The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 1 month ago

225. Aligning EX and CX with a Service Blueprint w/ Justin Zalewski


“Customers don’t care about organizational structures or silos. They care about the value they’re receiving. To customers, it’s all one service and one experience.”

That quote comes from a recent whitepaper about improving CX and EX written by today’s guest.


Justin Zalewski spent a decade with Studio Science, a design and innovation agency that helps businesses design for people and that helps deliver better experiences - every day for every customer.


He currently serves as Director of Product Design and Strategy, leading a team of designers and developers focused on product design, UX design, and software development for clients ranging from market-leading technology companies to Fortune 500 brands.

In this episode, we talk about: 

  • How should someone be thinking about whether customer experience is best in their organization?
  • What are the core concepts of human-centered design? 
  • How should you balance quantitative and qualitative data coming in from your customers?
  • How can research and discovery phases save you 10x down the line?
  • Why do we typically approach EX and CX as separate things? 
  • What is a Service Blueprint and how does it support a Journey Map? 

More information about Justin and today’s topics:

Subscribe, listen, and rate/review the Customer Experience Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon, or Google Podcasts, and find more episodes on our blog.

The single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes, and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the Customer Experience Podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. Customers don't care about organizational structures or silos. They care about the value they're receiving to customers. It's all one service and one experience. That quote comes from a fantastic white paper recently written about improving c X and e X, and it was written by today's guest. He spent a decade with Studio Science, a design and innovation agency that helps businesses design for people and that helps deliver better experiences every day for every customer. He currently serves as director of Product Design and Strategy, leading a team of designers and developers focused on product design, ux design, and software development for clients ranging from market leading technology companies to Fortune five brands. Today, we'll learn from him ways to reduce risk and deliver better experiences through people centered design. Justin Zealouski, Welcome to the Customer Experience Podcast. Thanks you, and I'm excited to be here. Yeah, I'm really looking forward to it. I came across you on linked In someone else shared one of your posts like I like the way this guy thinks. I knew you'd be a great voice and perspective in this ongoing conversation we're trying to do here on the podcast. Three years and running, um, and I would love to start this conversation justin where we always start, which is when I say customer experience. What does that mean to you? That's a great place to start. So customer experience. Uh, I hear a lot of different definitions for for this, so I think it's an especially appropriate place to start. Customer experience as a person's total experience about their entire relationship with an organization. So it's a sum of all the touch points from when they see an ad on Instagram to their first visit to the website and their conversation with the sales rep using the product to service. It's all the customer experience and that whole journey awesome. And for you, as someone who I would put you in this category of people who are intimately connected to c X in a way that not all of my guests are in a way that I haven't been historically. I think any expertise that anyone would assign to me around this has learned through people like you, so um as as a bit of a very direct c X practitioner. Um, do you feel like this is new language for old things? Is this? Like? What do you think about the much more common presence of that term in conversations and things people are publishing. Yeah, I don't think it's a really new concept, but because of all the different uses of the term, there can be some confusion sometimes. So I see even in job titles, right, So I see job titles like you know, here's ahead of customer experience, and sometimes that means this is a person that is orchestrating and is really looking at the high level journey across many different departments of breaking down silos. They're looking from the customers expect perspective at the experience, and sometimes it's very very much more narrow. Sometimes it's all the way down to they've relabeled the customer success team or the customer service team as customer experience, which makes sense as a reframing. You know, I think there's there's value in gearing yourself towards that kind of outcome, but it doesn't help with the confusion of the term UM. So I think the it might be it might be inaccurate to say the misuse of that term UM, But because it gets narrowed into certain kinds of roles sometimes that can help. That can prevent people from really embracing the broader meaning of it. Yeah, I totally agree that's a device in asking that initial opening question. That's something I got to pretty quickly. Uh, you know, early on in this podcast, was like, okay, some people are kind of using it interchangeably with something like customer success and UM. It's always fun to be and helpful, I think to peel it apart. I like you, I wouldn't go so far as to call it a misuse, but it's just important to know what we're talking about when we're using the same term. That's why I start with semantics like this off the top, because it really does matter UM. Another follow up here in your work at Studio Science, and I mentioned in the intro, you're working with a range of companies. In your opinion, how should someone be thinking about UM, whether customer experience is best in their organizations, just like cultural element or ethos versus being a role, a title, a team, a department, that kind of a thing, Like what have you seen successful in either or both of those areas? And or are there situations where one feels more appropriate to you than another? Yeah, it's I think you need both. And it's little chicken and egg situation. Right. Um. I heard someone say recently...

