doingcxright guest post design thinking

Design Thinking Toolkit

Editor’s Note: Below is a guest post from Customer Experience Design professional Jose Mateo. Jose shares his thoughts in the power of design thinking and the importance of creating customer-centric experiences.

For some time, applying Design Thinking as an approach to human-centered design, and examining how it amplifies (or benefits from) other frameworks, has been my obsession.

The Design Thinking Toolkit

The Design Thinking Toolkit offers a framework and a common language for design efforts. This framework is driven by a mindset that puts the customer at the center of the design effort. Applying the design thinking mindset has helped me improve, re-design, or completely re-imagine physical spaces, sites, and seamless omni-channel Customer Journeys.

Design that Doesn’t Delight

When it comes to experience design efforts, I have had successes. However, the reality is Customer Experience design efforts often flounder. In fact, I have even led and participated in efforts that had no impact.

Despite hard work, and the fact that these efforts had real potential to delight the customer, they died a slow death. Or worse, they became zombies: pet projects that burn resources and do not tangibly impact Customer Experience.

Why Do Experience Design Efforts Fail?

We know that great Customer Experiences are necessary to win with Customers and against top competitors. So, why do so many efforts fail, even though they have the potential to create better Customer Experiences? Some cite that up to 70% of Experience Design efforts do not materialize into improvements that actually touch customers.

There is a simple reason these efforts do not succeed. They do not succeed because they are not framed, funded, completed or re-purposed in the context of a clearly articulated Business Strategy.

how Customer Experience Design efforts benefit from a Business Strategy

Business Case

A well articulated Business Strategy has a Measurement System that includes Financial Metrics. These can re-confirm, amplify, or complement NPS (Net Promoter Score), CSAT (Customer Satisfaction), and other metrics that can justify Customer Experience Design efforts.

Cross Functional Alignment

Typically, the exercise to formulate a Business Strategy is sponsored by a Leader at the very top. Often, that is the CEO or the P/L owner. This effort includes participation and explicit buy-in from top functional Leaders.

That explicit buy-in is a solid base from which to acquire active cross-functional engagement. This engagement is necessary to deliver customer-centric experiences.

60% of Consultancy Services and Experience Design Professionals cite differing functional priorities as the leading cause of failures for Experience Design Efforts.

Executive Governance and Support

A Business Strategy can provide the one-time resources necessary to ensure that Experience Design improvements are implemented. Additionally, it can put in place the organizational Design and staffing changes necessary to sustain and evolve those experiences.
With so many great frameworks for getting work done, it is inevitable that there will be overlap in mindsets, approaches, and methods.  I have been exploring and actively experimenting with how Design Thinking and Strategy Formulation can inform and amplify each other to provide simple, seamless, and elegant human experiences. These are the experiences that meet real consumer needs, strengthen brand equity, and lead to sustainable, profitable growth.
In order to give your Customer Experience Design efforts a better chance to flourish, and to amplify their impact, I urge you to leverage all the skills, experiences, resources, and frameworks available to you.

Connect with Jose Mateo

For a deeper conversation on design thinking ideas, feel free to reach out at josemateo100@gmail.com or at @josemateo100

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