In Customer Experience Management, many organisations already work with a focussed approach to chart the customer experience. This leads to beautiful posters on the wall with so-called customer journey maps and initiatives to improve them.
There are several ways to improve the customer experience. The two main ones I want to compare are: a service design approach and a data driven approach. I see these as the Yin and Yang of CX.
This method of creating new services and service improvements is mostly qualitative. By engaging deeply with customers in conversation or other ways, the underlying rationale or emotions can be unearthed to explain why customers do what they do. With a relatively small sample size of respondents you zoom into understanding actual customer experience and discovering opportunities to improve this. This highly creative and qualitative process creates a continuous flow of: Discovery, Design and Delivery (see figure below).
Discover is the actual research phase and what you learn from it. This discovery, for example, also creates insights which determine the design principles. for a particular company, ideally every service and product offered should comply with this.
Design is translating insights into an optimised customer experience and what is needed to realise this. The design leads to a customised customer journey map and new creations.
Deliver originated in the design phase and produces a backlog which will result in a customised proposition, new product, improved service etc…
The critics among us find this approach too qualitative because only a small group of respondents are used to achieve these improvements. I believe that it is a shame to leave the potential of data unused. Applying this can actually give service design an extra boost. You can use it to create a direct connection between company value and customer value.
Data Driven Customer Experience Management
This method is based on data science. The more data available, the happier the data scientist. Ofcourse, the data must meet certain criteria, and generating insights from available and acquired data from research (feedback, such as NPS and web reviews) is central to this approach. The method is a quantitative research approach combined with a lot of company owned customer data. This brings you excellent insights into what is happening in actual omnichannel customer behaviour. This omnichannel customer journey is complemented by what customers give you in feedback and what this means in terms of loyalty, purchasing behaviour etc.
In a data driven approach, you use historical data as well as predicting what impact this has on both customer value and business value. New methods such as machine learning and artificial intelligence are used more and more frequently. It is my belief that in the near future more and more artificial intelligence methods will be used to derive emotion from actual customer behavioural data.
We often call this data science magic see how this can be illustrated:
The best of both worlds
Data driven methods can enrich the service design discovery phase with factual insights that can be directly substantiated in terms of customer value and company value (CX Insights Framework).
Customer value and company value can be linked at multiple levels using data insights:
- Design principles & company/customer KPIs;
- Data insights & service design research methods;
- Service design methods & data insights to create actionable insights
Organisations that work with service design, use design principles to achieve good designs. Design principles which can in turn can be managed using data. A typical example of this is the design principle ‘be effortless ‘ which is a good measurement to connect to customer feedback i.e. the “CEM” (customer effort score). This is similar to the “First Time Right” principle in customer contact . This will give you a direct connection between what you are aiming to achieve and the actual result: what we call: closing the loop!
In addition to the design principles, there is a connection between insights from data and qualitative service design research methods. Using the power of both, sets you up for CX success. Data insights can act as a compass in steering your customers in the right direction. Showing you what different target groups find important and how they experience their omnichannel interaction with your organisation. Why do they first visit your website and then call you, can not always be traced from data. This is the moment to introduce a more qualitative approach. Your data will show you exactly which topics require qualitative deep dives!
Last but not least, service design offers good working methods, eg. the process: 1. create concept, 2. review with experts and 3. co-create with users. This brings you to more accessible data insights and especially dashboarding. The creativity of a service designer working in collaboration with a data specialist on a customer journey dashboard will create more accessible solutions and insights for the less data science savvy and above all more visually oriented colleagues.
This will allow you to see in clear dashboards where you can develop actual value, what value your changes produce and how this can contribute to improved CX (see figure below).
By bringing these two methods together you have achieved the Yin & Yang effect and scalable solutions that greatly benefit both the customer and the company. This also in a way, both customers and management can appreciate and understand!
Continue to improve the customer experience:
We work together with our clients and leading universities to investigate how customer experience can be continuously improved to achieve a 9 + experience, so that organisations:
- can improve service in an agile fashion
- have a continuous flow of insights available for continuous improvement
- have a continuous flow of insights available to track improvements already made
- have the required data science always on
- can use customer experience insights as a basis for all future CX improvemen initiatives
Want to learn more about how Underlined customers are continually improving the customer journey? Please contact us. We will be happy to talk to you about your specific situation.
Theo van der Steen