...that culture Trump's strategy, right, Like, having that embedded in an organization is always going to be more powerful than it being you know, something declared or top down or something like that. But in order to drive that kind of culture an organization, you need people. And so I think there's a lot of value in having dedicated roles that really have ownership and responsibility for driving forward c X because it's so easy to get narrowly focused on a touch point or a department, and especially in larger organizations where silo has just developed so naturally, it can be really helpful to have a role that is dedicated towards going across silos, going across departments, bringing people together and taking that orchestration role. You know, it doesn't mean they need to have authority, but they need to be in a place where they have the perspective in the position to influence without authority. I love it. It makes a lot of sense. And again I mean that my quick uh take on that kind of the core concept there is if everyone owns it, then nobody owns it um. And so if you want to create that move and you can't just rely on and each of the functional leaders to get it done, if you can afford to, I also agree that it's helpful to have someone that can do a lot of that coordination and alignment, uh. Directly for context, for folks listening, if they're not familiar with Studio Science, can you share a little bit about Studio Science, like who's your ideal customer and what are some of the problems that you solve for them? Yeah, So Studio Science is a design and innovation firm and our whole purpose is to help businesses design with people. Um. You know often we say for people what we design with people. We believe in co creation with customers and with stakeholders, and we solve a variety of problems. But to me, it really comes down to one customer experience depends on meeting people's needs and to those needs are constantly changing, so three businesses have to constantly change too. Where we come in is we help businesses understand what customers needs and then deliver solutions to meet those needs and be more specific. For example, we work a lot of we work out with large enterprise companies and they're often in a place where they've enjoyed long term success and you know, they're they're huge company, tons of revenue. What got them to the place they are won't get them to that next stage. A lot of times they're in this, uh you know, a new world, or they're serving the customer with digital services along a journey and they're competing with entirely different kinds of companies now and more often than not, um the way they're set up just doesn't allow them to innovate well because they're not built to move quickly. So when we speak with people that are responsible for advancing a customer service or a customer experience initiative at an organization like this, they're often frustrated. They might be even feeling hopeless because they've been banging their head against the wall trying to make progress in their organization. And we come in and we act as their modern design team from the outside, and when it's not possible for them to operate that way from the inside, we can quickly build an understanding of customer needs business goal, and then we prototype and test solutions with them and their customers that meet those needs. The solution might be a mobile app, or a new website, or increasingly a new service that goes across multiple channels. And because we're testing that solution with the people that it's meant to serve, then we and our client can move forward confidently knowing that it's been de risked. Love it ud risking. Spend a minute there. I love this language, and it's one of the reasons I threw a version of it into that introduction. Um, talk about that element. So you just listed us. I mean you answered one of my follow up questions, which is like, when would someone know that they might want to engage with studio science and and seek outside help for something that they're doing. Already listed a handful of examples, and so we'll we'll bypass that and go to how does your approach help reduce risk in any of these initiatives? Yeah, I think companies are pretty good today at de risking the business viability of something. They're pretty good at running the number, especially a larger organization. A lot of times they're really good at de risking the technical feasibility of it as well. They have developers build a proof of concept. Where we help is we can de risk that customer desirability side of it as well and figure out you know, maybe maybe innovation and ideas from an organization tend to come from what the business thinks is a great idea or what the developers figure out they can build um and there are some really cool things that come out of that, and sometimes that ends up being something that's also desirable to customers. But we see businesses too often move forward with that without validating or de risking the customer side of it. You know, even if we think this is really cool and this could you know, drive a lot of revenue and value for the business, is is something that actually meets a real need of customers, because without that, that's