Business analysts have been playing a vital role in bridging the gap between business stakeholders and technical teams. From stakeholder engagement and requirement eliciting to effectively communicating the requirements with technical teams, business analysts have been integral in providing the best solutions to meet the business goals.
Business analysts have also been playing a key role in managing the teams by monitoring and directing them towards a common goal.
For the customers, business analysts are the first point of contact, and hence they represent the whole organization. So, business analysts also hold a huge responsibility of keeping the client happy, marking the origin of the concept 'Experience BA'.
Experienced Business Analyst
An experienced BA will continue to be a communication bridge between customers and technical teams and adding business value. Still, as an addon, he will be putting an extra effort towards providing the best customer experience. Business analysts have been working to provide customer satisfaction; now is the time to identify how the 'customer delight factor' can be achieved.
Few steps to achieve the transition from a Business Analyst to 'Experienced Business Analyst'
Below are some simple steps that can be taken to achieve this transition at an organizational and an individual level.
Early BA Engagement
The BA should not be confined only to requirements. The business analyst must be engaged in the projects from the early stages, which gives them the opportunity to conduct a pre-analysis of the project purpose, which will give a complete understanding of what the customer is looking for at the initial stages. This will give an overall picture of the problem areas, the root cause for the problem areas, the solution, and the business value that the customer is looking for.
Also, early engagement of a BA in a project helps the business analyst to have a 360-degree view of the project, problem statement, and the understanding of the client's business.
This eventually helps the BA in probing the right questions in the requirement phase, understanding the requirements from client's perspective and mapping them with their business value, proactively providing the alternatives or better ideas while in the development phase, giving matured demonstrations, understanding the result in the pre-UAT phases, etc.,
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Business analysts should always find opportunities to have more interactions with customers across the project life cycle which helps in the development of strong trust and connection. This not only gives the project team a clear vision of the client's preferences, interests, and critical areas but also will help in setting expectations with the client/customer about what is being done.
Critical Focus Areas
As an Experience BA, you should identify the critical areas where the customer is focussing.
As per the 80:20 rule for software development, only 20% of the features are used frequently, and 80% of features are used rarely in which 45% are never used. So, it is the responsibility of the business analyst to identify the 20% critical features which are of utmost importance to the client.
Keeping user experience as the goal of delivery, the business analyst must actively perform a thorough user experience testing before the product is delivered to the client/customer. The business analyst must check for the intuitiveness, ease of navigation, and other factors to ensure that the solution designed has not only met the client's expectations but is better than what has been expected. To sum up, business analysts should work to achieve two goals:
- To gather the requirements and provide the best functional solution.
- Though focussing on features and products is an important task, there must be a strong focus on the user experience while working on it.
This can be achieved in the following ways:
- Holding strong knowledge in the industry standards of user experience.
- Comparing the design with the competitor's website.
- Thoroughly conducting the pre UAT sessions.
Tips to master the Experience BA skill
Simple but effective processes that will help in mastering the skills of an Experience BA could be
Keeping the customer involved
The business analyst must give the customer updates when required, which will give the customer a sense of involvement and improve the customer relationship. Simple things such as a status update email every day will really play a major role in the satisfaction level of the customer.
Having scheduled communications will not only help the customer know what the next milestone is but will also help him understand how it is being achieved. Some of the communications may include:
- Scheduled calls – Bi-weekly/weekly/daily as per the customer pulse.
- Email – Status emails every day
- Technical/business discussion – Whenever a solution has been discussed, make sure to schedule a call with the client to let them understand the process.
- Keeping a part of project planning dashboards – Give them access to the project dashboards used(JIRA/SharePoint) and assign them the action points there to involve them completely into the project.
Being responsive also helps in maintaining a positive relationship with customers. An experience BA will ensure that any email or communication will be addressed as soon as possible. Keeping the customer waiting or not replying to any communication might break the customer's trust towards the project team. The same importance holds true for the follow-up Emails too.
Some areas where the responsiveness is essential could be:
Emails – This is a very important area.
- According to a survey conducted by an organization that works to improve customer service, more than 70% of people expect a response for an email within four hours, and around 30% expect a response within an hour.
- If we do not have the complete information on what to respond, we can just give an ETA on when we can provide the complete information so that the customer feels acknowledged.
Calendar Invites – When a calendar invite is sent, it is the responsibility of the receiver to RSVP to the invitation as an acknowledgment.
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Business analysts have been doing a great job in solutioning, but experience BA will proactively find the other areas that can be improved and device the solution for the customer, further increasing customer loyalty.
Feedback should be collected through feedback forms, customer surveys, and the team should make it a point to work on the dissatisfied areas if any.
Excellent customer experience generally boils down to consistently checking with your customers and making sure they are happy, not only with the products and services but also with the process being followed throughout the project life cycle.
Good to Great
At TA Digital, our Digital Strategy and Business Analysis team have taken the responsibility of providing the best experience as part of the project delivery. We strive to provide the best customer experience and succeed in it. While we deliver a project, we also ensure to give equal importance to customer service and work towards the "Customer Delight" factor.
At TA Digital, the Business Analysts have achieved a step ahead from customer satisfaction to achieving customer delight. We ensure that the project is being delivered in the best way, and we believe that a happy customer is the best source to promote ourselves.
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Over the past 20 years, we have completed thousands of digital projects globally. We have one of the largest and deepest multi-solutions digital consulting teams in the world. Our proprietary processes and years of Digital Experience expertise have earned us a 97% customer satisfaction rating with our clients ranging from Global Fortune 1000 to Mid-Market Enterprises, leading educational institutions, and Non-Profits.
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About TA Digital
TA Digital is the only global boutique agency that delivers the “best of both worlds” to clients seeking to achieve organizational success through digital transformation. Unlike smaller, regional agencies that lack the ability to scale or large organizations that succumb to a quantity-over-quality approach, we offer resource diversity while also providing meticulous attention to the details that enable strategic success.
Over the past 20 years, TA Digital has positioned clients to achieve digital maturity by focusing on data, customer-centricity and exponential return on investment; by melding exceptional user experience and data-driven methodologies with artificial intelligence and machine learning, we enable digital transformations that intelligently build upon the strategies we set into motion. We are known as a global leader that assists marketing and technology executives in understanding the digital ecosystem while identifying cultural and operational gaps within their business – ultimately ushering organizations toward a more mature model and profitable digital landscape.
Recognized in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019 and 2020 Inc. 5000 list as one of the most successful technology companies in the United States, TA Digital is pleased also to share high-level strategic partnerships with world class digital experience platform companies like Adobe, SAP and Salesforce and possess global partnerships with industry leaders such as Sitecore, Episerver, Elastic Path, BigCommerce, AWS, Azure and Coveo.