“Bad design is smoke, while good design is a mirror.” Juan Carlos Fernandes
Service Design as a principle plays a key role in designing a service. Services not designed keeping in mind the human-centered service design principles are going to create irritating and frustrating experiences for the users of the service.
The irony is this is the realty largely with most of the services.
Recently I visited websites of some leading mutual funds and insurance companies for redemption. My experience has been pitiful.
Some of the highlights are as under:
- Some company have no online redemption option
- One company has a redemption option under the Distributor not investor button. They expect investors to assume the role of a Distributor to avail the redemption services.
No redemption option under the investor services.
- Some website displays not possible to process online but no guidance for the offline process
- One company’s call enter number printed is invalid, another number takes lots of information on IVR and then call back option. No representative talks to resolve the issue. & No call back for days.
- Login to invest but what about redemption? No clue
- Some companies have Insta redemption option but that is for liquid funds, No guidance of for regular other funds redemption
- Claim page talks about awards but online help has no redemption option.
Online issue based form but redemption is not an option!!
There are several other issues like login, change of email id, bank account etc. It’s really a challenge to do digital business if you wish to withdraw your money.
I experienced very good in-branch services for redemption with most companies. (I had no option but to visit the branches with difficult to do online business) .
The issue is why ease of online investing and no ease of online redemption?
People are confident to buy from Amazon because not only buying experience is great but also for their easy to return policy.
These mutual fund companies teach investors – Mutual Fund investment is subject to the market risk, but they internally should know that Mutual Find investment is subject to redemption. Therefore, also design for ease of redemption.
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This is what happens when customers are not in focus of the service design and only company interests are the priority.
This mindset is the reason many companies have misunderstood the power of content marketing. Inward self-focus is about traditional marketing and outward customer focus is content marketing.
Traditional marketing talks about company products, features, awards, and everything the company does. It is about SEO and links.
Content Marketing is about creating content which is helpful and usable by the target audience. It is about the target audience and not only for SEO.
These sites I visited are full of verbose but rarely of much use to the users of the website. Neither the UI nor the Content is human-centered.
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Here comes Content Marketing & Service Design:
Buyers Journey – Service Design
- Before: Aware, Consider – Marketing
- Beginning: Buy, Set up – Sales & Operations
- During: Use, Change, Incident – Operations & Customer Service
- After: Leave, New Cycle – Customer Service & Marketing
Buyers Journey – Content Marketing
- Attract – Marketing
- Convert – Sales
- Close – Sales
- Delight – Operations and Customer Service
If you are designing a railway service, you need to design train, railway stations, railway time table, railway routes, ticketing services, and marketing of the service.
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Each of these designing stages needs content. Useful and actionable content. Content which helps the target audience to:
- Know about the problem/opportunity
- Know about the services
- Avail the service
- Use the services
- Solve his problem/capture the opportunity
- Remain engaged for the next round of service
“The buyer journey is nothing more than a series of questions that must be answered.” ~ Analyst Firm IDC
If any stage lacks user centrality, lead generation fails, conversion fails, engagement fails, customer complains begins, overall experience fails, and retention fails.
Content and Design go hand in hand for overall effortless user experience.
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Mutual Funds that gives better return wins and yet Fidelity, the leading mutual fund company is focussing on customer experience.
Empathy is where design thinking begins, Doug Roerden, vice president for user experience design strategy at Fidelity Investments
According to Merriam-Webster, empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. In the context of marketing, feeling with people is about putting your audience’s needs before your own, putting yourself in their shoes to understand the challenges they face.
In short: Empathetic marketing considers your audience before your messaging. This is what content marketing is.
As Dr. Brene Brown notes, empathy is “feeling with people.”
Both Service Design and Content Marketing begins with Empathy. The battle of Empathy is won by empathy, not by the self-centered inward-looking selfish approach.
Design Services for the USERS and make the experience effortless. Create content for the TARGET AUDIENCE and help them solve the problem. They will reward the business by keeping you in business. This is the new sustainable way of doing business.
“What helps people, helps business.” ~ Leo Burnett
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