Design Lesson From… MA Department of Transportation

As you read the title of this post, you were likely thinking that there’s been a typo. Departments of Transportation (DoT) around the country have been called a lot of names, but good designers isn’t a common label. In this one case, though, I want to give a shout out for a part of the MA DoT’s roll out of MA’s new toll-less EZPass system.

1611_tollboothsbyeIn the past, if you did not have an E-ZPass transponder, you could go to a separate lane on the Mass Pike and pay a toll operator. The new system will completely eliminate the need for toll operators. If a car doesn’t have a transponder, then the system will take a picture of the license plate and charge the car owner with the toll fee plus a penalty for not using a transponder. So over time, the goal is for everyone to use a transponder.

Here’s where the design part comes in. The MA DoT is having a grace period of six months during which people who get a penalty for not using a transponder can get those fees eliminated if they get a transponder. Here’s why I think that it’s good design:

  • No matter how much the DoT tries to communicate the upcoming changes, a very large number of people won’t really understand (or care about) what’s going on.
  • The point at which many, many people will understand (and care about) the changes is when it truly affects them… when they receive their first bill with penalties for not using a transponder.
  • By providing a way to eliminate the penalties, the DoT will motivate a large number of people to get transponders — instead of just being upset with the DoT.

The key lesson here is that you need to design interactions based on how people really behave, not on how you’d like them to behave. While it would be great for everyone to understand and care about the E-ZPass changes prior to them going into effect, that would not be realistic. Most people do not pay attention to situations until they are directly affected by them. In this case, that moment is likely on the arrival of their first bill. So it is critical to design an experience around that moment which drives the behavior that the MA DoT is looking for — getting an E-ZPass Transponder.

In order for this part of the program to really work well, it is critical that those initial bills be designed to clearly communicate the option to eliminate the fees, and provide a simple path to do so. If not, then forget everything that I’ve said about good design; it will be a poor experience.

The difference between success and failure at this point comes down to what I’ve called the Design of Little Things (DoLT). All too often, people get the big things right, but fail to obsess about the DoLT that will make or break the experience.

I will be going through some toll booths without a transponder so that I can see what the experience looks like. If I find something interesting, then you might see a follow-up post.

The bottom line: Design for how people really behave, and obsess about little things.

Free eBook: 25 Tips For Tapping Into Customer Emotions

1609_ebook_25emotiontips_finalAs part of our CX Day celebration, we’re giving away this free eBook: 25 Tips For Tapping Into Customer Emotions.

Here’s the executive summary:

Emotions play an essential role in how people form judgments and make decisions. Consequently, a customer’s emotional response to an experience with a company has a significant impact on their loyalty to that company. To help you improve your customer experience, we’ve compiled a list of 25 examples from companies who are tapping into customer emotions, which you can emulate at your own organization.

FreeDownloadButton

The eBook contains 25 tips across four areas: Experience Design, Organizational Personality, Organizational Empathy, and Customer Segmentation.

1610_25emotiontips

The bottom line: Apply these lessons to tap into your customers’ emotions

Report: Emotion-Infused Experience Design

1606_EmotionInfusedExperienceDesign_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Emotion-Infused Experience Design.

Emotions play an essential role in how people make decisions. Consequently, how a customer feels about their experience with a company has the most significant impact on their loyalty to that company. And yet despite their importance, both customers and companies agree that organizations do a poor job of engaging customers’ emotions. To help companies create a stronger emotional connection with customers, we’ve developed an approach called Emotion-Infused Experience Design (EIxD). To master EIxD, organizations must continuously focus on three questions: “Who exactly are these people (who happen to be our customers)?” “What is our organizational personality?” and “How do we want customers to feel?” This report offers both advice and examples about how to apply these three questions across four facets that affect emotion: senses, feelings, social, and values. And to help infuse these practices across the organization, we have also identified some strategies for how to turn employees into agents of EIxD.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

Our research shows that emotion is often a missing link in customer experience. While emotions may seem ephemeral and subjective, we developed a concrete methodology you can use to design for emotion. We call this methodology “Emotion-Infused Experience Design” (EIxD), and we define it as:

An approach for deliberately creating interactions that evoke specific customer emotions.

To master EIxD, you must ask (and answer) three questions throughout the entire design process:

  1. Who exactly are these people (who happen to be our customers)? You cannot design emotionally engaging experiences without a solid grasp on who your target customers are—what they want, what they need, what makes them tick.
  2. What is our organizational personality? Research shows that people relate to companies as if they are fellow human beings rather than inanimate corporate entities.
  3. How do we want our customers to feel? People are inherently emotional beings, and every interaction they have with you will make them feel a certain way—whether you intend it to or not.

