Last week, we talked about CX Design in terms of space and function. Today, we continue our CX design journey to talk about the design of emotions and feelings. The new look of the JetBlue T5 lobby created customer experience interactions in more open spaces for the benefit of both customers and crewmembers.
The next element of the design, connecting to the feelings of customers, drives that make-or-break goal, ROI. While designing for a customer’s feelings is critically important, it is often overlooked. Meeting the functional needs of customers is only the base of the experience pyramid. Most brands stop there. They believe that meeting those basic functional customer needs is enough to deliver great customer experience. It is not. In his book Outside In, Harley Manning revisits the three levels of the CX Pyramid: “meet needs,” “easy,” “enjoyable.”
To design great customer experience like we did with the T5 project, we jump right to the top of the pyramid, working on making our customers say “I feel [blank] about this experience.” How you fill in that blank depends on your brand and culture values.
How do you want customers to feel?
It is important to think through the emotions you are designing, since those emotions will trigger repeat business. As Maya Angelou said “…people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
That memory of a feeling is both a risk and an opportunity to create a long lasting relationship with your customers. When we were designing the lobbies, the customer experience team wanted our customers to feel efficient, taken care of, empowered and smart enough to do things themselves without help. We knew the goal: create simple, personal and helpful customer experience. All we had to do was think about what that meant in terms of emotion.
How big is the change you are introducing? Are you adding enough new customer experience elements to compensate for the discomfort of those you are removing?
Start with change management. When we removed the podiums from the lobby, we essentially took away our crewmembers’ comfort zone – their anchor, their place to hold personal items. This change was disruptive to their daily lives. It was important that, as we took away tools, we also gave crewmembers new tools to make them feel heard and understood. So we designed a hospitality training, a CX soft training with standards and tips on how to interact with customers and keep the brand promises we made.
With the hospitality training, JetBlue crewmembers had the cultural/brand guidelines of service delivery that perfectly complemented the new space we built. One of the 5 Whys informed us that the only thing a “Bag Drop” position should do is check IDs and scan boarding passes and bag tags. Podiums and computers were replaced with Blackberries to do just that, and the transaction times at Bag Drop dropped in half. Customers spent 30 seconds dropping their bags and continuing on their (CX) journey. The lines disappeared. The negative comments about long lines in our VOC surveys also disappeared. We had a drop of 65% of any mention of “long queues”.
Does your corporate culture support the internal disruption you are creating?
Since we completely disrupted our crewmembers’ work space, we needed to think about the soft side of this innovation. At the time, we were the first airline in North America to remove podiums at Bag Drop. This is where JetBlue’s culture is a true differentiator. The CX design did not stop with the Ccustomer. It included the crewmember.
We treated our employees as customers.
We spent equal time deliberating how to design (and pay for) the new Bag Drop positions to minimize the functional changes in the lives our crewmembers. For example, where would they leave their phones, purses, wallets, when they worked? We built drawers in the blue arcs above the intake bag belts to meet that need. The thinner design better matched the overall open space approach of the lobbies. Despite that, we built them thicker, making the trade-off between brand look and function to manage the customer experience of our crewmembers and their acceptance of change.
The design of exceptional (and memorable) customer experience requires empathy. To connect to your customer, you need to go beyond meeting the customer’s functional needs. Making an experience like this easy for customers is very hard for CX professionals. There is no doubt about that. But ease only connects with the rational side of your customers. To generate more ROI through CX, you need to also create a positive emotion that will trigger the irrational decisions to (hopefully) pay for your product or service at a premium next time.
They will come back to you, even at a higher price, not only because they had a seamless customer experience, but because they want to relive the feeling you gave them. You will be one of the few brands that is not just offering a product or a service. You are offering amazing customer experience – you are a well oiled machine for feelings.
Image courtesy of JetBlue
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