Sutherland Innovation Labs http://www.sutherlandlabs.com Research and design. Improving everyday experiences. Sun, 20 Aug 2017 15:12:41 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Copyright 2017, Sutherland Innovation Labs - http://www.sutherlandlabs.com http://www.sutherlandlabs.com/favicon.png Sutherland Innovation Labs http://www.sutherlandlabs.com Research and design. Improving everyday experiences. Labs Life: Getting to know Gemma Wilde http://www.sutherlandlabs.com/blog/labs-life-getting-know-gemma-wilde/ Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:58:32 +0100 Labs Life: Getting to know Gemma Wilde

As part of this regular feature we try to give our readers insight into the inner workings of Sutherland Labs. This week, we find out more about the lady bringing a touch of old world class to the San Francisco office; our Director of Design Research, the ingenious and inimitable Gemma Wilde.

What does the Director of Design Research actually do?

Gemma: If I’m in the labs, I’m usually found planning, running or analyzing a project, with coffee. There’s always coffee. We have a cross-functional team that serves multiple industries, so there’s always some fascinating problem or challenge to dig into – we collaborate a lot and help each other out.

At lunch, our team tends to congregate at the bench in the kitchen and the conversation usually ends up on some random tangent – from the future of recruiting staff, to the driverless car economy, to the latest weird and wonderful west coast fitness craze. And I still get a thrill when we receive a new brief or project request.

What unique talent do you bring to the team?

Gemma: Having relocated to San Francisco from London, I bring a certain British influence to the San Francisco Lab. Beyond that, my experience understanding the role of immersion and flow in creating good video games has been a great asset. Figuring out how to make a product engaging and fun is one of the biggest challenges for a researcher.

Gemma holding a meeting with the San Francisco team

Do you have any pets?

Gemma: Only my marimo – they’re balls of moss, but surprisingly personable.

How does your experience and background translate into the design thinking industry?

Gemma: My background is in the research component of design thinking. I help companies understand who their users are and what matters to them, so they can make informed design decisions.

Before I came to Sutherland I helped companies design effectively for different geographies, cultures, and languages, which is an important component of design thinking for any global company.

What is the one thing you would most like to apply some Design Thinking to?

Gemma: From the outside looking in, housing seems to offer a frustrating, expensive and slow experience, in terms of both the purchasing process and the design of the home itself. Despite all kinds of improvements in materials and technology, new homes still seem to suffer from impractical space design, a lack of storage and poor natural light. Regulation changes seem to have unintended consequences that cause issues elsewhere, suggesting that a more holistic approach may be needed. Upgrading a home seems to present challenges for both contractors and home owners, particularly around communication difficulties and knowledge gaps. These issues have a long history and are not easy to resolve, but any gains have a huge potential to advance human happiness.

Gemma journey mapping with colleague

How do you foresee the industry changing in the future?

Gemma: The methods and approaches that we use are going to evolve, and that’s something I always look forward to. Some of the biggest challenges over the next few years will be designing AI, AR and voice interfaces. Voice is becoming a critical channel to focus on faster than anyone thought it would – it’s not just Amazon and Google who need to worry about engaging Voice experiences.

Through my role in Sutherland, I’ve picked up broader design skills and learned more about how businesses function. I’d like to continue learning and apply this knowledge to integrate design thinking into more business practices and processes. What’s the point in doing what we do, if the key decision makers don’t know about it or no-one uses the data?

What has been your best experience while working with Sutherland?

Sutherland gave me the opportunity to relocate from one wonderful city to another and it’s probably been the single most exciting thing that’s happened in my life.

Will Gemma ever lose her accent? Will Sutherland Labs ever break free of their horrendous coffee addictions? Will the Marimo ever escape from their bowl? Come back for another instalment of ‘Labs Life’ to find out these answers and more!