To address the three questions of EIxD, this report shows how to design around four elements of emotion: senses, feelings, social, and values. Here are two of the 26 figures in the report:

1606_TwoPartsofEmotion1605_CokeStarbucksEmotions

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

Quick Take: Start Talking About Emotion (Video)

In a recent Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org) CustomerSpark event in Dallas, I spoke about the importance of focusing on emotion. Give that we’ve called 2016 “The Year of Emotion,” this is a popular topic for Temkin Group.

Here’s a short snippet from my speech (one of several quick take videos from the event) where I discuss why we need to Start Talking About Emotion:

 

For more information on the Five A’s of an emotional response, check out this post: Customer Responses, From Angry To Adoring.

And, I urge you to join the Intensify Emotion Movement.

IntensifyEmotionLogo

Report: Customer-Infused Process Improvement

1604_CustomerInfusedProcessImprovement_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Customer-Infused Process Improvement, which provides five strategies for instilling customers’ needs into process improvement methodologies. Here’s the executive summary:

Process improvement and customer experience have traditionally served different roles in a company. However, these two disciplines are starting to intersect as customer experience looks to process improvement to operationalize key customer interactions and process improvement needs customer experience to provide customer-focused insights and continually monitor new processes. Temkin Group proposes that companies bring these two approaches together into Customer-Infused Process Change. This report highlights five strategies critical to driving this new approach: Prioritize Improvements Across Customer Journeys, Embrace Deep Customer Empathy, Involve Customers in Solution Development, Innovate to Meet Latent Needs, and Measure Success with Customer-Focused Metrics. To make process improvement efforts more customer-centric, organizations need to infuse these strategies across all aspects of process improvement.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

It’s time for process improvement to become more focused on customers. Rather than abandoning existing process improvement methodologies, Temkin Group recommends bringing a customer orientation into your efforts. We call this approach Customer-Infused Process Change (CiPC), which we define as:

Driving improvements based on a deep understanding of customer needs.

The report provides best practices across five strategies of CiPC:

  1. Prioritize Improvements Across Customer Journeys: By understanding customer interactions in the context of their broader journeys, companies can invest in process improvements projects that have the most impact on the customer’s experience.
  2. Embrace Deep Customer Empathy: In order to effect sustainable changes, employees impacted by redesigned processes need to understand why these changes are important to customers.
  3. Involve Customers in Solution Development: Process improvement efforts must have resources available to ensure that ongoing, incremental changes can be made based on this customer input.
  4. Innovate to Meet Latent Needs: Customers can’t always articulate what they want; instead, they often describe a slightly improved version of what they already know.
  5. Measure Success with Customer-Focused Metrics: Companies can’t measure the success of process improvement efforts with internally focused, operational metrics.

1604_CustomerInfusedProcess5Strategies

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

The bottom line: Process improvements need more customer insights.

Report: Mobile Experience Review: Purchasing an eGift Card

1603SLICE-B_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Mobile Experience Review: Purchasing an eGift Card. The report uses our SLICE-B experience review methodology to evaluate mobile experiences. We attempt to achieve a specific customer goals and then grade the experience on 12 criteria across six areas: Start, Locate, Interact, Complete, End, and Brand Coherence.

Here’s the executive summary:

As more customers use smartphones, companies need to adjust their websites and processes for the smaller screens. To evaluate the customer experience of mobile websites, we used Temkin Group’s SLICE-B experience review methodology to assess the experience of purchasing an eGift Card from ten large retailers: Macy’s, Kohl’s, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Petco, Petsmart, Kroger, Safeway, Michaels, and Jo-Ann. Macy’s earned the highest score for its simple yet engaging process, while the user was unable to complete the full purchasing goal at Barnes & Noble, Petco, Petsmart, Kroger, Safeway, and Kohl’s.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

Here’s an overview of the results:

1603_MobileSLICEBevals

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

Emotion: The Missing Link in Customer Experience (Video)

Enjoy this Temkin Group video, part of our celebration for “The Year of Emotion.

Enjoy other Temkin Group videos

Customer Experience Needs More Emotion (Infographic)

As the title of this post says, CX needs more emotion. If you like this infographic, then you can download this version in .pdf or download a 18″ x 24″ poster version).