you know, the biggest risk of the long term success of a new feature, product, service, or business. Yeah,... interesting, how far down the line we can get on the viability from a business perspective and the feasibility from a technology or a tools perspective like can we actually build this UM, what are our constraints, etcetera? How far we can go down that road with major assumptions about desirability of prospects, customers, and any of the other stakeholders in the success of this thing UM. And so you just I love that the way you answer that it tease up UM. A quick go at human centered design or people centered design UM. One of the books I co authored with my friend and our CMO here at Bomb Bomb Steve Personeli, is called Human Centered Communication and we mashed up the basic principles of human centered design with our daily digital communication often teach around this framework. I assigned it to IDEO UM. I don't know if they're the originators of it, but I give them credit for that whatever I talk about it. Of this desirability yeah, okay, I I call them advocates and practitioners and proponents of it UM. And then so break that down, I mean, just do a quick one more walk through UM, viability, feasibility, desirability. In fact, we should start with desirability because we should be starting with what people actually need and want. Give a go to like human centered design or people center design from your perspective as you use that term, or if you were described it to somebody who wasn't familiar, you know, how would you introduce them to the to the core concepts of it UM. And then we can kind of get into like things like why isn't this the normal way we do things? At other follow up questions like that, but start start with breaking down if someone said a human center design or people center design, what is that? I don't understand? Yeah, so it all comes from a place of just basing the solution on a real customer need. And so as we talking about I mean connecting that to the idea of de risking something to us, it all comes down to co creation with that that customer. You know that That's that's what being people centered means to us, means that we're not going to design something on their behalf. That we're not being you know, paternalistic about it UM and saying like we know what's best for you, like we we saw this research report, like we know exactly what you need. We're going to make it, release it, You're gonna love it. But instead to invite them into the process as co creators UM. And so sometimes you hear a term like participatory design or um co creation, and that can show up in a lot of different ways. From at a a really base level, just making sure that you start with actually talking with customers or whoever this new solution seeks to serve. Maybe it's for employees, made for you know, the internal stakeholders of a company, but speaking with them, making sure you really understand that their need, UM, their their job to be done if you subscribe that framework UM, and then from there UM. And that's where a lot of companies stop. And you know, if if that's all they're doing, UM, you know that that's better than nothing for sure. UM. But along the way, there's all kinds of other opportunities to continue to make sure that that solution is tied to the customer need and also that the solution itself is going to work once it's released. UM. So even if we really really accurately understood the customer need from the initial discovery work, for example, what we design still needs to be tested with that that customer UM. And so testing a prototype and there's all different kinds of prototyping and testing that can be done to to get to that kind of validation is a great way to make sure that not only did we hear the need correctly, but what we designed meets that need and going one step further, inviting the customer or the stakeholders in the process into the design um, into the design process, into the prototyping, into the ideation of it um. And so that can happen in a few different ways. We've led workshops with our our clients and their customers where we actually get around the table and it's not just you know, us designers coming up with the ideas or US designers and the client coming up with ideas, but we invite the audience or the target market and members of that of you know, what are some things that that you know you do today to meet this need? Or you know, if you if you could do anything, you know, what would you do? What would your dream solution to this look like? And we work together to come up with that future state. I love it. And so as a designer, UM, you know, you're still responsible for making the call. You're just seeking a lot more input along the way, UM, so that you're not just doing something. I love the way you said it off off the top of that, which was like we made this you're gonna love it, uh, you know, and all the assumptions involved there. So I guess I'll go to my that that follow up question I teased earlier, which is, you know, it seems so intuitive that we would approach the design of any products, service system, or process that we're trying to get going by soliciting feedback and doing some co creation. Why isn't...

...this more normal? Like, you know, it feels to me like this is still a school of thought or a flavor within this broader, you know, range of ways to go about this type of thing. Um, why isn't this more normal from your point of view? Like it just seems so intuitively obvious. I agree, it seems obvious to us. Um, I believe it's less common than it should be because organizations are incentivized for their output rather than their their outcomes, or people in certain departments and organizations are often incentivized for output rather than outcomes, where they are rewarded based on Oh, look, you know, how many new features, how much new code we shipped this quarter? Um, you know, we hit all these deadlines, we did everything, we released everything we said we were going to do. Rather than if an organization were really outcome driven and it was not UM. It was not we released these features, but we achieve these outcomes. You know, we we helped a customer solve this need better, or we're helping people UM drive this kind of outcome in their lives as kind of progress or change in their lives. That is where that qualitative side of it comes in of you know, the kinds of things that are not measured in Google Analytics or whatever your analytics program of choice is come through where those the kinds of things that are going to drive long term value are are a little bit take a little more effort to measure, but the kinds of things that give an organization real staying power in the hearts and minds of their customers. I love it, especially the hearts and minds peace. It's that that balance. A conversation we just released, we talked about heart and smart UM and finding the balance between A and it's the same tension at some level. It's attention, a tension between UH effectiveness and efficiency. I mean that's partly what I heard in your response there of like we're rewarded for how much we turn out, not necessarily how effective it is when it gets out into people's hands, and it's interesting. So I mean you validated some of my my instincts around that, which are you know, a perceived slowing of the process. I think there could probably be some misunderstanding about how much UH we should be directly responsive to uh, you know, customer feedback or customer input. I think some people say, like, you know, the customer isn't always right, and it's true, you know when we go to people like Steve Jobs that are like, well, if you just did what everyone asked them to, we would never have you know, so these kind of like trite go too is that we hear over and over. But I do think it comes down to patients and speed UM. And I love what you offered there about this idea of being more output versus outcome driven and the tension and um, what's easy to measure versus what's harder to measure. UM. So let's dive into that a little bit. I mean, we're talking about discovering customers real needs and taking customers real feedback. Let's just do a pass into this um balance that's needed between the qualitative, which is generally what people say, how people feel, the way people say something, not just what exactly they say. It's harder to measure versus the quantitative, which is easy to round up. It's easy to to see trends and to create averages and to create bands of you know, cohorts of people across whatever it is product usage, um ratings, scores, etcetera. Talk about that tension and where that fits into this conversation, and then maybe what are some of your preferred methods, um for collecting one or both types of data. Yeah, and and you know exactly that you know you need both, right, They're both going to tell you a different piece of the puzzle. Um Where the quantitative is going to tell you what people are doing, qualitative is going to tell you why. And so, especially in the early stages of trying to define what a solution needs to be, what the what the needs are, that's we're getting in a little bit deeper into those qualitative conversations, and that's you know, typically the um typically the method that we prefer is something that's a little more conversation based, whether that's interviews, workshops, you know, something that has more exercises and activities to get people's minds going and really reveal what they're what they would build if it were up to them. Um, they can you know, help shake things up outside of a traditional interview. And then as you get further along in the process, some of that is still still helpful. But that's where in the in the concept of co creation, as you start to create prototypes, that becomes a really helpful research tool to react to as well. You've got something concrete to get in front of people, get the reaction to..., iterate on it a bit, and that's where you can get some some deeper info and maybe some more um, some more focused findings to start to narrow in towards a solution. And that's all you know, that can all still be pretty qualitative. And along the way that that quantitative is still still really possible is still really important as well, as you can use that to you to get a much broader response from more people, which you know, with with qualitative, when you focus on the why, you don't need as large of a sample set. Um However, there are some things that a large sample set is really helpful for. If you're looking to measure the the usage of a feature as a success metric, then you know, quantitative is where you want to be at but a lot of that stuff really comes into play after launch much more than than before launch. I love it. And would you observe um, I mean, you're much closer to all of this than I am. Um, would you observe that? Like in working back in fourth between them, you could take maybe some um, some trends that you're observing and qualitative data and go try to validate them quantitatively, maybe across a larger population and vice versa. It seems that this is a trend we don't really understand. We're looking at the what, we don't really understand the why or how. So let's take some of our quantitative learnings and and go collect some qualitative information to support it validated or turn it on its head exactly. Yeah, And I think there are, like you said, opportunities for both. I've seen more often the latter where you see something happening in the trend report, mainly because you know, any kind of quantitative data is so much easier to come so it's it's plentiful, and so it's easy to pick something out and kind of prioritized, like this is where we really need to understand why this is happening. UM. One example we see a lot is an organization might see a drop at a certain point in their onboarding flow or whatever their you know, their method for bringing new customers is that you know, we see people dropping off here, so we need to forge out why, and so that can be something we we do research on. But especially it's a great opportunity for prototyping UM and that can happen at an early stage to get really quick feedback. So we're prototyping new experience, walking people through it into user tests, figuring out where the points of friction are, optimizing that before releasing anything. And then you know, great pairing of qualitative and quantitative there is after implementation running a B tests, seeing which flow optimizes that conversion right to get people further along in the process and convert more prospects to users. Love it um. We are not an enterprise company here at bomb bomb and so the way we've done some of this work and I'm just sharing it for