Sutherland Innovation Labs https://www.sutherlandlabs.com Research and design. Improving everyday experiences. Sun, 16 Dec 2018 19:36:04 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Copyright 2018, Sutherland Innovation Labs - https://www.sutherlandlabs.com https://www.sutherlandlabs.com/favicon.png Sutherland Innovation Labs https://www.sutherlandlabs.com Research and design. Improving everyday experiences. November 2018’s Coolest Things https://www.sutherlandlabs.com/blog/november-2018s-coolest-things/ Mon, 03 Dec 2018 14:11:07 +0000 November 2018’s Coolest Things

November is already behind us, the long winter up ahead. We really need something to brighten up these dull days and what could be better than a list of all the coolest things that we found on the internet this month? Nothing. The correct answer is nothing. It was a rhetorical question.

Every month in the Labs slack channel we all compete to find the coolest of the cool. This list is the cream of the crop!

A Manufacturing Robot’s Diversity Letter

Riffing on the rather infamous little memo that was sent around Google HQ by a now mysteriously unemployed member of staff, this little letter is obviously a humorous spoof, but it also inadvertently highlights a few of the ways that automation is actually the superior option for certain roles, allowing humanity’s soft skills to come to the fore in the workplace.

Contactless Costa Coffee Cup

You may think that this was chosen simply because of our love of alliteration, but in fact the reusable coffee cup that Costa are rolling out is a neat new attempt to get ahead of the curve and eliminate a pain point in the customer service experience. With almost 25% of all digital payments in the USA being made through the Starbucks App, the competition really needs to step up their game.

Image of contactless costa coffee cup

Unboxing Chrome

This fascinating post about the 10-year anniversary redesign of Google Chrome transforms almost immediately into a design history of web-browsers in general before diving into the way that mobile browsing transformed browsers and shaped the core design philosophy of the Chrome application. A fundamental devotion to being as invisible as it is possible to be, while still offering great UX.

The Arrival

This beautiful little video about the beauty of the arrival hall in the airport was produced by Scandinavian Airlines. The real beauty of the video, beyond the visuals and the sweet message, is that it is such a subtle form of lifestyle advertising that bypasses the usual pitfalls of pushing the creators’ services, instead focusing on creating the desire to use those services as a by-product of the desire to travel.

That is all that we have time for this month, but rest assured, the colder and darker it gets out there, the more time we are going to spend huddled up inside browsing the internet and trying to one up each other with neat little links. Come back next time for more cool things and our big roundup of all the absolute 100% coolest things from the whole year!

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Sutherland as a Retailer Part 2: The Personalized Customer Experience https://www.sutherlandlabs.com/blog/sutherland-as-a-retailer-part-2-the-personalized-customer-experience/ Thu, 22 Nov 2018 16:20:41 +0000 Sutherland as a Retailer Part 2: The Personalized Customer Experience

In part one of this paper, we used our research insights from the UXalliance Global Retail Benchmark to think of simple ways to reduce friction in online-offline shopping experiences, and reduce the common causes of customer pain. However, as we designed our Sutherland Superstore of the Future we realised it’s not just about reducing friction. Designing smarter retail customer experiences means using data more effectively to personalize the customer journey. So how far could we go to improve shopping experiences using the kind of analytics and data platforms available to us today? The answer is a lot further than you might realize…

Our Superstore uses data for enhanced customer personalization

The UXalliance benchmark has uncovered the fact that, despite being relatively easy to implement, personalization is something that is often missing from both in-store and online experiences. What does personalization mean in a retail context?

