that has a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), or even better, a Chief Experience Officer (CXO)? If so, are you currently supporting this person with usability testing and customer (and/or user) behavioral research? If not, are you searching for one?
Bruce Temkin, who is my Hero, and has a shrine in my “business usability / customer experience optimization” room (what, you don’t have that room?), had an interesting Blog that you may find helpful for selling usability into your organization, and finding a sponsor. I highly recommend you read it and forward it to your business associates who care about usability and/or actually read emails you send.
Bruce blogged about “My First 8 Steps As A New CMO,” which among other things contains a listing of the 8 things he would do if he was newly hired and given the CEO’s blessing to shake things up.
Check out Item #4 of 8; “Increase investment in customer insight.” Here’s a quote:
“In all of my work with large organizations, Iâ€™ve never heard anyone say â€œwe spent too much on customer insight.â€ Thatâ€™s because most companies spend too little in this area. Iâ€™d find a way to do more customer research, including ethnographic field studies, to make sure that we truly understand our customersâ€™ needs, interests, and desires.”
I know, I know! Exciting isn’t it!
And check this out, Item #7 of 8; “Improve usability of everything.” Again, here’s a quote:
“Iâ€™ve evaluated the usability of 100â€™s of Websites as well as a bunch of phone, Web, store, IVR, and cross-channel experiences. And there are always a lot of problems. So Iâ€™d champion efforts to make sure that itâ€™s much easier for customers to do business with us in every channel.”
Ladies and gentlemen, this is EXACTLY the type of work us usability-geeks do! We support people like this, and add value to the organization by creating postive change, mostly for our customers, but eventually for our business and shareholders (if there’s any of those left what with the Dow being in a major Bear mood these days).
Look into your organization and find these leaders and approach them with a short but sweet story of how you can aid their quest for improving the customer experience by providing behavioral research and usability testing / usability optimization. If your organization does not have these types of leaders, people who get the fact that making things easier and more satisfying to use is actually good for business, then consider one of two approaches:
- Get out of that organization, and find one that does have this type of leadership (this is the easy way)
- Begin a campaign to look for, find and help support the person or people in your organization that believe this type of leadership is essential. Hint: you can start by e-mailing Bruce Temkin’s 8 first steps to several people in your organization that share your beliefs. (this is the hard way)
Remember, usability doesn’t start with conducting usability testing, it starts with finding leaders that believe in usability.