03.08.2017

How do you design a valuable Customer Experience?

The GoingDigital OPEN Customer Experience in the Digital Era held on the 12th July featured participation from Ariel Guersenzvaig, Phd. Director of the Design & Communication Master’s degree course at ELISAVA.

Ariel Guersenzvaig presented a brief summary of the customer experience, although it gave a great deal more insight. The presentation itself was a valuable experience which, through stories, examples, and practical reasoning, revealed how to design the customer experience.

The 3 main ideas behind the customer experience

Before immersing the audience in his presentation, Ariel presented what he feels are the 3 underlying concepts needed to establish a valuable customer experience.

  1. One must design a customer experience. Although it is impossible to design an experience which happens in the customer’s mind, we can define the points of contact (touchpoints) and set a stage that will provide that experience.
  2. The customer experience design should focus on people and what the customer will feel when using our products.
  3. The customer experience happens across various platforms and should rely on the involvement of several or all departments. It is not just defined by designers; several layers of the organisation need to be involved.

 

Designing good or bad experiences

Generally, in the buying process the customer may interact with the physical shop, the call centre, the logistics service, or social networks. The product may be perfect but if the different brand touchpoints are not present, it will be perceived as a bad experience. Moreover, bad experiences are not always a result of a brand’s mistakes, but rather, the way in it reacts to those mistakes.

During the session Ariel briefly described a personal experience. Recently he had visited a retail chain that specialises in electrical appliances in order to buy a dishwasher. His had just broken and he urgently needed another one. After speaking to a shop assistant who thoroughly explained its specifications he made his choice.

He requested an urgent delivery service. The shop assistant checked the transport availability and confirmed that it would be delivered the following day between 3pm and 8pm. Ariel accepted despite considering the delivery window to be excessively wide.

By 7:30pm the following day the dishwasher had still not arrived. He called Customer Service and was told that the delivery person could not be contacted because it was being handled by third party, and that it was best for him to continue waiting. Without a dishwasher and without anyone who could solve the problem, the story’s conclusion was clear: “Above all it had been a bad experience because there was no transparency. Nobody did anything to solve the problem. No-one took responsibility.”

Taking the example of another purchase, this time for socks, Ariel received the wrong ones. When he contacted the brand via email they apologised, immediately sent the correct pair and let him keep the other ones.  “We all make mistakes but you can decide to use the opportunity to create an incredible user experience or not”.

 

How to design valuable customer experiences

When we talk about customer experiences, it’s not simply about selling products, services, or goods, but about building customer loyalty by providing valuable experiences.

 

“Thermomix is much more than a food processor, it is the promise of an incredible meal.”
– Ariel Guersenzvaig

 

Experiences are memorable, personal, and happen over time. They are not one-off occurrences, they are a series of small interconnected events that should be carefully designed for customers. You must explicitly design what will happen at each touchpoint and create a Customer Journey, the flow of experiences that a person has during their interaction with a brand.

To provide a Customer Journey it is important to understand what happens at each touchpoint; how products are presented, how employees treat customers, or how payment is made. You must think about everything. Consider every online, offline, or hybrid interaction the customer has with the brand and consider their objective. You must essentially orchestrate 3 aspects:

– The device or space

– The channel

– The customer’s specific task or activity

Each one of these should be designed according to the brand promise so ensure that the combined result of these touchpoints is an excellent customer experience.

 

“Every touchpoint is designed to provide experiences in line with the brand promise.”
– Ariel Guersenzvaig

 

Ariel Guersenzvaig ended his presentation by explaining that it is vital to explore concepts through experiences; evaluate, learn, experiment, and repeat. Experimenting sometimes means failing and learning from it. This is why, in GoingDigital we continuously create new  programmes that offer insights into the latest Digital Transformation trends in each sector.