Customer Driven Transformation: Download the first two chapters

Aligning business transformation around a customer-centred vision

We’re joining in with the International Association of Designers (IAoD) to celebrate this year’s  World Design Days (12th – 15th April).

Day 3 is officially World Design Day where the aim is to create awareness and draw attention to design value and issues. We’re looking at the power of design and how a design-led approach to business transformation helps organisations to align change around a customer-centred vision.

New technology, changing needs and evolving customer expectations are fuelling the demand for businesses to evolve

Today’s businesses must in fact already start to behave like the businesses of the future and be set up to provide more personal, intuitive and responsive services that dynamically respond to customer preferences and better predict their needs. For many, operating in this way requires a profound shift in the way that they approach innovation, and evolving legacy systems or streamlining manual processes for the digital age requires a culture and mindset that will sustain change.

As businesses recognise the need to transform to keep up, the challenge lies in focusing finite resources on the things that matter most

Understanding the required transformation and aligning the organisation around common goals and gains is a huge task. To succeed you need a compelling vision – a strong, exciting and motivating central idea that everybody can own, with the commitment required to ensure it is seen as valuable and inspiring. It will help you make important investment decisions and ultimately differentiate your brand beyond product and price alone. Many businesses discover that in order to achieve such a vision, they must become more customer-centred, and re-design their entire company around their customers. But how can you harness that ambition and get traction to drive the change, not just in the customer experience that’s delivered but also in the culture of the company and colleagues?

Design practices offer the tools to help businesses know where they should focus

A great service and a well-designed customer experience are indivisible from the ecosystem of people, processes, products, partners and digital platforms that deliver it – to have one, you must have the other too. Understanding and acting on this inherent duality at play is vital. As a Service Design Consultancy, Engine helps organisations improve and innovate their services and customer experiences. We use design practices to define, develop and deliver new propositions and ways of working that benefit the brand, the business (including front-line staff) and importantly, the customer.

Launching new or improved services and experiences requires significant change. The right approach starts by reimagining the products and services the organisation should provide, defining what needs to be in place to deliver them, and then working together to inspire, enable, reorganise or evolve the business to deliver them.

The power of design

As designers, we bring the insight and imagination needed to craft great services and customer experiences, and the expertise to ensure the design gets delivered by helping to embed customer-centred and design-led ways of working in company culture. We recognise the challenges large, multi-channel organisations face in innovating and bringing about sustainable change. Our methodology is collaborative. It helps overcome the departmental silos that often restrict progress, driving consensus around the things that matter most and prioritising the best ideas that will drive value for the business and its customers.

A design-led change process creates the right conditions for success

Moving through a structured plan of work to define and roadmap the path to deploying solutions gets the results you seek. Companies that have successfully worked through programmes structured in this way no longer see the investment as a cost. They regard the clarity of vision, focus and capability gained, as the driver of commercial advantage. Approaching the mission from a design perspective delivers the following outcomes and outputs:

Designing the experience and future service

  • A clear understanding of current and future customers.
  • A compelling vision for the target omnichannel experience.
  • Defined propositions and journeys for users and choosers.
  • An evidenced value case for investment and change.
  • Tools and assets with which to engage the business.

Defining the enablers and requirements of the future service

  • The roles and behaviours to support the delivery of the target experience.
  • Service development roadmaps to coordinate and sequence workstreams.
  • A service ecosystem of the interrelating components.
  • A portfolio plan of programmes and projects aligned to the vision.

Scaling the function of the customer experience team

  • The structure and governance to support and empower CX teams.
  • Stakeholders engaged in co-developing change plans and roles.
  • A clear definition of responsibility for operationalising the vision.
  • Training resources and toolkits to equip teams with a repeatable design-led process.

Shaping the company culture

  • An objective assessment of customer experience maturity and focus areas.
  • Leadership and colleague training in new ways of working.
  • Engagement materials and a value case for stakeholders and colleagues.
  • A structure and agenda for CX steering groups and forums.
  • Content for internal communication of the vision, plan and progress.

Taking a design-led approach not only gives you clarity of the vision and required direction but also a set of tools and assets with which to engage and excite the wider business about the opportunity for change and inform the operating model to sustain improvements.

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