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X: The Experience When Business Meets Design - GetAbstract Summary

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X by Brian Solis Take-Aways
Designing a worthy customer experience is a competitive necessity.
Customers share their experiences via social media.
More buyers are basing their purchase decisions on the experiences that other consumers share.
Most companies fail to prioritize the customer experience.
Companies that believe in serving customers have a person or team responsible for designing each step of the customer experience.
Offering a great experience requires seeing things from your customer’s perspective.
Begin your improvement process by mapping the experience you currently offer.
Learn about all areas of your customers’ lives, not just their product preferences.
Create a storyboard with composite customer personas to help you visualize the experience you want to design.
Build drama and excitement into every moment of your customer’s experience, including opening the product box.

What You Will Learn
1) How customer experience became the most important criterion in consumer brand choices and 2) What methods you can use to design your consumers’ experience.

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X: The Experience When Business Meets Design - GetAbstract Summary

  1. 1. To purchase personal subscriptions or corporate solutions, visit our website at www.getAbstract.com, send an email to info@getabstract.com, or call us at our US office (1-877-778-6627) or at our Swiss office (+41-41-367-5151). getAbstract is an Internet-based knowledge rating service and publisher of book abstracts. getAbstract maintains complete editorial responsibility for all parts of this abstract. getAbstract acknowledges the copyrights of authors and publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this abstract may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, photocopying or otherwise – without prior written permission of getAbstract Ltd. (Switzerland). 1 of 5 X The Experience When Business Meets Design Brian Solis Wiley © 2015 256 pages [@]   Rating 8 Applicability 7 Innovation 8 Style 8   Focus Leadership & Management Strategy Sales & Marketing Finance Human Resources IT, Production & Logistics Career & Self-Development Small Business Economics & Politics Industries Global Business Concepts & Trends Take-Aways • Designing a worthy customer experience is a competitive necessity. • Customers share their experiences via social media. • More buyers are basing their purchase decisions on the experiences that other consumers share. • Most companies fail to prioritize the customer experience. • Companies that believe in serving customers have a person or team responsible for designing each step of the customer experience. • Offering a great experience requires seeing things from your customer’s perspective. • Begin your improvement process by mapping the experience you currently offer. • Learn about all areas of your customers’ lives, not just their product preferences. • Create a storyboard with composite customer personas to help you visualize the experience you want to design. • Build drama and excitement into every moment of your customer’s experience, including opening the product box.
  2. 2. X                                                                                                                                                                                    getAbstract © 2016 2 of 5 getabstract Relevancegetabstract getabstract What You Will Learn In this summary, you will learn:r1) How customer experience became the most important criterion in consumer brand choices and 2) What methods you can use to design your consumers’ experience. getabstract Recommendation According to consultant Brian Solis, companies that provide truly outstanding consumer service can harness powerful word-of-mouth advertising and gain competitive advantage. Starbucks, Apple and Disney thrive because they carefully design the customer experience at every touchpoint before, during and after a purchase. Solis unloads a lot of information, and occasionally his concepts get as convoluted as an alchemy treatise. But most of this big, boldly designed volume is pure gold: inspiring ideas, clear explanations and vivid examples from real companies. A section on mapping and comparing your customers’ current experience and the ideal you could offer proves particularly useful, especially since Solis provides dozens of detailed sample maps as templates. getAbstract believes this design manual will interest most marketers and could be especially helpful to executives at established companies. getabstract getabstract Summarygetabstract getabstract getabstract “We’ve entered a new era in experience creation, and businesses that don’t learn to craft much more satisfying experiences for their customers have a great deal to lose.” getabstract getabstract “The fundamental mission of experience architecture [is] to help us see things through others’ eyes, to feel what they feel and hear the thoughts they don’t speak. getabstract “Experience Is the New Brand” To succeed today, your business must design an experience for your customers. You must craft this experience as creatively as you would a novel or movie, so you surprise and delight consumers at every touchpoint. From the moment you capture their attention, make your customers the center of your brand’s universe. Meet and anticipate their needs. Customer experience encompasses much more than good product design or service, although those basics are essential. Smart companies take a customer-centered approach to the smallest details. For instance, Apple spent months designing the iPod box to make sure it would be easy to open. Starbucks encourages guests to customize menu items to foster a personal connection. Experience is essential, not only because consumers demand it but also because they will share their opinions about their experiences on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, YouTube and blogs. New customers increasingly consult other users’ opinions and advice before making buying decisions. Customer Experience Statistics show how important experience has become. In a survey by the consultancy Zendesk, 40% of customers said they switched to a new brand because they heard about its good customer service. A recent American Express study found that six out of 10 customers remained longer with a company because they had agreeable customer experiences. Half said they would pay more for outstanding service. Most companies recognize the importance of cultivating a great customer experience. According to a report from Oracle, 93% of executives interviewed said that improving customer experience was among their firms’ “top three priorities for the next two years.” But companies that follow through remain rare. Only 37% of the executives in Oracle’s survey had an official customer-experience program in place. Companies
