The Time is Now for a more Soulful Way of Business

Customer experience design is the forgotten dimension of sustainability. We need to transcend what have now become well-defined approaches and definitions of customer experience, to help companies understand why their offerings are no longer resonating with people, and how to develop a profound understanding of the lived experience of every single person whose lives our organisations touch. This understanding is just as applicable to those businesses and organisations developing sustainable products, services, technologies and initiatives.

Around the world there is a growing awareness of the destructive nature of current economic paradigms based on fragmentation, where powerful nations aim to dominate weaker nations rich in natural resources. The most enlightened businesses are now transforming their life-destroying business models to ones which are life-enhancing and which regenerate natural ecosystems and local economies. By shifting our focus into a more soulful way of being we can radically transform the attention of business from a focus on interactions that individual people have with products and services, to the quality of experience of communities and the richness of the quality of their lives. Continue reading “The Time is Now for a more Soulful Way of Business”

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”

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”