5 WAYS SERVICE DESIGN CAN OPTIMIZE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Very often, companies are looking at optimizing their Customer Experience to increase efficiency and output. This is great! And something that should be done regularly. To thrive today, we all need to become more efficient, increase output, and innovate. Never forget innovation, it’s the missing ingredient to the companies that thrived and then failed. Companies and individuals are expected to do more with less time and budget. Customer expectations are always high. There is no doubt that increasing reputation through a reliable service and product takes time and years but shattering that trust can happen overnight. The thing is, our customers can be our employees, our audience, or even our consumers. This is what makes things tricky. So, the question is, how can we constantly improve, but not destroy what we have built?
In my opinion, I believe service design principles is an answer. Service design can aid us tremendously in optimizing the customer experience. At Moi Studio we define service design as the study and improvement of customer interactions through various service provider mediums. This can through a magazine, point of sale, or an app. Any time a person has an area of interaction, we can analyze it to make sure it meets the customer’s wants and expectations. It is always about the customer. So, let’s talk about a couple of ways to utilize service design to optimize processes.
Understanding our customers is essential. The whole purpose of service design is to understand our customers and their interactions. Every company should have a mission to do so as well. It is very unlikely that we will create something meaningful if we don’t know who we are creating for. Right… I hope we are all in agreement. Are our customers millennial, Physician Assistants, female, gamers… This means we should know the demographics and psychographics of our customers. An easy way to optimize is to make sure we are placing effort in targeting the “right” customer.
2. Understand Customer Ecosystems
Breaking down the customer experience can seem like a daunting task. The key is to start. If we don’t understand the ways people utilize our services, how are we going to optimize it? Constructing a Customer Ecosystem is the first step to see what reach we have with our customers. A Customer Ecosystem identifies all the touchpoints a customer has with our communication, services and products. Remember, everything we offer should be meaningful. Very often, we will find that there are duplicate and unnecessary areas in our communication, services, or products. Or there might be missing links. Suddenly, we can be in a panic because there is no social media integration within the customer experience, or our app isn’t connected to our products. It is better to identify our weaknesses, than to ignore them. We can optimize our customer experience by strengthen our weak areas and understand our strengths in the Customer Ecosystem.
3. Explore Touchpoints
Once we understand our Customer Ecosystem, we can explore each touchpoint. There are multiple tools we can use to do this, from contextual research to interviews to mapping. It is important to explore how users interact with the communication, service, or product at that touchpoint. This will lead to discovering painpoints and opportunity spaces. Each time we dig deeper into our customer understanding, we find areas of inefficiency that should be simplified and optimized.
5. Innovation is the best Optimization
Optimizing a customer experience may sometimes lead to a misconception. Incremental improvements are not always the key to success. We, as creatives, should always try to innovate throughout the customer experience as we improve it overall. This is the greatest value of utilizing service design principles. We can breakdown, analyze and understand customers and their interactions. When we understand the customer experience, it will give us options to innovate, which is the best way to optimize. Remember, innovation is key to success, companies that decide to just gradually improve themselves will eventually get overshadowed by those that have innovation in their DNA.
Service design tools are great to optimize how and why we invest time in our initiatives. At Moi Studio, we always recommend clients to start with strategic methodologies such as service design. We utilize service design principles to define, analysis and improve our clients’ initiatives. We can figure out the strengths and weaknesses and create focus. The focus will allow us to optimize and improve customer experiences.
Also, if you want to learn more about Customer Ecosystems click here or if you want to learn more about Experience Webs click here.
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