THAT Retail Concept Store wins “Best Experience Design” Award

The whole team at Engine Service Design would like to congratulate Grégoire Charpe-Civatte (Director – Customer Experience & Innovation at Majid Al Futtaim), and all MAF teams involved, for winning the Best Experience Design Award for THAT Concept Store’s at the 2022 Customer Centricity World Series.

James Samperi, Director of the Engine Service Design Dubai Studio said,

“The challenge with this project, was to create a first of its kind lifestyle store, offering a cutting-edge lifestyle experience; a space the size of a department store in one of the biggest malls in Dubai. Having been engaged on this exciting project, we needed to fuse different services, products, and experiences together in a way that would become an original and authentic experience”

The Engine Service Design team worked as part of a multi-disciplinary team, alongside retail, digital and front-line training, to deliver a remarkable omni-channel experience. We created the overarching vision, developed the key customer journeys, and developed service, digital and operational concepts to support the design and development teams.

“Our team used the existing data, staff interviews and store observations to build a greater understanding of THAT’s target customers, and determine the critical proof points that would need to be designed into the experience.”

THAT had a strong idea of what the brand needed to stand for and had linked the merchandising and product strategy to delivering against that ambition.

Engine Service Design complimented this work by converting that brand positioning and a deeper understanding of their target customers, into a vision for the customer experience that would provide multiple ways a customer could experience the retail experience, and deliver a consistent THAT branded experience.

Through this work, Engine Service Design developed digital product concepts across the journey and outlined requirements for how this would be executed. As well as digital, we outlined how the front-line “Lifestylers” would be equipped to personify the THAT brand and deliver a truly authentic and personalised service.

On receiving news of this prestigious award, Grégoire Charpe-Civatte said:

“Thanks to all the team members involved, and to Engine who supported us on this project. We’re extremely proud of our THAT “Lifestylers” on the shop floor, making a huge difference, one meaningful interaction at a time with our fantastic customers.

THAT is definitely a concept like no other, redefining experiential retail and I encourage you to experience it in person at Mall of The Emirates, at City Centre Mirdif, or online through our website and app.”

The Engine Service Design System has been honed over 20 years as we’ve developed best-in-class services and customer experiences just like THAT store. We use the system to configure projects and programmes to best suit the outcomes you need and discover what your customers will love.

Hit the link below to book time with a Service Design Expert, and explore how we could help you create something amazing.

Engine Customer Experience Report 2019

Engine’s Annual Customer Experience Report is now in its 6th year. Over that period we’ve been tracking trends around topics such as; what’s important to customers, which sectors are delivering the best experiences and the service qualities that drive consumer choice and advocacy.

In this year’s report, we’ve doubled the sample size to over 2,000 respondents and introduced some new questions that reveal interesting insights from both a customer and business perspective, including:

  • What’s important to customers and the areas that businesses should be focusing on
  • Which sectors and brands are delivering great services and experiences
  • The cost of poorly designed services to both customers and businesses
  • Consumer preferences in seeking help and the manner in which it’s delivered
  • Whether customers most trust online or high-street brands and how ready they are to go paperless.

Engine’s Annual Customer Experience Report is now in its 6th year. Over that period we’ve been tracking trends around topics such as; what’s important to customers, which sectors are delivering the best experiences and the service qualities that drive consumer choice and advocacy.

In this year’s report, we’ve doubled the sample size to over 2,000 respondents and introduced some new questions that reveal interesting insights from both a customer and business perspective.

Headlining the findings are statistics around the cost of poorly designed services. Our survey revealed that, over the last year, the average value per respondent of products and/or services not returned or cancelled because it was too difficult was nearly £100. Multiply that up by the UK population over 16 years of age and that could equate to consumers missing out on over £5.2bn in refunds.

On average, UK consumers have chosen not to buy £134.64 worth of products or services because at some point in the purchase process it simply became too difficult. Super-simple, easy to use brands such as Amazon, Apple and Premier Inn have led to heightened customer expectations and increased the pressure on the chasing pack. The message to brands is clear – if you’re not easy to buy from, you risk losing out.

We’re often asked about the value of investing in good customer experience, and the headline figure of £7.2bn being lost by businesses because of badly designed or poorly performing services should be a wake-up call for many businesses.

Engine co-founds SDN Middle Eastern Gulf chapter

Engine, in partnership with Hued, Inspiring Experience and EY-Seren in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become a founding member of the Middle Eastern Gulf chapter of the Service Design Network (SDN).

Named the ‘Gulf Co-operation Council’ (GCC), the group hosted a preview event for the design community on 23rd July in downtown Dubai. The showcase, co-facilitated by Engine and EY-Seren, ran in conjunction with events in Jeddah and Riyadh to incorporate all parts of the GCC chapter.

Attendees represented a broad range of individuals from across creative industries in the region. Participants were invited to take part in and ideate around four main themes:

  • Awareness of service design and engagement with the Dubai community.
  • Building the community of service design professionals in Dubai.
  • Social engagement and democratization of service design in Dubai.
  • Integration of service design with the UAE national transformation agendas.