  • Relevant offers and personalized deal: In our Superstore, we’re using advanced analytics to help us fine-tune our human-centric design. Sure, we’ve mapped customer journeys, and developed robust customer personas through design research and ethnographic studies, but at mass market scale, building a detailed picture of every individual customer also needs some serious tech solutions too. Combining analytics with hands-on design research helps us build smarter profiles for each customer, based on their shopping history (both via the app data and in-store checkout payments). This means we can do two things that will increase the customer’s lifetime spend with our store – firstly, we can offer them personalized deals based on the kinds of products they actually buy, and secondly, we can improve the cross-sell of related items. We’ve seen some great examples of this kind of thinking in the UXalliance benchmark, where linked items appear at the checkout (so if it’s a digital camera, they offer deals on memory cards, carry cases and so on). Also the emergence of subscribe and save deals on regularly purchased items. But we’ve also seen some rather bad implementations too, where you get notified about price promotions and deals on items you’ve previously bought at full price, or you subscribe to an item but can’t get the delivery interval right (either too frequent, or too slow).
  • Fully integrated loyalty cards: One of the biggest CX issues that comes-up in the UXalliance benchmark is the general lack of connectivity between offline loyalty cards and online apps. In many apps, they appear to be disconnected, and even when they are integrated it requires the user to leave checkout to visit another page, get a discount code, then go back to the checkout and input the code, or something equally painful. So, in the Sutherland Superstore, the loyalty card is fully integrated with our app and in-store experience, which means online purchases and in-store shopping all generate loyalty points, which are held centrally and can be used at the online checkout and the offline checkout without any friction.
  • Automatic voucher schemes: One thing we all dislike is shopping at a store, then receiving online vouchers which we either don’t use, or we realize we could have used on items we’ve paid full price for. That’s a source of customer pain that wouldn’t happen at the Sutherland Superstore. If we email you a voucher, it’s added to your profile same as loyalty points, so when you come to your next purchase online or in store, we recognise you and apply the voucher automatically. Best price, every time, that’s our voucher scheme.
  • Delivery personalization options: Our Superstore enables a much greater range of personalisation options regarding deliveries and packaging. This means offering customers a wider range of delivery time slots (rather than notifying them on the day, letting the customer choose convenient times, as most supermarkets do) and offering a much wider range of delivery options. Our Superstore is integrated with a network of third party click and collect locations, as well as locker facilities located in commuter train stations, petrol stations, car parks and park and ride schemes. This is a growing trend the UXalliance research highlighted, especially in Asia and Eastern Europe, where customers expect a lot more choice over when and where deliveries go. Similarly, the option to grant access to delivery drivers to your home (which is being tested in the UK at the moment) and more details about delivery drivers to make customers feel more secure would be a feature of our service.
Click & collect lockers
  • Packaging personalization options: One consistent complaint about home deliveries that our research uncovered was the persistent use of large boxes for small items, which are a waste of material and hard to dispose of, or inadequate packing materials and wrapping for delicate items, and so on. As with deliveries, our Superstore would provide the option for customers to specify the best packaging to suit their needs or preferences.
  • Smarter back-up options: Our Superstore uses advanced analytics that can digest a customer’s shopping history, and feedback. This means when an item is out of stock, we offer substitute replacements that the customer is most likely to want based on their purchasing history. This means we don’t deliver items with a short shelf life (for our groceries) and if a customer has ordered some lycra cycling gear, we don’t simply refund the item and leave them hanging, we ship the most popular item in their size, from a brand they have bought before – or one other similar customers have liked, with a note saying “sorry, would this do instead?” The aim is to develop the shopping process as a useful service, that understands more about customer shopping habits, rather than assume there are only two options – sale or return.
  • Smarter returns processes: Our Sutherland Superstore never ships an item without an included returns label, detailed returns instructions, and robust packaging that can be re-used. More than that, all returns can be arranged through the app, the website, over the phone or handled in store, regardless of the channel you bought the item in. Also, whatever payment option you used – from cash to Bitcoin or Paypal – is hooked-up and ready to refund in store, in the app, and over the phone. These three components of returns were some of the most common friction points reported around the globe in our UXalliance research. Smarter returns are essential for building customer loyalty, and making the shopping experience easier.
  • More flexible payment options: We’d also add to our service by offering a wider range of try-before-you-buy services, linked to optimized returns. This would include payment at the end of the month for all purchases (especially useful for trying on clothes at home, and returning multiple items on a regular basis); and also offering pay-monthly accounting on all items, replacing the need for credit cards. This seems like an important step, again, taking our Sutherland Superstore out of the realms of retail and integrating it with financial products (like credit cards).
Woman trying on clothes
  • Integration with other stores: Our quest for personalization means at Sutherland’s Superstore, you can click-and-collect from any store you like to shop at. And even better, you can order items in to try them out at our store, and if you don’t want them, arrange for them to be returned by us to your original supplier. Which means, we’re the only store you ever really need to visit, for anything.

General improvements to existing customer expectations

Finally, there are a few extra innovations we’d deploy in our Sutherland Superstore, which we’ve learned from the UXalliance benchmark, and seen other brands doing very effectively.

  • Online-offline price matching: In our store, the lowest price applies. So if you buy an item in-store and it’s subject to an online price promo, that’s the price at the checkout. Online items also check out at the lowest in-store price, so during sales, there’s consistent pricing and no chance an in-store bargain favours one brick-and-mortar customer over an online customer.
  • Store communities: With our advanced customer analytics, we can effectively segment our customers, which offers us real opportunities to do more with our Sutherland Superstore. For example, we can identify customer interests and hold product demonstrations and learning activities in-store at evenings and weekends. Angling tips? Free cake decorating classes? Art exhibitions? Christmas catering workshops? Fitness, healthy eating, organic beauty products? We’ve seen real world stores doing these sorts of things every effectively, and with the right kind of personalization data, the store becomes a community venue, and the app becomes a social media hub to bring like minded people together.