  3. 3. X                                                                                                                                                                                    getAbstract © 2016 3 of 5 getabstract “The experience starts with the core of your brand – what it means, what it stands for – and then evolves from a commitment to following through on the brand promise in all of the micro-moments of the customer’s journey.” getabstract getabstract “What if we stopped assuming how the customer thinks and acts, and learned how it’s different from what we know?” getabstract getabstract “To animate your understanding of your customers, to give them lives and specific desires, hopes and dreams, you must craft nuanced, detailed portraits.” getabstract getabstract “Seeing the world through the eyes of others gives you a competitive advantage because so few businesses truly have a disciplined method for doing so.” getabstract spend considerably more on advertising than on customer experience, even though good experiences can stimulate word-of-mouth recommendations that are more effective than media ads. “Experience Architecture” Many companies don’t know how to create the architecture of a great customer experience. Designing a unified, cohesive experience is daunting, especially when different silos within a company have different metrics of customer satisfaction and separate (sometimes conflicting) mechanisms for customer service. Another problem is that many companies try to build today’s customer experience on the base of legacy systems from a different technological era. Your interactive website may have performed well on a desktop computer, but won’t fit on a mobile screen. Desktop commands like clicking and scrolling don’t translate well to mobile devices. This gap will intensify with the advent of newer technologies, such as wearable computers or the smart apps of the Internet of Everything. “Empathy” Many companies don’t offer a good experience because they don’t know what their customers want. Organizations with empathy – the ability to see life as their customers do – are rare. Getting to know your customers is part science and part art. Set out like an anthropologist to collect data and record your observations. Then, like a novelist or screenwriter, analyze the data to create well-rounded portraits of various customer types. Humanize these customer personas by giving them names and backstories. For example, the research and design firm Bolt | Peters used interviews and data analysis to craft six personas to represent the customers of the audio firm Dolby Laboratories. They included “Tim,” an audiophile who uses high-end gear for a solitary escape into movies, music or games, and gregarious “Megan,” who uses her audio equipment for entertainment at social gatherings. Customer Experience Map To improve your customers’ paths through your site or store, create a map of their current experiences. This will show you whether your digital and traditional customers have different experiences, and will reveal which touchpoints are the most useful and which are not. You’ll see whether customers must flip among multiple screens or if they can complete their journey on one device. Evaluate whether you provide easy access for a community of users who can offer testimonials and share buying advice. Rail Europe created a five-foot-long map depicting its customers’ experience at six touchpoints: research and planning, shopping, booking, acquiring tickets, travel and post- travel. For instance, the map outlines the various outlets where customers can buy tickets, such as the Rail Europe website, a call center, a mobile site or a third-party service such as Expedia. With the map, company executives could see which touchpoints worked best. Innovation Innovation enhances customer experience. Too often, companies attempt to improve the efficiency of legacy systems when they should rethink the journey altogether. That’s what Disney did when it tried to smooth out friction points at its theme parks. With its “Magic Band,” the company worked to improve efficiency and eliminate causes of inefficiency. Now, when you visit a Disney theme park, you get a computerized wristband that you use
  4. 4. X                                                                                                                                                                                    getAbstract © 2016 4 of 5 getabstract “A good customer experience ecosystem grabs customers’ attention and then delights them all through their journey with you.” getabstract getabstract “Designing with human experience as an explicit outcome and human engagement as an explicit goal is different from the kinds of design that have gone before.” getabstract getabstract “What you want people to share and what you want people to find is not an accident, it’s designed. This is experience architecture.” getabstract getabstract “Experiences are more important than products now…experiences are products.” getabstract to enter or leave the park, make purchases or open your hotel room door. You use the band to make a reservation at a park restaurant and to place your order – when you approach the restaurant, the band’s sensor alerts the staff members, who will have your table ready and begin preparing your food. As COO Tom Staggs explains, “If we can get out of the way, our guests can create more memories.” The Circular Journey Your customer’s journey isn’t a straight path that begins with awareness of your product and ends with a purchase. The modern customer journey is a circle made up of four “Moments of Truth.” 