Our process is about establishing empathy with our client’s customers. It’s not enough to rely on second-hand research, but instead we must take a deep dive into the problems and needs that a customer may experience.
We always start with bringing our teams together to gain a shared understanding of the challenge, learn from the tribal knowledge held by stakeholders on the client team, and aligning on the project objectives and approach.
In our kickoff/discovery workshops, one way we gain alignment is by the crafting of a propelling question: a question that concisely captures the goal of the project, but also offers an invitation to solve a problem. While most projects start with a specific objective statement, we prefer to use the form of a question because it invites action by all who are participating in the project.
The propelling question is the cornerstone of our project. As we move from one step to the next, the propelling question follows along as a guide to ensure we are forming an answer to a question that is relevant and impactful. The question influences our discovery, our workshops, and our design process.
A few examples of past propelling questions include:
How might we re-imagine a better hospitality experience for our most acute patients and their families who travel to us for care?
How might we enter well-defended market verticals as de facto leaders?
How might we reimagine the emergency room experience to deliver more empathetic care?
The initial phase of our project is based on the creation of a baseline of empathy with our client’s customers, staff, and stakeholders. Through techniques such as Jobs-to-be-Done and journey mapping, we take a deep dive into the decisions, thoughts, needs, and emotions that an individual may experience within their customer journey.
The propelling question influences the design of this portion of the project, but we also believe in letting the customer lead us in the direction they would like to go. We believe that the best insights come from gaining deep empathy with the client and understanding their specific emotional drivers.
Jobs-to-be-Done is a framework for building empathy with an individual and establishing a set of needs (sometimes dozens) that a customer is “hiring” a product or service to accomplish for them. JTBD is powerful because it reaches the emotional drivers of an individual, going beyond the actions an individual may be using, and actually getting to the “why”.
When a problem requires a deep dive into the underlying customer groups, we look to audience segemtation to provide us with answers. By combining quantitative analysis of actions and metrics with qualitative analysis of needs and emotions, we can create deeply-segmented segments that go beyond demographics or psychographics.
We use journey mapping to understand the steps that a customer may take when making a decision to purchase or utilize our client’s product or service. By combining touchpoints with needs, emotions, and other dimensions of what customers are thinking, feeling, and doing, we establish a holistic picture of a customer’s journey.
As an outcome of our initial discovery work, we engage many of the same customers we talked to earlier to join us to ideate around the propelling question and the challenges uncovered through discovery. Through tools such as design thinking, we are able to build cross-functional teams that create ideas that are fueled in empathy and allow for rapid prototyping. Working with out clients and their customers, we will often come up with between 30-100 ideas that can be used to better the experience.
In the final phase of our projects, we take all the insights gathered through our work in the previous phases to create a new ideal experience for our clients. By piecing together the multitude of customer needs we uncovered, the ideas we generated through design thinking training, and the additional insights we discovered along the process, we can create an “experience blueprint” – a graphical representation of the touchpoints and emotions a customer will uncover on their journey.
Within a blueprint, we capture the emotions that are present throughout the process, including are those our customers will typically be feeling as they move through their journey and the emotions we aim to deliver through interactions with the redesigned journey.
Our customers need help in their journey to know what to expect or what to do next. Wayfinding elements are those we craft to keep them on the experiential path.
Continua are those elements that are built into the experience to evoke specific emotions, thoughts, or actions. Continua go beyond simply defining the branding of an experience, instead touching every aspect of a customer’s interaction.
Utilizing the entirety of our toolset, we often work with our customers on an ongoing basis – bolstering their strategy and executive teams with our human-centered problem solving tools.
Knowing how to position a product can be a daunting task in today’s market. We have the skillset to perform market research and customer workshops to understand the best niche to compete.
We believe that our methodologies are meant to be shared within your organization, which is why we offer several training programs. For more information, see our training page.
Utilizing the results of segmentation, we construct a hypothetical individual to represent your customer groups. This helps your team understand and envision the person for which you're creating an exceptional experience.
In our experience mapping workshops, we work with customers to map out the actual experience of the customer in comparison to their desired experience, identifying opportunities to create better experiences.
When we facilitate design thinking, we involve prototyping as a way to ideate new ideas and evolve exsting ideas. We also offer extended packages to help flush out ideas in detail, utilizing the services of our sister agency, Sitewire.