folks listening to bring it to life, and certainly for anything you'd like to add or or even ask about a trust it um. We've we've used user testing, which is a platform you can build audiences of particular types. And we've used it obviously, as you've already said several times, you know, prototyping and even wire framing the way something is going to work inside our software. Um, we've prototyped layouts of of web pages even and like what makes the most sense to people. One of my favorite ones are are creative director used uh that platform and real feedback from real people as she was developing a new visual identity for the company. You know, color schemes and things like that. So typically you know, it's designer's choice and whatever looks the coolest and kind of gets checks the most influential people inside the company's boxes. Is kind of kind of how you go in terms of you know, color palette and iconography and those types of things, and we just put it in front of real people and ask them what it you know, what it meant to them? Does what type of companies? Does it seem like it reflects? Like when you see this, like what are some words that come to mind? UM, So that we could match the visual identity to what we identified as our ideal types of customers. And so these approach is and I these approaches can be done in a number of ways. Um, certainly the expertise that you all bring and UM, you know, for the right company, you know, they're just not necessarily gonna have the people or the patients to do it kind of d I Y. And so there are a number of ways to approach I just saw for that because these ideas are so important and so powerful. Is there anything I shared there that? Oh and last thing I'll mention I interviewed Janelle Stes, who wrote the book User Tested, and uh, I think that was episode one two oh one. It was right around and this is going to be a transition for us to UM. I interviewed a right around episode two hundred, which is completely dedicated to employee experience. We'll talk e x c X in just a minute. Um, But is there anything I shared there, um that was interesting to you? Yeah? I mean, first totally agree of the benefit of those kinds of platforms, especially like and we've used user testing and usual lytics and some others, Um, you know, similar kinds of concepts and ideas, And what I love a about it is each of those gives you the ability... They've got a lot of times really great control over the panels that you can bring in through the platform and stuff like source people for you, which can be you know, one of the more tedious parts of researchers getting in front of the right people. And also when you've got a really specific audience that you have to get in front of where like not just anyone will do or it's a really like you know what, we've projects where we need to specifically connect with people that own like long haul trucking fleets or something like that, so you know, it's a little more specific than a broad panel is going to is going to get you. They allow you to bring in your own participants, so we can you know, use a recruiter to get the right audience, but still use that platform to facilitate that kind of moderated interview or user test session whatever we're doing. So yeah, totally agree. Really powerful tools, awesome, And you bring up a critical additional point. Who you're seeking feedback from really really matters, you know, So congratulations, you've got a bunch of quantitative and qualitative feedback in advance of developing it. But is it actually the right Are they representative of the people you're trying to to create and design for? Um, I'm just gonna read a quote out of your white paper, and then we'll kind of dive into it too, just to kind of button up this section. Unfortunately, this qualitative research is often lacking or entirely missing and organizations due in large part to the misconception that it's inefficient and or expensive. Sorry, that actually came from a blog post of yours. Um, any other misunderstandings or points of confusion or points of resistance that you've observed. You know, my assumption here is that people are listening to this, They're like, yeah, this is true, you know, plus one to that love this totally true. I wish we did it that way. Um. Is there anything else you would add for someone who's in that boat that needs to argue for the time, the patients, the resources whatever to do more of this work in terms of balancing qualitative and annotative. Yeah, I mean to me, it's all about taking a longer term time horizon, taking a longer term perspective of you know, in the in the shorter term, you might be able to release something quicker by skipping over a research face, giving over a design phase even but where is that going to get you in the long term? You know, are you more often than not, it is going to save so much time, effort in a company's money to test that it is focused on the right problem, to test that that solution is actually solving the right problem before any development resources are are spent. It's something like, um, I forget who estimated this, but a while back someone did some did some math and figured out that it is ten times more expensive to make a change after something goes into development is already getting implemented, and one times more costly to change it after it's already been implemented in out the world. So iterate making those changes while you're in the discovery and design phase is so much quicker and saves so many more resources in an organization. Great ad, I'm so glad I asked that question again. That's it's ten x more expensive to correct something once it's gone into development. And of course, you know, software development is one of the more uh well compensated sections of a lot of organizations UM and ad x more once it's live out in the field, out in the market, and so a little bit of spend up front in terms of time and or resources can save a massive amount of money down the road, because again it's not just about turning out the work quickly. It's about turning out the right work ultimately, and that getting clear on that from the beginning is going to save a massive amount of um, heartache and money. Uh. So we've chesed this a couple of times already, so I'd love to dive into it. You wrote a fantastic white paper on aligning E X and C X. I'm sure we've already hit on some of the themes that motivated you to do it, but just you know, in your own words, what were you observing in the world at large and or was there an acute moment where you're like, that's it, I have to write this thing and I'm looking forward to doing the research and putting it all together. Like what what was going on for you and or what were you observing, uh in the world at large that led to you pursuing this piece. Yeah. It it came from a point where we do a lot of service design work, where you know, we in service to time, we orchestrate a lot of different moving pieces to you know, focus not on the individual touchpoints but the broader journey, and not just the journey, but what enables that customer journey, so not you know, here the screens and things that the customers going to experience, but here are the things that an organization needs to provide in order to make that a reality. Here's the CRM that needs to be in place, here's the marketing automation, here's the customer support team that needs to be doing this and that. Here's what the w house team will need to be doing in order to actually fulfill these...

