What is Customer Journey and why others besides sales and marketing people should be interested about it?

What is Customer Journey and why others besides sales and marketing people should be interested about it?

 

Customer Persona

Before starting to formulate customer journey, it is important to define customer personas, to whom these journeys will be created. A while ago, I wrote about what Customer Personas are and why those are useful. Below you can find short definition and through the link complete blog in Finnish.

 

”Customer Persona (Customer-Avatar) is a fictional character, which presents ideal customer of a certain company. Unlike definition of a target segment, which classifies large group of people, customer persona defines one person’s character, values, personal information, challenges and goals. It even goes so far, that this person is given a name and a profile picture, by which an attempt to try to make the person alive is done.”

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/asiakaspersoonat-ja-mit%C3%A4-hy%C3%B6ty%C3%A4-niist%C3%A4-voi-olla-lauri-eskelinen/

 

Customer journey

Challenge during this digital era is, that many do not know when and where the first contact happens. If you do not know where this happens, it is very difficult to provide value to customer on that specific touch point. It can even happen so that customer has already made the purchasing decision even before contact with the company has happened. During this modern age, customers want to search for information about the product or service beforehand and understand what they are buying. For that reason it is important, that companies are acting as trusted advisors who are helping customers to move forward on their journey. Helping works a lot better than pushing also in this case.

 

Customer journey is a journey of all touch points between a company and a customer towards what the customer wants to achieve, and what they are doing to achieve that. It begins from awareness when customer discovers a need, continues by engaging with company and leads to purchasing. These touch point types vary a lot, and are not just contacts with sales, marketing and customer service at the customer interface, there are also many touch points with the systems behind the curtain. Journey does not end at the purchase, instead customer needs to be taken care of also after the transaction. Company has created value propositions before the purchase, but after the purchase company needs to fulfill these promises. Service delivery should be easy and effortless for the customer. Also it is important to understand that for example HR-, logistics- and finance systems affect to how smooth the customer experience is as a whole.

 

One tool called Service Blueprint is helpful in defining customer journey. It can also be used to test new service process prototype. We learned how to use this tool with Katja Tschimmel during the class Design Thinking. With the help of this tool, physical customer journey can be described and below every touch point, customer action is listed. By using this tool, contacts between customer and the company can be reviewed, both direct and contacts happening at the background. Also it is important to list out the required supporting processes and resources like IT. Below you can find a picture about what our group came up with.

20180908_143426

 

What are important aspects of effective customer journey mapping process?

It is very important, that it includes customer-centric point of view, in which a solution is formed through customer requirements with the objective to solve their needs, instead of creating a new product/service without asking customers if they need it. It is also very important to have support from management and focus on customer insight. Support is required from many different levels of organization, because customer interacts with many different parts of the company. Therefore units, which are working behind the curtain must support the process. And if cooperation and data collection are not taken into account in the early phases of the process, there is a big risk that the process ends up into nice visual exercises which nobody utilizes in practice.

 

Every time new product/service is developed, developers should step into customer’s shoes. By using the tools which design thinking provides, discussion can be limited into what needs to happen so that the idea is applicable. You can always make fancy plans, which seem to work on paper, but when a real customers tests the prototype, some very surprising issues can be discovered. Because of this reason, feedback should be requested as early as possible during the process. There is a risk, that when only looking at your own point of view, you might forget some important aspects, which are important to customers, and which the planned product does not fulfill. At this phase it is a lot easier to make modification, it could be late and very expensive to make those changes when the products is finished. So, remember to request feedback as early as possible and Fail Fast!

 

Some tools, which are good for testing new product or service are Desktop Walkthrough or Role Play. During our classes we were allowed to play with Legos J This relates to Desktop Walkthrough –tool, which is used to outline proposed solution in 3D, which makes it easier to define. After we made our first version, we presented that to other group to receive feedback. With the help of this feedback, we made some modifications and combined two different options into one solution. Some pictures below.

 

Why it is important to understand these concepts?

The customer rarely follows the buying process which the company has independently defined. From the perspective of marketing and sales, it is important so that companies can create value adding content to every touch point of the journey and can help customers move forward. Instead that company trying to raise common interest and reach the entire crowd with one same content. Many times this results into creating content, which does not raise any emotions in anyone.

