Everybody wants to design great experiences for their customers. But how? To give you some inspiration, I’m sharing some of my favorite articles on creating great Customer Experience. Articles that either helped me grasp the power of service design, or challenged me to reconsider my current ideas on CX. Happy reading!

McKinsey: How to capture what the customer wants

It’s a bit of a long read, but it’s worth it. This McKinsey research offers many valuable insights into what customers expect from customer care. One of those insights: ‘customers are content with longer wait times when provided with updates’. Best quote:

‘Customers still favor live agents for complex requests. Even 24 percent of customers looking to complete a routine task, such as paying a bill, sought out a live agent. Companies with strategies that seek to minimize access to live agents at all costs often see lower customer satisfaction without reducing their overall customer-care expenses.’

Read full article by McKinsey

Rawnet: 6 steps to help you become more customer-centric

This article offers a neat introduction to the main ingredients you need for designing a customer experience. Among other things, it provides tactics for understanding your customer, and makes the case for empowering your front line. Best quote:

‘A truly customer-centric organization must give its employees a level of freedom to empathize and the control to be flexible in the service they’re able to deliver.’

Read full article by Rawnet

Board of Innovation: 5 ways to improve your Customer Journey

After you’ve mapped your customer’s journey, you’ve got a clear idea of the strengths and weakness of your CX. The most common next step is to improve upon your pain points. But there are 4 lesser-known tactics you should consider for improving your journey.

Best quote:

‘Usually, the customer journey is mapped from start and end of the interaction with your service or product. But what if you could have an impact on what happens immediately before and after the experience the customer has with you?’

Read full article by Board of Innovation

Interaction Design Foundation: The Moment of Truth

The touch points that make up your customer journey are not just interactions. Each interaction could be a make-or-break moment in your customer experience. A moment of truth, for good or for bad. Best quote:

‘It is worth noting that miserable moments can be created into magical moments if the customer is concerned enough to complain to the service provider about the issue. How issues are resolved can often help create lasting positive impressions on the customer.’

Read full article by Interaction Design Foundation

Quartz: The next big winners in tech will be the companies that choose heart over head

When designing your ideal customer journey, you might tend to think of rational, quantifiable improvements. How can we reduce the waiting time? What can we do to improve our first call resolution rate? This article claims that, for the biggest impact, you should design your experiences around emotional value, rather than rational value. Best quote:

‘Recently, an alert popped up on my colleague’s phone: “Looks like you’ve gained a few pounds. Let’s get you back on track!” The email came from the “smart” scale in her bathroom. The message, intended to motivate, was more than a little tone-deaf—especially considering she was four months pregnant.’

Read full article by Quartz

Livework Studio: I’ll Pay Extra To Stop Being Your Customer

If you’re delivering a service to paying customers, it’s extra important you make that experience worthwhile. Effortless. This article shows nicely how, when you don’t fix the root causes of your customers’ irritations, they’ll happily put in the effort to stop being your customer. Best quote:

‘From the organisation’s perspective, the customers’ time spent on the issue is only the time logged by customer-facing staff and agents, plus the time they spend on queuing in call centers. However, they spend time on researching and investigating, talking to others and trying out alternative solutions. For every minute the organisation spends on the issue, the customer probably spends 3-5 times as much.’

Read full article by Livework Studio

Harvard Business Review: Why Is Customer Service So Bad? Because It’s Profitable.

With CX being the talk of the town, how come so many organizations still deliver poor customer service? The cynical answer: if you have a large market share, poor service standards might not hurt your profit. It might even save you money. Best quote:

‘Our research suggests that some companies may actually find it profitable to create hassles for complaining customers, even if it were operationally costless not to.’

Read full article by Harvard Business Review

Want to dive deeper into the mind of your customer?

Check out our Customer Journey Mapping toolkit. It’s packed with how-to’s, tips and templates to help you map the customer journey for your service desk. It even features an interactive online workshop you can do with your team, that allows you to experience customer journey mapping in 1 hour.