1. “The Zero Moment of Truth” – The ZMOT is the point where the customer begins looking for a product to fulfill a particular need. 2. “The First Moment of Truth” – The FMOT is when the customer first encounters and evaluates a particular product. 3. “The Second Moment of Truth” – The SMOT is the accumulation of “micro- moments” that make up the customer experience. It includes customer satisfaction with the product and with your service. 4. “The Ultimate Moment of Truth” – The UMOT happens when customers share their experiences with others via YouTube, blogs, Twitter and through other media channels. A well-designed Ultimate Moment experience leads customers to inspire other consumers’ Zero Moments. Mapping the Ideal When you draw your customer personas’ experience maps, you may discover you’re not offering an ideal experience. You may be luring customers into a disorienting, frustrating maze. These customers will probably encounter different departments with different notions of customer service, along with distinct and perhaps conflicting procedures. But if you know your customers, you’ll be able to align the journey with their needs and aspirations. Everyone in the company should work together to draft the ideal “experience flow” map, which depicts the standards for every moment of the customer journey. Follow these steps to create your experience flow map. • Identify the target customers and the objective of the flow. • Research your consumers through interviews, observation, customer diaries and demographic studies. • Find areas where you can improve current touchpoints or design new ones. • Brainstorm solutions, test ideas on customers and depict the new flow. Plot Points When you map out the ideal experience, think of it as a “story.” After you attract customers’ attention, involve them in an experience that unfolds like the plot of a movie, play or novel. Apple, for instance, brings a story approach to every moment of the customer experience. Even opening the iPhone box is a mini-drama – you experience small peaks of mystery and excitement as you uncover each layer in the box, leading to the climactic moment of holding the phone itself. Storyboards A storyboard is a series of sketches that filmmakers use to outline a film’s narrative arc. The notes show the development of the story. Writers rearrange sequences to deliver the
  5. 5. X                                                                                                                                                                                    getAbstract © 2016 5 of 5 getabstract “Customers form a personal connection with the brand where experience becomes a catalyst for ritual visitation.” getabstract getabstract “We can learn a great deal about how to better serve people by understanding how they spend their time not only with our products, but in all other walks of life.” getabstract getabstract “Because so few companies offer quality experiences, customers are willing to pay more for them.” getabstract most powerful emotional punch possible. Airbnb visualized the journey for personas that represented types of hosts or guests. The storyboard described characters like Cassandra (a “casual host”), Paul (a “pro host”), and Veronica and Rick (“vacation rental travelers”). Humanizing these personas with names and drawings helped Airbnb understand their motivations, thoughts and needs. Construct your storyboard using these steps: • “Ideation” – Brainstorm your concepts and themes. • “Modeling” – Build your customer “narrative” using “visuals and cinematic ideas.” • “Critique” – Analyze the emotional power of your narrative; invite others to say what works and what doesn’t. Consider the power of individual sequences, and how sequences fit together and influence one another. • “Iteration” – Apply the judgments from the critiques; change the narrative accordingly. • “Visual Language” – Find the most powerful images to illustrate the customer journey. • “Point of View” – Consider how to present your values to customers. • “Story Sensibility” – Choose how you tell your story, and what voice and attitude best suit your needs. • “Sincerity and Belief” – You cannot pander. Your customers will recognize and gravitate toward an authentic presentation. The Apple iPad Apple Computer, particularly under the leadership of Steve Jobs, became a virtuoso of customer experience. Apple’s emphasis on the human aspects of technology stands out in particular. Apple designed this customer experience for its iPad Air tablet: • The Zero Moment of Truth – Apple doesn’t attract consumers’ attention by touting its products’ features. Instead, they are putting the user at the center of the experience. As the iPad Air ads say: “Before we thought about what goes into it, we thought about what you’ll get out of it.” On its website, Apple connects the shopper with community feedback by sharing stories of how people use the iPad. Rather than broadcasting a marketing message at searchers, it artfully opens a space for satisfied customers to demonstrate the product’s value. • The First Moment of Truth – Apple provides a link to its online store where you can research your choices and make a purchase. You can ask for help from an Apple representative or from a community of other users. If you want to try the tablet in person, you can head to a real-world Apple Store, where representatives avoid sales pressure and focus on support and guidance. • The Second Moment of Truth – Apple makes sure your experience continues when you become an iPad owner. It painstakingly designs the iPad’s box and shopping bag. It provides access to free tech support from Apple’s Genius Bar. • The Ultimate Moment of Truth – Your purchase brings you into the iPad users’ community. You can share your story or offer information to fuel someone else’s path. getabstract getabstract getabstract About the Authorgetabstract getabstract A principal analyst at Altimeter Group, Brian Solis wrote What’s the Future of Business? and The End of Business as Usual, a Publisher’s Weekly Top 10 business book. He blogs at www.briansolis.com.

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