Don’t Think Services, Think About Experiences

by | Sep 29, 2016

When working with clients to imagine their future digital successes, we use a few different lenses to help build digital strategy. First we use the lens of customer centricity, staying close to customer needs and reimagining strategy built around consistent customer input.

Secondly I use the lens of customer experience, how can a forward-looking digital strategy deliver the best possible experience? What would that experience be? How is it achieved? Only then do we look through the third lens and determine how to best utilize technology capabilities to deliver on the digital strategy.

When we filter the digital strategy through these three lenses our goal is to help our clients deliver not just a better product or service, but a transformative experience that fundamentally improves their members or customers or clients lives (at least at that moment!) therefore engendering strong loyalty and advocacy.

Technology Should be Invisible

Think about the best digital services you use, they are painless and often feel like magic. The UX design is so intuitive you don’t notice it, the service itself provides such direct value that it seems an obvious choice, and because everything works smoothly the technological underpinnings never enters your consciousness. This perfect alignment of technological ease and value delivery is what makes some digital services so successful and so disruptive.

Unlike mechanical engineering, where a majestic bridge inherently demonstrates technical achievement, digital engineering’s loftiest goal is to be inconspicuous. Nobody cares how many servers Facebook has or how clean Amazon’s code is, all they care about is how clean their experience is. This is the lens by which to guide digital strategy and more specifically technology selection, iterate towards a technological experience where the technology is invisible.

Experiences Should be Seamless

Figuring out exactly what that enjoyable experience is for your specific customers is the hard part. Keep in mind this varies wildly from vertical to vertical, an ecommerce experience is very different from a content delivery experience. To build this, you have to jump back to my first lens: customer centricity. Customer insight, sales data, and user personas should be the foundation on which to design your customer journey and experience. What is the path of least resistance from discovery to conversion? Where and when in your experience is the most value delivered? And how do you differentiate from your competitors?

My favorite current digital experience is Pipedrive. We use Pipedrive to keep track of the potential clients we are speaking to and where we are in the conversation with each one. There are much more powerful and feature-rich services out there but, Pipedrive provides just the right amount of structure without going overboard and requiring extensive time and effort to train on and utilize the platform. To me, the ultimate compliment about the user experience is that when I think back to the spreadsheets we used to use and the times I missed a follow-up because it wasn’t automatically scheduled in my calendar I smile and say “Never Again”!

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Len Gilbert


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