Posted on: September 26, 2017
President Akendi UK
I remember a phone call I received when I still worked for Philips Research from somebody who lived close to the labs. This gentleman owned a Philips Television that had stopped working. He must have thought: “Luckily I live close to Philips, I’ll give them a call and they will fix it”. He called and ended with me on the phone (not so lucky). He explained what the problem was and I replied that he got through to Philips Research and that it was perfectly possible for us to design a brand new TV for him but that we wouldn’t be able to fix his current one. I thought it was funny, he did not (I don’t anymore either).
For him, Philips was Philips and if he called then he would be helped courteously and quickly (which I did in the end, honestly). For me the request was bizarre, why would anybody call Philips Research to have a TV fixed? This highlights a classic problem that is very common especially in large organisations. I was wrong to assume that our TV owner should have studied the Philips organogram before making a call. Unfortunately, this is typical. An organisation organises itself to make it as easy as possible to operate as efficiently as possible. Having multiple units makes this worse because this quickly results in silos who do things on their own in the way that is best for them. This process optimisation thinking has disastrous results for the end-user/customer experience.
Process thinking as a way of organising a business is actually quite strange if you think about it. Take going to university, it is one student with possible one or two carers who go through the whole experience of selecting a university, joining, attended lectures, graduating and becoming an alumnus. Multiple departments deliver the service but only a few people experience the whole journey. That experience journey is far easier to map than internal processes and should be used as a blueprint that what individual departments aim to deliver a piece of, individually and together. The company, the departments, the individuals should all think ‘how am I contributing to the end-user/customer experience’ (experience thinking) and not ‘how can I do what I do an effective and efficient as possible’ (process thinking). Think experience, not process optimisation. Why? Good experiences sell, good experiences make people come back for more, good experiences result in more customers, more revenue and job satisfaction.
How Do You Do This?
- Know your customer/user and their journeys! understand who is it that experiences your service/product/marketing efforts/support and what they need when where when and how. Knowledge should be based on fact to anecdotes (of course)
- Collaborate! Don’t just focus on your part of the experience but also consider who you can help the experience delivery of other departments.
- Think experience! Make sure everybody in your organisation understands how they contribute to the experience directly or indirectly.
Want to learn more about Experience Mapping as an Experience improvement tool? Akendi’s ‘Experience Mapping’ course is a great place to start. Upcoming course dates: Vancouver: October 23 | London (UK) 13 November | Toronto: November 20 | London (UK) 26 February 2018
President Akendi UK
Technically everything is possible, making it work for people is where the real challenges are. Addressing these challenges from an end-user perspective in a way that makes business sense is what has driven Leo throughout his career. With more than 15 years of experience, he is able to bring an ability of strong lateral thinking combined with very broad domain knowledge of applications/markets and technical enablers.