Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Emerging ‘Experience Strategy’

The purpose of business is to create a customer; the brand of a business is to delight the customers. 

How to build up a customer-centric organization takes both strategy and tactics. The emerging Experience Strategy is ultimately about the big picture. It ties closely to, and can often drive business strategy. It can also become a business strategy in an increasingly experience-driven economy. More specifically, how to craft an experience strategy, and what are key tactics in executing it seamlessly?

Service Design is usually a tactic within a larger experience strategy. If the business model is based on service the two become more synonymous and the services better are really well-designed and well-integrated into delivering the business and experience strategy. If there are many services offered, then they need to each be designed, and also integrated into delivering the big-picture experience strategy. All businesses offer services that should be designed and aligned to their overall strategy as a critical customer touchpoint. Service Design is a solution to this often under-attended aspect of bringing a complete business and experience strategy to fruition. Service Design tends to look at the big picture, but design for only one aspect of it. Experience Strategy attempts to design all touchpoints and subset experiences. It defines and justifies the need for what Service Design is required as part of an overall Experience Design.

UX Strategy vs. Service Design: Service design certainly has strategic aspects, but it is concerned with a subset of the interactions a person has with a business. UX strategy encompasses service design, product design, and more to cover all aspects of experience produced by a business. UX strategy might also use some service design tools to produce needed strategies, but that doesn't mean it is the same or on the same level as service design. Service design includes the relationship between a particular aspect of engagement and business goals, which scales Service Design up to a pretty comprehensive UX strategy. 

Outputs of Experience Strategy are about defining, communicating, socializing and fully understanding business goals at an enterprise-level, yet from a human perspective – customers, employees, partners, affiliates, vendors, users – whoever. So "outputs" are really just communication tools needed to get the thinking behind the strategy expressed and understood by others. They can take the form of business models, prioritization matrices, roadmaps, experience principles, strategy diagrams, organization and change management models, content strategy and governance models, concept models, project plans, journey/experience maps, service blueprints, storyboards, videos, etc. It really depends on the audience and their vernacular (currency of exchange). 

The emerging experience strategy intends to really put customer at the center of business, from business transaction to customer experience and life value management, to connect the dots between design thinking and service delivery, customers’ touchpoints and managers’ decision point.


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