With the right kind of personalization data, the store becomes a community venue, and the app becomes a social media hub to bring like minded people together

  • Integration with wider services: The Sutherland Store can integrate with services like Uber, Airbnb, Deliveroo, and relevant third party logistics and delivery options. This means regardless of which store the customer is nearest to (on holiday, or at work or travelling) we can design delivery options that provide a higher level of flexibility and accessibility than traditional models. That makes our store global and local at the same time.

And finally… the future

All of the ideas we’ve outlined here are achievable right now, with current technologies. That sense of applying realistic tech and best practices feels like the right approach for building our Sutherland Superstore… but of course, if we look to the innovators and flagship concept stores around the world, we should add a few more things that really caught our attention…

  • Frictionless shopping: It’s coming. Walk in, pay with face recognition, or phone app, possibly both. The store uses sensors to track all stock. Which means the in-store staff can focus on customer service like never before. Win:Win!
  • Robots. Shopping trolleys that take you to your shopping list, and follow you around.
  • More robots: That take the foods you select and cook them in automated kitchen, then serve them via even more bots.
  • Drones: For automated deliveries to your postal / zip code.
  • Augmented Reality glasses: Which enable you to visualize clothes, home furnishings, in-store promotions, and highlight items in-store for easy location.
  • Moving stock displays: Yes, even displays that move around the store, or move closer to you if your customer data profile attracts them, to make it easier to find what you are looking for.
  • Perfect customer service: Delivery within 30 minutes, collection and refund within an hour on returns, customer support calls to help you decide on items you’re browsing, chatbots to handle simple queries 24/7, and fridges and cupboards that restock themselves… with drones… and … and… watch this space.

In the meantime, if you want an insight into how the world’s finest apps are transforming retail experiences – and discover the brand who actually manage to deliver perfect customer service, you can get in touch with simon@sutherlandlabs.com for the full UXalliance Retail App Benchmark 2018.

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Design that Inspires: Prodigious Packaging https://www.sutherlandlabs.com/blog/design-that-inspires-prodigious-packaging/ Wed, 21 Nov 2018 16:45:25 +0000 Design that Inspires: Prodigious Packaging

I tend to be more inspired by the areas where different ideas intersect and overlap. Objects which can transform to suit the situation, or that are hybridized to serve multiple purposes. For many people; aesthetics and singularity of purpose are how good design is judged, but I love to see creative things that break out of a niche and serve many needs.

With my background in fast moving consumer goods, my focus is often less on things that are kept forever as opposed to items that are single use; and nowhere is the need for good design becoming more obvious than when it comes to packaging.

Postage and Packaging is one of the key areas that our Global Retail App Benchmark identified as being a point of contention for online shoppers; with no design forethought put into the boxes and bags that are used to ship out products that may need to be returned. But even without taking that into account; so many companies are dropping the ball when it comes to packaging!

It is almost always overlooked – reduced to the boring sum of functionality + the most cost effective material + a graphic to ensure branding isn’t completely forgotten. It is such a disappointment when instead it could be made to inspire action, transform into something else, or even disappear to prevent any environmental damage. At the very least, packaging could be made into something fun, to delight the end user.

There is still a long way to go with transforming packaging into what it should be, but at least the journey has begun, as demonstrated in a few of my favorite bits of packaging design:

Christmas Coca Cola

The Coca Cola company have been staking their claim to the Christmas Holiday for so long that most people don’t even remember that Santa Claus used to wear a green suit before their corporate sponsorship. Many companies have added little details to their branding to be seasonal, but you can trust Coca Cola for a unique attention grabber; in this case; transforming the strip label on their plastic bottles into a self-tying seasonal ribbon!

Bakey’s Edible Spoons

Massive landfills across India were becoming clogged with disposable plastic cutlery, so Narayana Peesapaty, a researcher and agricultural consultant came up with an excellent solution. A spoon that you could eat as a desert after using it for your meal. Made with a base of millet, rice and wheat flours, the edible spoons come in a variety of flavors, have a shelf life of up to three years, and decompose within 5 days if discarded after use – assuming for some reason that you can’t manage to crunch down your spoon along with your lunch. They’ve proven so popular, that Peesapaty’s Kickstarter campaign to help increase production raised $278,874 instead of the $20,000 required to expand their operations.

Image of edible spoons

Good Hair Day Pasta

We have all looked at spaghetti and thought it looked like hair, but award-winning designer Nikita Konkin took that stray thought and transformed it into a whole range of pasta packaging that manages to be both whimsical and a great way to display the products contained within. Simplicity in every other part of the design helps to differentiate it even further from the run of the mill pasta packs you usually see.

Image of Good Hair day pasta

Kolle Rebbe Parmesan Pencils

Sold along with a helpful sharpener to produce the desired effect, these flavored sticks of parmesan solve the age old problem of grating at the tableside with a cutesy flair that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with a German advertising agency like Kolle Rebbe. The only downside of these fantastic little methods of cheese transportation? Only 500 of them were ever made!

Image of parmesan pencils
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Polly and Jun’s Dublin Adventure https://www.sutherlandlabs.com/blog/polly-and-juns-dublin-adventure/ Fri, 16 Nov 2018 10:45:58 +0000 Polly and Jun’s Dublin Adventure

Every year, the Service Design Network holds a global conference in a different city, inviting practitioners from around the world to come together. This year upwards of eight hundred guests from forty-four countries met in Dublin, Ireland. With Polly and I amongst them.

The three-day event included a total of thirty-three presentations, twelve workshops and eighty different speakers from different walks of life, coming together to tackle a challenge the community has long struggled with defining: implementation.

It is easy to see how a design will function in sterile lab conditions, but how do you make your perfect solutions work in real life? The great thing about the diversity of practitioners at this event was that people from every stage of implementation were on hand to weigh in; we all faced similar challenges, and before long everyone was meeting up between sessions to talk shop on the floor.

A talk at the Service Design Festival

There were three main themes that came up across all of the different presentations and workshops. Three ways that implementation can be taken to the next level, regardless of the circumstances.

Process design vs. design process.

When we first approach a client or organization with a solution, it is usually in the form of a specific process. We show them one way to transform their users’ experiences but then run into a brick wall when we try to deviate from that process. “Design” is shifting from crafting tangible, fixed products to creating fluid value-based experiences. We need to be wary of offering linear solutions in a non-linear world. Emphasising flexibility is going to be vital as we move forward.

The Importance of Storytelling

Designers all around the globe face similar communication challenges when it comes to the value of our work. How do we present service design in a way that’s not perceived as overly prescriptive?
We often rely on pointing to tools and methodologies that enable our design practice as examples for clients: “This is a journey map. It shows the end-to-end journey of a user and we do it because _”
Depending on the audience’s existing expertise, this can either be insulting or illusive when facing a design challenge. The key to conveying long term value for clients and internal stakeholders lies in framing the end results in an engaging way. By telling them the story of their service.

A lego workshop at the Service Design Festival

Collaboration and Cocreation

To change cultures, a clear vision needs to be communicated across entire organizations, not just held by one small group of experts.

Stakeholder involvement throughout all stages of a project can help build momentum; from the initial research to concept iteration. Working and designing in silos is the best way to make sure a concept never goes further than inception. Designers need to co-create with people across the whole organization if they expect the whole organization to “buy in” to the new idea.

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Sutherland as a Retailer Part 1: The Low Friction Shopping Experience https://www.sutherlandlabs.com/blog/sutherland-as-a-retailer-part-1-the-low-friction-shopping-experience/ Wed, 14 Nov 2018 12:38:43 +0000 Sutherland as a Retailer Part 1: The Low Friction Shopping Experience

The last few weeks in the Labs have been full of interesting insights into effective retail customer experiences. We’ve been really focused on the world of retail apps, and online-offline blended models, probably because we’ve been busy compiling the results of our first UX Alliance retail app global benchmark project. The first retail benchmark of its kind, this project rated 36 apps in 19 countries against 63 must-have features and functions, and also saw the creation of a new Customer Experience scoring system, to measure how effectively the online experience enhances the offline journey of the customer.

Then we got to thinking, what if we took this report, and our own insights into retail customer experiences, and mashed them up into a store design of our own? What would that look like? If Sutherland designed a retailer from the ground up, what kind of shopping experience would that be? So… let’s go shopping.

