The future of Customer Experience design

SatisfactionA lot has happened in the last ten years of customer experience design. Especially as ten years ago customer experience design didn’t exist.

Back then, we thought user experience was enough, and before that, we thought user interaction design was the big thing. And before that, well, that long ago we just turned the damn thing on and used it.

Recently, we’ve been designing services that are more integrated through. Customer experience design has evolved surprisingly quickly over the last few years, and today embraces multi-channel and cross-channel activities, the integrated life-cycle of the customer and the design of different journeys for the many different customer segments. These aspects of design are now considered to be the norm, and not incorporating them can be seen as lagging behind industry best practice.

However, the term customer experience as we regard it today is holding us back to a degree, as it is very transaction and interaction orientated. Let me give you an example.

Think of sex.

I knew you’d like that. But if you analyse the experience of having sex by breaking it down into the various stages, each being part of a process with different interactions involved throughout, it tends to lose some of its mystique. We want to enjoy the intimate moments during our loving journey but we are really looking for the feeling of bliss at the end. This is actually what customers want too.

We need to design enhanced, overall experiences for our customers. Experiences which take into account a broader range of influencers which will help drive growth for the business and satisfaction for the customer. This next wave of experience evolution is beginning to break and here are five guiding principles to designing enhanced experiences for the customer:

Only SuperOrdinate Propositions can deliver enhanced experiences

SuperOrdinate Propositions acknowledge the richness of the ecosystem surrounding each and every commercial proposition that a business offers to its customers. The SuperOrdinate Proposition has to be the vehicle to drive and deliver a great experience for the customer.

The ultimate goal of every transaction is advocacy

You need to be talked about because this is the new marketing. As company messages begin to fall on increasingly sceptical ears, a reference by someone a potential customer knows is worth its weight in gold. Especially when people want to be talking in so many social network sites that they need to have something interesting to say.

Employees deliver experiences – nothing else!

This is a variation on the caveat that all employees are there for one purpose – and one purpose only – to serve the customer. We need to serve the customer amazingly well – and in a way that they will remember too. This is the employee’s sole purpose.

For success, your experiences should be designed for colleagues and customers alike

Going hand in glove with the previous guideline, if employees aren’t enabled and empowered to deliver great service, then it isn’t going to happen. Customers often have better technology that your own staff and they have access to wide information around their specific issue too.

Ideal experiences are branded, and so differentiated to you

The key area where you can differentiate yourself is in the service you provide and the experiences you deliver. Especially when they are done in your own special way and aligned to your brand values, because your competitors can’t copy these.

Incorporating these five principles in the behaviours, people, infrastructure and systems of your business will enable you to design and offer the kind of experiences that will leave your customers in relative bliss compared to your competitors. You want to make love to your customers – you don’t want to screw them!

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