Designing the Customer Experience

In 2002, fifteen years ago, David Kelley stopped calling his design company Ideo’s approach “design” and instead named it as “design thinking.” This would become one of the most important ideas of the 21st century. But design thinking did not come out of nowhere.

In the 1990s an approach called ‘designing the customer experience’ was developed at the Human Factors department of BT Laboratories in Ipswich. In the early 1990s the focus was on human-computer interaction, a discipline mostly based in university research departments, with little connection to marketing departments, product managers, service centres and business strategists. The process ‘designing the customer experience’ was created to reposition Human Factors and user-centred design at the very heart of the product life-cycle within organisations, thus helping to lay the groundwork for the development of design thinking, service design, customer journey mapping and concepts such as customer success. Continue reading “Designing the Customer Experience”

The Experience Economy Arrives

In 1998 Joseph Pine and James Gilmore published their classic article Welcome to the Experience Economy in Harvard Business Review.  Their paper characterises the evolution of economies by describing four different stages:

Economists have typically lumped experiences in with services, but experiences are a distinct economic offering, as different from services as services are from goods. Today we can identify and describe this fourth economic offering because consumers unquestionably desire experiences, and more and more businesses are responding by explicitly designing and promoting them. As services, like goods before them, increasingly become commoditized—think of long-distance telephone services sold solely on price—experiences have emerged as the next step in what we call the progression of economic value. From now on, leading-edge companies—whether they sell to consumers or businesses—will find that the next competitive battleground lies in staging experiences.

Continue reading “The Experience Economy Arrives”

Customer Experiences with Soul – Our Presentation at Sustainable Brands Bangkok

In October of last year Maria and I were invited to speak at Sustainable Brands Bangkok where we introduced our new framework, Customer Experiences with Soul, which we created to help organisations apply our Holonomics approach to the area of customer experience design.

In our plenary presentation we introduced the framework and discussed purpose, values, authenticity and a number of case studies in which we are applying this framework. Continue reading “Customer Experiences with Soul – Our Presentation at Sustainable Brands Bangkok”

A Deeper Definition of Customer Experience

In 1992 I started work at BT Laboratories, British Telecom’s research and development technology park as a psychologist in the Human Factors Department, within it’s Research Department which also contained the Speech Recognition and Futurology departments, headed up by Peter Cochrane, one of the UK’s leading futurologists. Along with Xerox PARC, the BT Human Factors team was one of the largest in the world, and unlike more academic teams based in universities, we worked extremely closely with our marketing colleagues, who were our internal clients. In 1995 I co-authored a paper Delivering Competitive Edge in which Mike Atyeo and I wrote:

Usability is a key business driver and user-centred techniques are emerging to deliver this competitive edge. It is essential to move away from simple product design, beyond the integrated service design of product, packaging, documentation, and after-sales service, to the comprehensive design of the customer experience. Continue reading “A Deeper Definition of Customer Experience”