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The wrong airport, Fruit salad UX, and a design sprint – our first UXPM taster event http://www.sutherlandlabs.com/blog/wrong-airport-fruit-salad-ux-design-sprint-first-uxpm-taster-event/ Thu, 17 Aug 2017 17:06:17 +0100 The wrong airport, Fruit salad UX, and a design sprint – our first UXPM taster event

On Tuesday 15th we held an evening of wine, cheese and UX, a taster event (quite literally) that previewed our UX Alliance UXPM-1 certification course in September. With cheese and charcuterie supplied by London’s Paxton & Whitfield, plus a selection of wines, the evening got off to a great start for the diverse audience wanting to get a taste of what design thinking is all about.

Paxton's cheese

Great landing, wrong airport.

The training part of the evening kicked off with our Director of Design Research, Andy Swartz, talking about his thirty-year career in UX, and how it all got started.

“I was lucky, I joined Apple back in the ‘80s, straight out of college. We were working on how to improve the user manuals. We had all kinds of ideas to use cut-out thumb indexes, colour coding, glossy paper and card. All kinds of stuff. Then the unthinkable happened. We booked a whole bunch of home visits with Apple users, took them through our research protocols and asked them about how they used their manuals. And guess what happened? Yeah. None of them had manuals. Most threw them away with the packaging, and the ones who had kept the packaging had left the manuals still in the shrink wrap. And we realised, making better manuals was pointless, we needed to make more user friendly software and get rid of manuals because, through user research, we realised nobody looked at them anyway.”

This is an example of what Andy calls the “Great landing, wrong airport” problem. It’s one of the typical UX issues the Lab’s teams encounter. The problem is surprisingly common: Without UX research, there’s a risk you’ll develop a product or service that doesn’t get used, no matter how well designed it is. Other typical issues are problems like ‘Brilliant siloes, bad gaps’ where you have divisions within a product team who are great at what they do, but there’s a lack of integration between them, which allows product flaws to go unnoticed. And the common research mistake of using too narrow a definition of customer experience, where apps might pass user testing, but the journey to using the app, or the next steps after a user has finished using it, diminish its value.

Delegates listening

“Another common problem is tech that’s too early. Anyone remember the QuickTake 150? No. A digital camera that was just too early for the market. It’s another example of how without proper research, products can fail despite great tech. That’s why about half the work this lab does takes place in the field, not in this building. You’ve got to study the real world to get real world insights.”

Fruit salad on a train, a live UX experiment.

Sutherland Labs Principal Design Researcher, Anna Haywood, joined Andy to demonstrate why live research is so important to UX. Referencing legendary cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead’s quote “What people say, what they do, and what they say they do are very different things” Anna performed a live experiment with the labs Creative Director, Anton Artemenkov.

Members of the team conducting an interview

Anton likes fruit salad. He usually buys it at the station and eats it on the train on his way into work. Anna took him through a set of questions, where Anton didn’t mention any pain points in his customer journey. Then Anna got him to eat a fruit salad (melon free, he’s not a fan of melon), and while he was chomping away asked what else he did on the train while he was eating it, “I use the phone, check mails, make calls, like everyone else.” Anna asked him to show us… and that’s when Anton realised that his sticky fruit salad hands were a downside of eating fruit salad on a train. “I need a napkin, that’s always a bit of a problem because I often forget to take one when I buy my salad.” Anna then brought that finding into the context of UX research:

“So there’s a clear difference between the way Anton talked about the product, and observing him use it, in terms of pain points on the customer journey. It also shows that research subjects don’t always recognise they’ve got a problem, they just work around it. Saying, doing and talking about experiences always vary, and it’s only by studying all three that you uncover the real user experience. And in this case, the salad needs a napkin bundled with the pack, not in a pile by the checkout where people forget to take them.”