Reducing in-store friction

In the Sutherland Store, you won’t have to wait in a long queue for the checkout or returns desk. Let’s face it, waiting in line is a major cause of customer pain, and we’ve all experienced it. There are some obvious solutions too…

  • Customer self-checkouts can go much further: This doesn’t mean some high-tech frictionless experiment like Amazon Go, just a simple scanner app (like in the Apple Store) that lets you scan and pay for items and self-checkout. We could also offer self-checkout scanners (like you see in supermarkets), and self-service checkouts like you see in many shops. Clearly, these self-service options don’t meet all customer service needs, but a greater prevalence in a wider range of stores would reduce customer friction across the board because it diminishes the pressure on checkouts, especially at peak times when queues can get long and customer tempers get short.
A customer scanning a bottle of milk with her phone using a scanning app
  • In-store helper apps: Something that came up in the UXa research was that 63% of younger users reported they always check the app (or online) to see if items were in stock before they visited a brick-and-mortar store. This got us thinking about the need for greater app integration in store (like using Google Maps on the street, or using store guide apps in store locations).  In our Sutherland Superstore, when you walk in, your phone app buzzes and points you to different products (from your shopping list) or different departments and help functions.

Directing customers in-store to find what they are looking for, or helping to organize returns and exchanges via a dedicated customer service desk is a natural extension of the self-checkout app. We know customers like apps – in our Superstore there’s definitely a shopping assistant helper app that guides you in store to products, departments and the right place to get customer support.

  • Smarter in-store-to-home deliveries: Again, if the store offers an online / app shopping experience with home deliveries (which pretty much all of them do), why limit it to online? In our Sutherland Superstore, you’d be able to do your shopping, self-checkout, and arrange for home delivery. This innovation fixes the commonplace customer pain of battling around the shops loaded down with bags of stuff, and enables touchy-feely shopping experiences for those items that need it. For example, trying clothes on in-store, or making a decision about the ‘feel’ of a product (material, weights, quality), or selecting fresh items in the supermarket, or musical instruments, sports equipment… there’s a long list of items it’s easier to purchase if you touch them before you buy. The ability to shop in-store and opt for home delivery enables spontaneous linked shopping trips (the growing trend of going to the shops for one thing, and visiting additional stores for unplanned purchases, or restaurants, cinemas, parks etc.)
  • Nicer staff, more useful staff: Okay, so nobody likes a sulky shop assistant, but a positive store assistant can transform your shopping experience. It’s important to recognize that interacting with store staff is actually one of the strongest unique aspects of brick and mortar shopping, compared with apps. With some well constructed customer research, we would identify a set of robust behavioral personas that reflect different customer ‘modes’ and purchasing behaviors. These help us design interactions for casual browsers who enjoy shopping as a leisure activity; time-poor shoppers who know exactly what they want and zero-in on specific products quickly; customers making returns; click-and-collect customers; customers with child care needs or shopping for an elderly relative and different variations on these themes.
Retail assistant helping a customer on an iPad

Using these personas to define our staff training means that in our Superstore, the staff would recognize different behaviors, and engage with people more effectively. That means not following casual browsers around asking “Can I help you?” repeatedly, and not ignoring customers who are clearly in rush and likely need proactive assistance. It means carrying tablets that could bring-up factsheets on products, FAQs on delivery options, prices, all the info customers might ask for, because no customer minds if you look something up, but nobody wants to hear “I don’t know, have you tried looking on our website?” Also, if the staff have got a tablet with them, they can also check out the items you want, and arrange home delivery without you having to queue-up or visit a special desk, which again, would work as a proactive service outreach to hands-full mothers with children and pushchairs, plus elderly or customers with special needs.

So, by applying a bit of Labs design thinking, learning from our own personal experiences, and drawing on the global best practices we’ve seen in our UXa research, all shopping experiences could evolve to remove those stubborn pain points that seem to persist in today’s blended online-offline shopping world.

But there’s a lot more. In part 2 of this article, we consider the possibilities of using advanced analytics, customer data and smarter process design to make the Sutherland Superstore of the future not just low-friction, but a much more useful, personalized shopping experience.

 

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Design thinking to improve candidate experience https://www.sutherlandlabs.com/work/design-thinking-improve-candidate-experience/ Thu, 08 Jun 2017 15:21:26 +0000 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 https://www.sutherlandlabs.com/work/rethinking-in-hospital-entertainment/ Tue, 14 Jun 2016 10:17:09 +0000 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 https://www.sutherlandlabs.com/work/designing-a-better-patient-experience/ Tue, 07 Jun 2016 13:37:57 +0000 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 https://www.sutherlandlabs.com/work/designing-a-roadmap-to-customer-loyalty/ Fri, 01 Apr 2016 13:37:40 +0000 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 https://www.sutherlandlabs.com/work/bringing-a-health-insurer-closer-to-its-customers/ Mon, 14 Mar 2016 10:16:54 +0000 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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