It’s not enough to just sell a product or service—companies must truly engage with their customers. Here’s how to embed experience design in your organization.
September 2015 | byJennifer Kilian, Hugo Sarrazin, and Hyo Yeon
This article is a must read
Think about a product you recently bought. Now think about the experience you had buying and using that product. Increasingly, it’s difficult to separate these two elements, and we’re actually seeing many cases where customers prioritize the experience of buying and using a product over the performance of the product itself. In fact, customer experience is becoming a key source of competitive advantage as companies look to transform how they do business.
This fixation on customer experience isn’t just for the cool start-up world. Consider HP and the mundane task of replacing printer ink. Through HP Instant Ink, the company has executed a subtle shift away from pure transactions—customers simply buying ink when they need it—and toward establishing an ongoing service relationship, wherein HP knows when its printers will run out of ink and preemptively ships more, saving customers time and effort. And making their lives easier not only makes customers more productive but also makes them happy and generates loyalty. Similarly, heavy-industry stalwart John Deere is transforming its business by moving beyond pure equipment to provide farmers with digital services such as crop advisories, weather alerts, planting prescriptions, and seeding-population advice…
… Many companies are committing to improve the user experience. But making design a core capability that drives growth and competitive advantage means companies need to go further.
The four elements of design-driven culture
Really understanding the customerThe difference with design-driven companies is that they seek to go far beyond understanding what customers want to truly uncovering why they want it.
Bringing empathy to the organizationOne essential to running a design-driven company is making sure the right people with the right skill set are in the right place.
Designing in real timeDeveloping any customer journey requires input from many functions. We believe in a “braided” approach that combines design, business strategy, and technology as the core working group. These functions should work together to make decisions, ensure that the designed journey aligns with the business strategy and is delivering value, and keep customer experience a top-of-mind issue.
Acting quicklyGood design is fast. That means getting a product to market quickly, which depends on rapid prototyping, frequent iteration, and adjustments based on real customer feedback