 

After the customer journeys have been formulated, marketing automation can be utilized in order to deliver content, which provides additional value to customers in every touch point and when they are moving forward on their journey. This is one reason why the background systems need to function. It does not give good image, if value creating content has been created, but interested customer cannot open it. For this reason, cooperation inside the company is very important, so that IT-unit understands the process. Then they can make sure that the systems work as required and by doing that, making the customer journey as easy and effortless as possible.

 

#servicedesign #designthinking #customerjourney #contentmarketing #sales #marketing #latenlorut

Agile piloting Jam in Open Living Lab days

 

Smart Kalasatama: Agile piloting engages the urban community

In 2013 the City of Helsinki decided to make Kalasatama as a model area of smart city development. Today Smart Kalasatama innovation platform run by Forum Virium Helsinki, has hit the headlines with engaging the urban community for the development of a smart district: it is a laboratorium for smart and sustainable urban everyday life and for developing methods to engage the users and other stakeholders.

During 2016 -2018 a total of 21 “agile pilots” have been run and facilitated in Kalasatma. Agile Piloting is a facilitated co-creation process that focuses on experimentation, it combines methods from service design, lean development, user research and fast prototyping and adopting these to the needs of urban development. 

The process for co-development and experimentation offers startups, SME’s and other innovators a chance to get the first learnings from the user feedback. Purchasing small pilots ( 1000-8000 euros) has proven to be an interesting means for the cities to have alternative ways for public procurement, but the model can be also run without compensation, as entry to the city is also valuable. The model  has been widely adopted in Helsinki and in a number of other major cities in Finland. Over 60 agile pilots have been run in Finnish cities following the model created in Kalasatama.

Our experience shows that the programme format, instead of individual pilots, provides synergies when several pilots are carried out simultaneously. This also boosts new collaboration beyond the pilots. A good pilot always provides value for the end user, uses technology in an innovative way, and is truly novel. Furthermore, the pilots offer valuable insights for the decision makers on user cases of the future. The greatest value is provided by the learnings from the process; even good failures can offer valuable insight to develop smart services of the future.

Sharing best practices in Open Living Lab Days

During Open Living lab Days 22.-24.8. in Geneva our team hosted a workshop with the aim to communicate our learnings for living labs and city developers. We planned a hands-on-session that provides concrete tools and understanding on how to tailor the method of Agile piloting programme to the needs of different living labs. 

The aim of the  “Agile Piloting Jam” was to make the guidelines from Smart Kalasatamas Cookbook for Agile Piloting tangible, to communicate what’s needed for experimentation in urban environments. During the session we shared concrete examples of how Agile Piloting can accelerate the development of a neighbourhood or city and showcase the potential of new resilient solutions.

Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 21.05.37

Introducing the theme: Value Creation Throughout the Process

The participants of the workshop were to get familiar with the process of designing an Agile Piloting Programme for the needs of their urban lab. The session started with a 20 minutes introduction to the subject, opening the benefit of a programme format and how to get started.  In the introduction we aimed to open the essential:   running an agile piloting program requires understanding the value for all stakeholders. The objective is always solutions-focused and the iterative process that can also provide alternative new starting points along the way. The first market references and integrating the service to the city infrastructure is also invaluable. The program has proven to provide a neutral platform, or safe space for co-creation and collaboration. And it is all about learnings!

Hands on workshop to pilot your way!                                                         

After the Intro we continued with the workshop. We introduced two templates for the exercises: identifying stakeholders and filling the Agile Piloting canvas to mix and match the elements of a Piloting Programme to achieve own goals.

We had organized the  tablegroups by inspirational wider themes such as “smart cities” or “social inclusion” , and the participants could join a theme  based on their own interests. Once in groups, and after brief introductions the groups were able to discuss and define a more specific theme for a piloting programme.  The stakeholder canvas helped to identify the different levels of collaborators, organisers, co-creators needed, and whom should be influenced and shared the learnings. The agile piloting canvas served as a framework for discussions on what the premises of a programme can be. Within half an hour the groups had 5 initial programme themes ready.