The live sprint

The night’s training sessions ended with Anna and Andy handing out packs of post-it notes (the engine of UX research) and showing the audience a video of a ‘service safari’ where Sutherland staff had gone through a typical user journey from discovery to (nearly) purchasing a product (in this case, a famous car brand). We split into teams and watched the video, noting down observations and pain points in the customer journey, and then (with help from Anna and Andy), we assembled a customer journey map of the car buying experience.What was remarkable about this exercise was how quickly the teams bonded, and aligned around the same kinds of user issues. Then Anna took us through the map and there followed a lively discussion about how to improve it. Andy then closed the session by observing the effects the live research had on the audience.

Delegates taking part in design sprint

“What’s great about this kind of exercise is, it’s not a very scientific form of research, but it’s amazing how quickly it builds a team and gets everyone focusing on the main UX issues. You’ve all gone from learning about the research to actually doing it in a couple of hours, and that’s a great result.”

Back to the cheese…

After a number of the attendees signed-up for the UX PM certification course, we headed back down to polish off the rest of the cheese and wine. Everyone noted how the concept of UX research was surprisingly practical and accessible, and even more surprisingly, a lot of fun. The night was a great success and we’ll certainly be holding more free events in the future as our UX Alliance courses continue, if you’d like to come along and see what we do in the labs, mail victoria@sutherlandlabs and we’ll put you down for the next one.

In the meantime, improve your user journey through remembering to take a napkin, keep some post-it notes handy to spot the pain points you encounter in your customer experience, and always make sure you land at the right airport.

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Ring Ring…. UX’s Call for Simplicity http://www.sutherlandlabs.com/blog/ring-ring-uxs-call-simplicity/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 15:33:58 +0100 Ring Ring…. UX’s Call for Simplicity

Over the past couple of months the London Labs staff have worked side by side our intern Sarah Hughes. Currently studying Global Communications and Film Studies in Paris, Sarah is particularly interested in  business solutions that actually meet the real needs of the end user, and getting to the essence of what people find compelling and delightful.

During her time at the Labs, we challenged her to ditch her smartphone and use a Punkt phone. You can read her thoughts on this below.

Sarah chatting with a colleague at our London studios

Last week, I decided to sacrifice my heart and soul to a ‘digital detox’. This meant that for one whole week, I was cut-off and left with no WhatsApp, no Siri, no mobile-internet, no smartphone. Instead, I was faced with the challenge of using Punkt’s MP 01 phone (AKA a millennial’s nightmare).

First thoughts:

Going against the digital market’s current appetite for increasingly more complicated devices, Jasper Morrison, the company’s forward-thinking director of design, aimed to engineer a phone that would appease our notification-crazed lives. The lightweight device features large round monochromatic buttons, a dot textured back panel, and boasts a 500-hour standby battery life. Punkt’s founder and CEO, Petter Neby, highlights the phone’s purpose as being an adjunct device; it should work in relationship to smartphones, helping users minimize unnecessary distractions and “rediscover the simple things”.

Punkt phone with coffee and notepad

Despite my longing for living a minimalist lifestyle, and the occasional impulse to chuck my email-ridden device straight into the River Thames, it would be an unequivocal lie to say that I am not a slave to my iPhone. I reach for it first thing in the morning, I pack its charger with me everywhere I go – it constantly nags for my attention, and I constantly attend to it. With the prediction that people are to spend over five years of their lives staring at their phone screen, it has become ever-more necessary to find an equal balance, both digitally and mentally. So, we decided to put this ‘smart dumbphone’ to the test, to venture into the unknown, wireless land, and to see if the grass is truly greener on the other side.

Living with it:

During the first day of the challenge, I felt I was undergoing some sort of phantom limb syndrome. It was as if an extension of my right thumb had suddenly gone missing, and I soon began to feel the paralyzing reality of my constrained limbs, unable to reach into the virtual realm of the World Wide Web. Gone were the days of mindless engagement with Maps, Uber, and even the trusty built-in calculator app. I truly was left to my own devices (no pun intended).

