Alongside Technology - Service Design on a Shoestring
Service design when you can't touch technology.
In organisations large and small, technology underpins the majority of customer service interactions. Whether it’s a digital cash register, or a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution, customer-facing staff use information systems to support their workflow. Larger organisations have a wider variety of old and new systems, and the more of a mess it becomes. Making meaningful service improvements can seem synonymous with joining up systems or creating better ones.
But, what do you do if you can’t afford that?
In this talk, Anthony will explore recent experiences designing services in large corporates, when tweaking technology was not an option. He will discuss some common challenges these organisations face in delivering better service experiences to customers, and how to make a big impact on a small budget.
Different is a User Centred Design company that does contextual research and designWe are employed to help clients provide better customer experiencesWe have most experience with large corporations, so the focus is on large, multi-faceted challenges i.e. getting many people and touchpoints to align toward delivering better sales and service. A talk about our latest service design learning we’ve garnered across industries : Finance; Automotive; ISPs; RetailHow many in the audience would consider themselves in the field of user experience?
Companies engage people to improve sales and service in order to increase profits.- Provide a more personal customer experience in order to increase loyalty and revenue via cross/up-sell- Decrease costs by increasing staff efficiency Deliver shareholder value and comfort by delivering predictable and consistent service With this background, not all service design is about trying to do a large strategic transformation. Sometimes reducing costs means reigning in on the implementation of ideal experience principles too.
Obligatory Venn diagramChannel = Website, Phone, Physical store, etc. E.G. Mobile lender, Tele-lender, Branch lender, Self-serve loan application of a bank example Each channel will have a slightly different emphasis. Each project can choose to address one, two or all of these aspects Sometimes you can’t touch one without touching the other. E.g. a new app or website is likely to affect both Interaction and Infrastructure. Processes that customers and staff use to do their jobs or interact with a company, are often heavily influenced by all three of these things in concert.This talk is about the right-hand side of this diagram.
Technology underpins most sales and service interactions. A myriad of systems – age, function, technology. Require “spelunking” to serve the customer.- Poorly designed – i.e. don’t support user. In many large organisations the CRM and Product systems aren’t joined up well. Duplicated data issues. It affects customer’s experience: Complexity means staff need longer to learn how it all works – specialization Staff can’t deal with all enquiries, so they transfer to someone who can (staff get promoted based on the number of systems they use!) Transfers aren’t done well, because systems don’t capture and persist data well… customer repeats themselves It seems increasingly hard to change interaction and service experience without touching infrastructure. Technology is expensive things to change. So today we will focus on what can be changed, more cheaply.
What is environment & context?
Environment – where the service is experienced Physical space What does it feel like? What’s the signage like? How do customers flow through it? Staff context, e.g. Office politics – the wars between individuals, teams, divisions… Motivational context. Why is someone doing what they’re doing? Customers & Staff both have motivations Time poor customers can’t find the information they need online, so they call the dealership. Car dealer is motivated to get me into dealership, not to answer questions They’re incentivised to “convert” customers – to make sales. They don’t like tyre-kickers. 3 channels experienced, by the time the customer arrives at dealership, how do you think they’re going to be feeling?
What is interaction & dialogue
There is a lot of power to be wielded through staff interactions.We all have war stories of dealing with incompetent or rude staff.This is powered by knowledge and skills (or lack thereof). Knowledge Knowledge of products Knowledge of all those systems – e.g. we have one financial clients, only teaches sales and service staff systems and products, not skills. Skills & behaviour is a different challenge How do you teach someone to be gracious in the face of adversity? A lot of good service isn’t taught to staff. It’s expected they’ll just “know”
Research sets the directionBest done in context, with customers on the ground.Creates the agenda
You can’t dictate change – Read quote – explain who Mussolini wasManagement within large organisations are removed from the people dealing with customers.Time and again, we hear “Well, they’ll just have to do it *this way* now…” when we discuss behaviours that lead to bad customer experience.It’s easier to want to just “fix it”, but in reality behavioural change is not this simple. People don’t “weld” that easily.Even we designers, can allow ourselves to fall into this mindset a bit. As designers, we think of what we do as an abstracted science.By definition, “Design” is the process of pre-thinking a problem, then devising a solution.Sometimes there is a sense that we can sketch something, then it will be built according to our spec. Good ideas are one thing. But how do you get it to stick? An ongoing, longitudinal design thinking approach is quite different to normal design thinking. It’s complex. It’s political. It’s social engineering, not just design. It affects peoples lives and even their livelihoods.