1512_EmotionInfographic

The bottom line: Let’s put more emotion into CX!

Maximizing Value From Customer Journey Mapping

1509_ValueFromCJMs_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Maximizing Value From Customer Journey Mapping. Here’s the executive summary:

Customer Journey Maps (CJMs) are a valuable tool for understanding how customers truly interact across an entire organization, but companies aren’t capturing enough value from their CJM efforts. Creating a CJM is only the first step in the process for change; the real benefit comes from using the insights from CJMs to drive action. In this report, we identify 23 best practices for using CJMs, and these practices cut across five areas: 1) Find and Fix Problems, 2) Build a Customer-centric Mindset, 3) Design Innovative Experiences, 4) Create Strategic Alignment, and 5) Refine Customer Measurement. To truly maximize value from customer journey maps, companies need to set themselves up for success by establishing organizational alignment, determining if outside help is needed, training key stakeholders in customer journey mapping, and scaling customer journey mapping techniques across the organization by employing Customer Journey Thinking.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

Here are the 23 best practices in the report:1509_CJMbestpractices

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

The bottom line: Get more value from your CJM efforts.

Report: Behavioral Guide to Customer Experience Design

1506_BehavioralGuideToExperienceDesign_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Behavioral Guide to Customer Experience Design. Here’s the executive summary:

According to recent scientific research, customers make most of their decisions using intuitive thinking instead of rational thinking. Intuitive thinking relies on unconscious heuristics and biases to make decisions efficiently, and as a result, people tend to be more affected by losses than by gains, to prefer simplicity over complexity, to be affected by their current emotional and visceral states, to be heavily influenced by those around them, to make decisions based on context, and to misjudge their past and future experiences. In this report, we identify best practices for tapping into these heuristics and biases across three areas of experience design; companies can Nudge customers in the right direction, Assist them in accomplishing their goals, and Enhance their overall experience. To incorporate intuitive thinking into experience design, companies need to follow four steps: define target customers, identify relevant heuristics and biases, select design strategies, and then test, test, test.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

Here are tactics for applying these human biases in your experience design efforts that we describe in the report:

1507_BehavioralDesignTactics

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

The bottom line: Embrace your customers’ natural behaviors.

The Power of Customer Journey Mapping (Video)

Customer journey mapping is a valuable tool for customer experience, but Customer Journey Thinking can change your culture. Watch this short Temkin Group video to find out more…

The bottom line: Your customers are on a journey, help them

Report: Unlocking Customer Insights From Contact Centers

1505_UnlockingInsightsFromContactCenters_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Unlocking Customer Insights From Contact Centers: From Agent Productivity to Enterprise Intelligence. Here’s the executive summary:

Companies have traditionally viewed their contact centers as cost centers and have consequently focused most of their energy on making agents as efficient as possible. However, companies are now beginning to realize that contact centers actually contain a wealth of deep, untapped information about customers. Temkin Group recommends that companies tap into this rich vein of information by shifting their focus away from agent productivity and towards enterprise intelligence. To construct a more holistic picture of their customers’ experiences, companies should take the unsolicited, unstructured voice of the customer (VoC) feedback they capture in the contact center and combine it with data they collect from other sources, such as CRM and digital analytics. In this report, we outline how companies’ efforts should shift across each of the Six D’s of a VOC program: Detect, Disseminate, Diagnose, Discuss, Design, and Deploy. To start the transformation away from agent productivity and towards enterprise intelligence, companies need to focus on data integration, analyzing the entire customer journey, forming a cohesive governance structure, and developing new roles and skills for employees.

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

In the report, we describe these best practices for shifting the focus of customer insights in the contact center from agent effectiveness to enterprise insights:

1507_ContactCenter6Ds3

Download report for $195
BuyDownload3

Temkin Group’s SLICE-B Experience Review Methodology (Video)

Do you want to examine experiences through the eyes of your customers? Try using Temkin Group’s SLICE-B Experience Review Methodology.

1505_SliceBAssessment

Download SLICE-B Scorecard (.pdf)

SLICE-B is an Expert Review (a.k.a. Scenario Review) methodology where you go through a specific scenario with a specific customer type in mind, looking for experience flaws along the way. Our methodology examines 12 criteria across these six areas:

  1. Start. The extent to which the customer is drawn into the experience.
  2. Locate. The ease in which the customer can find what she needs.
  3. Interact. The ease in which the customer can understand and control the experience.
  4. Complete. The confidence that the customer has that her goal was accomplished.
  5. End. The transition into next steps.
  6. Brand Coherence. The reinforcement of a company’s brand.

