Vishesh Duggar bio photo

Vishesh Duggar

Founder @ CauseCode. Startup tech guy with a keen interest in product development and usability. Interested in working on high impact ideas.

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Picture by Camilo Rueda López on Flickr.

Earlier this year on my birthday morning as usual I was checking my email to confirm if there are no pressing issues that need to be addressed before I start my day. One of the first things I notice is an bill from one of the phone companies.

And I smile as I tell myself they surely have my birthday on file, why wouldn’t they use it to improve the user experience. User experience does not end with someone getting a bill delivered to the email box instead of snail mail and a user’s ability to access the bill details and pay online. User experience can very well transcend to how you deal with your customers in every way.

Hypothetically, let’s assume we can change the UX for this. It’s a user’s birthday but the billing cycle is up. As a business that truly cares about the user, how can we make it a special day for them in a way that wouldn’t break the bank on our end.

Why bother someone with an email on a birthday? Email has become a problem for almost everyone using the internet despite great spam management and inbox management products like Google Inbox, Mailbox etc, the volume of emails we deal with still remains a challenge.

So we slate it to go out the day after. One less thing for them to deal with and/or remember. We could tweak the subject from “XXXfone June bill due on 07/07/2015” to “Didn’t want to bother you on your birthday: June bill XXfone”

The text could be something like:

Hi Vishesh,

Belated Happy Birthday! We didn't want to bother you on your birthday 
but your invoice for June is ready.

Just so you have an easy start after your birthday we've extended the due date by
5 days to 07/12/2015. Have a great day!

Best,
Team XXfone

Now, this is not a zero cost gesture. You have to count in the development time that would be needed to bake this in and the interest that it would cost the company as it accumulates over millions of accounts. But it certainly is low enough and close to nothing compared to the user experience that the user will have. No bill from you to look at on a birthday! And the fact that you cared to that extent! Would love to get few more suggestions on what could be done that is close to “no cost” but could make the user’s day in similar scenarios.

If you don’t get this, talk to your spouse about how little things can go a long way ;). This actually hinges into another subject, how to best use personal info to the benefit of the user without creeping the hell out of them. Also, how much information is at minimum necessary to seek out for a user so you can best serve them? Will look at these questions in the upcoming posts.

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