Doers. — a bit of journey mapping, extreme customer-centricity and ‘Design Games’

Last week together with the BoldX team we participated on the Doers. Service Design conference in Budapest. The organisers brought a nice bunch of industry pros from around the world right into our backyard, so we got our Sharpies and Moleskins (nah, just regular pen and paper) and collected as many insights and inspiration as we could fit in the day.

Happy Campers

My favourite ones were:

Journey Mapping workshop with Marc Stickdorn

I was a tad worried when in the beginning Marc said the workshop would just be about journey mapping basics, but I was pleasantly surprised. He managed to plan a workshop that allowed everyone to get a takeaway on their own level. Beginners indeed got to know the basics of mapping, but he included more advanced tips and stories from his work that added value to more experienced designers as well.

Top tips / reminders:

  1. Triangulate your personas: For quick, robust persona building, if you don’t have time to do proper research, just collect front-line employees and have them fill out behavioural persona templates. Then have them share it with the room. You’ll instantly see the points where everyone is nodding, or even shouting to add their own stories to the same persona.
  2. Do one map with users, and another with management. Then put them next to each other, to show your client the differences;)
  3. Add a ‘what if’ lane to your journey maps — that shows all the ways in which an ideal journey could go wrong. Then create a ‘service recovery lane’ that comes up with solutions on how to get that journey back on track. You can select the most relevant ‘what if’ points from a business perspective by looking at how often each of those actually happens, and how much does it cost the company to deal with it. (E.g. if the service is flying, how often do people miss their flights vs baggages get lost vs planes are late)
  4. Below the ‘experience’ lane, it’s useful to add a ‘dynamic ark’ — that shows how important each step is. One step of the experience might be really shitty for the customer, but in fact they might not care about it at all — while another one might just be mediocre, but may hold a lot of importance for the users. This helps prioritise which steps to redesign.

+1: he also showed us the ‘proper’ way to use post-its. I thought he was going to do the ‘sideways peel’, but alas, that’s just the second best way to do it for optimal stickiness. The best way is to separate the top post-it with your thumb, then violently pull it down with your other hand. I’m not convinced yet, but have been trialling it:)

Creating Stories — CX at IKEA Poland — Bartek Lechowski

I loved this talk because very rarely do you hear internal design teams who get total C-level support for their customer experience efforts. (Which, of course, doesn’t mean that they don’t still have to fight their battles.) Bartek was hired at such a point, when the CEO realised they _have to_ become more customer-centric, or they will lose their relevance because of 3 key challenges:
1. Their homogenous customer base is decreasing
2. time and energy (which have always been the trade-off people were willing to make in exchange for cheaper prices at IKEA) are now becoming more valuable for people
3. Customer expectations are changing (the benchmark for a service will always be the best service you recently had — either in the same category or somewhere else)

So they were dedicated to create an outstanding customer experience, that was worthy of sharing (9/10 is not good enough)

Top tips / reminders:

  1. Look behind the first layer of data: even on days when IKEA’s sales were super high, they could look at the security camera footage and additional info points, and see that the store was super crowded, and it took people 5 (!) hours to get a cupboard from storage that they already paid for.
    Good sales — awful customer experience.
  2. Make your business case: they measured that people who don’t like the experience at IKEA go 1.9 times year (which is a testament to how strong their brand is). But people who had a good experience go 4.1 times! That’s a very measurable difference in (lost) income per year.
  3. Take care of your employees: it’s clear from many researches that happy employee = happy customers. Still, not many companies take this seriously enough. At IKEA they mapped out their entire employee experience, going upstream all the way to their candidate experience and redesigned many points of it to make their people happier.
I love the equation he used for ‘Human Magic’ and what matters — and how somehow you have to break the mold of ‘This is not how we do it in IKEA’.

4. If you’re not accountable for it, it won’t happen. We see many companies who say that their customer experience is super important to them. Yet, very few companies measure this, and even less tie their employees’ evaluation to it. At IKEA they’ve created a weekly customer voice update that’s sent out together with the weekly sales report, and they included the customer’s satisfaction in the evaluation of everyone at the company, up to the CEO. (before, it was only mentioned in one criteria, about 8% of the overall evaluation, now it has its own page.)

+1: Design Games — Maria Jaatinen

This workshop with the agency Hellon was about creating bespoke ‘design games’. By design games they mean actual board games with rules, creating worlds and using cards and questions.

The game we played about the future of mobility in Nordic countries

It’s ‘just’ a +1 because there were not really new insights, but I enjoyed it a lot. It was a nice reminder of the value of execution. I might have used ‘design games’ by their definition earlier, but I didn’t per se create a nice looking board and cards for them. And it _can_ make all the difference for people who are not used to valuing scribbles on post-it. Form does matter, as a first impression.

You can practically use design games for anything, they’ve specifically mentioned team development, project planning and futures thinking. We tested one that was about futures thinking (creating scenarios and ideas around the future of mobility, especially the future of service stations (today’s gas stations)). I really enjoyed it, and having the board game did create a platform where people seemed to feel more at ease expressing their thoughts and building on each other’s ideas.

So now that I’m just thinking this through as I write about it, it’s probably the workshop with the most direct impact on me: I’m definitely creating a design game in my upcoming projects!:)

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