Tag Archive | Customer experience

Dog fur mittens?

tulevaisuus

What does the customer of tomorrow want? I was at the launch of futurist Elina Hiltunen’s new book and petification was the morning’s first consumer trend. Elina identifies and explains 18 consumer trends that can have an impact on you, me and on different businesses through us.

The trends already exist – it’s a question of how well we identify them and can we put them to use in for example developing new services or developing existing ones? Megatrends are the big changes that are already having an impact and have been taken into account in several business fields – population growth, digitalization, longer life expectancy etc. Trends on the other hand are changes of direction in behavior or situations. And weak signals are the first signs of change, the rising phenomen  (Hiltunen, 2017, 56).

The following are the trends that I picked up from Elina.

Changes of direction

Petification – digitalization is here as well. Smart devices are entering the pet industry –  – PetPace helps you observe your pet’s health and TailTalk sensor the feelings of your pet. In USA you can purchase the lazy dogwalker’s Pooper-service – the scooper will take care of picking up the organic waste for you for a price of 15 dollars per month. And you can buy a genetically engineered aquarium fish that glows in the dark as a Xmas present.

Hello Kitty business class on the airplane is all about the trend of  taking care of your inner child and the need to stay young, relaxed and experimental. The soft throwable mike belongs in theis trend as well. The perfect me -trend  includes sharing your own views and opinions with bigger audiences – hate talk is the negative side of this and brave acts the positive one. We are many –trend manifests itself in the  courage to be yourself – being different and non-perfect makes us more interesting.

There’s no typical consumer

Something for everyone – the positive side of this trend is that even a niche segment can be interesting for a company when in global scale. Stereotypes are breaking down  – in her book Elina Hiltunen mentions an interesting example  – the physical change of the barbie for a healthier and more real look. And barbie’s friend sits in a wheelchair.

Also the aspects of getting old are changing – at my hairdresser’s I stumbled across Ari Seth Cohen’s superb book  Advanced Style. Older & wiser – all the models are over 70 with an attitude.

980x

The new and weird – what stuck with me was the KFC nail polish that tastes like chicken…Well, IKEA is already selling bikes and insurance and OP Bank is into transportation and leasings cars.

Digital and smart device consumers  – as our consuming is digitalizing and we’re leaving trails online, more and more information is at the same time gathered about us, our behavior and interests. Hello Barbie seeks answers to your questions from the cloud services and on the other hand the old fashioned printed book is coming again. The temple of mind, soul and body – as stress has increased in our lives the interest in physical and mental health is increasing as well. We might even pick or change a job based on it increasing our wellbeing even if the monetary value is less.

Easy, cheap, right now – there is a counter trend to this in the form of conscientious consuming. The power of many, the do good consumer and We’re all heroes – all these trends have ethics in their core, the customer of tomorrow wants to support her values with her wallet. We all have the power to make an impact – even one person can trigger a change in today’s world.

Do you want to be a trend hunter?

I’m interested in anything new – in my projects I map the past, present and future to gain deeper understanding of the needs and wants of people to help create new business models with my customers. Trends are a great way of anchoring a vision and help to inspire internal change.

Good tools are a big help on the road. Elina gives a good tip in the beginning of the book: open a project page on Facebook and use it to post different material on and around the topic you’re interested in. This helps you become a trend hunter as well.

Change management- questions, chipmunks, kick offs and major population

In my previous post I dealt with customer experience management and how CEOs and members of the board discussed about it in a seminar called Customer Oriented Strategies which was held on 16th of March 2017 at Aalto University School of Business. I thought that (at least) one of the seminar presentations deserved its own post.

Kenneth Strömsholm the CEO of Veho Oy, gave very interesting and inspiring presentation about customer experience and change management or how he put it in his title: “Managing Customer Experience and Unbearable Toughness of Change”. He highlighted that you can’t talk about these issues separately. They are bonded to each other. While listening to Mr. Strömsholm, I was thinking that we, service designers, are full of enthusiasm for carrying out our design process. We should also give time, thought and tools to support change in organization. Change resistance can make our efforts, to create amazing or just better customer experiences, worthless.

Kenneth Strömsholm have created four very catching and humorously description of the invisible obstacles of change.

Questions

First obstacle is human nature and how most of the people meet the new situation. He explained that the first three questions people are asking when they are confronting the change for the first time:

  • First question: What does this mean for me?
  • Second question: Still what does this mean for me ?
  • Third question: Could there still be some aspect to figure out what does this mean for me?

Mr. Strömsholm pointed out that as a leader, you can’t underestimate the importance of these questions. You need to accept that these are the questions how people are trying to found out their place in a new situation. You need to give them time and try to find answers to these questions together.

Chipmunk -effect

The second inMaaoravavisible obstacle Mr. Strömsholm has named as a Chipmunk –effect. Chipmunks are in their chips with their heads down and no matter how hard you try to yell your brand new message, the message goes over their heads. You need to repeat your message 11 times. Each time there is a chance that one or even few chipmunks have their heads up and they will actually get the message you are sending.

