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Shifting to a Design-Driven Culture

November 19, 2015 No Comments

Featured article by Antoine Mottier, Technical Evangelist, Bonitasoft

social biz 300x170 Shifting to a Design Driven CultureIn today’s “give me more for less” culture, companies are finding it tough to bridge the divide between customer experience and customer service. Many might ask, “What’s the difference?” Think about a product you recently bought: How was your customer experience? Now think about using that product after you brought it home: How was that customer experience?

It’s increasingly difficult for companies to separate these two elements, and researchers are actually seeing many cases where companies prioritize the experience of buying and using a product over the performance of the product itself. In fact, customer experience is becoming a key source of competitive advantage as companies look to transform how they do business.

Taking a look at the holistic picture, in some cases, the “customer” isn’t who you sold your product or solution to. Which makes it tough because typically, someone high-up in a company made the purchasing decision for a specific tool, but their internal employees are essentially the end users. This introduces a unique challenge as they too have to feel as though they are using a tool that works for them, and it’s up to the vendor to make that happen or else the customer relationship will go sour.

For example, a Human Resources department needs a managed solution for fielding vacation days, approving expense reports etc. A tool is purchased and provided to HR team, but once the HR team members start using it, they feel as though it doesn’t fit their needs exactly. This is where vendors need to be design-driven to meet unique needs of individual “customers” – whether they are C-level purchasing executives, or teams of internal employees, each with different preferences and opinions. Smart vendors understand the need to be design-driven, to go beyond knowing what the customer wants to understanding why they want it in the first place – this is the “secret sauce.”

Understanding customer need is more important today than ever as millennials enter the workforce. According to Goldman Sachs, millennials are one of the largest generations in history and are about to move into their prime spending years – poised to reshape the economy. Their unique experiences will change the ways we buy and sell, forcing companies to examine how they do business for decades to come. This further proves the need for companies to make the design shift now and realize that using empathy within the customer experience as well as understanding exactly what motivates people, what bothers them, and where opportunities are for creating delightful experiences.

So how do we do this? Making sure the service offering is scalable and customizable to cater to each and every personality and need of your customer will help surpass others and gain the competitive edge necessary to succeed. For example, the salesperson should work with the purchaser to vet the needs of the entire team in order to provide a truly living service. Though the relationship doesn’t end there, it needs to be nurtured the relationship through regular touchpoints and ensured that what was provided is meeting the needs of individuals. Here is where design tweaks might need to be made.

Additionally, checking back as time passes to make sure the solution still works for the team is important as the customers’ business ebbs and flows with growth and need. This will provide what’s needed to bridge the initial gaps in customer experience and customer service in the first place. However, maintaining the overall quality of the product and/or service is paramount. There are a lot of balls in the air here – making sure the initial purchase is positive while making an effort to keep the relationship going through the various services and touchpoints can get complicated. As stated before, companies prioritize the experience of buying and using a product over the performance of the product itself – but this is a short-sighted approach.

As the business landscape constantly changes and new members and demographics enter the workforce, one aspect remains steadfast: the need for a design-driven business model which leads to an overall positive customer lifecycle, not just a one-time customer experience. Companies are realizing the need to take customer experience back into consideration and are dedicating more time to empathy and individual needs to come out on top. This will not only win more customers – it will also help retain the customers already won and eventually grow existing revenue as the lifecycle continues.

Antoine Mottier 300x225 Shifting to a Design Driven Culture

Antoine Mottier

Antoine Mottier is a Technical Evangelist for Bonitasoft. He joined Bonitasoft service team in 2010 and help several customers to build successful BPM projects. He is now involved in sharing technical best practices updating documentation, participating on community web site and presenting at various events. Antoine has a degree in computer science and is mainly familiar with Java and web technologies.

APPLICATION INTEGRATION, DATA and ANALYTICS , Fresh Ink, News, OPEN SOURCE, SOCIAL BUSINESS

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