To see SLICE-B in use, download the report: Mobile Experience Review: Purchasing an eGift Card.

The bottom line: Examining experiences through the eyes of your customers can be enlightening.

 

People-Centric Experience Design (Video)

Last year, I published a free eBook called People-Centric Experience Design (PCxD). Experiences are all about people, the customers who interact with your organization and the employees who shape those interactions. Most approaches to customer experience, from voice of the customer programs to customer journey mapping, deal with the logical, left-brain elements of customer experience. But they often fall short on the right-brain, emotional side. That’s where PCxD comes into play. It’s built on three principles:

  • Align through PURPOSE
  • Guide with EMPATHY
  • Design for MEMORIES

To help people understand PCxD, we created this short video:

The bottom line: Tap into the power of purpose, empathy, and memories.

Five Questions That Drive Customer Journey Thinking

Customer journey maps (CJM) are one of the most popular CX tools and a frequent topic that people ask me about. Temkin Group even offers CJM workshops.

CJMs are a representation of the steps and emotional states that a customer goes through during a period of time that includes (but is not limited to) interactions with an organization. CJMs are valuable because they help identify how a customer views an organization by putting company interactions in the context of the customer’s broader activities, goals, and objectives. Keep in mind that the ultimate goal is not a map, but the understanding that is developed through the process that allows organizations to design better experiences and measurements.

While customer journey maps can be incredibly valuable, it’s not practical (or even possible) for large organizations to undergo full-scale CJM efforts for all of their customers’ journeys. That’s why we developed the Customer Journey Mapping Pyramid, which identifies three levels of effort through which organizations can capture the benefit of CJMs:

  • Level 3: Customer Journey Mapping Projects. Build journey maps for a few critical customer journeys using significant customer research. These projects require governance, structure, expertise, and dedicated resources committed to this effort which will span over a period of time. The goal: Develop deep customer journey maps that drive critical design and measurement decisions.
  • Level 2: Customer Journey Mapping Sessions. Build journey maps for customer journeys using facilitated sessions with subject matter experts (SMEs) and existing customer insights. These sessions can happen during a single meeting as long as the attendees have sufficient knowledge of target customers. The goal: Enable impromptu meetings that examine customer journeys.
  • Level 1: Customer Journey Thinking. Embed thinking about customer journeys into day-to-day decisions across the organization. Teach employees to actively consider why customers are interacting with the organization and think about how those interactions fit within the customers’ broader set of objectives and activities. The goal: Encourage every employee to think about customers’ journeys.

1405_CJMPyramid

The Essence of Customer Journey Thinking

The power of CJMs is their ability to help companies design interactions and measurements based on an understanding of the customer’s perspective. This insight, however, does not always require the creation of a map or any extensive research. Organizations can get a great deal of the value of CJMs if employees actively consider customers’ journeys in everything they do.

To propel Customer Journey Thinking, we recommend that organizations teach employees to consistently think about these five questions:

  1. Who is the customer? Start by recognizing that different customers have different needs. So it’s important to understand who the person is before we think about their specific journey. This is a great place to use personas as a mechanism for describing the customer.
  2. What is the customer’s real goal? Customers aren’t usually contacting your company because they want to, they’re doing it because of a deeper need. To understand how customers will view an interaction and what’s shaping their expectations, you need to think about what they are really trying to accomplish.
  3. What did the customer do right before? (repeat three times) When customers interact with your company, it’s almost always part of a longer journey. So you need to think about where they’ve been prior to the interaction in order to understand how they will respond to an interaction with your company. In many cases, these previous interactions will include people and organizations outside of your company. After you’ve answered this question, ask and answer it at least two more times.
  4. What will the customer do right afterwards? (repeat three times) When customers interact with your company, it’s almost never the last step on their journey. So you need to think about what they will do next to understand how you can best help them. In many cases, these subsequent interactions will include people and organizations outside of your company. After you’ve answered this question, ask and answer it at least two more times.
  5. What will make the customer happy? Rather than just aiming to satisfy customers’ basic needs, think about what it will take to provide each customer with the most positive experience–given what employees know about customers’ real goals and their entire journeys. The focus on customers’ emotional state will help employees stay mindful of customers’ holistic needs and raise overall organizational empathy.

The bottom line: Help your employees embrace customer journey thinking.

P.S. Check out this Temkin Group video about the power of customer journey mapping:

%d bloggers like this: