Being the solution ‘verb’ is the holy grail of customer satisfaction - Googling, being IKEA-like, Hoovering (for those who can remember), and confused.com.
Having a brand association that is imbedded in a user’s problem/solution vernacular is where the real value lies.
Customer service differentiation is about owning the solution. To do that you need a process to identify the problems.
Premier Inn’s ‘a good night’s sleep guaranteed’ is just a line, until its promise is inculcated by every customers mind when it’s backed up with the actual experience.
The challenge is that most of the time customer service is influenced by the ‘vociferous’ rather than the ‘just a little bit disappointed’ customer. Surveys collect the conscious - often needing to be remembered - elements of customer experience in a formulaic way, whilst complaint letters capture the own goals.
Customer service brands that identify and solve customer problems improve customer experience.
Take the hotel industry. How often is the exited room audited to consider what behavioural messages the customer has left us?
In a restaurant a half-eaten plate can be a sign of disappointment. It is at least something to notice. Is it a one-off or a trend? This isn’t about linking the person to the problem. Anonymised customers can still provide insight and feedback through their behaviour.
- What is the measure of a good night’s guaranteed sleep?
- What compromises or work round clues has the customer left us?
- What are our measures of air, light, sound quality?
Then there are the micro problems or challenges that customers face.
- What if we supplied a cradle for cooling hair tongs?
- Why touch the remote when we have voice activated tech?
- Why not help customers find that glass of water in the middle of the night when the aircon has dried their mouth into a desert?
As product designers we observe human behaviour and know that not just design, but design thinking can help.
We create objects that solve problems, but it’s our design thinking process that really helps us diagnose a better problem to fix in the first place.
Studio Make Believe extends brand engagement and consumer experience through product design and objects.