27 Apr 2012 Slick and stylish OB10
Bloggers and tweeters don’t go too far off piste normally but there is nothing quite like sub-standard telco customer support to drive even the most focused to go right off topic and declare their frustration at their mobile phone operator or ISP. Customer support only needs to be a little bit wrong to make a dramatic difference to user experience and we are all so used to expecting best in class service that even a 10 minute wait to be dealt with by a call center can get us really piste off.
It’s not just consumers that need to be kept happy. Business software needs to deliver a great user experience too. OB10 will hold their hands up and admit that their customer support hasn’t been their strong point in the past and that’s why they’ve invested heavily in customer experience. Their newly unveiled portal is a massive improvement both in substance and style.
We’ve written about this before. The difference between adoption and mass adoption is ease of use. It’s the facebook lesson. Before facebook, you needed some basic level of computer literacy to get anything out of a computer but now you don’t even need literacy. It’s what opened the Internet to grannies who can now see photos of their grandchildren on the other side of the world. Techniques like gamification – gold stars for good behavior – are being used by marketers to generate $millions from games like Farmville and now, even serious corporate applications are learning the lessons as they realize that even incremental improvements in user experience can have a disproportionately positive effect.
OB10’s portal is slick and modern. It’s functional and attractive. More than anything, I was impressed by some of the cosmetics. Let’s face it, managing invoices all day isn’t the most glamorous job in the world so a user interface that you actually want to use is a big plus.
But there was no gamification. No gold stars for completing my work promptly and correctly. So I ask Stefan Foryszewski who heads up OB10’s product development, if this was in the pipeline.
“No it’s not” responded Stefan in characteristic no-nonsense style. “What you need to remember is that the OB10 network carries $130 billion worth of invoices per year. Invoices between businesses, government, doctors. This is data of the most sensitive kind and it’s important that we don’t trivialize it.”
Stefan hit the nail firmly on the head
The point is that to create a great user experience, technology needs to adapt to human behavior and business requirements rather than expecting people or businesses to adapt to technology. That’s what will drive mass adoption of things like e-invoicing. But that is not to say that we need to dumb down. We still need robust processes and we will continue to need to take established practices seriously.
It’s nice to see that that can be done without compromising aesthetics and usability.