“We spend a lot of time designing the bridge, but not enough time thinking about the people who are crossing it.” Dr. Prabhjot Singh, Director of Systems Design at the Earth Institute
GST idea was good but implementation was bad, Demonetisation could have been handled better, and there are many examples of a good idea and bad implementation. Even in today’s budget people are sceptical about the implementation of ambitious Modi-care healthcare scheme announced in the union budget. There are many examples of a good idea and bad implementations, good brands but bad customer experience.
A brand is, experiences it delivers. No brand can be bigger than experience it delivered to its customers.
A few years ago when I embraced the discipline of Customer Experience, I was a part of customer experience firm Beyond Philosophy, UK. I met top the management of many leading companies in India and most were clueless about the subject of customer experience. In fact, I wrote a book on the subject to spread the awareness. Today every organisation is talking about customer experience and every Govt is talking about citizen experience and ease of living.
Recently, I was a leading private sector bank branch for availing simple service of signature verification. It took one hour of waiting. Token was issued but no clue how long will it take to call out my number. The branch was full of customers waiting patiently for their turn to come.
The manager told me he was helpless. He said, people, are not visiting other less crowded branches. The bank makes a huge profit but fails to design better customer experience and fail to keep adequate people to handle the rush hours. Their only focus is SALE. Sales staff were selling different products to the people waiting to avail the services.
The two days later the bank reported 32% down (be due to treasury losses) in profit. But days are not far it will have an impact on poor customer experience on the bottom-line sooner than later. The sign of profit reduction is visible at the branches where the bank is not offering pleasurable but frustrating experiences to their customers.
“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.” – Steve Jobs
Companies in aggressive growth mode are so obsessed with the sales and profit growth that they invariably compromise on customer experience. Same is applicable to Governments. Their mere GDP focus misses the citizen experience and ease of living focus.
Customer Experience and Service Designs are the sciences leading companies and many Governments in the world use to design their customer/citizen experiences.
Applying service design principles in designing the customer/citizen experience reduces customer/citizen frustration, makes their experience effortless and enhances the brand value.
Understanding and applying these design principles are need of the hour for the Indian companies and Governments.
When the customer experience is the only sustainable competitive advantage, ignoring this could be catastrophic. Even content marketing is a part of better customer experience. When a company creates content which is helpful in solving customer challenges and achieving their goal, it enhances the experience.
Resonating content without sales pitch converts the consumer of the content into a customer of the company product/service, Better brand experience before the purchase makes it easy for the customer to decide her buying choice.
“Traditional marketing is all about a brand talking at customers, content marketing is about enjoying a dialogue with them.”
Content Marketing approach which enhances customer experience is also making the organisation human-centred.
The Social media specialist Michael Stelzner writes in his book Launch,
”Don’t think about people as targets of the sale. The question isn’t who can you land, it’s who can you help? ”
This Help centred approach is about the Human-centered approach.
When the Indian Govt is talking and rightly so about the ease of living, service design principles could be the right way to do it. When the companies are convinced that customer experience is the sustainable competitive advantage, applying service design principles is the right way to design the experiences.
There are companies and countries which are tackling their business and citizen problems with the help of service design principles.
Companies like IDEO, LiveWork Studio, and Stanford Design School are working actively to solve business and Govt. problems using the service design principles. Acumen, a school for social changes, train the people on Human-Centered Service Design, it’s a free online course. The course is very interesting and worth doing, irrespective of your profession or job profile. (I have participated and completed the course.)
UK Govt has Service design guidelines for digital services. Many other Govts are using these principles of service design to enhance citizen experience.
Read how Tirupati Temple solved their long queue issues by applying the design principles.
Also read: Service Design – Why can’t you ignore it?
Many Governments and NGOs are using these service design principles to solve wicked problems. (A wicked problem is a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize.)
In fact, there is a conference on Service Design in Governance in March 2018 in Edinburgh.
“ A human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.” Thus, the method focuses on the three main elements of a product or solution: people, technology, and business, all of which evolve around the customer.” David Kelley , Founder of IDEO
The point is whether it’s Governments or Businesses, learning and implementing service design principles to enhance customer /citizen experience and ease their life is critical. Good idea, bad implementation can be avoided if, at the initial stage of service idea, service design principles are applied to the services implementation plan.
To keep your governments and business enterprise human-centred, Service Design driven approach to design the experiences and Helpful Content creation approach is the way forward.
Also read: How Service Design Influences our Happiness?