Gartner predicts that by 2018, more than 50% of organisations will redirect their investments to customer experience (CX) innovations?
This prediction makes sense to me as common-sense suggests that for any organisation struggling with innovation initiatives a good place to start is improving customer experience (CX). As a focus for change CX projects can and should involve all levels of the organisation as well as customers and partners in your supply chain. CX innovation is a great way to combine strategic, transactional and collaborative innovation, it’s the triple helix of innovation.
I recently designed and facilitated a CX innovation workshop with 55 participants across 20+ industry sectors. The point of the workshop was to experience the importance of diversity, collaborative models and working with personas and journey maps to really understand what the customer is trying to achieve.
A key element of the workshop, which I named radicalCX, was to showcase areas of technology that impact how people interact with people, information, goods and services. This included:
- Augmented, virtual and mixed reality demonstrations that gave everyone a chance to experience HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Microsoft Hololens and Vuforia marker based AR.
- UTS student poster gallery with 9 research projects on display from the School of Software and the School of Computing and Communication.
Using Zeetings I ran a few live polls during the day to measure the appetite in the room for technology, which stages of the customer journey pose the most challenges and the current frequency of the journey mapping practice, here are the results of those polls.
I thought it would be interesting to see how the response to this question from the participants in the room compared with the recent survey by Marketo. The results are very similar with perhaps a little more enthusiasm here for Augmented and Virtual Reality, not surprising considering we have some of the world’s top developers here in Australia producing commercial solutions for our finance and agricultural sectors.
The results of this poll surprised me, I did not expect the first stage of a customer’s journey to be the most challenging considering all the advances in digital marketing and the plethora of technology and channels available to reach and target key audiences. I do wonder though if a possible cause is the quality of content and writing skills, combined with a lack of understanding what the customer is really trying to achieve. I know I get frustrated if I can’t find the information I need to complete my research before having to talk to and be sold to by some person who simply repeats what I can find on line, is 20 years younger and less experienced in life than me – seriously how can they possibly understand my real needs from a functional, emotional and social perspective. And so this leads us to the next poll.
I guess this explains the interest in attending but I hope to see more organisations utilise these tools as developing customer personas and journey mapping can be a lot fun, inclusive and expand understanding of all parts of the business across the whole organisation. I quite like using UXpressia.com as I find it easy to modify to suit any type of organisation and visually appealing. Here are 2 articles on journey mapping you might find interesting:
Understanding what your customer is seeking to accomplish is a key element of journey mapping to clarify purpose and priorities to improve customer experience. Drawing on ideas from people much smarter than me, during the radicalCX workshop I highlighted the need for the participants to think about 3 things as they worked through the exercises: team diversity; what the customer is really trying to achieve; and the values associated.
What the customer is really trying to achieve?
Clayton Christensen ‘jobs to be done theory’ makes a very valid point when it comes to CX, he suggests that decisions based on data correlations are often misguided and its more important to have an understanding of what the customer wants to accomplish. You need to get to the causal driver behind a purchase, looking at patterns in big data will not help you do this. https://hbr.org/2016/09/know-your-customers-jobs-to-be-done
Understanding what the customer values
By incorporating multiple elements of value into your innovation projects analysis from Bain and Co. shows an increase in customer loyalty and revenue. A pyramid of elements chart was developed by Bain and Co. to assist organisations to think about the different values that might be important to customers. They include elements such as:
Depending on your industry sector, audience and business models you may need to adjust the elements to suit or even create your own. For more information on this concept and use cases check out these two articles:
When putting a team together to define a situation and solve a problem it’s important to recognise the different ways people approach the challenge. “Which two heads are better than one” authored by Juliet Bourke, Diversity and Inclusion Consulting Partner at Deloitte Australia, defines 6 approaches as follows (summarised extract):
- Outcomes: Why is this a problem? What outcomes do we want?
- Options: Have we explored other options? Is there a better way?
- Process: What steps do we need to take? What are the deadlines to meet?
- Evidence: Is this fact or opinion? What research has been done? What does the data tell us?
- People: Who will be most affected and how? What capability do we need? What motivates people?
- Risk: What does failure look like? How can we mitigate the risks?
Juliet’s study found that people orient towards one of these 6 ways and that robust decision making requires thinking through all 6 dimensions. There are a number of factors that contribute to unintentional bias across different industries & organisation hierarchy and so a team of executive leaders, for example, will most likely spend more time thinking about outcomes and options at the expense of people and process.
In summary the workshop was successful and with a few modifications will actually work better for a group compiled from a single organisation or a group of organisations from a non-competing industry sector. A key consideration for the workshop was to share the process and methods so that the participants could use the information and run the exercises by themselves in their own organisations. To assist, a DIY Guide was provided and can be downloaded from here (no cost). Photos from the radicalCX workshop and more information on the partners, students and technology in the room can be found here.
Prepared by Annette Dockerty, Member Advocate, Hargraves Institute