We have digital assistance in our homes, self-parking cars, and watches which are also checking our heart rate. The first thing many people do in the morning is to look at their smartphones. Digitalization is omnipresent. To think that in this digitalized world staying offline is a possibility is foolish.
Small businesses may think that they do not have the assets to become digital, but there are no massive investments needed to get started. Beacons are comparably very cheap, one device costs around 5-25$ and the software solution can be easily adopted into the internal systems. Bigger businesses may be too sluggish, relying on business models that worked for the last decades. But think about what happened to cassettes and CDs, in this fast-changing environment entire markets disappeared.
You need to go where your customers are - digital!
Why is it worth to be innovative when it comes to customer experience?
Your customers seem satisfied. You get no big complaints, so why should you change something or even look for new innovative solutions? Isn’t it enough to just be a little bit politer or put some flowers in your welcome area? No! We live in a globalized world. The competition is massive, and most products can be copied in the blink of an eye. It sounds depressing so far, but this is your opportunity to stand out from your competition and create innovative ways to exceed your customers’ expectations. Plus, people are actually willing to pay more for a superior experience.
What is proximity technology and how can it help to create a seamless customer journey?
Proximity or location-based technology means enabling digital devices to interact based on actual physical relationships between two objects. These technologies are not new. Remember some years ago, when people used Bluetooth to exchange songs between their mobile phones? We are talking about the same technology, everything that is working with physical locations like GPS, Bluetooth (Beacons), Wi-Fi, NFC or BLE.
Although we are online in our everyday life, people will always look for physical experiences. There is an online shop for everything, but people still grave for the offline experience: the social interaction at the POS, seeing and testing products upfront as well as enjoying personal guidance from the staff. Just think of all the supermarkets offering delivery and still: the busiest people prefer to take the time to drive to the grocery store, searching for every single item, wait in line and drive back home. Let us help them to make their user journey more seamless combining online and offline in order to improve their real-life experience.
To stick with the grocery store example: With the help of proximity technology, you could lead customers into your store offering them promotion codes as they are in one-kilometre surroundings, providing your customers with in-door navigation showing them exactly where to find a certain product or save time by allowing them to just walk out your stores, no lines, paying without even getting their phone out. Almost all industries can benefit from proximity technology: Aviation, Retail, Travel, Healthcare to just name a few of them. Location-based technologies allow you to speed up processes, offer your (potential) customers more relevant content based on their location and preferences and allowing highly personalized services. There are countless ways to use these technologies.
Started by define problems
We reviewed the existing process to define improvement as the starting point of the lecture and setup 3 specific goals for our team to achieve:
Creating a common value/ standard for the design outcome.
Creating agreements to clarify the goal and what is included in the project.
Creating measurement to evaluate if the outcome is good enough.
We learn from other existing business model, which is similar with us as examples to do analysis. We tried to reference some of the similarity process to fit into our team situation and test if that would help us. By applying one of the working process mentioned by Tim Brown (IDEO) to measure if there is any missing parts would lead us to reduce mistakes and errors in our existing process.
Develop the process
Based on the existing situation, we develop 2 processes to fit into the design and development journey. Start from asking a specific question in order to find out the direction of the project as specifications to define what element needed to be measured, after that creating criteria to measure if the result is meeting the requirements.
Design Specifications - Provide explicit information about the requirements for a product and how the product is to be put together as a solution to reduce the misunderstanding between designer, product manager, and the client.
Design Criteria - Create measurements for evaluating goals that a function must achieve in order to be successful in order to improve the design and reduce the risk as much as possible.
Learn by practicing
We did a reflection of some previous projects by applying the new process and see if that would help us to improve the defined issues as an exercise. Therefore we would have a clearer understanding of the process by trying it and testing it.
After we defined the new process, the team will start applying it to every future project/task in order to improve the performance. It might be hard and need extra time to get used to it at the beginning, but we are happy to have a try after we spot the value from the exercise in order to provide a better product to our clients.