Beyond simply coming up with new ideas, design thinking can often be used as a method of validation of existing projects at the MVP stage. Such was the case with Shari’s Berries. When they approached Cast & Hue, Shari’s Berries was in the midst optimizing a key touchpoint in their customer journey. They had already begun the development an app to increase engagement upon product receipt - an idea they thought would solve their problem. Not only was valuable customer feedback uncovered as part of this design thinking project, the entire direction of the project shifted, saving tens of thousands of dollars.
After undergoing a journey mapping project, Shari’s Berries uncovered a key touchpoint, or “moment of truth,” that they opted to focus on in an effort to improve their customers’ experience. This phase was the receipt phase, summed up in three questions:
As shown by the above considerations, Shari’s Berries believed there was a disconnect for the gift-giver - that if they didn’t get enough positive reinforcement from the gift-receiver, they would assume the gift wasn’t appreciated and be less-likely to use Shari’s Berries for their gift-giving needs in the future. With this in mind, Shari’s Berries began development of an application that would make it easier for gift-receivers to send thank-you messages of appreciation to the gift-givers.
To further explore this phase of the journey, Shari’s Berries brought in Cast & Hue to conduct design thinking with their customers, primarily in an effort to test and enhance a prototype of the application. Upon further exploration though, Cast & Hue uncovered that customers were not as concerned about receiving a message of gratitude from those they sent it to, but instead were concerned that the perishable berries would arrive on-time and in good condition.
While diving deeper into this idea with customers, Cast & Hue uncovered a number of ideas that would provide this peace-of-mind to those who were buying baskets. Customers also shared that they would be unlikely to use the app, meaning that resources could be freed up by no longer focusing on this project.
Among the customer-created ideas tested, several stood out as quick wins. The first idea was a communication piece that easily communicated the process Shari’s Berries used to harvest, transport, and keep the berries fresh as possible through the delivery process, providing peace of mind to gift givers. Second, customers re-imagined the gift-receivers gift-notification email. The new version encouraged them to be on the lookout for a “sweet surprise,” and gave them the opportunity to specify a delivery time. Finally, the high-tech thank-you app turned into a low-tech postcard that could be included with the berries, giving the gift-receiver an easy way to make the gift-giver feel appreciated.
Throughout this process, not only did the client save tens of thousands of dollars on development costs, they also delivered an experience that was was co-created by their customers and delivered a more satisfying experience for customers and receivers alike.