Learning by doing

The same workshop was run two days in a row for different audiences. During the first day we opened a concrete case in detail as an example. This led the audience to concentrate on the subject way too much. Therefore in the second workshop we decided to give more detailed briefings, instead of examples. This helped the participants to work with their own contents. We experimented with the format the first day, and applied the learnings, based on the participant feedback, on the second one. “This is well structured and clear” was our feedback from the participants in the second session. And yes, something to be used in their own labs, too, confirmed the participants leaving the room with their Cookbooks.

Download the Cookbook for Agile Piloting here!

 

The author Kaisa Spilling is an urban interventionist, innovation accelerator with a passion for smarter cities.

 

”You can’t do everything on your own.”

Event: Open up, become inspired and innovate! Global perspectives at Innovation Breakfast

Time: 5.9.2018 klo 8:00-10:30

Place: Hard Rock Cafe (Aleksanterinkatu 21, 00100 Helsinki)

”The focus of the USCO-project is to develop Finnish organisations capabilities to utilise digitalisation. The project explores digital business development on an organizational level, and in implementing open service innovation. USCO-project relies on experimentation and taking actions fit the focus of management, well-being at work, open innovation and customer centricity.” This was the first time I really paid attention to USCO-projects goals, and I have to admit that I was impressed. All those main focus areas are something that I am very interested in.

In the introduction Ruusa Ligthart and Riitta-Liisa Larjovuori started by explaining more about the viewpoints in USCO-project and opened some basic enablers in the open innovation process.

Four viewpoints to digitalisation

  1. Leadership
  2. Wellbeing at work
  3. Open innovation
  4. Customer centricity

What helps and enables open innovation:

–       Open and systematic processes

–       Strategic support from organization

–       Leadership support, examples

–       Organizational culture

Coming from quite hierarchic work environment, I was delighted to hear more about the fact that open innovation is also about collaboration and open mind. That is the reason why I decided to start study MBA at Laura UAS.

 

Keynote1: Professor Tim Minshall (University of Cambridge): ”Creating open innovations throught networking.”

IMG_3555

Management challenges of open innovation

 

Innovation is about solving customer needs.  Before this event innovation felt more like something complex and something that only experts and researchers in the field could do. Now I realised that knowing your customer is the key factor. That needs understanding, and that I believe I’m good at. The key action is to listen, and that’s what I mostly do at work. Dialog.

 

 

Innovation is about doing, understanding and delivering. It may be a product that makes life easier or something totally different, a shift in the way services are viewed. Sometimes the change can be incremental and sometimes simplicity is the key word. I really enjoyed when Minshall told about one case of innovation. A kettle. John C. Taylor invented the bi-metal kettle switch that makes sure that your kettle switches off once the water starts boiling. It reminded me of a coffee filter, that was invented by a German housewife Melitta Bentz simply because she didn’t was coffee to taste bad and have grounds in it. Bentz took blotting paper and transformed that into a new business idea 110 years ago. Mr. Taylor also said that “Innovation is no longer just for the elite in business, it has become the norm”. Collaboration acts as an enabler. It is important to be resilient and withstand difficulties because innovation process usually involves handling such things as failure, risks and the fact that a lot of times you hear the word ”No”. It is a good thing that my current profession has trained me to work under pressure and limitations, because all three challenges are going to be in my personal improvement -list for a while as learning targets. Not really used to fail 😉

Basically Open Innovation videns the basic innovation project from ”Research – Development – Commercialisation” to more accessible and friendly prosess, where also social skills are important. Companies share their information with competitors in aim of mutual gain. Networking comes down to doing and giving in co-creation. More and more people are getting together for stimulation. That is one reason why I just started volunteering in The Shortcut. The Shortcut is a community driven organisation that promotes diversity as an engine for growth. They inspire and empower their community through gatherings, workshops, trainings and programmes that help people explore ideas, share knowledge and develop skills to enable new talents required in the startup life.