Punkt phone

Soon after re-familiarizing myself with predictive texting and setting up a manual voicemail code, things began to click. The phone’s GSM network made me contactable exclusively via SMS and voice calls. I expected so little from it, and it expected so little from me. And I think that’s what worked most about the phone. Its conscious pursuit in politely requesting my attention felt highly respectable and like a breath of fresh air in contrast to the disruptive nature of conventional smartphones. As the week progressed, my desire to compulsively check its screen every ten seconds dwindled and I was happily undergoing a serious case of JOMO: Joy Of Missing Out. For once, it felt liberating to know I was a bit helpless. Even though previous pleasures turned into exhausting marathons, like getting from point A to B, rising to the challenge of prior planning and memorization was surprisingly rewarding (and who knew asking strangers for directions could be so helpful?).

Design and user experience are the focus for the new phone. Its stripped-down aesthetic is impressively intuitive, including shortcut buttons to messaging and contacts, a 2” LCD display (with a resistant Gorilla glass screen), crisp audio with noise-cancellation, and long-lasting camera paint.The only experiential drawback is the phone’s musicless-ness, but that perhaps points more towards a problem with my own intolerance for silence than it does to a fault in the phone’s functionality.

Close up of the punkt phone

Future Implications:

It is no secret that we have become micromanaged by the overwhelming force of technology – it not only permeates our family lives, but it also interferes with our productivity and creativity at work. As smartphones become more and more pervasive, the idea of ‘digitally detoxing’ sounds increasingly attractive. France has already taken the initiative to break the “electronic leash” and establishing laws that give people the right to neglect emails on non-work hours. However, not everyone is quite as prepared to flip the switch. In fact, 2017 might be the final year before Europe discontinues its support for MSG networks. If so, this could be a large danger for Punkt’s current business plan.

Nevertheless, this stirring backlash against technology may be our first glimpse of hope in addressing a work-life balance. Although mainstream media may equate “switching off” with reverting back to the Stone Age, limiting screen time can be surprisingly empowering. But don’t take what we say for gospel. Try it out yourself, take a deep breath, and reflect on the here and now – you’ll have plenty of time to focus.

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July 2017’s Coolest Things http://www.sutherlandlabs.com/blog/july-2017s-coolest-things/ Fri, 11 Aug 2017 16:16:17 +0100 July 2017’s Coolest Things

Every month in the Sutherland Labs slack channel we compete to impress each other with the coolest things that we can find in the world. Sometimes that cool thing is a tent that goes in your pocket, sometimes it is an app that tricks you into exercising and sometimes, just sometimes, that cool thing is something completely unexpected. We have been tweeting about these cool things all month, but here’s our favourites from July!

Japanese Kit Kats

If you thought that the British were dangerously obsessed with these multi-fingered biscuits then Japan’s fixation on the Kit Kat might shock you. Japan have had over 300 different varieties of Kit Kat flavours for four decades, but the latest additions like matcha green tea, sake, ginger and wasabi have begun to attract particularly dedicated tourists from around the world. The popularity of the snack is so great that two dedicated stores have opened in Tokyo and a new factory is under construction to keep up with demand.

Image of matcha tea kit Kats

Replika

Every time that you think technologists have finally learned their lesson from science fiction, along comes somebody like the designer of Replika, an AI chatbot designed to learn and perfectly mimic your behaviour and patterns of communication. So that if you were to mysteriously vanish, this chatbot could just hop onto Facebook and reassure everyone that you are just fine and there is no robot revolution going on outside that they need to be worrying about. In reality, this software has some amazing applications, from creating a “screen shot” of your personality at a certain time in your life for you to consult with later, or to create a living memorial that could go on communicating with your friends and relatives after you have passed on. You could even have your replicant write lists of cool things for you.

