How do you define good Customer Experience (CX) & Service Design (SD)? Here’s our rationale and why we believe it is successful.
Effortlessness, is how a customer should describe their customer experience with a brand, and this is what we strive for when designing a customer experience for clients. The customer interaction with the brand should seem effortless.
Design and delivery however is more complex which is why our guiding principles help us break down problems, remove bloat, and focus in on efficiency. They are:
– Flows, activities, screens that fail to add value for the customer should be removed
– Process should be as simple as possible. Reduce steps, train, empower
– Customer is always first, and process needs to reflect this, and their needs
– Flow and process variations should be removed unless tied to a customer need
– MoSCoW (Must, Should, Could, Wish) are applied to all features (Clouds and Wishes are removed, Shoulds need to be proven as musts, or removed)
– Process breaks should be kept at a minimum
– Bottlenecks should be mapped, and solved for
– Agile customer experience and service design are the pillar to continuous improvement
– KPIs for processes only measure things that matter
Keeping these in mind, we approach a CX/SD transformation or new development in much the same way.
We work through your brand value proposition. We speak with internal stakeholders who will be driving the CX in your organization and look to understand their pain points. Its important to listen to the customer, what matters to them and to whom, and from this extrapolate opportunities to improve within functions. The voice of the customer is typically in person interviews, surveys, social media feedback, forums, et al digital tools.
Using our finding we outline a strategy and map the ideal CX inside a Visual Information Architecture (VIA) document. This helps us define a portfolio of actions to deliver on the vision. Here we focus on functional alignment and work with cross-functional teams to build a road map from the VIA. Then the subset – Journey mapping – we build a journey map that taps into the emotional state of the target user identifying typical areas of anxiety, or discontent, then solving to alleviate those feelings with positive experiences.
We integrate the CX designs into the user experience, building tappable or clickable prototypes, at each iteration we test them, learn what works and where we need improvement, we look to identify any additional areas of user stress, and add those into our journey map. Lastly, we define KPIs.
Test and Learn
Utilizing feedback from test groups we update the CX, UX and User Interface (UI) in 2-week agile sprints. At the end of each sprint we conduct litmus tests that provide recommendations for the subsequent sprint. QA and Engineering receive the accepted elements.
Engineering is planned around two week sprints, beginning with a plan that identifies the tasks targeted for execution during that sprint. This prevents bottlenecks, ensures deliverables are well managed, and allows us to make any adjustments should they present themselves. Quality assurance is done concurrently with engineering and tight feedback loops are used to address bugs on an as-they-appear basis.
Monitor / Augment
Customer Experience programs—to be effective—require hard metrics, constant monitoring, and then constant improvement. A combination of stakeholder insight and primary data help aid this process.
Buy-in, and active management of the customer experience from internal stakeholders is instrumental in building a culture of customer centric processes. A bottom up approach can only be successful if it takes into account a top-down activities as well and gets the whole organization behind driving a successful customer experience culture. Executives should set customer experience goals, while those employees who interface with customers need to make the right choices when interfacing with customers. Implementing this will make each customer interaction—no matter how difficult—seem effortless for the customer.
The service design needs to elicit that insight from the customer which will help the organization funnel it back into the customer experience. These are things like “how are customer priorities changing?”, “Where can we look to ease customer – product interaction?” , “Are we capitalizing on current technologies to drive better experiences to our customers?” These will help drive continuous improvement in customer experience and service at the organization.
Any comments, insights, or feedback, let us know.