 

Keynote2: Adjutant professor Marja-Liisa Manka (Tampereen yliopiston johtamiskorkeakoulu): ”Kaikkien innovaatiopotentiaali käyttöön työpaikalla – Ruudun takaa aktiiviseksi toimijaksi”

Freely translated: Everyone’s innovation potential at use in work places – Away behind the screen to become an active agent. I almost got goosebumps when I heard Manka say: ”Well-being at work is very essential part of innovativeness and that empleyees should involve in the (strategic) decision making.” Well-being at work is a subject very close to my heart and I’m even thinking about maybe doing by thesis related to improving organizational culture. This happens by developing work resources in a new way, emphasising community and trust.  It is also important for the individual to take care of his/hers own resources: development, activity and psychological wellbeing. The base of well-being at work and innovation lies in organizational culture. That’s why it is important to adjust and change work together. What are the mutual goals and requirements? How to add social resources? What it takes to improve structural resources at work?

 

IMG_3557

Guidelines for the community

 

The day ended in panel discussion in which eight Finnish organisations shared their experiences being part of the USCO-project. At first they shared their positive outcomes and quidelines before giving out examples when the innovation collaboration might not work. The most common warning signs were overcomplexity and self-willness. It is important to keep focus, no matter how enthusiastic people might be. What is the reason and the need? That said, it is also crucial that organization supports innovation. Timing is important, especially when constructing workshops. Dynamics can be a fragile thing and needs to be nurtured during an innovation process. Workshops are always a good idea, assuming that they come from actual need. Getting customers involved in the process ensures that user experience is also accounted for and results get better that way. Collaboration and agility shoud be in the core of actions and organization culture should be open and visible. Open innovation requires new skillsets that also includes empathy, courage, curiosity, trust, and being systematic. This was the first time I learnt about the skillsets. I was happy to notice that I can say to already possess some of those attributes already. Rest of them are about practise and learning. I’m eager to learn more.

 

IMG_3559

Drawing by Jaakko Porokuokka

 

As Tim Minshall said: ”You can’t do everything on your own.”

 

The author Siru Sirén is MBA student in Futures Studies and Customer-Oriented Services in Laurea UAS// Licenced social service professional

 

More information and ideas:

https://tapahtumat.tekes.fi/tapahtuma/USCO_aamukahvit/registration

http://www.uscoproject.fi/usco—english.html

https://www.innocentdrinks.co.uk

http://industrialdigitalisation.org.uk

http://theshortcut.org

Book: The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge

I am on a path to somewhere! by Annamarja Paloheimo

Two days of learning by doing, experimenting, prototyping, role playing and presenting under the tutelage of Katja Tschimmel has certainly guided me on a path to something new.

Katja put her research into work as she introduced the Evolution 6 -Innovation & Design Thinking Model to us. In the model 36 different tools are introduced with the purpose of guiding us through the innovation process from identifying the challenge to presenting and implementing the solution. We worked through nine tools and created a presentable solution to the identified challenge.

IMG_6557

During the workshop it was comforting to understand that creativity and design is all about listening to customers, understanding their needs and getting feedback. Based on these observations and with the help of Design Thinking tools in an organized, interactive and iterative manner it is possible to transform existing conditions to something better.

After this experience it is easy to agree with Katja Tschimmel that Design Thinking methodology and tools are an effective way to find new perspectives, make sense of various phenomena affecting life around us and to innovate.

Design Thinking methodology and tools make the innovation process understandable, workable and approachable. The tools give a framework to work within, and the rules and assignments related to each tool will guide us to the next step on the process. With the help of the process and the tools the outcome is likely to be desirable, feasible and viable.

The two-day workshop with Katja Tschimmel gave me two true learning experiences.

First was understanding the value of listening to feedback. In order to benefit from feedback, it is necessary to have an open mind and understand that there is no need to defend the work, but to listen. Feedback gives an opportunity to improve the quality of the work. Feedback is a gift.

Second is the importance of presentation and visualization.Every solution or new product needs to be sold; both to the end-user but also to the organization producing it. Ideas need to be pitched to management and boards. In pitching the idea visualization and the presentation of the idea is a key to success. The pitch needs to be comprehensive but short, descriptive but simple and easy to digest both visually and verbally.

Gijs van Wulfen’s approach in presentation is very appealing. He recommends the usage of Business Model Canvas. It is a clear, strategic, commercial, professional and financial plan for a new initiative. By making a business case of the new initiative the persuasiveness of the case gets stronger as it highlights the strategic, commercial and financial aspects of the plan. In business context the initiative must always either increase revenue or decrease costs.

