Smartwatch Value Driver #2: Curate Ruthlessly

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Newsflash: Smartwatches are tiny. They’re working with about 1/5th the screen real estate of a smartphone, and tablets are downright gargantuan by comparison.

Seem obvious? When we partnered with AnswerLab to study the current state of the smartwatch experience, we realized it wasn’t. It wasn’t obvious to brands whose apps failed to account for the limitations (and strengths) of this minute addition to the device ecosystem. And it wasn’t obvious to recent and prospective buyers, who envisioned miniaturized smartphones on their wrists.

Those expectations changed in a hurry when participants in our study strapped on smartwatches and explored apps made for shopping, health tracking, travel, entertainment, and financial management. Most quickly realized that phone app replicas wouldn’t be useful on a miniscule watch interface with limited input mechanisms. Plus, it just wasn’t comfortable for participants to peer at their wrists for long periods of time, so scrolling through lengthy content quickly became a literal pain.

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Smartwatch Value Driver #1: Get Intimate With Your Users

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Despite their tiny size, smartwatches have big shoes to fill. They evoke Dick Tracy’s video watch, Ethan Hunt’s myriad wearable tech, and Q’s parade of futuristic gadgets that 007 inevitably destroys. These fictional contraptions recognize their owners and their owners’ needs, powering up exactly when required with critical information or the means to escape a sticky situation. James Bond’s gun in Skyfall is so personalized that it only fires when in contact with his distinct palm print.

Of course, these iconic devices are still science fiction—but that hasn’t stopped them from creating sky-high expectations. In our recent collaboration with AnswerLab to uncover the value of today’s smartwatches, participants in our study referenced Hollywood gadgets as a major motivation for wanting smartwatches of their own. Then we saw their disappointment as they experimented with apps that had no clue who they were or what they were trying to do.

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The Secret To Customer Happiness: Realistic Expectations

Happiness gurus say the key to contentment is low expectations. This is great news for the pessimists whose strategy is to expect the worst and then enjoy a pleasant surprise when the apocalypse doesn’t happen.

But in the customer experience world, this doesn’t fly. You cannot sandbag your customers’ expectations by promising them a miserable experience and then hitting just above the low water mark. Instead, you need to align your customers’ expectations with the experience you can actually deliver. You need to get real with your customers.

Why are realistic expectations integral to customer experience?

Think of a child whose parents have promised him a kitten for Christmas. If little Tommy comes bounding down the stairs on December 25 with a mental image a cuddly new pet, he’ll be mightily disappointed to find a stuffed animal kitty cat under the tree. In contrast, Tommy’s next-door neighbor Suzie is delighted to receive the wooden pony she was expecting. Sure, Suzie would have liked a real pony, but her parents promised her a rocking horse and her parents delivered. Suzie’s parents are heroes. Tommy’s parents are about to witness a nasty tantrum.

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FREE Report: 5 Value Drivers To Make Your Smartwatch App Indispensable

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What’s the value of a smartwatch? What do consumers expect from these multitasking wearable devices? And how can brands take advantage of this tiny addition to the device ecosystem? To uncover the answers to these questions, Kerry Bodine & Co. partnered with our friends at the user experience research and testing firm AnswerLab.

We’re thrilled to share the findings of our research in a FREE report: Smartwatch Apps That Work: 5 Value Drivers To Make Your App Indispensable.

During our comprehensive study, we spoke with both smartwatch owners and prospective buyers—and found they had sky-high expectations for smartwatches. Our participants described themselves as early adopters who wanted these gadgets to make their lives more productive and convenient.

Unfortunately, while owners and prospective buyers alike found today’s smartwatches to be both fun and flashy…they also consider them expendable.

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The Always Up-To-Date Guide To CX Events

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I’m often asked about customer experience conferences: What’s out there? Where am I speaking? Which conferences would I recommend?

I’ve compiled the following list of conferences spanning a variety of topics — like CEM, service design, customer loyalty, customer success, and contact centers — that should be of interest to a wide range of customer experience professionals. I’ve organized the events based on the types of organizations hosting them: professional associations, event producers, service providers, media companiesanalyst firms, and tech vendors. And, as the title of this post implies, I’ll be keeping this list up to date on a rolling basis.

Am I missing an upcoming event? Please let me know!

Professional Associations

Customer Success Association’s Customer SuccessCon East
August 13, 2015
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Design Management Institute’s Design Leadership Conference
September 27 – 29, 2015
New York City

Service Design Network’s Global Conference
October 2 – 3, 2015
New York City

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