Customer experience in the strategy of Kone

The success of Kone is one of the top examples in Finland of how bringing service design into the company’s strategy has benefited the customer, the firm and probably the whole market. I think if elevator business can do it, we all should be able to do it, too!

How do they do it

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The latest Kone strategy has turned the strategic thinking from inside out to outside in. That means every development effort starts from customers’ needs, not from the company’s ideas. Kone has focused on how to stand out in the elevator market and come to the conclusion that the human centered approach to services and innovation is a key to success.

They say that the Kone way is to win with the customers. I think this is a clue for any B-to-B business: if you don’t know how your customers benefit from your offerings, you cannot win either. Other clue is to focus on services: 90 % are services and only 10 % are products.

CX Lab by Kone

CX Lab

Strategic service design is brought alive in the Customer Experience Laboratories of Kone. In the CX Lab, experiments and agile change deployment are executed and as results new customer insights and customer experience change descriptions are created.

Co-creation and co-development are keys to the collaborative innovations that are experimented in the CX Lab. In the meanwhile the employees who are working with clients become empowered with creativity to develop new solutions and ways of working.

Kone’s goal is to to change working culture towards customer-centricity and have a true service mindset. Crucial part for this is the participants’ motivation for change and learning.


Ville Nore, the Manager in Service Design, tells what areas the CX Lab has covered so far.

What have they learned

What did change when Kone started with service design and customer-oriented approach? Timo Tiainen, Director in Concepts and Design, says that the customers of Kone highly value the new approach. That is a good result in itself: customers feel good about companies that use service design. The big change is also in how those working for Kone see themselves in serving customers and how they solve customers’ problems in agile way.

The Kone service designers emphase how important listening is. Instead of asking questions or verifying your ideas, you should simply listen to the customer. You will start hearing stories of the customers’ relationship to your company and how they experience it.

The designers remind that it is important to learn to fail and to through your ideas to garbage bin in any stage of the experiment. This could be one of the most difficult task: earning licence to learn.

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The author Hanna Heikkonen participated in Solita Meeting Point in October 10th 2017. 


2 thoughts on “Customer experience in the strategy of Kone

  1. Great article, CX is a buzz world and it’s really good to see how differently companies are applying it inside their businesses. The fact that Kone has their dedicated labs to tackle this means they are taking this really seriously. Did you heard about any specific case study that Kone did based in this proposition? Would be good to see something.

  2. Thank you Margarida! I guess because of limited time they really didn’t give much concrete examples. Quite typical in brief sessions like this morning seminar was. Digital services and service processes were mentioned in general. Perhaps it is time for a study visit to Kone! 🙂

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