...orders. And we found it was it's so valuable to actually connect those things ahead of time that it draws such a clear link between the customer experience and the employee experience. And you know, it's it's not a new idea that those two are are so closely linked together and dependent on each other. But we found that service design is such an effective tool in aligning those um and and you know, visualizing communicating bringing the organization together around the connection between the X and c X, that we thought it was an idea worth communicating. I love it. And I mean what Justin just offered is why we have thirty second back buttons on our podcast players, because and I've seen so many times and I've experienced it as a customer to where people will do kind of like the U x c X from the customer perspective, and you just described it in that last passes, like you know the screens are going to move through, and you know what the catches are, and we need to send them back if they don't do this correctly type of thing, like we get that flow correct, but we don't align or don't even give enough attention in a lot of cases to what it actually takes to deliver on that and what different people on different teams inside the organization how they need to be aligned and coordinated with it. And so I love this idea of doing the service design layer with any experience design that anyone's doing. UM. Another thing, I there are a number of things I appreciate about this E x c X white paper, and thank you for that introduction to kind of the motivation behind it. UM. One of my favorite things about it is that you cited one of my favorite books and concepts, which is the service profit chain. UM. I've done a solo episode here on this UH podcast about it, and I'll link that up. I'll also link up your white paper UM at bombom dot com slash podcast. I think this is gonna be episode to UH, So anyone listening can go to bombom dot com slash podcast. Uh. Depending on when you're listening, it's going to be the first one right there, or you might have to scroll down to see episode to twenty five. But we'll link the white paper. Um, the service profit chain and some other ones. When did you first encounter the service profit chain? And UM, I'm asking this isn't preaching to the choir. I guess it's asking the choirs the preacher or something. I don't know, I'm mixing the metaphor. But um, what spoke to you about that piece and why was it so relevant in the context of what you're trying to communicate in this white paper? Yeah, that actually came out of a conversation and credit to our our CEO, Steve Prudent for for me that it was somewhere we were like, we know, this isn't a new concept, and he was like, definitely not. And he pointed us to that and he was like, here's how long it's been around and now these are still the same kinds of ideas that organizations need to embrace. It's just been articulated different ways and there's different methods for solving this now than there used to be. Yeah, and it's a just to be clear, it's a more than twenty years old. Um, it was initially a book. It's also a pretty substantial post at HBr Harvard Business Review, And it's a group of Harvard professors that basically documented that profitability and revenue growth. If you they proved the causal links all the way back through all the customer stuff, experience, satisfaction, etcetera, to employee engagement, employee experience all the way back to what they called internal service quality. I would call it recruiting, hiring, onboarding, equipping, selecting, supporting, developing. Essentially, if you want to invest a dollar to grow your profit, invested in internal service quality. Um, why do we typically in your observation, why do we typically approach e X and c X as separate things? Um? And where have you you know, as you kind of observed the challenges that lead to better service design? Um, why does this exist? Like? Why are why do companies either a under treat these two things and or be treat them separately? And what are the risks of doing that? Yeah? I think it all comes down to how our organizations are structured. There's there's a concept called and I don't think I included this in the white paper, but a constant called Conway's law. It says that organizations design systems that mirror their own communication structure. So things get fragmented because our organizations are siled. You know, silent organizations end up producing experiences that are experienced in little bits here and there. Um. But the customer doesn't care what your organization is set up like they care, you know, to them, it's all one experience, UM. And so that that's going to feel fragment to them, and they don't care about the excuses that you might have about a silent organization. UM. All that to say, I think the reason that companies approach e X and c X separately is just because there are people that are responsible for different parts of the organization that have ownership over that. Especially in a large organization, it can be hard to overcome those silence to really...

