Ka-chunk! When customer experience design fails and how to avoid it

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We’ve all heard it. Customer experience should encompass every aspect of a company’s offering and consistently engage a customer across all touch points. This utopian vision speaks to our souls and warms our empathetic hearts.

However, ask any UX professional who has rolled up their sleeves and attempted this mighty task of organisational unity (even at a micro-level) and they’ll tell you it can also fry the mind.

Through personal and industry examples, this presentation highlights the challenges of creating an integrated customer experience, then shares practical models, techniques and tips that help break it down to size.

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  • I'll get in touch when I plan to go to Brisbane next. But if you feel like beach and stuff, come and see us!
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  • Thanks for your comments. Good to hear from you, Bettina. Think we need to catch up for a coffee sometime soon. Any excuse to get up to Noosa, right? Or will you be in the CBD soon?
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  • Hi Joel, sorry I couldn't come and see you at UXAustralia - I enjoyed your presentation though. It takes maturity and experience to select the right kind of effort at the right time. I've overshot a few times. I am much more humble, realistic and appropriate in my approach. One can't go wrong with listening carefully and asking the right questions.
    Greetings
    Bettina
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Ka-chunk! When customer experience design fails and how to avoid it

  1. 1. KA-CHUNK! When customer experience design fails and how to avoid it Joel Flom UX Australia 2009, Canberra 27 August 2009
  2. 2. Bit about me HELLO... - A designer - 12 years experience - Start-ups to SMEs to corporates - Experience split between Australia and US - Still figuring it out
  3. 3. Customer experience defined
  4. 4. Customer experience defined “Customer experience refers to the totality of experience a customer has with a business, across all channels and touchpoints.” Peter Merholz, Adaptive Path
  5. 5. Customer experience defined “Customer experience should encompass every aspect of a company’s offering and consistently engage a customer across all touch points.” Joel Flom, Elavision
  6. 6. Customer experience defined BLUE SKIES, RIGHT? - Unified vision - Rallying point - Plenty of success stories (Apple, Amazon, Zappos) - Required to stay competitive - Customers demand it
  7. 7. Customer experience defined
  8. 8. Customer experience defined
  9. 9. Customer experience defined BUT... - Major challenges in creating an integrated customer experience - Organisational unity impossible to achieve within timeframes - Client not ready - Customers misunderstood
  10. 10. Customer experience defined
  11. 11. Customer experience defined
  12. 12. Customer experience defined SO WHO’S THE CULPRIT? - Revisit our own perspective - Empathise with the business - Stop idolising the ideal customer
  13. 13. Revisit our own perspective
  14. 14. Revisit our own perspective “...designers are very much focused on the service interface (eg. interaction with the service provider), so much that they don’t notice what’s going on behind them.” Marc Fonteijn, 31 Volts
  15. 15. Revisit our own perspective BLINDED BY THE LIGHT - We’re often blinded by the lights coming off the front-stage - We seek the “ideal” customer - We still get sucked into the medium
  16. 16. Revisit our own perspective “WEB PLUS ONE” APPROACH - “Multi-channel experiences” are often the web plus one other channel - Our vantage point is mainly from the web outwards - We're still fixated on the shiny object - Other core services get overlooked Garrett, Jesse James (2009). “How Integrated Are Your Customer Experiences?”. http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/merholz/2009/07/how-integrated-are-your-custom.html
  17. 17. Revisit our own perspective PROJECT-BASED UNDERSTANDING - Look at customers, the business and technical teams through narrow lenses - Perspectives are stitched together based on project objectives - Business units aren’t necessarily seen as operating outside the design problem
  18. 18. Revisit our own perspective “[Design thinking] is a discipline that uses the designer's sensibility and methods to match people needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.” Tim Brown, IDEO
  19. 19. Revisit our own perspective
  20. 20. Revisit our own perspective 360° design
  21. 21. Revisit our own perspective
  22. 22. Revisit our own perspective
  23. 23. Empathise with the business
  24. 24. Empathise with the business
  25. 25. Empathise with the business “How did this happen? If I was running a company with the distinction and history of American Airlines, I would be embarrassed -- no ashamed -- to have a website with a customer experience as terrible as the one you have now. How does your CEO, Gerard J. Arpey, justify treating customers this way? Why does your board of directors approve of this? Your website is abusive to your customers, it is limiting your revenue possibilities, and it is permanently destroying the brand and image of your company in the mind of every visitor.” Dustin Curtis, dustoncurtis.com Curtis, Dustin (2009). “Dear American Airlines”. http://dustincurtis.com/dear_american_airlines.html
