Sunday, June 10, 2007

The "secret sauce" for customer experience projects

Get the stakeholders into the lab ...

"Why should we hire you?"

A potential client recently asked me - in not quite those words - what sets the "customer experience" method apart from other user experience and usability vendors she was considering.

I went over the basics of the method - setting business context, conducting customer-led research ("listening labs"), creating a customer-focused strategy - and then I added one more thing.

"While I firmly believe in our method," I said, "our 'secret sauce' is something really simple. It might even sound trivial, if you haven't tried it."

The potential client said she was all ears.

"OK," I said, "Here it is, the one thing that most vendors ignore, but we insist upon."

And then I told her:

We get the stakeholders to watch the labs.

In other words, we get all the decisionmakers for the website, or product, or service, to take a full day away from the office to sit in a quiet observation room to watch customers using their service. They all watch together, and then they discuss what they observed, after each session.

After more than ten years of customer experience consulting, I'll tell you confidently that there is no better way to build consensus about improving the customer experience than to get stakeholders to observe customers first-hand, in person, in real time, right in front of them."    (Continued via Good Experience)    [Usability Resources]

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