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Many businesses have historically centered around the product they have manufactured or the service they offered. The winning formula was always to create something better, different, more desirable, or lower cost to that of the competition.
The Internet 2.0 revolution changed all that. It bought more choice and transparency through ratings and reviews. This fueled the ecommerce machine, to give us unparalleled choice. After that, customers had more choice to explore and with the financial downturn of 2009, those choices have become more careful.
From an initial position of fire and forget (the sale) to a long-term relationship (loyalty), organizations are using technology to be more personalized and relevant.
But technology is only part of the solution. By standing for something worthwhile, being on the side of the customer and out to defeat evil, organizations have more than a product or service – they have a point to prove. This is turn can be designed to include customers within the business itself – effectively participating in the organization which they believe in. Done right, for example Rapha, it can create a powerful marketing machine that steamrolls over the competition.
Getting to the point where friction is removed or reduced can be thought of as hygiene – it’s good but doesn’t say anything other than your organization is easy to do business with.
By reviewing all the service connections (the linkage between your offering), values can be selected that offer benefit to the customer: ones that enable more participation. From three groups (creating wellbeing, driving engagement, and enabling co-creation), there are a total of 21 prospective values.
Each value has an action. For example, Serenity (in creating wellbeing) reduces anxiety and builds resilience by developing fully considered services such as billing forecast, to avoid bill shock.
Do you know your brand values? These carefully selected words represent your strategy – they are things you believe in and a specific combination that is unique to your organization.
Typically, there will be four values. But knowing these words alone is of little value; it’s knowing how they’re used that counts, both emotionally and rationally. Values matter in Customer Experience; they are the foundations for everything else to be built on. Have a look and find them in your brand book, and see how they are explained.
Just because a value can be explained as Experience Principles doesn’t mean one size fits all. Benefits can be different for each persona. By planning how your experience is relevant, this can help you complete a deeper Heuristic review analysis, in understanding how your organization today provides demonstrable and relevant experiences.
Because Experience Principles are conceptual, it can be difficult to communicate what they are and how they can be used. By creating a ladder from your Organizing Idea to Persona benefit, you can disseminate the key CX messages in an easy to explain format.
By focusing on Experience Principles, you can show how they are relevant to customers and a practical tool across all roles in the organization.
Customer insight and feedback is an essential part of managing CX. Multiple methods should be used to understand where things are going well and where things can improve. It’s worth noting that these can be coupled with analytic data sources to correlate cause and effect.
A good method is to test for your Experience Principles. Does it feel like your organization provides what it strategically set out to?
One source of customer feedback alone will not reveal any grand insights. By combing and clustering data from multiple sources, you can see insights start to emerge. For example, an automotive manufacturer may use onsite web surveys, external industry surveys, retailer feedback, and contact center verbatim to find which models prospects are struggling to configure. Once candidate topics are discovered, further investigation can take place to understand the signals of issue.
Understanding issues today enables an organization to close the gaps. New ideas are rarely suggested or revealed as part of these data collection methods.
By planning a ‘Co-create’, the organization can explore original new ideas. One core principle is that the session incorporates both employees and customers working together.
Groups develop storyboards through real-world and experienced events, setting up the problem to solve. Using nudge cards provides inspiration as to the realm of what’s possible. Templates are used throughout the exercise to help the group complete tasks. At the end of the session, each group gets to record a 5-minute video with props that brings their new service idea to life.
At the beginning of the session, groups would be mortified if they knew they might end up doing this. You’ll need to stop them having so much fun but don’t misunderstand this enjoyment! It provides the permission to lower the guard, to think freely, and generate bold ideas. The act of employees working together can be more powerful than new ideas – they can see how together is better, not making assumptions and putting names to faces. Despite being a massively powerful technique, it is rarely used in organizations today, which in many cases are using marketing campaigns to stay afloat.Back to Top
Jonathan has over 20 years' experience in the areas of digital design, brand strategy and user experience. He has held senior roles within a number of high-profile agencies and consultancies including Tribal DDB, Accenture Digital and DigitasLBi, working with a range of major clients.
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This short course covers the principles of customer experience, or CX, and demonstrates techniques and useful tools that you can use to manage CX for an organization.
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