Just yesterday, during a client meeting, I had a UX co-worker replying to the contentious question "do you like our website?" with a based "It doesn't matter if I like it or not; it matters if the user does."
I reckon my answer would probably be "no, hence why we are having this conversation" but that would not have been the correct answer.
The truth is Designers, as well as Sales and Marketing folks, sometimes have tunnel vision, and try to apply a strategy from a previous experience thinking it will work again, just to find that, even though companies might be similar, their target audience is completely different.
So how can UX help a company remove their preconceived ideas of who they are marketing for and who is buying their products?
Remove or Reduce Friction
Have you ever got so excited to purchase a product, gone through the frustration of not knowing how to purchase it, or simply having way too many steps in the process you did not have enough time to finalize the purchase?
This is a typical issue UX can solve. By making the process seamless, reducing steps, improving clarity, and making all necessary information available where the user expects to find you will certainly not only increase sales but also customer satisfaction and retention.
Sometimes these issues come along with generic templates or out-of-the-box solutions. It is the job of the UX designer to identify gaps and opportunities and refine the user experience for the final user.
Optimize Marketing Efforts
You can waste time and money by not knowing who you are reaching out to. Sometimes, managers, owners, and stakeholders have an idea of their target audience, which might not necessarily correspond to who is purchasing their product or service.
That is when a UX designer can create personas to satisfy this gap between the assumed target and the real one. Or even identify new lanes in which Marketing could explore.
User personas are fictional users whose goals and characteristics should represent the needs of a broader group.
Knowing who you are talking to or would like to speak to will reduce Pay-Per-Click advertising costs and guide sales toward more profitable strategies.
Learn your user's path
There is a reason every museum has a store at the end of it, not at the beginning. Grocery stores also implement strategies by knowing how their customers navigate their stores.
In the digital world, we call it the "Customer Journey".
A Customer Journey is a path the user takes to accomplish a task. It could be purchasing a product, signing up for a free trial, or simply updating their profile picture on a social platform. As UX practitioners, we focus on intention and try to move the user through happy paths, avoiding friction and frustration.
By identifying these paths, the UX team can indicate where certain items should be located on a page and how Marketing and Sales can leverage this data to make more conscious decisions.
Although UX might seem like a buzz term, creating better User Experiences should be a collective effort. A multi-disciplinary team can make more informed decisions that will ultimately increase customer satisfaction and revenue for the entire company.