Kerry Bodine, l’expérience client et le design de service

Hier, à la Service Design Global Conference je tombe sur Kerry Bodine,  ex-VP & Principal Analyst en charge de la practice expérience client chez Forrester. Elle est aussi l’auteur de Outside In, the power of putting customers at the heart of your business – « le must read » de la rentrée. Je me présente, je lui dit que je suis une vraie fan – ce qui est la vérité – et lui demande si je peux lui poser quelques questions. Sitôt dit, sitôt fait ! Voici en exclusivité l’intégralité de nos échanges (en anglais dans le texte). Enjoy !

LB  How do you think service design can contribute to improve customer experiences ?

KB The design process no matter the organisation has fundamental attributes: things like doing a print after a research, taking the time to actually analyse that, then moving forward into ideation, prototyping and testing and doing iteration to that , these are the key steps of a design process and are really fundamental to solving customers problems. I feel there’s a lot of organizations that start with a particular problem statement and it turns out that the problem they are trying to solve is not actually the problem that customers want to have solved. The design process help them fully explore customers’ needs and refocus on a real problem statement that is a mutual problem statement for both the business and for the customer and then from there, we will explore the full range of solutions to that problem statement which goes through prototyping and iteration allowing the company to very quickly figure out what works what doesn’t and arrive to a conclusion in a very time efficient way because you are learning very quickly and at each step of the process you are learning what the customers need.

LB Is it another way of doing customer research or is it complementary to traditional customer research ?

KB I think traditional customer research will continue to exist in the future, I think companies are now opening themselves up to the possibilities of what ethnographic research can bring them and how to complement their existing research. I think the main point is not that companies are afraid of their customers as we just heard in the conference, I think there is a comfort in kind of hiding behind the survey. But actually if you get out and talk to your customers, there’s still actually a little bit of discomfort there, to… and let them tell you what they like or don’t like. Companies need to be bolder. I don’t think traditional customer research will go away, I think they will be added to the toolset.

LB Marketers nowadays don’t know anything about service design tools : how can they integrate them into their culture and practices ?

KB Yes it is a totally new set of tools. It is a good way to change behaviors and ways of thinking but integrating service design tools into organizations is not going to happen overnight. I think that working with an outside consultant or with a service design agency that can start to bring these tools and new behaviors into the organization – a few people at a time –  it is a good way to start, and  show you more methods  and then you get more people involved and then you realize that you are not just fixing the customers problems but it also comes to fix all of the dynamics that is broken into the organization; and so with one service design project which has a small focus you by necessity need to get more an more people involved ; I ‘ve seen it grow organically within the organizations.

LB Which companies apart from those delivering complex services –ie telcos, or transportation- can benefit from these tools ?

KB I think that every organization, every industry is concerned with service design tools and I think there is complexity in every type of organization. Service design is about delivering the right customer experience.

LB How can we value those new tools towards the Board ?

KB I think starting small is a good way of doing. I think that if you go in and ask for hundreds of thousands of euros for your project, you need to be able to prove that it’s going to work, that it is going to be a worthwhile investment. I think there are lots of things to do that are very small, starting with very small touchpoints that you can show. And I think that’s where the traditional customer research is valuable.

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