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.

How do you plan and scope a customer experience project?

Customer experience projects gain momentum through swift cycles of investigation, creation, and testing. Whether a project takes a week or six months depends on the solution you envision and the scope of research and testing. Use timeline planning tools to launch the design, feedback, and refinement loop. Plan adequately and far in advance.

Dedicate no more than 2-3 weeks to each phase. Start by identifying a business challenge or opportunity and defining research objectives. Next, gather and analyze internal data and conduct customer research to gain insights; distill design principles and generate ideas; turn ideas into designs; test and prototype; gather feedback and adjust designs. Finally, launch a pilot, refine, and scale up.

Key Resources

 diagram shows phases of a customer experience project: identify business challenge such as customer acquisition, retention, or expansion, then define research objectives, gather internal customer data and external data, analyze insights, choose research method and conduct research, generate customer insights, brainstorm design ideas, rapidly test and prototype ideas, launch a pilot.

What kind of investment does a customer experience project require?

Use the planning and scoping process to address short-term and long-term opportunities for testing customer experience improvements. Your scale of investment will depend on the type of solution and the scope of research and testing you want to pursue. Compared with other forms of analysis, design-oriented processes provide concrete results you can learn from quickly. While these processes may seem more fluid, their rigor comes from a set of principles that encourages rapid cycles of learning, creating, and testing.

Key Resources

During customer research in Kenya, a man is interviewed in his home to uncover insights about financial solutions that target low-income customer segments.

How to empower customers?

Applying a customer empowerment lens allows you to identify points of intervention and to design appropriate solutions. Looking at experiences across the customer journey helps pinpoint the moments where low-income customers may be denied choice, respect, voice, or control — the four drivers of customer empowerment.

When the services you design and deliver reflect one or more of these drivers, trust is earned, confidence is gained at every touchpoint, and you have empowered your customers.

  • Choice: Be aware of how low-income customers access information about financial services. Identify ways to make information available, especially by leveraging social networks. Provide options and tools for customers to allocate, access, and spend their money.
  • Respect: Improve customer experience and teach employees/agents ways to treat all customers with respect.
  • Voice: Create a dialogue that encourages customers to speak up, and assure them that they are being heard. Implement reliable recourse for customer issues and involve customers in service design and improvement.
  • Control: Understand the uncertainties, inconsistencies, and constant shocks low-income people face. Design tools that take into account their existing financial strategies by focusing on relevance over simplicity. Enable customers to shape their own experience and to feel more confident in using formal financial services. 

Key Resources

Customer-centricity in action: a customer purchases milk delivered right to her door by a small business entrepreneur in India.