- Observing what customers and staff do in real-world settings generates actionable insights.
- Businesses should do pilots before making full-on investment in new initiatives.
- Involving frontline staff in designing new services boosts chances of adoption and success.
Early engagement with your customers and staff enables you to identify what fixes are more urgently needed, and to bring all stakeholders on board before launching a new product or service. Customers and staff are your best resource for targeted improvements, because they are actually experiencing what you offer. You observe what they do in the real-world settings, stand in their shoes, and analyse the performance of poor practices. Don’t just focus on averages, because the outliers usually give you more insights.
Your customers and staff, just like any people, rarely behave in predictable ways. Underneath this seemingly messy reality there lies a gold mine of behavioural insights. These insights from the real-world settings enable businesses to innovate and improve rapidly.
Keeping your finger on the pulse of customers and staff is less demanding than it seems. When you have a new experience for them in mind, it can actually be tested and refined more quickly than if it is a new IT initiative or organisational process. Engaging with customers and staff in developing new experience often leads to targeted improvements.
Observe what people actually do
While organisations spend lots of resources on designing corporate policies and internal processes, they often forget about developing a good customer experience.
A better design of customer experience involves observing what customers and staff actually do in practice. Observation is a quick way to identify problems and discover potential solutions.
Problems not obvious to managers could become clear, when they observe and engage with frontline staff. Staff and customers are able to quickly point out small glitches that can easily be fixed. Similarly, looking at the small irritations for customers and staff may expose issues of the broader system. Engagement with frontline staff also helps spread “solution thinking” across the organisation.
Analyse poor practices
By analysing the performance of poor practices, you are more equipped to address what irritates customers. Oftentimes, when performance exceeds customer expectations, it is likely the staff who have innovated some fixes.
Outliers don’t lie
Performance analysis tells you about averages. However, it is the outliers that tell you where in your processes or systems is not supporting customers and staff the way they should. Although outliers seem unusual or even extreme, they are valuable sources of knowledge. They help you identify improvement opportunities that can impact beyond individuals.
Design with stakeholders
When frontline staff are involved in design and innovation, your chances of implementing impactful changes are much higher. Early engagement with staff also helps new practices be adopted more smoothly.
World-class organisations use live pilots to test and improve propositions on a limited scale, before making massive investment in new systems and processes.
Experience it yourself
To really understand a customer experience, you need to experience it yourself. It is vital to work with customers and frontline staff who are experiencing your service. They are your major resource for improvements, underneath lies a gold mine of actionable ideas.