Customer Service Design Service Design

Customerdriveninnovation: how to create customers by acting like a designer

Classic definitions of business and design

Nobel Prize laureate Herbert Simon defined what a designer does:

” To design is to devise courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones.”

In his 1969 seminal text on design methods, “The Sciences of the Artificial,”  he already outlined one of the first formal models of the Design Thinking process.

Many years ago Peter Drucker, the father of management consulting, made an  observation that seems to be forgotten in this era of disruption and transformation.

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”


Still a challenge in these days

Now almost 50 years later many organizations and institutions are still reflecting on how to use these adagiums into a sound business case. Market leading businesses have seen the value of design thinking and of changing their organisation by first reimagining the products and services they should deliver and then reorganizing with the goal to deliver them.

Having read many books and papers on these topics, for me there are still missing knowledge gaps for those striving a state to the art – and profitable – transformation.

I was invited to read the reviewers extract and based on the available content I sincere believe the book bridges some of these knowlegde gaps.

About the book

The book outlines how to implement an outside-in approach to strategy; moving away from manager’s obsession and addiction with technology and marketing fads or resource optimization-led starvation to one that is customer-inspired and experimental with innovation.  Moreover, many books on the topic are either too academic or just tools driven; this book is not. The authors claim that now is available a practical guide to leading a transformation program within businesses using design thinking to change how services are created and ensuring everything is beautifully designed, elegant in use and brilliant in customer mindedness.

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In depth 6 challenges are outlined and 7 solutions are offered. How do these challenges relate to the offered solutions.

The book has  two parts: the first addresses the six main challenges you’ll already be facing when it comes to creating the services your customers will love. There’s enormous value and comfort in understanding what these are, because without knowing where you’re currently at, you won’t be able to move forward.

Part 1: The Challenges

Chapter 1: The Challenge of Outside-In
Chapter 2: The Challenge of Vision
Chapter 3: The Challenge of Fast and Slow
Chapter 4: The Challenge of Emotion
Chapter 5: The Challenge of Distinctiveness
Chapter 6: The Challenge of Change

The second part takes you through the seven solutions you’ll need if you’re to become a design-led service organisation. By the end of the book, you’ll understand the approaches and mindset required to be in the top tier of service businesses.

Part 2: The Solutions

Chapter 7: Create a Compelling Vision
Chapter 8: Design Your Service Beautifully
Chapter 9: Develop a Clear Value Case
Chapter 10: Make it Ready to Build
Chapter 11: Create the Right Conditions
Chapter 12: Run Engaging Projects
Chapter 13: Think Like a Designer

Based on my experience, I indeed recognize the challenges and the solutions as  outlined in the book.

The customer experience palette

From the early days of customer service till now there was and is still much discussion about definitions and what to measure. I’m really thrilled to see the outline of the customer experience palette which describes the things customers think about when considering your service and a proposal  how to implement that areas of your business that adopt aspects of the Total Experience as their focus and as their way to take ownership of the customer. Under each section of the palette the authors have suggested some qualities or principles you could apply to the services you operate to define the total experience for your customers.

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Many, too many books on the topic are written with an American focus. In these Trump-days it’s fine to notice an English (pre-Brexit) publication with contributions from leaders who have used design thinking to lead change in businesses all over the world like E.ON Energy, Bupa, Dubai Airports and the Hyundai Motor Company.


Get empowered

As stated in this tweet: i also can’t wait for the full book! The book empowers you by acting like a designer to create customers.

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