Read parts one and two of this series.
Seeing the importance of CX and having decided to integrate customer-centric thinking into an organisation is great. Believing in CX and having access to a CX specialist are significant steps towards becoming a truly customer-focused organisation. The last, most crucial part of becoming a truly customer-focused organisation is when and how to implement CX into a company’s design and development process.
Late is better than never… but not good enough
Finding a way to catch up to and board a boat after it’s sailed is better than missing it altogether, but it’s not great.
Does this sound familiar? An organisation develops a product or service, and prior to launch—usually around the time it’s being QA tested—someone decides it might be a good idea to do speak with a CX designer and do some CX testing.
All the king's horses…
The house analogy may be overused but it’s overused for a reason—it works. Unless someone has a penchant for spending a lot of extra time and money on it, to build a house, discussions with the architect won’t occur when the house is already three-quarters built. The same applies to CX design.
Attempting to integrate better, more customer-focused design into a product that is already mostly developed is going to either delay its launch, cost more money to make changes, or delay changes until later—none of which are ideal.
Rinse and repeat
Yet even integrating CX design into a companies’ process from beginning through to end isn’t enough. The process needs to be formalised, implemented, reviewed and edited on an ongoing basis. From personal experience and speaking with fellow CXers, not doing so beckons the temptation of falling back into old habits. To put it another way, integrating CX is about changing culture, through dedication, collaboration, and with the right tools and people.
It’s a CX designer’s responsibility to make sure they’re available and help establish and run the processes needed to produce customer-first designs. At the same time it’s everyone’s responsibility, starting from executives down, to help positively promote the culture of CX and empower those who understand it within the organisation. In the connected, customer-driven world we live in, one needs to be aware that the saying 'culture eats strategy for breakfast' is more relevant than ever.
Jeremy Thomson is UX Director at Geometry Global Japan.