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
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!
“Hi, my name is Lisa and I’ve started to study Service Innovation and Design at the Laurea University of Applied Sciences.” Lisa is walking in a lobby and sees other students. “Hi guys, is there anyone who likes yellow color and drinks apple juice?”
“Hi Lisa, we’re also students in SID program and we’re happy to support you and collaborate with you. And btw I like yellow color.”
“Oh, that sounds wonderful. Thank you so much.”
“No, problem, we’ll be here for you.”
Check what happens to Lisa next
Storytelling identifies key stakeholders, their needs and the big idea. Our team’s story was about Studying in Laurea UAS. It’s an inspiring way to familiarize with your stakeholders emotions. And the most important we had so much fun in our group during the process!
Woman cooking next to the port and market in Cotonou, Benin [Image (c) Jeffrey Allen]
By Jeffrey Allen
25 Sep, LONDON – For the past seven years, I’ve designed and managed projects to improve lives in developing countries, focusing on education, health, good governance, human rights, agriculture, employment, the environment… everything that impacts people’s quality of life. It’s a wildly complex field, where managers have to understand business, sociology, communications, technology, innovation, politics, psychology, and more if they’re going to be successful.
I spent the first several years just getting my head around the basics, learning on the job, by trial and error, and by soaking up what I could from those around me. Before starting the job, I had observed international development work – mostly from the outside – for more than six years as a journalist remixing stories published by organizations working in the field. Looking on through my outsider’s lens, I was consistently impressed by the work development practitioners did every day to make lives better and open opportunities for billions of people in difficult circumstances across the globe. Continue reading →
Be empathetic, gather courage and nurture creativity to make Breakthroughs.
I would like to Thank our energetic lecturer Katja Tschimmel for sharing her knowledge and experiences on Design Thinking. Thank to Virpi Kaartti for providing great support during the Study and Thank to all my fellow students for such an amazing ongoing experience.
This blog is covering two parts. 1) My perspective and highlight on Design Thinking and Innovation 2) Learning during Laurea contact sessions.
My perspective and highlight on Design Thinking and Innovation
I have gained a little insight about the potential of Design Thinking and how design thinking approach can lead to create innovations to improve existing conditions and make impact.
I can already feel that Design Thinking is slowly transforming my approach towards solving problems and my realization that empathy is so much central towards design thinking.
Design Thinking is powerful, a great methodology which provides framework for understanding empathy, nurturing creativity and using early prototyping towards breakthrough innovations.
Also, keeping an open mindset to grow and learn at the same time paves the way to unleash our true unknown potential, including creativity hidden among all of us.
Here, I would like to emphasize and highlight on key aspects of Design Thinking.
The Design Thinking course on September 2nd-3rd 2016 was very illuminating. Doing Design Thinking by following a specific model really shows how much work should be put in design work itself from exploring to implementing. Doing the same thing over and over again with different methods (moodboard, brainwriting etc.) truly opens up new ideas during the process.
We started our service planning from one idea and through all the steps ended up in something different. Continuing the process further and with more time would have, in my opinion, led to another outcome. Doing so much work in such a short time really doesn’t give space for ideas to develop by themselves.
The difference in similarities
During the lessons we learned especially the use of the Evolution 6² model, which has more stages than other models discussed in class and in the paper Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation (Tschimmel 2002). Nevertheless, all the models can be, more or less, divided in three main stages: first you have to learn the problem (through observing, exploring, understanding, defying etc.), then you develop an idea/ideas based on your observations (through experiments, ideating, reflecting, elaborating etc.) and finally you’ll find a solution that can be made available to public (through prototyping, testing, implementing etc.).
Brainwriteinstead of brainstorm. Why? No need to feel ashamed of saying something idiotic out loud while you can write it on a Post-it anonymously.
As far as Design Thinking goes, I must confess to being quite the “newbie”. Having only recently been enlightened to the magical world of service design, innovation and co-creation, I was excited to learn of the many different models that the design thinking world has to offer.
Katja Tschimmel describes the similarities and differences of the models in both her article “Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation” as well as in the research report D-think. These include IDEO’s 3 I model (Inspiration, Ideation, Implementation), IDEO’s HCD model (human-centred design, Hearing, Creating, Delivering), the models of the d.school (Hasso-Plattner Institute and Stanford University), the Double-Diamond model of the British Council, and the DT toolkit for Educators. Mindshake’s E6 model was also introduced, and I got the opportunity to try it out myself during the course.
During the class sessions, I got a glimpse of how the design thinking process could be applied to solve student-related issues. There was no lack of empathy during this task, as we all dived into tackling issues concerning thesis stress, time-management issues and networking needs. We grouped ourselves into small multidisciplinary teams, and our team went through a the Design Thinking process to come up with our final conclusion; a service called “Matchup”. It was a service to tackle the issue of networking within our SID group. The idea actually won!
Have you ever been in a situation when you know your business isn’t going as smoothly as it should? You know that something should be done but you don’t know where to start or can’t identify the business problems or the customers’ needs? How do you feel about failure as a part of innovating? Have you ever thought about establishing an innovation process WITH your customers instead of old fashioned way, FOR your customers? Are you confused?
These are all questions that pop up when talking about Design Thinking (DT).
What is it and how can it help to develop your business?
Design Thinking combines human-centricity and design methods with problem solving and innovation process. It focuses in organization’s ability to produce new content, develop business and make development work cross sectoral and organizational boundaries. DT’s core is located somewhere between human-centered approach, collaborative way of working and co-creation with stakeholders and the end-users.
The work itself takes place in multidisciplinary teams that are facilitated by designers whose expertise consists of the ability to match human needs with technical resources, constrains and objectives of the project or business, and ultimately conversion into customer value and market opportunity by using different DT process and tools. In DT feelings and emotions as well as failures and mistakes plays big role when achieving the results like new processes, services and ways of communication and collaboration.
There are multiple different Design Thinking process models that can be used. The choice depends on various factors, e.g. the characteristics of the innovation project and its context, the team dynamics and the time available for the process. There’s no such thing as a perfect DT process model and pioneers in the field all have their own opinions.
Design Thinking in practice
We had two-day intensive DT workshop where we concentrated on Evolution 62 model developed by Katja Tschimmel in 2015. The name of the process model refers to the six phases that all start with the letter E: