Is UX Critical to Coworking Software?
A recent post on andcards blog “Collaborative Features to Look for in Workspace Software,” generated quite a buzz among the readers. One of them raised the question, “Is UX (user experience) critical to coworking software?” believing that software should be practical rather than flawless.
It’s an interesting question in that it implies that it’s unnecessary to use a professional solution. I wanted to explore this more thoroughly, so in this post, we’ll focus on the importance of UX in coworking software.
UX optimization may increase revenue by 37%.
In 2019, 60% of coworking space owners listed attracting new members as their greatest challenge. With increasing competition, it’s getting harder. In 2019, WeWork had 446,000 members globally. That may not sound impressive, but it’s a 6,371% increase from 2015.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have put a damper on the industry, but that won’t last long. Companies, having been forced into allowing employees to work from home, are seeing the benefits of not maintaining an intensive infrastructure.
Post COVID-19, we’ll see many firms choosing not to go back. We’ll see a subsequent sharp increase in the demand for coworking spaces and a corresponding increase in competition between the vendors.
Providing an outstanding user experience is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Firms that wish to retain their competitive edge will have to up their game. The nature of the business leaves the other battle lines fairly firmly drawn. There’s only so much you can do to enhance the experience within the shared offices.
By using professional UX tools, you provide the client with what they want the most — convenience. By using a solidly designed, logically-framed process, you reduce potential friction points. Your clients find it easy to manage their flexible workspace, and interactions between them and your company move along smoothly.
A streamlined process provides clients with a simple, workable solution. This increases their trust in your business and positions you as a market leader. They’ll want to stay in the workspace and will spread the word about your company’s efficiency. Consider a professional UX solution investment in brand-building.
If you don’t, clients will look for someone that will.
Streamlined processes and flawless operation are given when selecting the correct tool. Other things to consider include the following.
I understand why readers raised the question, at least in part. They may have used tools that were flashy features, but that provided little value.
When selecting the correct option for your business, it’s essential to look for features that your clients want to see (for solutions that solve their problems). Anything else simply bloats the app, making it less useful. The interface should be intuitive in design, and every feature must add value.
Must it look good? Most definitely, but not to the detriment of performance and the user experience. A coworking space is a professional environment. Yes, there is some social interplay, but it’s first and foremost about work.
What you need is a suite of collaborative tools that function flawlessly. We covered these in the initial article, but just as a recap, they are:
- Member’s Directory: A directory allows your clients to build contacts and attract new business. It’s a win-win situation because they’ll need to spend more time in the office as a result.
- Meeting Room Booking: Why pay for something when you can do the same with Google Meetings? It may well double-book spaces, leading to arguments over who booked first. Members will also need to exit the Google app and pay separately.
- Member’s Support: If your client has a query, you must provide a quick solution. Integrating an AI-based service allows clients to get answers to basic questions 24/7.
- Workspace Analytics: Analyzing the data shows you how your users are using the space. It helps you neaten up your offering, plan for peak and off-peak periods, and find areas for improvement.
- Stream: The primary reason for using these spaces is that they provide a professional office environment. Another benefit is that they offer some social interaction. Coworkers may bounce ideas off one another and get updates on all community matters. A reliable suite of tools integrates a community newsfeed.
- Helpful Integrations: It might be useful, for example, to incorporate a visitor management system. Consider the needs of your users and work out what else to add from there.
Clear conceptions of what makes for a good UX change over time. Ten years ago, the fact that an app could send notifications and reminders was a novel concept. Today it’s just as likely to be seen as annoying as helpful.
You could spend thousands of dollars to create a suitable app, but how quickly will it become obsolete? With market changes, it’s difficult to predict what users will need a year from now, giving a modular suite of tools a distinct advantage over those designed from scratch.
Consider each building block to success. Choose the modules that make sense for your business now, and pay for only what you need. As things change, add more options, or remove those that no longer serve your business.
Outsourcing the development allows you to run a branded app that looks professional and is always up to date.
Understanding the customer journey from start to finish is a crucial strategy for creating a successful client experience. There are few simple shortcuts with this as it requires careful data gathering.
The customer experience may look flawless on paper, but you’ll never be sure unless you work through everything live from the customer’s perspective. A robust CRM system allows you to track their movements on your website or app (just like best phone tracker app informs you about your kid's location) and makes it easier to identify points of frustration.
Analysis shouldn’t stop there. How quickly does the booking process go? Do you make it easy for the client to pay? For example, is it possible for your clients to pay as they book, or do they have to wait for the invoice and then pay? Removing the invoicing step may only save the clients minutes in reality, but it makes the process seem far less tedious.
It’s also something that you may not know unless you’ve experienced frustration in paying for a space on your app.
Working through the processes gives you some insight. For an entirely objective opinion, however, you’ll need input from your clients. There are several ways to gather feedback, and flexible workspaces should use them wisely.
Gathering information on customer satisfaction is essential if you want to know you’re heading in the right direction. There are a few metrics you may consider here.
- Customer Satisfaction Score: Measured using questions like, “Rate your experience on a scale of 1–10,” this metric has limited usefulness. It’s an indicator of past behavior rather than future intent.
- Net Promoter Score: With the NPS, you ask clients how likely they are to recommend your company. It’s a more accurate predictor of behavior.
- Customer Effort Score: Here, you’ll ask clients how simple they found the process. The less effort they had to expend, the better.
- Surveys: You may conduct telephone surveys, leave paper surveys at the office, or send them out by email.
Coworking businesses typically use a combination of all these methods to assess customer satisfaction at any stage. They should also provide clients the opportunity to submit suggestions or comments at will.
Relying solely on these metrics could, however, be a mistake. Balancing the need to obtain feedback with the need to create a seamless experience for your client is tricky.
Consumers are increasingly experiencing feedback overload. While they want to be able to give their input, they want to do as they choose. The ubiquitous survey after each interaction becomes annoying after a while.
Instead, coworking spaces may choose to set surveys at random or rely on more passive forms of feedback from clients.
With this type, the company does the work. They actively search social media, analyze performance, and actively review client support requests. It requires extra work on the workspace part, but it’s likely to get them more comprehensive results.
It may provide insight into the concerns of clients who are unwilling to complete the surveys accurately or at all.
Making adjustments in response to client feedback establishes your company as a team player. Clients will enjoy better service delivery and feel more engaged with your flexible workspace. They’ll feel as though you’re actively supporting them and want to reciprocate.
Re-evaluating your product offering periodically helps your business to grow with increased demand. If Blockbuster had done so, they might still be a leading product chain in the United States.
Is customer experience critical to coworking software? The two go hand in hand. With market competition set to increase, an outstanding UX is a key to business success. Consumers increasingly require concrete solutions that save them time and effort. By providing them, you’ll outdistance yourself from your competition and increase sales and revenue.
Need some tips on choosing the best software to manage your coworking space? Get them here: How to Choose the Best Software to Manage Your Coworking Space.
The article was written by Oleg Deneka, founder of Techpricecrunch.com with a strong desire to help wanderers, lost among endless sites and blogs, by providing top-notch statistics and verified numbers.