On Rad�s Radar

It's the User Experience, Stupid

By Peter Radizeski, RAD-INFO Inc.  |  November 12, 2012

This article originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY.

It’s all about UX – the user experience. Carriers have a tendency to talk about value and solutions out of the side of their mouths. I say that they talk about it, but that’s as far as that goes. No differentiation. It is total commoditization of me-too services to which they expect the channel to add value.

In all of this cloud bubble, everyone forgets that it is about the customer – what he wants and what he experiences.

I dislike making Apple (News - Alert) analogies, but consumers wouldn’t switch networks and upgrade constantly – the darn iPhone 5 would sell out in a few hours – if it wasn’t about the consumer experience.

One company realized that the user interface of its white-label fax solution was so poor that it was costing the company users.

Parallels told a roomful of channel execs that cloud success depends on integration. It is something that the Google (News - Alert) Apps circle has already jumped on. This young sector gets that it is about integration and ease of use, but the 16-year-old carrier industry can barely grasp it – or give it more than lip service in most cases.

In website design, the most expensive designers deal in UX. However, in telecom, where millions are dumped into gear, little is given to user experience and the supporting systems and procedures to insure that.

Once I placed orders with two different CLECs the same week. The experience was vastly different to the point I just won’t work with the other CLEC again.

As everything becomes cloud, the user experience will become more and more important. As companies move apps, desktops, communications to the cloud, training, on-boarding, integration and customer care will become essential pieces of retention – otherwise customers will bounce.

Very few people in hosted PBX (News - Alert) understand this to the core, which might explain the slow adoption. A good user experience generates word of mouth, which produces referrals, which begets revenue.

One guy at CPExpo said that it will be a disruptor that ultimately wins the cloud battle. It will be a company that makes user experience a wonder because it ends with the user.

Peter Radizeski is head of telecom consulting agency RAD-INFO Inc.

Edited by Brooke Neuman