Let all the flowers bloom!

Tomi Härmä from MediaLuotsi opened the Finnish Marketin Reseach Society’s (SMTS) seminar on Tuesday 7.2 2017 on Leading Customer Experience using a finnish saying “let all the flowers bloom”. Meaning that all the different disciplines of research plus service design thinking & tools are needed to get deep understanding of customer’s needs and wants and learn from different perspectives on the experience journey.


Instead of the overused term “customer experience” (CX) we are already going closer to  actual customer is the queen thinking and doing. Using facts as well as emotions to gain insights into this journey. The aim of the seminar was to learn what it means to actually lead customer experience in real life through doing.

Leading with facts or vision?

Lauri Toivonen, marketing director from S retail group, took us thru their 3 year journey of change. It has been all about leading thru vision, data has been important but secondary. As all business fields are now in global competition, the creating of meaningful content is of utmost importance. Having the ad on the price of minced meat on the front page of daily newspaper is not content. It is not enough that you’re the best in Finland as Zara, Hennes & Mauritz and XXL Sport have shown us. The aim needs to be set high.


The starting point for the journey is a profitable business equation. Analytics, objectives, insights, optimizing and constant learning are the factors.

Creativity is the last unfair competitive advantage

Lauri quoted Jarkko Tuuria and explained that creativity needs a solid base of insight and understanding of the customers and their needs. A service is always about a solution to a customer’s problem, putting the customer really in the center.

Cultural change from advertising to doing

Human in the center means the employees as well as customers. Putting the employees in the center means doing together, sharing and co-creating – not an attitude of my team and my targets. Less leadership forums and more gathering together to solve problems and find solutions. And this requires relentless and supporting leadership and coaching. The skills needed have changed and so has the structure of the organization. Also the job titles have changed to support the change process.

Top 3

  • Loyalty 2.0 – be loyal to the customer, not the other way around
  • NO to stills – if the customer can’t use or act on the service, do not make it a service
  • AI –  helps to learn about customers and their needs

No more presentations

Insight director Laura Andström from research company Ottoboni continued on Lauri’s theme about the changes in business practises. It is all about co-creating and learning together. There are no longer consultants presenting on the the other side of the table but the work is done together from start to finish. A common goal and team work together thru common understanding and insightment process. Old school process described in the picture below meant that the customer gave the brief to the consultants/ad agency/reseach company and expected them to find the solution. Life went on both sides and in worse case scenario the consultants ended up presenting something that the customers didn’t get and got fired.


Laura’s learnings on mapping the customer journey

Zero point – put the customer in the center and then draw a map looking thru their eyes to help them solve their problems/reach their goals. Be brave and have a vision. When you understand the customer’s everyday life, you can use the journey map as a tool. Do validate the learnings to check that the business equation works.

  • Emotion is the road to innovation – id what happens between doing, thinking and emotions
  • Hands and feet on – experiment in practice, take the employees and customer along
  • Use different research methods and practises  – to open new perspectives
  • Keep the focus – can’t have it all at once
  • One size doesn’t fit all (read the blog Don’t make a Journey Map)
  • Concentrate on moments, not channels – the customer’s experiences where value is created or not
  • Lead the emotions – concentrate on expectations and feelings
  • Co-create, measure, projectize – leading the customer journey needs everybody on be onboard
  • Follow and measure

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