Design Solutions

The customer-centric process is about building products and services with customers in mind. Once you’ve drawn insightful customer information, you can design for better adoption and use.

What type of team carries out a successful customer experience project?

The best customer experience work is done by a cross-functional team that brainstorms, discusses feedback, and checks assumptions. Try to include individuals with the following perspectives: consumer mindset, operational savvy, financial expertise, and organizational evangelism.

3 important factors to consider when building your team:

  1. Team size: Depends on scope, but it’s best to start with 2+ people from different customer-facing functions in your organization.
  2. Outside contractors: If you’re unsure about what can be done internally and what requires external expertise, consider engaging an expert. Even with basic research techniques, simple changes in how questions are asked can provide dramatically different results. Hiring an expert can help.
  3. Qualities of a customer-centric employee or agent: Keep in mind the ideal core qualities exhibited by those who design and deliver valuable customer experience. 

Key Resources

During a workshop with MicroInsure in Kenya, team members discuss ideas about brining customer-centric products and services to low-income customer segments.

How do you prototype and test new ideas?

A prototype is a physical representation of a product or service that’s quickly created from readily available materials. It can be anything from a concept sketch to an interactive, high-resolution mock-up.

Test prototypes with customers and stakeholders to validate, spark ideas, and refine concepts. The process allows you to explore many concepts before investing in design and development. It brings ideas to life so they can move out of your organization and into the lives of customers.

Prototyping and testing requires a strong commitment to embracing customer feedback and making necessary changes.

Key Resources

Low-income woman in Kenya looks at prototype, which is a physical representation of a product or service to be tested with actual customers before a product or service is brought to scale.

How do you effectively work on a customer experience project?

Support a successful project with these fundamental guidelines:

  • Seek strong buy-in from senior management to ensure that customer experience remains a priority.
  • Heavily tap into cross-functional expertise.
  • Keep an open mind – customer experience ideas often contradict current thinking.
  • Create well-defined quantitative and qualitative boundaries for ranking ideas.
  • For better clarity, present ideas as short stories (100-150 words + pictures).
  • Keep it simple (a quick survey can be conducted in person or by phone).
  • Have users try basic prototypes as soon as possible. Immediately collect feedback.
  • When it’s time to scale, use a team dedicated to setting up uniform customer experiences. 
  • Establish a budget for customer experience projects. Create rules on how it’s funded and used.

Key Resources

Man and woman work together at a desk to brainstorm about products and services that ensure good customer service for low-income customers