Patricia talks about how you ensure that customers get the same level and quality of service across all your channels to enhance brand consistency.
- One of the things that you want to do when you want to design so that it happens, is that you want to create a coherent experience for your customer. That is to say, you want your customer to feel that they're in the presence of the same guiding hand, the same sort of rules, the same policies and the same sort of feelings, wherever they're interacting with you. Now what's interesting, is this can mean coherence across all channels. For example, your website should have the same sort of look and feel as your stores, or as your office.
So there should be a family resemblance across all of those multi-media channels. But coherence, and this is even harder, also comes about because in most services, you're dealing with other partners in your eco-system. So, in an airplane, in an airline flight for example, there's the sit-back, relax, and enjoy the flight part. But there's also the airport experience. There's the TSA experience. There's the weather delay experience. There's the getting to the airport experience. There are a whole lot of other things that are not under your control.
- [Patricia] A coherent experience is one that is consistent all the way through in terms of quality that is consistent with the brand that you have established, which again is about setting expectations. We've talked about coherence a lot in an omni-channel world, but I think it's also important to understand that even if you have a company that only works in one channel, maybe it's a small business that only has a storefront. Or a great example, I think, is the online clothing stylist Stitch Fix. You never actually deal with an individual in terms of talking to that person.
They assign you a stylist that you can interact with electronically. But the whole experience is so easy. They send you a box, and in this box is somehow this envelope that fits everything that came in the box. So if you want to send everything back, you just put it in this envelope and drop it in a mailbox. And you checkout online. So it is a very simple digital experience that still somehow feels very personal and it's very consistent with the brand that they have built, which is about giving you a customized, personalized experience at a price point that is still affordable and accessible to most people.
- [Thomas] So you want to create a design, something so that you are giving the customer the same kind of experience and the same coherence wherever they are in their interaction with you. It's not easy. And it's even more complicated when you'll start adding eco-system partners to it. So it's a real design challenge. But it's one that, if you surmount it, you can create tremendous value because your ethos, your brand, your image, what you're trying to create then permeates everything.
And you don't distract from it. You're constantly reaffirming, re-enforcing, and strengthening the positioning that you want to have.
- What's service design?
- Make-or-break moments in customer loyalty
- Building brand consistency
- Making sure that you're easy to do business with
- Using a service design report card for yourself