Jetfoiler

Part electric surfboard and part hydrofoil, the Jetfoil does a lot of interesting things on the water. It makes no sound and leaves no wake while also having a powerful motor to support its cruise control feature, letting riders lean back and enjoy scooting across the surface of the ocean in comfort. It is being hailed as an accessible option for people who don’t have the physical capabilities required for surfing, while still wanting to experience the best of what the ocean has to offer.

AI Tyres

How would you like tyres that could adapt to changing conditions on the road? What if they could change their tread to suit different weather conditions without your input? Goodyear’s latest invention is an AI powered spherical tyre that is intended to be fully connective so that it can chat with your self-driving car and capture information about its surroundings in real-time. The bionic skin of the tyre can even detect punctures as they happen and rotate the injured section away so that the “self-healing” process can take over and patch the problem.

Check back at the end of the month for the latest coolest things that we have seen, and who knows, it might somehow out-do Sake flavoured Kit-Kats!

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What is a Service Safari and how to use it http://www.sutherlandlabs.com/blog/service-safari-use/ Wed, 09 Aug 2017 15:16:51 +0100 What is a Service Safari and how to use it

At Sutherland Labs, we have a range of methodologies that we use to help our clients explore their research, design, and business objectives. The precise methodological approach will depend on a number of factors, including the research questions/objectives, the research material, the product or service in question, timescales, and budget.

In this post, we’ll present a method we adopt when we want to understand user needs, gaps, and opportunities for a service. Called a Service Safari, it’s an exploration of a service from a customer experience perspective.

The method captures the real-world experience of a specific service, type of service, or a wider range of services, be that for booking train tickets, or a hotel or shopping mall experience, to a car hire or passport renewal service.

Starting the process

Group at a meeting discussing

As with any project, we’ll start the project with a stakeholder meeting so that everyone can agree on the research objectives and questions, approach, timescales, and deliverables. We’ll also use this time to delve deeper into understanding the business objectives and any background to the project that could prove useful.

Harvesting data

Following the planning meeting, we put our plan of attack into action. Usually in teams of two, we’ll explore the service ourselves. If it’s a train ticket booking system, we’ll buy a ticket and go on a journey, or if it’s a shopping mall experience, then we’ll visit the shopping mall and familiarize ourselves with the services and facilities on offer.Immersing ourselves in the service is key here as we aim to experience it from the customer’s perspective.

Image of item collected from a service safari

This gives us a first hand understanding of what it feels like to be a customer; what thoughts, frustrations and concerns customers might be having at each stage, and can even present new opportunities that the company can explore further.

Immersing ourselves in the service is key here as we aim to experience it from the customer’s perspective

But there’s also a more fundamental aspect to this stage of the research; it allows us to map out the various touch-points and understand how everything fits together. We’ll explore touchpoints, environments (e.g. a physical train station, kiosks, etc), websites, apps and physical artefacts (e.g. a ticket, paperwork, etc). We’ll also speak to customers, and employees, where possible, to get additional perspectives on the service.

Image of leaflet collected in a service safari

Over time, we’ll use these findings to add a canvas to the service framework until a rich picture is revealed.

We’ll capture this information in notebooks, or as pictures. We might also collect artefacts such as receipts, tickets, brochures, leaflets or any other material that we are faced with, whilst experiencing a service.

Deep-diving into the data

Once the data collection phase is complete, it’s time to review everything and look for patterns, issues, and opportunities. Having more than one researcher working on a project really helps this stage as the two can validate each other’s findings. Discussion of the data is also a great way to synthesize findings and gain deeper insights.

The precise deliverables will depend on the project, but a journey map or journey log are common outputs. We’ll use the journey map to visualize the flow of touch-points, highlighting the issues and opportunities in parallel swim-lanes. It’s a useful analytical tool for the researchers, as well as for the service designers and makes for a powerful reference tool throughout a service design project, allowing teams to consistently check how changes might affect the customer journey.

