Many have asked what exactly we do at work as CX consultants. This right here, is the answer to that question.
Our main goal is to optimize user journeys across all channels for the best experience. We do this by conducting research on how people interact with products and environments and then make strategic, actionable recommendations for our clients.
Not every day is the same. The best thing about being a CX consultant is the opportunity to work on different projects in various domains. On some days we can be working on a website for a bank, and on other days it can be testing the customer journey in a physical branch for a telecommunication service provider. ‘Change’ is a constant factor here. But here is what a typical day with testing sessions looks like.
7:00am – Rise and shine! Preparing for the day and commuting to work. Already in my head I am listing down the stuff I have to prepare for the mobile application testing session for a government agency client.
8:30am – Reaching the office, I immediately head towards the lab to set up the computers, eye tracker equipment, and mobile device stand for testing. There are so many minor settings to adjust before the actual testing session. I also head up to the client’s observation room, which is on another level, to turn on the television and audio. After the setup, I have to make sure that the participants’ incentives are placed in the testing room and the testing script, Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) forms, and incentive sign-off sheet have been printed. Soon, folks from the client’s design team arrive to observe the testing sessions. They quickly convert the observation room into a workshop, using the whiteboard to quickly chalk out agile changes to the prototype.
9:00am – The first participant has arrived. First task. Make sure she feels comfortable with me and the lab, which can be a little intimidating. A little chit-chat to warm her up and then I give her the Non-Disclosure Agreement and explain what it is and why she needs to sign it. The usability testing session then begins. As she tries to complete the given task on the mobile application prototype, I observe her eye gaze (shown as a red movable dot) on a separate monitor screen that faces away from the participant so that I know what she is focusing upon and craft out questions to probe further if she does anything interesting. I have to be attuned to her behavior and facilitate the session so that conversation flows naturally and honestly to get the best qualitative data.
10:00am – The first testing session is over now. I quickly go through the main takeaways from this session. I also do a quick debrief with the client to identify the questions that need to be asked or modified for the sessions coming up. I make it a point to keep the client informed about how the study is shaping up.
10:30am – Second participant arrives and the testing session proceeds.
11:30am – Second testing session ends. Time to take a short break and snack (you do not want your stomach to be distracting you during the session) as another testing has been scheduled during lunchtime. Sometimes participants can spare time only during their lunchtime because they are working.
12:00pm – Third participant arrives and the testing session proceeds.
1:00pm – The third session ends. I get a call from the fourth participant saying that he cannot make it. Time to reschedule his session for another day (It will most probably be the scheduled for the day after) and I inform the client of this change in schedule. Since there is time now, I step out to have lunch.
2:00pm – Back from lunch. I start work on the recruitment brief and screener for another project relating to shopper research that is scheduled in a month. The objectives of the study had been shared in a kick-off meeting with the client, the week ago. I have to carefully plan the participants’ profile based on the brief shared by the client during the kickoff meeting. Once the recruitment brief and screener are done, I send them to the client for the review and sign off.
3:00pm – The fifth participant arrives and another testing session begins.
4:00pm – The fifth session ends. The client then tells me that they want to add one more concluding question into the script for the rest of the sessions. We discuss the reasons behind the decision and agree that it is important. I write the additional question on a post-it note and attach it to my script.
4:30pm – The sixth and last participant for the day arrives.
5:30pm – The last session for the day ends. A short debrief with the clients in the observation room sums up the findings for the day and helps prepare for following day’s sessions. The client’s team leaves our office.
6:00pm – I go through my email inbox to see if I need to reply to any communication. I quickly send a chaser email to another client to set up a meeting to present the final report of the testing we did for them.
6:30pm – Home sweet home.