IMG_6563

After the work-shop I truly feel that I am on a path to somewhere. I like the idea of structured thought process and the tools to support it. I like the usage of analogies and semantic confrontations in the process. I am convinced that quick prototyping, roleplay and feedback will increase the quality of the outcome. Finally, it all boils down to presentation and storytelling. Doesn’t everyone just love a good story?

Learnings from Facilitation-as-a-Service

I had a possibility to facilitate three workshops for two different projects (2 ws + 1 ws) in this spring. The projects were related to improve empathy in health care, facing the patients and their relatives in new ways and find development ideas in the workspace. The participants of workshops were personnel and students of health care. I was a “hired” facilitator for these workshops with my fellow students. While still learning the magics of facilitation, I would like to share my early key findings and learnings. These findings are from my perspective and do not form any comprehensive list. I had no former background from health care at all. The workshops located in a hospital and a health centre premises in Helsinki, Finland.

pexels-photo.jpg

Keep the focus

The most important thing to start when planning a workshop, whom contents and themes are not familiar to you, is that you need to understand the target of the project and this specific workshop. To have a workshop is not the reason itself, it should create something valuable. Ask targets from different perspectives, clarify them to yourself and make sure, that you have understood right. And make sure that the subscriber of the facilitation, the person who has hired you, understands you. Actually, it is not so important to understand the subject matter (for example the daily life of a hospital department).

Choose right methods and language

When the target is clear to you, choose right methods and tools for the workshop. You need to understand the backgrounds and expectations of participants. A lot can be done in few hours’ workshop, but too much is too much. Always. What are the things which can or need to be done in advance? For example, in my cases, the basis work was done by health care students. Source material for the workshops were personas and stories. It was quite easy to start with those.

We modified the name of the methods. Customer journey paths were used in workshops, but we used a word “patient path” instead of “customer journey”. Respectively, the empathy map was called “emotion path”. It would have been nice to ask the participants to create an idea portfolio, but we asked participants to prioritize ideas like picking up “pearls”.

Timing, timing, timing…

A big part of planning was the scheduling of the workshops. It was important to imagine the whole workshop from the very beginning to the end. How much time is needed for introduction of the agenda and facilitators? How many breaks are needed? How much time needs each new method or part of the workshop? And their instructions? Still, you need to make the schedule slightly flexible – some surprises happen always! One tiny thing, which can totally ruin your wonderfully planned schedule is the IT-equipment of the premises. Please ensure beforehand, that your laptop fits to displays and other devices. Be prepared for that nothing works except papers and pens. Have a lot of those!

pexels-photo-280264.jpeg

And finally…

After all careful planning, take a deep breath and relax. Everything will go well – and if not, invent quickly something! Remember the target and find to way to achieve it. Good luck 😊

 Author of the blog is Pia Rytilahti, MBA candidate at Laurea University of Applied Science

 

Co-creating healthcare – improving customer interaction

 

 

Customer interaction is a key element in healthcare services. Laurea  students from the nursing degree program have been working on an intensive project with Suursuo Hospital in Helsinki. Kirsi Ronkainen, leading the project from Laurea University of Applied Science offered the chance for SID2017 students to participate as facilitators in a workshop with about 40 healthcare professionals from the hospital as well as Laurea nursing students. I volunteered to join Johanna Waal and Pia Rytilahti in the facilitation team for the workshop organized in April.  For us this was an opportunity to experiment the fresh learnings from Marc Stickdorn’s Service Design Process workshop, and we were eager to try in practice the different service design tools and methods for facilitation.

Improving customer interaction

The aim of the project in Suursuo Hospital is to improve the quality of interaction between the personnel and customers: patients as well as the relatives of patients. In addition, the quality of interaction may also improve the image of the hospital. As result of the workshop, the objective was to identify concrete themes of development to be further elaborated together with the personnel and the group of students.

The group of Laurea nursing students had already been working closely with the hospital staff and patients, interviewing and observing the life in the different departments of the hospital. Based on their insight they had worked on several user profiles with positive and negative customer stories. These stories served as an introduction for the groups.

