How User Experience Research Is Core To Client Success With Business Intelligence 3.0

CEO of Crux Intelligence and four-time founder/board member. Putting AI in the hands of every business user.

The business intelligence (BI) tools of earlier generations were not very user-friendly. So much so that you had to have significant technical skills to interact with them. This meant decision-makers at most organizations would have to wait for the users with the necessary skills to create reports for them.

With BI tools evolving over the years, they’ve become more accessible to non-technical users. However, most of the tools currently on the market still have limitations concerning the experience of the average user.

With BI 3.0, you have a new generation of BI tools. These newer tools focus much more on delivering a great user experience. It’s not just about being easy to use—these tools aim to offer access to analytics to a broader array of users with varying levels of technical skill.

This is one of the reasons we went with a mobile-first model of BI at Crux Intelligence. Our user experience (UX) research showed that most people prefer using the phone as their primary portal to software and the internet. So, it made sense to us to build a BI platform that leans into these strengths and preferences.

But achieving customer success is about more than offering BI tools on the devices your customers use most. You also have to learn how to maximize the value your customers get from your BI 3.0 tools to deliver the best customer experience possible.

It Starts With User Research

The first step is understanding your customers and the users. Beyond just knowing what they want and the features that will attract new customers, you need to know what they expect when they use a BI tool. What types of goals are they trying to achieve? What does success look like for your customers? Recognize the fact that different business users may have different answers to the questions that will shape your UX.

Successful BI implementation might require several different UX research methods. Surveys and focus groups might be the best methods for some stages. You might also need to deploy user testing and usability testing. Interviews with existing clients could be another way to gain valuable insights. Client success software is another tool that can help provide visibility through all customer interactions with your brand.

Design With Flexibility

Different businesses are going to need to use the BI tool in different ways. Not only that, you might have clients that have different types of users that require different things from the software. That means you have to design the UX with flexibility in mind.

As an example, users might have different needs as it concerns the layout of the dashboard. If it can be customized to meet those needs, the tool will be more valuable to the customer. The tool might also need to have different levels of features depending on the skills of the user. You might have a more simplified version of the tool for some users, but there could also be an advanced version of the BI tool for power users.

Represent Reality

Managing expectations is another part of customer success. It can be tempting for a marketing department to represent a version of the product that makes it seem sleeker or more visually appealing than it is in reality. Although this is likely to help you attract more new customers, it can cause problems when the reality of the product doesn’t live up to those expectations. In turn, this could result in retention issues.

Customers should have a fair representation of what they’re getting before they even see a demo. A customer should know what to expect based on the copy you write about the product, as well as the screenshots. The sales team should also provide honest answers to questions and be ready to provide explanations.

Training Based On Client Needs

This is another area in which having UX research skills will come in handy. As mentioned before, different clients are going to have different needs. That means you can’t create a one-size-fits-all training program to deploy for every client. You need to understand the needs of the individual client and create programs to meet the unique requirements they might have.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t develop general resources designed to handle common issues. Having FAQs and “how to” resources can be another part of achieving customer success. You just need to go beyond general resources to offer training assets and courses that can be customized to the needs of the client.

Lean on your user research, develop plans for individual clients and help them achieve the maximum success possible with your BI tools. The more value you can help your clients generate using your tools, the more they will come to depend on them. This is a big part of what makes customer success a value driver for companies that offer tools like BI software.

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