Two things to talk about WRT interaction & dialogueTrainingKaizen & Co-design
Training should build staff Knowledge & SkillsKNOWLEDGE – e.g Systems and Products One way to improve service experience, is to simplify the product offer. E.G. ISP products can include a huge variety of variables: Bandwidth, Data Cap, Peak/Off Peak, Include Router, etcSKILLS – e.g. How to sell well, asking open questions. How to you teach that?Steve Carell in the US ‘Office’- Even if you have set the agenda for training, you can’t guarantee that the trainer will get the message across well.
Knowledge of complex products & processes help staff to support customers better.- We found first time buyers and even experienced people. didn’t know how to buy a home.- Research suggested the opportunity was to support these customers in how to go about the wider process- But staff hadn’t ever bought a house (or had 10 years ago), so they needed to be taught how it works!
Knowledge: Training staff processes to enact correct procedure Processes are in themselves a way to learn something. Use them to implement desired behaviours Often we can use Mnemonics to help e.g. “CAB (Circulation, Airway, Breathing)” in CPR
HOW TO train skills: Provide an example then Quizzes Role-play Learning from each other’s critique e.g. Project where we recorded customer interactions and staff played them back to discuss +’s & -’s
Training is a core element of enabling staff to do their jobs. BUT we think of it as training someone once, in a classroom, then set them free. One set of training isn’t sufficient, because people don’t always learn until they’re actually doing something (like a hairdresser) In large orgs, people teach each other, folklore builds around how things should be done. Don’t leave people to their own devices… Habits can only be tackled with continual training Ongoing activities for embedding sustainable change (e.g. team meetings used to re-touch on themes) (e.g. development of “tenets” or behaviours. Semi-annual performance feedback given around them)
Training is limited, Experienced staff won’t be ‘trained’ in something they think they already know.Change fatigue – people inside organisations don’t usually want to change. They’ll tough it out till the next fad passes…How do you teach old dogs new tricks?- People in organisations needs to embrace and own change. Use Kaizen principles (the art of continuous improvement) to co-design the best solutions Kaizen is about empowering everyone in an organisation to improve things State the case for change – present research Develop Principles Discuss ways to deliver on the principles
Remember – Research presentation has to work for everyone – you’re going to have to do this a lot, so make it interesting (e.g. stories work well)
But training and processes, while they can be designed, don’t work if the other ingredients that influence behaviour aren’t also considered, i.e Environment & Context
KPIs and Incentives have a very strong influence on behaviour Most places measure call center staff on volume of calls You can’t expect people to go the extra mile with customers when they’re being paid more to hang up the phone. But iiNet, for example, never used number of calls as a staff KPI, they chose to use NPS as a measure instead They now have the best NPS scores in the country
Friend has a series of health spas in the USA.He did some research and found that:- Customers weren’t seeing the value of the beauty treatments- So sales weren’t greatHe tried something very simple… a new uniform.Simple change of uniform staff changed two things: Customers saw a trusted advisor and “science” Staff felt more confident and changed how they consulted
Changing the environment… the place around staff, the attitudes that come of it. BBC – Largest, oldest broadcaster in the world. 300,000 staff… People felt the BBC was a big, unmovable beast Greg Dyke organised some research There was some entrenched problems with the organisation , which couldn’t seem to get out of it’s own way. It seemed there was a serious “WhingingPom” syndrome at play – 300,000 people complaining… Nobody felt like they could change anything, yet nobody took responsibility for anything either. Introduced a way for people to change their attitude 6 words on a yellow card, distributed to all staff. People were given the cards and told to take them everywhere… meetings, whatever. Anytime somebody said “Ahh, well you see we couldn’t do that…” you were to show them the yellow card and say “Cut the crap! Make it happen” Within 6 months, the organisation was transformed! Productivity soared, people felt inspired to be there.
REFLECT – Is this really our job?What we’re talking about now is Change Management, isn’t it? aligning various groups’ expectations communicating the need for change facilitating the change itself integrating teams and managing people training. There’s already people who’s job it is to do this, isn’t there?Can UX designers really play a role here?
Drover has to Know where we’re going Corral the team toward the destination Be aware of the team’s needs: water, rest, medical attention Make sure nobody is left behind Lead from the rear, not the front.
Special thanks to Erietta Sapounakis & BecPurserTwitter @erietta, bec_purser
Alongside Technology - Service Design on a Shoestring
Alongside Technology<br />Service Design on a Shoestring<br />
The rundown…<br />The forces of service experience<br />Systems<br />Environment & context<br />Interaction & dialogue<br />How to change on the cheap<br />Improvement without touching technology<br />What is the role of the the designer?<br />
The forces of service design<br />What drives out our good and bad service experiences?<br />