Design thinking is a process for creative problem solving that can be applied to any situation, including improving customer service. By applying the design thinking process of empathising with the user, defining the problem, coming up with creative solutions, and then testing and refining those solutions, you can create a customer experience that is truly tailored to the needs and wants of your target market.
Years ago, companies may have been able to get away with a general understanding of the customer journey and customer satisfaction. That level of understanding would not pass nowadays! In today’s competitive marketplace, providing an exceptional customer experience is essential to success. By applying design thinking principles to your customer experience strategy, you can create a customer-centric experience that is both unique and memorable.
What is Design Thinking?
Design thinking is a process for creative problem-solving that was originally developed by designers. It is a human-centred approach that begins with empathising with the user to understand their needs and wants. Once the problem is defined, creative solutions are generated. These solutions are then tested and refined until the perfect solution is found.
The design thinking process can be applied to any situation where creative problem-solving is needed. This includes improving customer service. By applying the design thinking process to your customer experience strategy, you can create a customer-centric experience that is both unique and memorable.
How does Design Thinking Work?
There are several steps involved in design thinking. Each step gets you closer to being able to understand how your customer support team can provide great customer service.
Step 1 - Empathise with the User
The first step in the design thinking process is to empathise with existing customers. This means putting yourself in their shoes and understanding their needs and wants. The best way to do this is to talk to your target market and get feedback from them directly. This can be done through surveys, interviews, or focus groups.
Once you have a good understanding of your target market’s needs and wants, you can begin to define the problem.
Step 2 - Define the Problem
The next step in the design thinking process is to define the problem. This can be done by identifying the pain points in the customer experience. These are the areas where your target market is not being properly served by your current customer experience strategy.
Once you have identified the pain points, you can begin to generate creative solutions.
Step 3 - Generate Creative Solutions
The next step in the design thinking process is to generate creative solutions. This is where you come up with new and innovative ways to solve the problem. To do this, you need to think outside the box and be open to new ideas.
Once you have generated a few potential solutions, it’s time to test them.
Step 4 - Test and Refine
The next step in the design thinking process is to test and refine the solutions. This can be done by conducting user testing with your target market. This will help you to see which solutions are most effective and which ones need to be further refined.
After you have conducted user testing, it’s time to implement the solution.
Step 5 - Implement the Solution
The final step in the design thinking process is to implement the solution. This means putting the new customer experience strategy into place and making sure that it is properly executed.
By following the steps in the design thinking process, you can create a positive customer experience that is truly tailored to meet the needs of your existing customer and potential customers.
Design Thinking and Customer Service Tips
HCD helps you identify the best opportunities for your transformation:
Humans are the starting point.
Focus on the needs, context, behaviour and emotions of the people any transformation will serve.
There’s a stated aim.
It doesn’t have to be ‘a forever’ proposition. Many of the most successful projects have an objective that was deliberately iterative.
As an example: ‘We want customers to easily access their bank accounts, for now, ’ means designers can start on a near horizon of apps and call centre re-engineering, but our minds retain the possibilities of cryptocurrency, digital implants and fin-tech wearables.
Resource deep immersive research.
Although inspiration can come from a sample of one, skimping here directly reduces the pool of opportunities.
Activity is highly iterative.
The budget should allow at least one round of iteration i.e. from ideas generated to ideas prototyped to ideas tested. The more iteration, the stronger the outcome. Test, learn, improve, repeat…
Facilitate genuine co-design.
Customers and staff should drive creation – ‘outsiders’ speaking for themselves and their networks, ‘insiders’ speaking for the company and their values.
What Does Poor Customer Service Look Like?
Poor customer service is often the result of a disconnect between the company and its customers. The company may not have a clear understanding of who its target customers are and what they need and want. As a result, they are unable to provide the level of service that would be most beneficial to them.
Design thinking can help you close this gap by putting yourself in the shoes of your customer and seeing the world from their perspective. This will allow you to understand their needs and wants on a deeper level so that you can design a customer service experience that truly meets their needs.
When you take the time to understand your customers and design an experience that is tailored to them, you are much more likely to create a loyal customer base who will stick with you through thick and thin. Design thinking can help you create an exceptional customer experience that will keep your customers coming back for more.
What Does Excellent Customer Service Look Like?
Excellent customer service is the result of a company that has a clear understanding of its customers and their needs. By applying design thinking principles to your customer experience management strategy, you can create a customer-centric experience that is both unique and memorable.
When your customer service team takes the time to understand your customers and design an experience that is tailored to them, you are much more likely to create a loyal customer base that will stick with you through thick and thin. Design thinking can help you create an exceptional customer experience that will keep your customers coming back for more.
Why is Customer Satisfaction Critical?
Design thinking has been used by some of the most successful companies in the world to improve their customer experience. By taking a step back and looking at the design of your customer experience, you can identify areas where improvements can be made to increase satisfaction levels.
There are many reasons why customer satisfaction is critical for businesses. First, satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat customers. They are also more likely to refer your company to others, which can lead to new business. Moreover, satisfied customers are more likely to become loyal customers and less likely to switch to a competitor.
There are many ways to improve customer satisfaction, but design thinking is one of the most effective.
How can Design Thinking help you deliver good customer service?
By applying the design thinking process of empathising with the user, defining the problem, coming up with creative solutions, and then testing and refining those solutions, you can create a customer experience that is truly tailored to the needs and wants of your target market.
In today’s competitive marketplace, providing an exceptional customer experience is essential to success. By applying design thinking principles to your customer experience strategy, you can create a customer-centric experience that is both unique and memorable.
If you want to learn more about how design thinking can help you improve your customer experience, contact us today. We would be happy to discuss this process with you in more detail and answer any questions you may have.
How to Prove the Value of Qualitative Research to CFOs?
Qualitative research is an essential tool for understanding customer needs and wants. However, it can be difficult to convince CFOs of the value of this type of research. Here are a few tips to help you prove the value of qualitative research to CFOs:
- Explain how qualitative research can help you understand your customers on a deeper level.
- Describe how qualitative research can help you identify unmet needs and wants.
- Share how qualitative research can help you improve your customer experience.
- Describe how qualitative research can help you create a more loyal customer base.
- Explain how qualitative research can help you save money in the long run.
As good as these tips may be, they are of no use unless you have a business case framework that your customer service teams can use to structure customer feedback. Proto Partners framework will show you how to improve your customer satisfaction score, grow your business and increase your revenue.
When we work with clients, we provide them with a business case framework that can be adapted to meet new customer expectations:
Help make the case for design:
We map opportunities...
- by timeline (you know when an initiative will have an impact)
- by impact (you know where to act to deliver greatest value)
- by channel (you know how you will deliver it)
- by responsibility (you know who will be involved, what resource they will utilise and what opportunity costs you’ll incur)
Ground results in reality:
We rigorously determine and budget for metrics that define success.
It’s claimed that every $1 spent on human-centred design development returns $100 in time and effort saved. Karat (1994) cites a major player in the computing sector who spent $20,700 on an initiative and saved $41,700 on the first day alone.
Our work for a recent client resulted in 30+ identified opportunities; tangible, doable, and achievable. Our prioritisation allowed them to initiate almost 80% within 12 weeks.
Through human-centred design, our clients get their hands on opportunities faster, take those opportunities further, execute them better and can operate in a more powerful way than their competitors.
If you’d like to plant something important for the not-too-distant future, call us. We’d be delighted to help you discover the greatest growth opportunities you’re yet to discover.
How to gain CX project approval
Many organisations cite that improving customer experience is among their biggest priorities. However, few are obtaining CX buy-in by linking desired business outcomes to CX initiatives.