The fully-attended preview event brought together the design community in a positive and collaborative atmosphere to build anticipation ahead of the official launch of the SDN GCC chapter scheduled to take place in September.

Follow SDNGCC on Twitter for further updates

Designing valuable B2B experiences

Business buyer expectations are exceeding those of private customers

New evidence suggests that 82% of business buyers want the same experience as when they’re buying for themselves 1.

According to a study by Salesforce Research 1, business buyers’ expectations are even higher than those of private consumers in relation to:

  • The experience is as important as the product
  • The likelihood of being loyal to a company they trust
  • The expected standards of good experiences being higher than ever
  • Their willingness to pay more for a great experience

We’re all becoming used to services that are more personalised, proactive, real-time and rewarding because we experience these qualities every day when encountering leading brands in retail, hospitality, travel and banking, for instance.

We’ve come to expect our interactions to be seamlessly joined-up across all of the touchpoints, whether online or instore, in person or assisted by AI.

As more companies focus on customer experience, so their staff become more attuned to what’s possible and what good looks like, and a heightened expectation is transitioning into the workplace.

Whilst the B2C experience is well established as a competitive battleground, B2B and B2Employee experiences are now also firmly in the spotlight.

The Salesforce Research study 1 also revealed that:

  • More than 7 in 10 business buyers expect vendors to personalise engagement to their needs
  • 69% of business buyers expect an Amazon-like business buying experience
  • Yet only 27% of business buyers say companies generally excel at meeting their standards for an overall experience

More mature organisations, that have realised the value of designing more remarkable and compelling customer experiences, are now applying design-led approaches to improve their business processes and interdepartmental services.

They are also using service design methodologies to interrogate, map and redesign the complex business ecosystems in which they operate, identifying and unlocking opportunities to introduce new services, optimise existing offers, generate benefits for the interconnected contributors and have a positive impact on the end-customer.

If you’d like to find out more, do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

the rise of b2b experience

 The State of the Connected Customer – Salesforce Research, 2018

Engine Annual Customer Experience Report 2018

The results are in.

For the fifth consecutive year, Engine reveals the results of its annual survey to investigate what consumers believe are the qualities of great service.

The results reveal what’s important to customers and the areas that businesses should be focusing on, the way services make customers feel, the sectors that provide the best and worst customer service and which brands are delivering great service.

Over 1,000 consumers were asked the following questions:

  1. What’s most important to you in the way a company provides or delivers its service and customer experience?
  2. When you interact with a brand/company, how would you like the experience to make you feel?
  3. Brands from which sectors provide the best service and customer experience?
  4. Which specific brands stand out as providing the best service and customer experience?
  5. Brands from which sectors provide the worst service and customer experience?
  6. In which sectors do the quality of service and customer experience you receive from companies matter most when choosing a provider?
  7. What would make you most likely to recommend a service to a friend – Price, Quality of Service or Convenience?
  8. In general, on a scale of 1-10, do you think the service and customer experience you receive from companies is keeping pace with your needs and expectations?
  9. What do you think that businesses should prioritise in order to improve service or customer experience?

Engine releases ‘The Big 6’ service design and CX trends report

In a time of unprecedented change, it’s critical that organisations take stock of the current experience they provide and look for ways to enhance it for what lies ahead.

Many organisations are shifting from designing their customer experience as a niche form of innovation, to it becoming the way that they do what they do, which means more businesses than ever are getting set up to respond. The question is, what should they respond to?

If you’re reading this, you’ve already seen the inseparable link between your customer experience, the design of your service and how happy your customers and colleagues are. We hope our ‘Big 6’ plays a small part in helping you spread that belief and articulate the exciting opportunities for change that it brings.

DBA 2018 Design Effectiveness Award Winners

Engine joined an esteemed roster of winners to be presented with a prestigious award at last night’s Design Business Association (DBA) Design Effectiveness Awards ceremony for our transformative work with the team at Dubai Airports.

Engine has worked with Dubai Airports (DA) since 2013, to help turn one of the world’s biggest airports into the world’s best. With increasing passenger numbers, an existing infrastructure operating at near capacity and an opportunity to capitalise on its ‘East meets West’ location, it was clear Dubai needed a new airport; but within the confines of the existing airport, DA was no longer able to ‘build’ its way out of certain obstacles. The only way to make improvements was to find efficiencies and enhancements in frontline service delivery, with the challenge of doing so at scale and accommodating the myriad cultures of its passengers.

The DA Hospitality project tangibly demonstrates DA’s vision of the future through the airport of today – by delivering ‘Modern Hospitality and Meaningful Connections’.

Rather than develop a series of discrete initiatives, Engine worked with DA to lead a more holistic approach and designed a blended service solution that included; defining a behavioural service style, training frontline staff, operational and environmental planning, digital tools and enablers, new ways of providing information and new approaches to wayfinding.

The Hospitality initiative combines frontline service and information provision, to create a new and distinctive passenger-centred service with remarkable results.