  26. 26. Empathise with the business
  27. 27. Empathise with the business “You want a redesign? I’ve got six of them in my archives. It only takes a few hours to put together a really good-looking one, as you demonstrated in your post. But doing the design isn’t the hard part, and I think that’s what a lot of outsiders don’t really get, probably because many of them actually do belong to small, just-get-it-done organizations. But those of us who work in enterprise-level situations realize the momentum even a simple redesign must overcome, and not many, I’ll bet, are jumping on this same bandwagon. They know what it’s like.” Mr X’s response, dustoncurtis.com Mr. X (2009). “The Response”. http://dustincurtis.com/dear_dustin_curtis.html
  28. 28. Empathise with the business “To succeed on the Web we need to change our mentality from seeing ourselves as a master to seeing ourselves as an apprentice.” Gerry McGovern, gerrymcgovern.com
  29. 29. Empathise with the business TOP-DOWN TO BOTTOM-UP IS HARD - Many obstacles, from organisational structure to company culture - Management suspicious of perceived value/risks - Demands a different mind-set than earlier IT programs - Invites all employees to the table
  30. 30. Empathise with the business DECISION FACTORIES - Decisions don’t get made - Decisions appear to have been made, but then fall apart - Decisions get made, but follow-up isn’t timely - Decisions get made, but they’re bad Martin, Roger (2005). “Why Decisions Need Design”. http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/aug2005/id20050830_416439.htm
  31. 31. Empathise with the business SILOS - Rarely have incentives to coordinate their activities - Often have stronger incentives to go own way - Friction between silos can be systemic - Clear division of labour (job titles with explicit set of responsibilities)
  32. 32. Empathise with the business
  33. 33. Empathise with the business MARKET MATURITY - Determine which stage the organisation is in Maturity Model Stage 1: Technology - Work out the competition’s level of maturity Stage 2: Features (not just features and functionality) Stage 3: Experience Stage 4: Commodity - Look at level is across entire organisation, not just current design problem - Understand what it will take to transition to the next stage Spool, Jared (2009). “Deriving Design Strategy from Market Maturity, Part 1” http://www.uie.com/articles/derivingdesignstrategy/
  34. 34. Empathise with the business MARKET MATURITY - Determine which stage the organisation is in - Work out the competition’s level of maturity (not just features and functionality) - Look at level is across entire organisation, not just current design problem - Understand what it will take to transition to the next stage Spool, Jared (2009). “Deriving Design Strategy from Market Maturity, Part 1” http://www.uie.com/articles/derivingdesignstrategy/
  35. 35. Empathise with the business
  36. 36. Stop idolising the ideal customer
  37. 37. Stop idolising the ideal customer BETTER EXPERIENCES NOT REQUIRED - Loyalty over time can breed inaction - “The devil you know” phenomenon - Experience is not front and centre - Relationship not required
  38. 38. Stop idolising the ideal customer “We don’t want interaction! We want to minimise our interaction!” Eric Reiss, FatDUX
  39. 39. Stop idolising the ideal customer CUSTOMERS NOT ON A JOURNEY - May interact with multiple touchpoints and series of interactions over time, but don’t view it as an “ecosystem” - Often only a means to an end - Not seeking rich interactions, but instead less interactions
  40. 40. Stop idolising the ideal customer CUSTOMER SERVICE = HUMAN TOUCH - Human touch still trumps online help/support - Phone continues to be top preference - Most customers don’t believe technology has improved customer service significantly - Must move away from AVR mentality
  41. 41. Stop idolising the ideal customer “Online, we don’t just see and read about your brand. We use it.” Kristina Halvorson, Brain Traffic
  42. 42. Stop idolising the ideal customer WHEN ONLINE, IT’S THE CONTENT - When online, customers predominantly interact with content, not the business - Useful, usable content - Bridges the gap between audience needs and business requirements
  43. 43. Stop idolising the ideal customer
  44. 44. Stop idolising the ideal customer
  45. 45. Conclusion FINAL THOUGHTS... - Ensure we get a complete picture of the customer experience, not the one we yearn to see - Be a student of the business - Give the real customer what they need
  46. 46. Conclusion “How we approach our work is often what determines its outcome. The more it's about us, the knowers or gurus or smarter- than-thous, the less good the experience we create.” Mark Hurst, Creative Good
  47. 47. The End THANK YOU - Web: www.elavision.com - Blog: elavision.typepad.com - Email: joel.flom@elavision.com - Twitter: @joelflom

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