Kick off

The third obstacle Mr. Strömsholm has named Kick off. He explained this obstacle as follows. It takes seven months for board of directors to build a strategy and five minutes for personnel to understand it wrong. He pointed out that as a director, you can’t expect the personnel to walk away from Kick off –meeting, immediately take their saws and go to work according to your new strategy. After Kick off, the work for getting your strategy alive, starts.

Major population

The fourth obstacle Mr. Strömsholm has named Major population. For people, employers, it’s always easy to agree with the major population. Most of the people are skeptical and thinking: “We should not do anything, eventually these directors will calm down and whole thing about change will be forgotten”. As a director you should just carry on and step by step get the major population behind the change. Then there is only minority left against the change, and nobody wants to be part of minority.

Three phases of change and the feeling

Mr. Kuva1Strömsholm summarized three phases of change. First you need to get information, then you can understand and after that you start to believe. Feelings in the organization are effecting the length and strength of each phase.

Very catchy speech, next time when designing services, I will indeed bond customer experience and change more deeply together…and think about chipmunks.

Building strong customer experience

Kirsi Heikel, the host crystallized the idea of the seminar: Strong customer experience- easier said than done. The seminar was held at Aalto University School of Business on the 16th of March. I was invited to the seminar as an alumni and speaker of the Service Design course organized by Aalto Pro –Aalto University of Professional Development. When listening to seminar’s prestigious group of speakers, I had my service designer lenses on and I compered these directors’ thoughts against design thinking. I was interested how these CEOs, investors, entrepreneurs and professional board of members discussed about importance of customer experience, how high a level do they place customer experience aspect of management and how they actually manage it.

Listen to your customers

Kenneth Strömsholm the CEO of Veho Oy described unambiguous aim of Veho’s experience world as follows: “None of the cars, service, spare parts or car hire cannot remain unsold because of a poor service experience.” Customer experience is one of the cornerstones of the Veho’s success. He gave an example. In the past, the car was always presented in the same way. There was actually specific manual how to give a presentation. Nowadays the most important is to listen to customer’s needs and viewpoints and give specific answers to questions in need. Veho have moved from strict quality manual way of operating to individual and flexible service. Mr. Strömsholm raised digitalization as another example of Veho’s customer experience thinking. He pointed out that digitalization strategy is the best way to separate digital services from all the other services. Services need to be designed as a whole.

Fail and Innovate

Jonas Kjellberg is a serial entrepreneur, investor and one of the founders of Skype-service. Nowadays he is leader of the BCG Digital Ventures. He is a specialist in creating new business models and commercializing new products and services. He started his presentation by saying that he is not going to talk about his successes. He is going to talk about his failures. Because through failures he has learned the most. Mr. Kjellberg discussed about changing the game in the business. He said that every organization spends time and money to efficiency and functionality. How about innovating something that delights your customers? First you need to figure out what is the friction free story you are selling. You need to go to fundamentals.

  • What customers love?
  • How to use new technology?
  • How to innovate in zeros? Remember: Innovate don’t imitate

Keep it simple

XXL

Toni Stigzelius is CEO of XXL Finland. He has been responsible for launching the XXL chain in Finland. In his presentation, he raised three rules to build good customer experience in XXL.

  • Keep it simple stupid. Simplicity in process and easiness to navigate.
  • Listen. 70 % of sales is interaction and emotion.
  • Attitude. Employees can learn all about the sports equipment, but attitude you can’t change.

After the presentations I took my designers lenses off and I still saw the same. Jihaa, we are talking the same language with these successful leaders: listening, designing as a whole, customer needs first, failure is for good, innovation not imitation, simplicity and magnificent attitude!

Diagonal – Designing Servicescapes for Optimal Healthcare Experiences

Servicescape is the biggest differentiator in healthcare experience. Traditionally, it is designed to satisfy the needs of healthcare provider in terms of performance and efficiency. Starting from patient’s experience and applying service design methods combined with interior architecture, design agency Diagonal has created innovative healthcare experience providing benefits for both staff and patients.

Diagonal – designing servicescape for Fimlab

Diagonal – designing servicescape for Fimlab

Juha Kronkvist from Diagonal has presented the project, as the fifth and final case in the competition for Service Design Achievement of the Year in Finland 2013 in Service Design Breakfast event at Startup Sauna on November 27th. Juha is one of the leading service designers in the field of health care and well-being.

Healthcare design

Three main components of healthcare design are performance, process and experience. As Juha explains, focus is usually on performance and process, while experience is often overlooked. What this case shows is that by studding experience, performance can be increased and processes made more efficient.

According to Juha, one of the key starting points in service design is to find out how people assign the meaning and make sense of the environment. When those assigned meanings are aligned with organizational point of view, they should create positive customer experience. Servicescape is not only about physical things. It is about what those things communicate and what value they provide. Therefore, servicescape is critically influencing customer experience.

The Case

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