How to choose the right people and the right tools for an amazing customer experience
Nailing the Design Advantage may sound simple. We’re sure you’ve heard many times before (whether from us or elsewhere) that design matters – and not just for visual appeal. Design is helping companies shift from selling products to delivering compelling, omni-channel brand experiences.
If you need any more proof of how design gives you a business advantage, a study by the UK Design Council found that design-led firms outperformed their peers in the FTSE 100 by 231%. Okay, we all know the theory, but how can we put the Design Advantage into action? Let us take you through some interesting principles recently covered by McKinsey&Company and Fast Company.
Principle 1: Bring empathy to the organisation
Running a design-driven company requires ‘getting it right’ in terms of staffing. McKinsey&Company rightly discuss the importance of getting the right people with the right skill set in the right place. It’s more essential than ever to break any long-established silos in the workplace, and ensure a chief design lead has a seat at the table where strategic decisions are made. Design must be an integral part to any decision making from the outset, and getting this right is becoming increasingly key to success.
But it is not good enough to have design at the forefront of a company, just for design’s sake. We need to remember the customer must always be at the forefront of design – and creatives must empathise with their customers. Deutsche Bank, for example, required all staff to use products that its customers used as a way to greater understand the CX. It’s an effort to embrace the right mindset… but also adopt the right tools.
With Creative Cloud for Enterprise, Creative Directors have the world’s best creative desktop and mobile apps at their fingertips. Being able to share assets and files also allows for faster collaboration across creative and marketing teams, ensuring design reminds at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
Principle 2: Really understand the customer
Most companies understand the importance of focusing on the customer, but how many practise what they preach? It’s essential to live and breathe the customer and to go beyond what customers want to establish why they want it.
Really understanding the customer will deliver real business results – take the example of marketing leaders Sephora. Sephora watched millennials shopping on their site and realised they would often go to YouTube to look for videos of people using the product. Of course, this learning was monetised by prompting the cosmetics retailer to create their own videos. A great example of how data can help inform creative – something that you can also achieve by adopting Creative Cloud for Enterprise.
Principle 3: Design in real time
Speed in design has never been more important. The brief, work and any amends must be rolled out like a well-oiled machine; of course, without the quality of any project being impacted.
Designing in real time can be made simpler with Creative Cloud for Enterprise. By giving your staff access to the world’s best creative apps and services, they can collaborate seamlessly across desktop and mobile and deliver amazing experiences for any surface or screen. Find out how.
Principle 4: Act quickly
Good design is important, but fast execution is key. The emphasis now is about getting a product to market quickly, even if it is not 100% completed. For example, Instagram was launched by rolling out a product, learning which features were most popular (image sharing, commenting and liking), and then relaunching a stripped down version. There’s now no need to be afraid to allow a product to evolve to suit customer needs; in fact, it can be a key factor in its success.
Rapidity, and of course, agility, are essential; and creatives must be ready to react. If you find yourself with a reactive opportunity, Creative Cloud for Enterprise can help to share information with design quickly and ensure departments are communicating in a more agile way.
Principle 5: Innovation comes from talking to ALL customers, no matter big or small
It’s essential to not become reliant on talking only with one group of familiar customers and remember to always look at the bigger picture. What if you have a large group of users who are only small customers of yours?
These customers may be showing you that your product is not quite right for them, don’t miss out on a broader opportunity to adapt and evolve to grow. Sparking change in any organisation can be difficult, but ensuring lessons are learnt from all customers will pay huge dividends.
Principle 6: Know your customers’ needs
It’s up to us to deliver solutions to the customers’ ever-evolving demands in a creative and user-friendly way. As cited in Fast Company’s article, Henry Ford said: “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse.” But this doesn’t necessarily mean people don’t know what they want – it does mean however that you need to be smart about interpreting what they need. And then give them that. All customers are different but if you get to know them you’ll have a deeper insight directly from the source on what could make their lives better, instead of just assuming and guessing.
Principle 7: Incremental innovation counts
Although it may be more tempting to look for that game-changer that immediately leads to the company’s overnight success, it’s essential never to stop innovating. Opportunities remain in taking a product or customer need and finding a new way to improve it – to provide a well-planned tweak or improvement that takes it to the next level.
Never be afraid to continue to innovate an established product, combine the learnings from the previous myths and principles and allow your customer to help to drive this process. See how Creative Cloud for Enterprise can help accelerate the design process and ensure you stay ahead of the creative curve.
So what have we learnt?
Getting the customer experience right is not a box ticking exercise. Customers are more demanding than ever before, and even if they don’t know what they want – we should know what they need. Evolution is key to getting the customer experience right, and in an ever-changing world, it’s essential to keep putting yourself in the shoes of your customer. Just because the customer experience was right yesterday, does not mean you’ve cracked it for the next five years. However, arm yourself with the right people, the right tools, and the right principles and you’ll have a steady shot at success.