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The Role of Customer Experience Design

What will brands and businesses need to do in the future to be successful?

Shep Hyken speaks with Brian Solis, who asserts that all thinking needs to start with the customer experience design. Design what your customers are supposed to feel at all parts of their customer journey. Think beyond the products and services that you sell. Think about the entire customer experience.

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The customer experience is defined as the sum of all engagements the customer has with your company throughout their lifecycle. Go through your customer’s journey and map the entire process so that you can improve their overall journey. In fact, you will find there may be more than a single journey you will need to map.

This is exactly what Airbnb did when they needed to reinvent themselves four years into their existence, and just as Walt Disney did decades earlier when planning the movie Snow White. Disney had success with shorter cartoons, but he wanted to create a feature-length film with enough depth that told a complete, detailed story. So Disney used storyboarding to plan the entire journey. Similarly, Airbnb created a storyboard; a list of the emotional moments that comprise an Airbnb stay.

If any one part of your customer journey fails, you can never have a 100% great experience. So we must focus on the sum of the customer engagement, and the parts of the engagement that equal that sum. This philosophy breaks down the silos of disparate business units throughout the organization and forces a single-minded focus on the customer, from beginning to end. Apple, Disney and Tesla are prime examples of companies that create a holistic customer experience design.

For a fresh perspective, take a look at other popular products and services from industries outside of your own. What insights can you gain from that customer experience that you want to design into yours? For example, in writing (and then rewriting) his book, Brian looked at apps and other technology to redesign his book, rather than looking at and comparing his book to other books.

Brian challenged the convention of what a book should be. He did research into how our brains process long-form content, given the short attention spans of today. After all of his research, Brian determined how the reader could have a very different kind of book experience. Besides creating a book that is rich with content, he also built in experiences with joys and pleasures, resulting in a book that you not only want to read, but also experience. As a result, Shep Hyken places X: The Experience when Business Meets Design on his list of the all-time top 10 business books.

Brian Solis is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders, keynote speakers, and best-selling authors in innovation and digital transformation. His book X: The Experience When Business Meets Design explores the importance of experiences and how to design them for customers and employees. As Principal Analyst at Altimeter, a Prophet Company, he humanizes technology.

“Many businesses look at customer service as a cost center rather than as an investment.  But what do we do with cost centers?  We try to minimize or eliminate them.” – Brian Solis


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 What questions will this episode answer?

  1. What are companies getting right and wrong when it comes to customer experience?
  2. What is holistic customer design?
  3. How would you define customer experience?
  4. Why is it necessary for companies to be thinking about the customer experience?
  5. How can you get a fresh perspective in planning your customer journey?

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and host of Amazing Business Radio.

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