You can find out more about our award-winning work here.

Visiting Royal College of Art’s MA WIP Exhibition

Author: Karen Barrett, Service Designer

The Royal College of Art opened its doors to the public last week (18th January) to showcase current service design students’ work in progress. Thursday’s industry-only opening night was bustling, and a thought-provoking selection of work was proudly on display.

RCA students applied service design principles to tackle a wealth of topics and challenges including mental health, sustainability in the food chain and financial services. In many cases, an insightful understanding of current trends was evident and the work presented was impressive in its variety and ambition.

Here are a few of the projects that caught my eye:

Goalbowl combines the trend for ‘superfoods’ and the popularity of food delivery services into a personalised breakfast subscription service. Ingredients are based on a customer’s choice of how they would like to optimise their health, so if they want to be more active for example, they might receive energy-rich chia seeds in their order.

Ox.Store’s concept store taps into millennials’ increasing concern for ethical shopping. This refreshed charity shop model allows customers to see and measure the impact created through their consumption. For instance, by purchasing a coat a customer can donate £22 to Oxfam.

Stride, a project that aims to make investing more attractive and relevant to millennials; acknowledges this age-group’s shifting relationship with money. It provides guidance and advice to young savers to help them to understand how to invest their funds.

EVA is an intelligent personal assistant designed to help mothers to find their individual “Mum-Life-Balance”. The project looks to tackle loneliness by making it easier for mums to connect with other mums, or even their partner, through AI which can coordinate meet-ups.

Corallo proposes a new service to tackle plastic pollution. Microplastics are collected from wastewater treatment plants and re-used in other industries; such as fashion where the microparticles can be recycled into garment material.

Agri+ is a data intelligence platform for small-scale farmers that receives its information from soil sensors and a knowledge transfer network. Farmers can ask questions about their land, crop yields etc. via SMS. The answers they receive are based on localised data from their land collected through soil sensors.

It’s worth noting that the challenge of addressing significant social problems with limited time and resource sometimes runs the risk of presenting solutions that appear to reduce the scale of the matter. For example, in the case of EVA (the intelligent personal assistant for mums), booking meet-ups with a partner or friends to tackle loneliness feels to over-simplify the point. Is it likely that a mum doesn’t get to meet with friends as often as she would like because she doesn’t have an efficient calendar system to organise meetings? Or could there be more significant factors contributing to the matter than an intelligent calendar system can reasonably address? Issues such as limited access to child care, financial concerns or physical distance between friends and family could also be at play.

Having attended these types of events many times now, I’m beginning to see some repetition of the social challenges addressed. A Mind Thurrock collaboration on display, which saw educational modules being designed to increase mental health literacy amongst 11-24 year olds in Essex, overlaped with work done a couple of years ago by Central Saint Martin’s design graduates and Mind Islington in which they created workshops to help adults tackling depression. This raises the question of what channels or resources are in place to ensure that there is sufficient knowledge sharing amongst the service design community? As the discipline grows, the sharing of knowledge and experience is highly relevant. Otherwise, many small pockets of work are likely to exist in isolation which struggle to gain the significant impact that an aligned undertaking would achieve. Recurring design topics can be a positive thing so long as each new effort builds on what came before.

The RCA Work-in-Progress Show aims to whet our appetites for the final degree show in the summer. I’ll be eager to see how the student’s concepts develop for the June showcase.

 

Images courtesy of @RCA_SD 

Engine Annual Customer Experience Survey 2017

The results are in.

For the fourth consecutive year, Engine undertook a survey to investigate what consumers believe are the qualities of great service.

The results reveal what’s important to customers, the way services make customers feel and those sectors that provide the best and worst customer service.

Over 1,000 consumers were asked the following questions:

 

  1. What’s most important to you in the way a company provides or delivers its service and customer experience?
  2. When you interact with a brand/company, how would you like the experience to make you feel?
  3. Brands from which sectors provide the best service and customer experience overall?
  4. Which specific brands stand out as particularly good?
  5. Brands from which sectors provide the worst service and customer experience overall?
  6. In which of these sectors does the quality of service and customer experience you receive from companies matter most when choosing a provider?
  7. What would make you most likely to recommend a service to a friend?
  8. On a scale of 1-10 (where 1 is ‘strongly disagree’ and 10 is ‘strongly agree’) in general, do you think the service and customer experience you receive from companies is keeping pace with your needs and expectations?

 

Download our full report by entering your details below.

Dubai international office opens

We’re pleased to announce our first international office has opened in Dubai

Our new UAE office, located in Dubai’s bustling Deira district, will expand our work offering a range of improvements in business performance to clients at a strategic and operational level in the areas of customer experience development and service design, innovation and strategy.

Our investment in the UAE is backed with the support of Dubai Investment Development, an agency of Dubai Economy, and in partnership with the UK Government’s British Centers for Business (BCB) initiative.

Engine Dubai’s founding clients include Dubai Airports, Bupa International and Emirates.

Visit engineservicedesign.com/en-ae/