The Infosys Labs research blog tracks trends in technology with a focus on applied research in Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

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Measuring Service Experience in IT Enabled Shared Services

1. Introduction

Service experience is the key for success of shared services. Rich service experience helps in achieving high Return on Investment (ROI). To calculate ROI, it is necessary to quantify an experience. Therefore, it is essential to understand the stages in service experience and its types.

In the first stage of experience, user gathers information about the service from the trusted sources and develops the first impression of service. Next stage is about operational interaction with the service or consumption of service. Afterwards, it is a stage of cognitive process to create memories which leads the user to generate positive or negative opinion about the service. 

2. Types of Experiences

There are mainly two types of experiences experienced by consumers: Operational Experience and Emotional Experience.

  • Operational or Tangible Experience is based on operational or consumption experience of service. Elements of operational experience are such as: Resources, Functionality, Quality, Usability, Flexibility, and Support.
  • Emotional or Intangible Experience is based on feelings gathered while using a service. Elements of emotional experience are: Satisfaction, Brand Promotion and Loyalty.

3. How to Measure Service Experience

In ideal situation, user request should be completed in a single attempt. However, ideal incidences are uncommon. User may have to do multiple attempts to complete a request. This hampers user experience. User experience can be enhanced by using multiple techniques. However, it is necessary to deliver an experience expected by a consumer. After providing required service experience, the next big challenge is to quantify the experience.

Collection and analysis of data is the first step in quantification of experience. Majority of data required for operational experience can be captured at system level, while psychological data can be collected through survey. Next step is to develop metrics, which are required to convert data into quantifiable experience.

Benchmarking or base-lining has to be done before modifying user experience. The metric results obtained during base-lining will be compared with the metrics obtained after implementation of modified experience. The changes in before-after metric suggest level of changes in experience.

4. Operational Experience

4.1 Resources

  • IT Resources: Optimized and automated services reduces the requirements of IT infrastructure, such as servers and bandwidth. Increase in number of requests per server and reduced use of internet bandwidth can be used to derive metrics for IT resources. 
  • Human resources: It is about measuring increase in number of requests supported by an individual support staff.

4.2 Functionality

  • Completeness: A service has to fulfill user needs. It is essential to understand the extent up to which service is serving the desired purpose. Completeness of service is a metric to match between user needs and service offerings. 
  • Easiness: Request is a consumption of service by a user. User should be able to raise a request very easily (without any hurdle) i.e. request generation should be completed in first attempt. If user faces problems while generating a request, then it may be difficult for user to raise the request in first attempt. Easiness is a metric of raising a request quickly and successfully.
  • Integrity: An optimized service leads to reduced number of interactions with service by user. Integrity metric calculates effect on experience because of services integration and automation of workflow. 
  • Automation: Some of the stages and activities in service delivery can be automated to reduce time of service. Automation is a metric to count automated activities and stages in service delivery.

4.3 Quality

  • Completion Time: It is a time required to complete a request. Completion time metric measures time required from raising a request till completion of the request.
  • Service Level Agreement (SLA): SLA is mandatory every request. Any operational issue failing to comply with SLA leads to frustration of a user hence it reduces experience. SLA metric measures compliance of SLA.

4.4 Usability

  • Navigation: How quickly user is able to identify required information and easiness in shifting from one part of service to another part helps to determine metric. 
  • Learnability: It measure quickness of learning while using a service. Better usability increases learnability, therefore reduces cognitive efforts. Learnability metric can be derived taking ratings on various parameters of learnability.
  • Memorability: While using a service, user memorizes some things. These memorized stuffs reduce efforts of future interaction with the service. Therefore, memorability is a metric to quantity easiness in memorizing things.

4.5 Flexibility

  • Convenience:  It is a metric to measure round the clock availability of service at fingertip.
  • State Management: While using a service via internet, user should be able to switch between devices (laptop, smartphone and tablet) very smoothly without affecting service experience. State management metric measures the smooth transition between devices.

4.6 Support

  • Support Requests: While consuming a service user may face some problems and may take help from support staff. This traditional way wastes lot of time and money. More requests indicate poor understanding of service. Increase in number of support request quantifies the deprived experience. Thus, metric is number of support request registered.
  • Self-help: Better and lucid self-help tempts user to use it rather than asking help of support staff. Self-help metric quantify effective use of service.

5. Emotional Experience

  • Satisfaction: Fulfillment of expectations at the end of consumption of service is indicator of satisfaction. It is overall view gathered during the process of service usage. Satisfaction metric is a rating given by users.
  • Brand Promotion: If user is satisfied with a service, then user may recommend it to others. This is better channel of brand promotion of service. Brand communication metric is willingness of user to recommend others.
  • Loyalty: It measures the readiness of user to use same service again and again.

6. Conclusion

Quantification of user experience is a function of Emotional and Operational experience. It can be calculated on various parameters such as Resources, Functionality, Quality, Usability, Flexibility, Support, and Emotional Proportions.

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