We sat down with Jennifer Gehringer – Training & Professional Services Manager, at Corbett Technology Solutions, Inc. (CTSI). As a thought leader, User-Experience (UX) Expert & Registered Nurse (RN), Jennifer shares the value that UX adds to the technology integration process. Through-out this Q&A interview; learn how you can optimize user satisfaction in your organization, the importance of creating and maintaining business relationships, and why considering Lean Process Improvement and Training might be beneficial for your business.
Q: There seems to be some confusion between the terms “User-Experience,” “User-Interface,” and “Customer Experience.” Can you clarify how CTSI defines “User-Experience”?
A: Customer Experience (CX) is the end-to-end experience a customer has with a provider – from sales through engineering, installation, training, ongoing support and managed services. User-Experience (UX) on the other hand, is working directly with the end-user of the systems, to ensure absolute satisfaction with the solution and the outcomes being delivered. It’s also largely being able to listen and guide the customer in the right direction, because they often have only a general idea of what they’re looking for. As subject matter experts, we facilitate a collaborative effort between the UX team, engineers, IT and the users to ultimately deliver a solution that fulfills their business requirements as effectively and efficiently as possible. UX helps arm our customers with everything needed to get the most benefit from their systems.
We do this by evaluating user processes and requirements from the very beginning. Our engineers then detail every system from a usability perspective, and finally, we make sure users are well-trained when the system is complete.
Q: Being a Systems Integrator means CTSI integrates technology in virtually any market. Does the way you approach UX change throughout different industries?
A: The main thing is making sure you have a team that speaks that industry’s language and understands the business. After that, there must be a unified approach to integration of services, products, software and support, regardless of the industry we’re working with. Whether our customers are collaborating for business or saving lives, our approach and attention to detail remains the same.
We learn about the client and their planned outcomes, so we can provide products and services that produce meaningful experiences to the users. This involves tailoring the entire process including product selection and integration, system design, usability, function, quality control, training, and go-live support.
Q: Do you have any specific examples of how the UX process has benefited a client?
A: In hospitals, for example, if IT implements a solution without input from the nursing staff, the end-users often are not happy with the system, and it won’t get used. Or, in a similar situation, maybe another systems integrator recommended something based on what they have done in the past, but doesn’t tailor it to the staff’s workflow. The nurses won’t use that system. So, taking the steps to ensure those problems never begin is largely what UX does. We plan for time to meet with the end-users throughout the project timeline and maintain an ongoing connection with them long after the system has been installed. Technology and industries are always changing, so we work hard to make sure customers always have the right tools and process for the job.
Q: I understand you are a Lean Six Sigma Certified Practitioner. Can you expand on what that means and the training involved?
A: It’s in knowing the processes that the users are currently using today and making improvements. Lean’s focus is making it hard on the process and easier on the people. There is either a process that is not working or even as simple as there are things that we need to analyze closer. For example, as part of a company process, you may receive a copy of a document. Somewhere along the line it was determined that you needed a copy, but you have no visibility as to why it’s even needed. Effort can be duplicated merely for the purpose of getting you that copy. Lean is really a matter of questioning steps in the process – Do we really need the document or is there a better way to get the information in the document? How can we do this, so it cuts down on those steps? Just depending on what they’re trying to achieve, you can use the Lean process to improve and streamline workflow within any market.
Q: Can you provide a simple example of you and the UX team implementing Lean into a client’s environment?
A: Sure. During an Operating Room project with one of our clinical clients, we spent weeks on site. We were in scrubs working directly with the users to figure out each step in the process. Part of the Lean process includes analysis of systems and workflow: How do we save the customer steps? How do we get rid of waste for a hospital? We have Lean experts come in and really just watch the process. Where could we make an impact? Noticing that they take two steps here, when they could just do one. We then further automate that process and determine how we could capture this data ongoing.
Q: Do you have any tips or recommendations for clients looking for a systems integrator and how to get the most out of their UX team?
A: I suggest customers take the following into consideration when looking for a systems integrator. Following these tips will help to ensure full satisfaction of the technology:
- Really delve into how your provider is focused on UX outcomes. Do they have their own personal team or are they hiring contractors? Look for a provider that has UX experts in-house with experience in your industry, such as an educator, a programmer, or a registered nurse. Avoiding pitfalls in UX always starts with making sure your provider can speak the language.
- Engage the UX team as early in the process as possible, especially before the new solution is purchased. Creating that relationship early on will help everyone understand necessary processes and develop optimal workflow. We’re dependent on each other for that understanding of the process. If the UX expert doesn’t know what the process looks like, the technology is not going to help.
- Research what value they can bring to your business? Do they offer Certifications? Training? Can they monitor analytical data?
- Make sure that the UX engagement with your provider is longer than just getting the project up and running. There will always be challenges after a solution is implemented and a UX expert can be there to help.
Something to look forward to
Our next discussion will cover Service & Customer Care. We dive into bringing customers peace of mind and what goes into keeping your technologies running long after the installation is complete.