Members of our team planning and discussing findings

Pros and cons of a Service Safari

So when should you use a Service Safari and when might it not be appropriate? Service Safaris are great at giving you an initial understanding of the customer experience of a service. The kinds of questions it would help you answer include if you wanted to understand where the pain points are in a shopping experience, and begin to understand some of their causes. It might highlight things that competing services do particularly well in comparison to your own service. Exploring the service as customers ourselves, also helps uncover some of the workarounds that customers may employ. It’ll also help you to understand what works particularly well and could be replicated in other parts of the business.

Exploring the service as customers ourselves, also helps uncover some of the workarounds that customers may employ

However, for a deeper, more exhaustive understanding, user research is key. To explore the end-to-end journey it may be that a full ethnographic study is appropriate. Here, the researcher would spend anything up to a day with a customer (and do this with several customers), shadowing them to understand the minutiae of their experience, including motivations and any previous experiences that influence their current one.

Service Safaris are also not solely appropriate when wanting a deep understanding of specific touchpoints within a service. For example, when trying to ‘look behind the numbers’ from analytics data, to understand why a booking app might not be working optimally. In that scenario, lab-based sessions with potential customers might be a more fruitful approach, to supplement a Service Safari. One-to-one sessions allow researchers to focus on individual touchpoints, to explore issues at a finer granularity, and provide more focused recommendations.

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Design thinking to improve candidate experience http://www.sutherlandlabs.com/work/design-thinking-improve-candidate-experience/ Thu, 08 Jun 2017 15:21:26 +0100 Design thinking to improve candidate experience

Our parent organization, Sutherland, asked us to experiment with new ways of approaching existing recruitment challenges through a Design Thinking approach.

talent acquisition workshop

Why

In an extremely competitive marketplace, how might we better attract the right talent? How can we improve retention by better understanding the end-to-end recruitment and employment journey of our employees? These are some of the questions Sutherland Labs have been tackling in our own organization – working alongside our Talent Acquisition teams.

How

We used immersive research to ‘walk in candidates shoes’ to understand a candidate journey throughout the recruitment process. We created behavioral personas, helping to segment, identify ‘star’ target audiences and better understand their idiosyncrasies. We also created journey maps that gave a visual representation which help to articulate pain points and crucial insight that often lead to ideas for improvements and solutions.

Talent acquisition journey maps

Result

The insights helped our colleagues to reframe the story during the recruitment process, which in turn impacted their messaging, advertising and social media activity. The results have included a significant increase in social media followers and engagement, following a reworked advertising campaign. The project also contributed towards wider strategic goals of improving employee engagement, and aided a change of mindset within HR functions.

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Rethinking in-hospital entertainment http://www.sutherlandlabs.com/work/rethinking-in-hospital-entertainment/ Tue, 14 Jun 2016 10:17:09 +0100 Rethinking in-hospital entertainment

Our client, global provider of hospital entertainment systems, asked us to analyze customer experience of their current system and inform the design of a cleverly user-centric new one.

TV remote and tablet

Why

TV, radio, games, other interactive content: hospital bedside entertainment has the power to positively transform patient experience. But many patients in this study were not engaging with our client’s current system and opting instead to use their own devices. We were called on to conduct deep analysis of patient needs. Our findings then inspired the design of a revolutionary new system – to make hospital stays infinitely more entertaining.

How

From registering for the first time, to tuning in to the radio or finding a good film, we first identified key user tasks. We then conducted interviews with staff, patients and family members across different wards – Elderly, Stroke, Children, etc. – to find out how these tasks could be carried out most efficiently. Insights from discussions, interviews, focus groups and a visit to the client call centre were then translated into different personae and journey maps. The outcome? As many as 50 different propositions to guide development of the new system.

Result

These propositions included: a friendlier, more accessible user interface; a promotional loop on the homepage to raise key feature awareness; a simplified VOC library structure to enable easy browsing; and extended account management features for families to enable them to make purchases on a patient’s behalf.