...truly connect those in a meaningful way. And this is where again we found service design as a really effective tool to bring together those different groups and see that you know, really we're all after the same common goal. Um. You know, nobody that's in charge of employee experience appreciates when new demands are put on employees without consideration for the employee experience, and and vice versa. The employees want to create a great customer experience and appreciate being involved in the creation of what that future state will be. Love it. Talking present state future state makes me think about customer journeys. So let's kind of bridge into that a little bit. Um, What are a couple of your favorite tips or recommendations or cautions around designing or or even mapping a customer journey or an employee journey, Um, to make this stuff a little bit better, to understand the consequences of some of our decisions, and to proof things for customers or employees. You can take those separately or together. But you know, for someone listening, they're like, Okay, I know a little bit about journey mapping. We've done one before. We I understand the concept of customer journeys. Like give them something that's like, oh gosh, I should have been doing that too, or I should have been doing that differently. Yes, I would say one to connect it to an idea you mentioned earlier. It's so important to make sure you're talking to the right audience when when you're doing that. So, uh, it's it's possible to really throw off or have an inaccurate customer journey map if the audience you're speaking to or are skewing in one direction or the other. So the makeup of the research participants is really critical to make sure that that customer journey map is is accurate. Two, I would say that it's it's so important to treat that journey map as a living document that is meant to be iterated on, built upon that you go back to and revisit as you learn new things. You know your your customer's journey might look different one year to the next. In fact, that it should if you're if you're actively investing in improving that customer journey UM, so that should be a living document that gets built upon. UM. We've seen a lot of organizations plaster up a huge print version on the walls of their office or you know, in remote organizations. Just making sure that is really readily available for anyone that needs to to see it and keeping that a part of the conversation. Third, I would say, if if you're at an organization that is already investing in journey mapping, which is great. I would encourage you to take it one step further, and if you haven't gone from a journey map to a service blueprint, that that can be really valuable to start to tie you know, here's not just the intended customer experience, but here's everything the organization needs to do to make that a reality. So adding in, you know, if you're really focused on the front stage of that customer journey, adding in the backstage to start to connect C X and e X can be really valuable and draw some really interesting insights. I love it, and so okay, for some folks listening, I'm sure if they've undertaken a mapping process, and I've seen it done both ways, you described it probably the better way I've seen it, where you know, we reflect on what we've designed and lay it out and illustrate it so we can get a better understanding of because it's generally a Frankenstinian process. You know, we started with a clear picture and we did something a lot like it, but then we added this thing over here, and we added this, and we change that, and it's this you know, minor monstrosity, and so just mapping it alone, I think is a really really useful exercise. But you added this idea of engaging customers on it. UM is that process specifically to add that qualitative layer, like to prioritize if we are to add, remove, fix, improve, heightened, lesson, amplify, I damp in, We're going to do that based on how people think, feel, and talk about what they have experienced with us. Yeah. I think that's that's well said, and and really, I mean a true customer journey map should be entirely based on what you're hearing from the customer at what they're experiencing at each of these stages. UM, there is. I'm not going to say there's no value to an assumptive journey map of here's what we've designed and what we believe the customers should be experiencing at each of these stages, but it's nowhere near as valuable is actually mapping the true reality of the customers experience based on what you're hearing from them. UM. One way to determine what their reality is is not just to ask them about it, to perform research and map of yourself, but going back to the idea of co creation, having them map out their journey with you. So you know, a customer journey is map is a really easy tool to understand and visualize. It's it's it's fairly intuitive, and so we've had success with actually having the customer just map out,..., Yeah, this is my journey, like here's what I'm thinking failing doing at each stage. UM, I'll go ahead and tell you and we'll we'll map this thing out together. I love it, UM, And I guess, I guess part of the gap that I created there is also this idea of current state versus future state. UM, I was essentially describing mapping a current state. But but that's a little bit of the what and you don't understand why or how someone um things are feels about it. Give us give us another pass on because I don't want to give it because it's so important and I think it's a really important theme in this conversation that we have not had on this show before, which is the service blueprint layer kind of in parallel with that customer journey, so that UM, we have a full accounting for how this impacts the organization, perhaps even discovering that we have deficiencies and we can't even fulfill our own vision or we're understanding perhaps why employees are frustrated that things are away they are and or customers are are, Um, give a couple, give a few or words or another pass at that that blueprint layer, um, and how someone might do that in conjunction with or maybe immediately subsequent to, you know, a really customer informed future state journey map. Yeah. So, so first I want to be careful because it's okay, it can be it can be easy to kind of be over prescriptive about what a service blueprint should be. A service blueprint is a tool, and I think a really valuable tool. Um. And I've even I mean I've put together like you know, you know, free templates and kind of stuff to get people started on it. But it can take so many different forms and I don't want people to get boxed in by you know, it has to have these kinds of rows and columns and has to include this information. It should really be designed to whatever purpose it needs to serve. And so um, that's where I would start actually is think about like what is the most important thing you want to highlight? Is it? We want to figure out like where what channel do we need to focus on like, maybe our web experiences is really strong, we get great you know, we have a great NPS for example, um on on our web experience, but our mobile app as you know, to star rating on the app store or whatever it is. Maybe you really want to focus on across that journey, what are the channels that your customers are interacting with? And you know, where do we map where is the intersection of the pain points and the channel that they're using. Uh, maybe the more important thing is to figure out which parts of the organization own different parts of the experience, and so across the journey you forgot well, this is where sales and most engaged, this is where customer services most engaged, this is where marketing is having play. So really, I guess the the advice that I would offer is not to have a one size fits all service bluement, but really to question what is the thing that I want to understand more about and then to use that to create the blueprint. I love it. Thank you, thank you for that qualifier too. I just like want to run ahead and like getting answers um and the spirit of what you offered there is so right on And can I extend that line of uh Can I extend that approach or the spirit of the way that you describe that to say that any organism, anyone that's listening in, any organization of any size, would almost certainly find some benefit in pursuing this in a way that's most appropriate for their the scale of their organization. I would say that's fair. Yeah, for even for for an early stage start up, there would be a really lean version of essentially a service bleep, and that I think would be valuable even for mapping out here's what an m V p um or or the equivalent of an MVP for a service, you know, a minimum Bible service might look like. Super. If you have enjoyed this time with Justin as I have, I've got two more episodes that I know you'll enjoy. One of them, somewhat recently was episode one ninety five with Louis angel Alan. He's the VP of Customer Voice at American Express and we call that one Customer Voice and Sentiment Analysis, and we talked about this tension between quantitative and qualitative data, and he shared some of what uh am X is doing to capture what looks like qualitative data and kind of quantify some of the observations in it. So it's a really fun, interesting conversation about the literal voice of the customer and the various things we can do with it. And then a bit earlier episode one thirty eight with someone I think you know, Justin On and Tar and Nathan who at the time I interviewed him, he was chief product officer at Meta c X. I think he's currently with UM head of Research and Insights at Service. Now I might have that wrong. I think that's right. Uh cool, And we call that one human factors in design thinking. So if you like this idea of people center design or human centered design, we got into that with On and on episode one thirty eight, and I did firm in the meantime that I...

