The problem-solving power of technology: 5 key takeaways from our panel discussion

by Matt Rooke-Content Marketing Manager|Tue Nov 29 2022

Panelists for set for success event

Last week, we brought together experts from The Very Group, Screwfix, Natura & Co, ITV and The Economist to share their expertise on using technology to deliver brilliant customer experiences.

The panel discussion was full of fantastic insights, so here's five key points from: “Set for success: The problem-solving power of technology".

1. Get involved in user research

Getting feedback and insights from users is invaluable when creating digital products - you can’t build technology people love to use without understanding how and why they’re going to use it.

Muktar Mahama, Head of Digital Product at The Very Group: “Get close to your users and if possible be involved in the research. Someone can play back research feedback - but the expression somebody has when they discuss a particular experience is so powerful. Speak to customers and users - but make sure you’re present.”

2. Accessibility cannot be an afterthought

Recent statistics suggest that there are over 14 million people in the UK living with some form of disability - roughly one in five of the UK population. It’s essential to ensure your technology can be accessed by all users wherever possible. 

Amanda Glover, Lead Product Manager at ITV: “At ITV, accessibility is a massive priority - and we’ve learned that you can’t do it in hindsight. Accessibility is a big part of the planning stage and we always take that very seriously.”

Accessibility is more difficult and more expensive to build into a product retrospectively, so it has to be prioritised right the start. 

3. Communication is everything

The value of communication is a theme which came up again and again during the discussion and managing different stakeholders is an important part of success in any project. 

ITV's Amanda Glover again: “Don't overburden your audience with data when you’re trying to prove your point of view. Once you’ve got a rapport, then you can start building and adding more layers."

This was echoed by Scott Fraser, Digital Product Director at Screwfix: “Over-communication and making sure everyone is aware of what’s happening has certainly in my experience helped resolve some challenging stakeholder situations. For me, it’s about putting myself in the shoes of the individual and asking why they are being a difficult stakeholder.”

The final wise words on this came from CRM and Personalisation Lead at Natura & Co Gianfranco Cuzziol: “When you think you’ve communicated enough, communicate even more.” 

4. Look at the bigger picture

Taking a step back is always helpful says Apadmi's Chief Technology Officer Gary Butcher: “Don’t get too drawn in on a very small cluster of metrics. Often when building digital products, people might add A and B together and assume you have to redo the entire product, but that’s not always the case.” 

When it comes to building digital products, metrics like number of users, conversion rate and others are important, but detail from data science is also needed to help create the context of the bigger picture.

5. Customer experience should focus on the whole journey

Keeping customers happy isn't just helping them to find and buy what they want. It has to be just as good if they want their money back.

Muktar Mahama: “The approach we’ve taken to refunds is to try to solve the problem first time around. We saw high returns in fashion, so we tried to reduce the number of people returning things by introducing a feature to suggest a size based on a previous order. And by doing that, we saw a decline in people choosing the same item in different sizes.

“For those who return, it’s about having a set process around how we see that item, how we let you know we’ve got that return and how we let you know our processes are timely - so customers aren’t left in the dark wondering what’s going on.”

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Set for success

These are just some of the many insights shared by our panelists to help create successful digital experiences. If you'd like to know more about getting help with your own digital product problems, we'd love to hear from you.

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