The first task for the groups was to work on a customer journey map as well as an emotional journey and really think about the different steps from both customer and personnel perspective. This was a great way to put the teams to work.  Here we used a method with one paper many pens to get the all of professionals to participate.  This wasn’t easy in all groups. I tried to focus on the helping the groups to move along and not letting one group member to dominate. Next the groups chose a challenge to work further with and then ideated solutions focusing on one of the challenges identified. Here the teams were using 10&10 method. Thereafter the teams got to select a most prominent concrete idea with positive impact to customer interaction. The selected idea should also be easy to implement. The third part of the workshop needed some warm-ups, Johanna run some breathing and body movement exercises to get our groups ready for the creative part. and to use drama to present their selected development ideas.

IMG_0356 (1).jpg

Learning by doing

I have been working as a facilitator in my work – but almost always, more or less in the content owner role. We had the chance to focus on how to get the teams working, and evaluate our  own role as a facilitator.  There were some professionals first reluctant to participate in the workshop session, but as the work moved we managed to get them along. I learnt a lot on how to help the teams further and what can I do better when briefing the teams. And we also saw in practice how impossible timing gets the groups moving.

Thank you – an intensive afternoon! It was a great learning experience to collaborate with Kirsi and the nursing students, as well as the committed individuals from the hospital staff.  Not the least, we had a great team spirit in this intensive project and Pia was a great project manager for us facilitators. Looking forward to hear how the development work in Suursuo hospital proceeds!

The author Kaisa Spilling is a Service Innovation & Design Masters student who has a passion for design, experimentation  & smarter cities. 

Encouraging co-creation by facilitation

Three SID students, Johanna Waal, Kaisa Spilling and me, Pia Rytilahti, got an interesting possibility to facilitate a development project workshop on 24th April in Suursuo Hospital in Helsinki. The project is a part of Laurea health care students’ studies. The targets of the project are first to develop the quality of interaction between the personnel and patients, also including the relatives of patients. Second, the image of the hospital can be improved by the improved quality. The project continues from the results of a prior project with Suursuo in last semester.

Before the workshop the students participated in the daily life of 8 hospital sections. Based on the observations and interviews of patients and personnel, some fictive personas were created and stories about their patient journey.

Facilitating is a tough job

The agenda was planned carefully for the workshop. The facilitators met few times Kirsi Ronkainen, the teacher of the students, to get the target clear: by co-creation to recognize the new possibilities for interaction improvement. The result of the workshop should be concrete ideas to implement in the hospital

The workshop was very intensive 4-hour-working with about 40 representative of personnel and 20 students. After Kirsi’s and Kaisa’s brief introduction of the topic and facilitators, Johanna ran a brief warm-up exercise. Pia introduced the groupings to teams and work began.

First, the students in the teams introduced the personas and stories, both in positive and negative point of view. Based on the stories, the first exercise was to create a customer journey (“potilaspolku”) and then to draw an emotional mapping (“tunnepolku”) and comments for each step of the journey. Phew! Now we needed a break with a cup of coffee!

break.jpg

After the break, the most prominent challenge to develop was chosen by the team from the findings of the maps. Then started ideation – by using 10&10 method. First so many concrete development ideas (“10” ideas) related to the challenge were created in given time, 3 minutes. Then the each member of the team introduces her ideas, and the ideas were grouped. After that the most interesting idea or group was chosen – and then “10” new ideas from that. Finally, after all ideation, the team was asked to pick the most prominent concrete idea which would have a positive impact to customer satisfaction and would be easy to implement.

Drama as a prototyping tool

We made some warming up to get ready for the last part of the workshop. Johanna led us to use our breathing and body movement – which were needed in the presentation. After 20 minutes preparation each team presented their development idea, most of them with drama. All presentations were very good, and each team gave their best to make their idea alive.

Facilitating reached the goals

It was a busy day, but with sound plans and good methods the target for the workshop was achieved. A big group of people non-familiar to service design fundamentals had a productive and openminded co-creation session. It was awesome to participate with our small share in this development project, which will have tangible impacts on daily lifes of patients and their relatives, as well as the personnel of Suursuo hospital.