...interviewed Janelle s d S from UM User Testing on episode one right before episode two hundred devoted to employee Experience. So that's one with Lewis, with On and In with Janelle. This has been to with Justin and Justin. Before I let you go, I've got a few things I always love to do UM. The first is to have you think or mentioned someone who has had a positive impact on your life or your career. Yeah, I've been bused to have a lot of great influences of my life. UM. Career wise, I've learned a lot from Christian Anderson, our our founder and CEO for the first half of my tenure at the studio, and I wouldn't be where I am without Nathan Sinsible, my first boss at the studio. But I want to specifically shout out Christopher vice Are, chief design Officer. I've learned so much from him in the past several years, maybe most importantly how to get comfortable navigating really ambiguous complex situations and complex problems. UM. I don't know anybody better than him zooming out and reframing problems. And I appreciate everything I'm gona learned from him. Awesome. I love it. And I think I would add now to what we were talking about earlier some of like the reasons people are resistant to these, I think there is a lot of ambiguity, UM, and it requires a lot of curiosity and persistence to to get in this, to get into some of these things, especially early stage, and I assume that holds people up and it's a powerful skill you've developed around that or or passion or drive. UM. I love that thank you. How about giving a nod or a shout out to a company or brand that you personally appreciate for the experience they deliver for you as a customer. Yeah, I'm gonna go with It's coming called Sweetwater. So Sweetwater. They sell music equipment UM. They have a massive campus based in four Wayne, Indiana. UM. A lot of traveling acts come through. They actually like make a trip out of their way to make it up there. But they've got a well earned reputation for their commitment to customer experience UM in their e commerce business as well, so they went all as of awards for customer service and whatnot. But the thing that really sets them apart is these individual personal touches that they have. The big big CHAINCE tours just don't UM. For example, when I bought this guy guitar behind me, UM, they had an actual person to pick up the phone and call me. Not because anything was wrong or suspicious, but it's just part of their process to give every first time customer a call on their first order and every order since then. Somebody sends me a little now they're like, hey, how you liking those new strings and new pet on whatever it is. So it's just so different than any other you know, big chain e commerce experience, UM that it really sets them apart. I love it. That is not the first mention of sweetwater at this part on this show. Yeah, gentleman named e luck at customer Age. I believe that it's just from memory. UM also gave them a shout out, and for the same reason. It's so interesting. It reminds me of a theme that recurs constantly, which is doing a couple of small things very very consistently can make a gigantic impact. And so it's like, it's just what we do. We call every first time cust we're on the phone. It's what we do, and we're gonna plan for it, we're gonna account for it, and it's going to make a massive difference in the way that people talk about us and experience us and and refer us. So I love it. Fantastic. Uh. If someone has enjoyed this, they want to learn more about you, they want to check out Studio Science UM and some of the stuff that. I mean, you all have a fantastic blog. You've published several pieces there. UM. Where would you send people to follow up on this conversation. Yeah, if you want to learn more about me, if you go to Justin Luski dot com. It's a tough name to spell, so I'll give it to you for the show notes or whatever your s helpful. Um. If you want to learn more about studio science, go to studio science dot com. Um. And yeah, if you want to connect with me, um. LinkedIn is really the only social channel where I'm active anymore, but definitely feel free to reach out to me there. I'm happy to connect and chat. Um. I'm even happy to drop a countly link if anybody wants to just grab a few minutes talk directly. That is kind and generous and the last thing I'll say for folks listening at this point. Not everyone offers a direct email dress or offers a calendar link. You know when when someone like Justin offers you for you to connect on LinkedIn uh and spend some time together, he doesn't do it because he doesn't mean it. And so if you really enjoyed this, you're working in this direction, you're thinking in this direction. UM, you aspire to do some of the type of work that Justin's described to take advantage of it. It's one of the reasons I love doing this. It brings this whole thing to life, not just for me, but for everyone, and so um thank you justin very very much, and thanks to all of you for listening to this episode. Awesome, Thanks so much, Ethanism Great. As we've learned time and again here on the podcast, the essence of customer experience and of employee experience is how we make people feel. But so much of the experience relies on digital communication, on faceless typed out text. To connect and communicate more effectively with the people who matter most to your success, add some of the deo emails and video messages to mix, save time, add...

...clarity, convey sincerity, be seen, heard and understood, and make other people feel seen, heard and understood. Try saying thank you, good job, or congratulations with a video. Try answering a question with a video. Try introducing yourself with a video. Try it free at bomb bomb dot com. Thanks for listening to the Customer Experience Podcast. Remember the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player or visit bomb bomb dot com Slash podcast.

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