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The Customer Experience

We are all customers of someone right?  What was your last customer experience like?  Was it so good that it completely changed how you thought about the product or the organization you were receiving services from? On the other hand was the service you received so poor that you vowed never to use their products or services ever again.  We have all been in those situations. You may not have realized it, but how that interaction was designed can have a huge impact on the perception you, the customer, walk away with.  I recently read a series of articles in the September issue of Harvard Business Review magazine.  The entire series was titled “The Evolution of Design Thinking” - It’s no longer just for products. It speaks to how executives are using this approach to devise strategy and manage change.  I can’t tell you what an absolute must read this is for all.  It will make you take a second look at how you design, deliver and support the services to your customers. For me personally the article “Design Thinking Comes of Age” by Jon KolKo was incredibly inspiring.   

“It speaks to the reasons for this new approach of applying design principles to the way people work, which is because our technology and modern business process have become so complex”.  (1)  In general Jon states “people need their interactions with technologies and other complex systems to be simple, intuitive and pleasurable”. (2) Pleasurable?  I have been in the ITSM industry for over 20 years, ok I’m lying it’s more like over 30 and I have never once heard anyone talk about making the customer experience pleasurable.  “A set of principles collectively known as design thinking, it’s main characteristics being  empathy with users and understanding their dynamic requirements where design teams discuss the emotional resonance of a value proposition as much as they discuss utility and product requirements”. (3)

However Mr. Kolko does go on to state that “design does not conform easily to estimates” and “it can be difficult if not impossible to understand how much value will be delivered through a better experience or to calculate the return on an investment in creativity”. (4)  He also adds that “many view design thinking as a solution to all their woes, and does help people and organizations cut through complexity, but may not be the right set of tools for optimizing, streamlining or otherwise operating a stable business”.(5)


1 Jon Kolko, Design Thinking Comes of Age, Harvard Business Review, September 2015, Page 66
2 Jon Kolko, Design Thinking Comes of Age, Harvard Business Review, September 2015, Page 67
3 Jon Kolko, Design Thinking Comes of Age, Harvard Business Review, September 2015, Page 68
4 Jon Kolko, Design Thinking Comes of Age, Harvard Business Review, September 2015, Page 70
5 Jon Kolko, Design Thinking Comes of Age, Harvard Business Review, September 2015, Page 71


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