Customer experience design and service design are best seen as on-going processes, not as occasional ‘projects’. Continuous listening from the customer’s point of view (i.e. standing in their shoes) is the key to knowing sooner what needs attention or what might need attention in your service design.
If you don’t hear anything, start asking questions–of your customers and your employees. Probe a little deeper than normal without offending. For example, unexpected but caring questions (retail examples) like:
• “What prompted you to come in today.”
• “May I ask what your next planned stop is today? Your answer may
help us serve you better.”
• “What would you like to see us carry that you don’t normally expect
“Listen then Ask” is the perfect formula for seeking out customer dissatisfaction. Once you find it, do something about it.
Add Discuss, Apply, and Thanks to the formula to make it complete:
Whether its staff in the service design role or front-line employees, take some time to discuss the fix (making sure that the fix itself doesn’t cause other unintended problems). Apply the new idea. Then, thank the person who brought it to your attention.
Those few minutes turn complainers into brand ambassadors–which translates into lots of good will, on-line WOM, and an ever-so-slight change in culture that heads the organization toward accountability.
Listen, Ask, Discuss, Apply, and Thanks. These words close the loop service improvement loop and help ensure that what gets noticed gets action.