Hospital ward
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Designing a better patient experience http://www.sutherlandlabs.com/work/designing-a-better-patient-experience/ Tue, 07 Jun 2016 13:37:57 +0100 Designing a better patient experience

From billing and online payment to registration and insurance, effective healthcare requires effective administration. And, for a joint study by Sutherland Healthcare and its non-profit partner, this was a starting premise.

User on iPad

Why

Our globally renowned healthcare client asked us to observe administration across its facilities and decipher what was working well, and where there was room for improvement – with a focus on billing, registration, online activity, signage and numerous other non-clinical issues.

How

Our starting point was to closely observe over 100 patients and staff in a variety of settings across its two hospitals and contact centre, considering factors such as environment, education and general operations in order to enhance day-to-day experiences. Our six main areas of exploration were as follows: transition from paper to online processes; online self-service; medical payment issues; education and awareness of costs in relation to healthcare; healthcare insurance; and the possible overuse of brochures and posters in medical environments.

Result

Our research enabled us to identify pain points in the customer and staff journeys and to offer inspired solutions. These included: a new patient portal providing self-service registration and access to clinical information; text message reminders and late running notifications; a mobile app updating family members on patient status; cost estimator tools to make costs more transparent; online application and payment for financial aid; a loyalty programme; and a new strategy to increase awareness and uptake of health insurance exchanges.

Doctors walking in hospital
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Designing a roadmap to customer loyalty http://www.sutherlandlabs.com/work/designing-a-roadmap-to-customer-loyalty/ Fri, 01 Apr 2016 13:37:40 +0100 Designing a roadmap to customer loyalty

Enhanced customer experience equals greater customer loyalty. And for one client, a successful pet services retailer, this is what we set out to achieve.

Pet store dog beds

Why

What does the future hold? This particular client envisioned a future full of opportunity, one in which their loyal customers reaped the benefits of better services and experiences. But they needed our help in shaping this vision and transforming bright ideas into positive actions.

How

The challenge was to improve customer loyalty by identifying opportunities for innovation and better aligning customer experience, at the same as exploring the potential for moving certain services online. Sutherland’s ethnographic researchers sprang into action – observing and interviewing over 100 employees, partners and customers, at home as well as in store, to build up an-in depth picture of their experiences. Insights were then shared with the client through documentary film and behavioral profiles of common customer types.

Result

Our research led to greater understanding of the drivers of customer loyalty, and provided the basis for suggestions on how to make pet-lover customers happier. These suggestions ranged from improved mobile scheduling and in-store product placement to the development of more effective employee training methods – illustrated through vision maps for a brighter, better future.

Dog check up
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Bringing a health insurer closer to its customers http://www.sutherlandlabs.com/work/bringing-a-health-insurer-closer-to-its-customers/ Mon, 14 Mar 2016 10:16:54 +0100 Bringing a health insurer closer to its customers

A strategy for smarter, more concise digital communications and a refreshed, customer-centric mindset: this is what we achieved for this rapidly expanding health insurance multinational.

Journey mapping workshop

Why

Our client, a global provider of health insurance, wanted to reconnect with its customers. Having grown significantly through acquisition, in order become a company that today spans cultures, countries and time zones, they asked us to help re-centre customer experience and restore coherence to their channels of communication.

How

You can’t connect with customers without understanding them, so our research team analyzed the personae of the company’s key customer groups, involving stakeholders across its business – from IT to sales, operations or customer service. Our creative team then presented initial insights via reports, films and journey maps, before validating them with customer focus groups.

Result

We helped our client develop a customer-centric mindset internally, gaining deeper understanding of the needs and behavior of its predominantly senior customer base, while developing a brand new digital roadmap for the years ahead. And while education starts at home, we also delivered board-level educational sessions to raise awareness of the benefits of customer-centric design – leading, ultimately, to a more unified company vision.

Patient being examined
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